Categories
Alberta Politics

Former People’s Party candidate Nadine Wellwood seeks UCP nomination in Livingstone-Macleod, NDP names Calgary-Fish Creek and Lacombe-Ponoka candidates

Right-wing political activist Nadine Wellwood announced on social media that she plans to run for United Conservative Party nomination in the Livingstone-Macleod riding.

Wellwood was an outspoken opponent of COVID-19 public health measures and ran as a candidate for Maxime Bernier‘s right-wing populist People’s Party of Canada in Banff-Airdrie in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections. She also ran as a PPC candidate in Alberta’s Senate nominee election and placed ninth out of thirteen candidates in that race.

Wellwood has worked as a correspondent for the right-wing online news website the Western Standard. She was also a speaker at a 2021 Bowden rodeo held in defiance of the Alberta government’s public health measures and appears to have participated in the blockade at the Canada-US border crossing at Coutts.

The riding is currently represented by UCP MLA Roger Reid. Reid’s path to re-election appeared to open wider when Premier Danielle Smith announced she would not run in her home riding but instead contest a by-election in Brooks-Medicine Hat.

Conservationist and author Kevin Van Tighem announced his plans to seek the Alberta NDP nomination in the riding last week.

Wellwood’s announcement comes right after the Take Back Alberta slate of candidates swept the executive and board elections at last weekend’s UCP annual general meeting at the River Cree Casino on the Enoch Cree First Nation. The political action committee organized against Jason Kenney in the UCP leadership review, opposed COVID public health measures and expressed support for the Coutts blockade.

Recent candidate nominations

  • Teacher Dave Dale was nominated as the NDP candidate in Lacombe-Ponoka.
  • Tech start-up builder Rebecca Bounsall was nominated as the NDP candidate in Calgary-Fish Creek. She was the party’s candidate in 2019, when she earned 28 per cent of the vote.

The NDP have now nominated candidates in 60 of Alberta’s 87 ridings. The UCP have candidates named in 36 ridings and the Green Party has 15 candidates. The Alberta Party has nominated 3 candidates.

I am maintaining a list of candidates running for party nominations, so if you are seeking a nomination and would like you name added to the list please let me know. Thanks!

Conventions! Cabinet!

I will have more to say about this past weekend’s NDP and UCP conventions, as well as Premier Smith’s first cabinet, on the Daveberta Substack later this week. Look for my next column to hit your email inboxes on Thursday. Sign up to not miss out.

Categories
Alberta Politics

Michaela Frey resigns, opens up Brooks-Medicine Hat by-election for Danielle Smith

Michaela Frey has resigned as the United Conservative Party MLA for Brooks-Medicine Hat, opening up a by-election for new party leader Danielle Smith to to claim a seat in the Legislature.

Update: Smith has confirmed she will run as the UCP candidate in the Brooks-Medicine Hat by-election.

Smith was already running for the UCP nomination in her home riding of Livingstone-Macleod but incumbent MLA Roger Reid has publicly shown no indication he’s not still running for the nomination against his new leader.

Already running in the riding are retired teacher Gwendoline Dirk for the Alberta NDP and Alberta Party leader Barry Morishita, who also happens to be the former Mayor of Brooks.

I’ll have more on Brooks-Medicine Hat when a by-election is called (so probably soon).

And, not wanting to get caught off-guard if Smith decides to call an early general election, here are the NDP’s upcoming nomination meetings:

– Second-term MLA David Shepard is seeking the NDP nomination to run for re-election in Edmonton-City Centre. A nomination meeting is scheduled for October 11.

Dawn Flaata is running for the NDP nomination in Vermilion-Lloydminster-Wainwright. A nomination meeting is scheduled for October 15.

Amanda Chapman and Jason Curry are running for the NDP nomination in Calgary-Beddington. A nomination vote is scheduled for October 17.

Dave Dale is running for the NDP nomination in Lacombe-Ponoka. A nomination meeting is scheduled for October 19.

Rebecca Bousall is running for the NDP nomination in Calgary-Fish Creek. A nomination meeting is scheduled for October 20.

Andrew Stewart is running for the NDP nomination in Calgary-Hays. A nomination meeting is scheduled for October 26.

Caitlyn Blake is running for the NDP nomination in Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul. A nomination meeting is scheduled for October 28.

Justin Huseby is running for the NDP nomination in Calgary-South East. A nomination meeting is scheduled for November 8.

Categories
Alberta Politics

Jaelene Tweedle wins NDP nomination in Red Deer-North, Danielle Smith says she won’t call a by-election in Calgary-Elbow

Jaelene Tweedle defeated Craig Curtis to win the Alberta NDP nomination in Red Deer-North.

“I believe without a doubt that Red Deer-North, and all of Alberta, can thrive under the NDP,” Tweedle said in a statement.

“I will work to ensure our community has access to quality healthcare, a world class public education system, long-term job growth and opportunities for our children, supports and dignity for our most vulnerable, and ensure affordability for families with a competent government steering the ship.”

Tweedle is a former oilfield administrator and was a candidate for the Red Deer Public School Board in 2021.

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange and Premier Jason Kenney (Source: Government of Alberta)
Education Minister Adriana LaGrange and Premier Jason Kenney in 2019 (Source: Government of Alberta)

The riding is currently represented by United Conservative Party MLA and Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange. She was elected in 2019 with 60 per cent of the vote.

The riding was represented by NDP MLA Kim Schreiner from 2015 to 2019 and one of its past MLAs was Stockwell Day, who held the riding from 1986 until he jumped into federal politics in 2000.

Rebecca Bounsall is running for the NDP nomination in Calgary-Fish Creek. She was the party’s candidate in 2019 and earned 28 per cent of the vote.

No by-election in Calgary-Elbow?

UCP leadership front runner Danielle Smith is saying she will call a by-election in a safe rural riding if she wins tonight’s leadership vote. But she is not saying which riding that will be.

The former Wildrose Party leader has been running for the UCP nomination in Livingstone-Macleod but the incumbent UCP MLA Roger Reid appears to be busy campaigning for the nomination.

Smith has also said she will not call a concurrent by-election in Calgary-Elbow, the riding vacated by former UCP MLA Doug Schweitzer last month. The NDP have nominated energy analyst Samir Kayande as their candidate and lawyer Kerry Cundal is running for the Alberta Party. The riding was held by Alberta Party MLA Greg Clark from 2015 to 2019.

Lawyer Andrea James has already announced her plans to run for the UCP nomination and there is speculation in political circles that former City Councillor and mayoral candidate Jeff Davison could also seek the nomination.

Calling a by-election in a safe rural seat so a potential future Premier Smith can get into the Legislative while also not calling a by-election in the already vacant riding sounds like a pretty good way of helping the UCP lose the seat in the next election.

The tally

The NDP have now nominated candidates in 55 of Alberta’s 87 electoral districts. As previously noted, it appears as though the UCP have paused the nomination process until after their new leader is selected on October 6. The Alberta Party has nominated three candidates.

See the full list of nomination candidates here.

The Daveberta Substack

A big thank you to everyone who has subscribed and sent feedback about the new Daveberta Substack.

You can read my first post about Danielle Smith’s Alberta Sovereignty Act here.

Categories
Alberta Politics

NDP MLA Eric Rosendahl not running for re-election in West Yellowhead, Judge decides Stephen Mandel allowed to run in Edmonton-McClung

New Democratic Party MLA Eric Rosendahl announced this week that he will not be running for re-election when the provincial election is called later this spring. Rosendahl was first elected as the MLA for West Yellowhead in 2015 and had previously announced that he would seek his party’s nomination for re-election in 2019.

Robin Campbell Alberta Finance Yellowhead
Robin Campbell

Rosendahl is the former president of the Hinton Fish & Game Association, Hinton Search and Rescue, and the Yellowhead District Labour Council. He surprised many political watchers when he unseated Progressive Conservative Finance Minister Robin Campbell in the last election. Rosendahl’s campaign spent $748, compared to $25,208 spent by Campbell’s campaign.

While Rosendahl was not initially expected to win in 2015, the NDP does have a traditional voting base in the district, with a significant population of unionized workers employed by the provincial and federal governments, and by private employers at the numerous mills and mines in the region (Campbell had been president of United Mine Workers of America Local 1656 before he was elected in 2008 and is currently President of the Coal Association of Canada). Former Edson mayor Jerry Doyle represented West Yellowhead for the NDP from 1989 to 1993.

Rosendahl gained some negative media attention earlier this year when a former member of his constituency office staff alleged he pressured her to do political work on government time.

West Yellowhead will undergo significant changes when the 2019 is called and its boundaries will expand to include the town of Whitecourt.

The NDP have scheduled a nomination meeting for March 9, 2019. Already nominated in this district are United Conservative Party candidate Martin Long, Alberta Party candidate Kirstie Gomuwka, and Liberal Party candidate Zack Seizmagraff.

Here are some of the latest NDP candidate nomination updates:

Kate Andrews NDP Calgary-Acadia Election Alberta 2019
Kate Andrews

Kate Andrews is the NDP candidate in Calgary-Acadia. Andrews is a lawyer with the Kahane Law Office and has experience in civil and commercial litigation. She is the chair of the Board of Directors for Closer to Home Community Services.

– Lynn MacWilliam is the NDP candidate in the southern Alberta district of Brooks-Medicine Hat. MacWilliam serves on Bassano Town Council and ran for the provincial NDP in Strathmore-Brooks in 2015, earning 15 per cent of the vote, and for the federal NDP in Bow River in 2015, earned 5 per cent of the vote. She previously worked in Ottawa for former Burnaby-Douglas MP Bill Siksay. 

– Hafeez Chishti has been nominated as the NDP candidate in Calgary-North West. Dr. Chishti is a Professional Geologist/Geoscientist and is a member of the Board of Governors of the University of Calgary.

The NDP have also nominated Julia Bietz in Calgary-Lougheed and Rebecca Bounsall in Calgary-Fish Creek. Rosa Evelia Baez Zamora will seek the NDP nomination in Airdrie-East on March 13, 2019, and the NDP will hold nomination meetings in Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills on March 11, 2019, and in Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock and Grande Prairie-Wapiti on March 17, 2019.

Alberta Party

Stephen Mandel Edmonton
Stephen Mandel

After being banned from running as a candidate in the next election because his campaign missed a deadline to file financial disclosure papers with Elections Alberta, Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel‘s lawyers convinced a judge to overturn the ban and allow him to run in Edmonton-McClung when the next election is called.

Mandel became leader of the party in 2018 and served as the PC MLA for Edmonton-Whitemud and Health Minister from 2014 to 2015 and mayor of Edmonton from 2004 to 2013.

He was one of 7 Alberta Party candidates hit with this penalty. Six of the candidates, including Mandel, have now had their bans lifted. Edmonton-Meadows candidate Amrit Matharu remains on the banned list.

Jasbir Dhari has been nominated as the Alberta Party candidate in Calgary-Falconridge.

Liberal Party

Michelle Robinson has been nominated as the Liberal Party candidate in Calgary-East. Robinson ran for Calgary City Council in 2017, placing fourth with 6.1 per cent of the vote . She was the first First Nations woman to run for city council in Calgary.

The Liberals have nominated Dan Ejumabone in Calgary-West and Amy Yates in Taber-Warner. Clarie Wilde is seeking the Liberal Party nomination in Edmonton-Rutherford.

Rio Aiello is the nominated Freedom Conservative Party candidate in Calgary-West.

If you know any candidates who have announced their intentions to stand for party nominations, please send me an email at david.cournoyer@gmail.com. I will add them to the list. Thank you!

Categories
Alberta Politics

Len Rhodes to be appointed UCP candidate in Edmonton-Meadows. Firefighter captain Todd Russell wins NDP contest in Grande Prairie

Photo: Len Rhodes (source: cfl.ca)

The rumour mill is churning at full speed with news that Len Rhodes, outgoing President and CEO of the Edmonton Eskimos, is on the verge of being appointed by Jason Kenney as the United Conservative Party candidate in Edmonton-Meadows.

Arundeep Sandhu Edmonton By-election ward 12
Arundeep Sandhu

Rhodes’ appointment would bump three local nomination candidates, Joel Mullan, Arundeep Sandhu, and Sant Sharma, who have been campaigning for the UCP candidacy in the southeast Edmonton district for nearly a year. In particular, Sandhu, a young Edmontonian of Sikh heritage who mounted an energetic bid for City Council in 2016, has been campaigning hard for the nomination since May 2018.

Rhodes recently completed a term a Chair of the Board of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and announced last week that he was stepping away from his senior executive role with the Canadian Football League team as of Feb. 20. It appears we will know soon if this is the reason why.

With seven years as the top corporate executive of the Eskimos on his resume, Rhodes will certainly be described as a “star candidate,” which is something that has so far been absent from the UCP slate in NDP-leaning Edmonton. But his personal connections to the district, his own political views and understanding of local issues remains unclear.

The area included in the Edmonton-Meadows district is currently represented by New Democratic Party MLA Denise Woollard, who was first elected in 2015 in Edmonton-Mill Creek. Woollard is being challenged for her party’s nomination by 2015 federal NDP candidate Jasvir Deol and Alberta Pashtoon Association president Chand Gul. A nomination meeting for the NDP has been scheduled for Feb. 24, 2019.

Firefighter Captain wins NDP nomination in Grande Prairie

Rachel Notley (centre), with Grande Prairie NDP nomination candidates Melissa Byers and Todd Russell.
Rachel Notley (centre), with Grande Prairie NDP nomination candidates Melissa Byers and Todd Russell.

Firefighter Captain Todd Russell defeated non-profit executive director Melissa Byers to secure the NDP nomination Grande Prairie on Feb. 19. The contested nomination meeting was attended by Premier Rachel Notley and Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd, who is running for re-election in the new neighbouring Central Peace-Notley district.

Russell placed second in the Grande Prairie-Smoky district in the 2015 election, placing 334 votes behind then-Wildrose candidate Todd Loewen. Loewen is seeking re-election in the neighbouring district against McCuaig-Boyd.

The Alberta Firefighters Association has endorsed Notley and been actively campaigning for NDP candidates across the province. AFA President Craig Macdonald gave a rousing speech at the NDP convention in October 2018 praising the Notley government for introducing new workplace health and safety rules to protect firefighters and first responders.

NDP select more 5 candidates and announce new nomination meetings

NDP MLA Chris Nielsen was nominated as the NDP candidate in Edmonton-Decore and MLA Kim Schreiner has been nominated in Red Deer-North.

Jane Stroud NDP Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche
Jane Stroud

Wood Buffalo municipal councillor Jane Stroud has been nominated as the NDP candidate in Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche district and Fort McMurray Public Schools trustee Stephen Drover has been nominated as the NDP candidate in Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo. Cesar Cala has been nominated as the NDP candidate in Calgary-East.

The NDP announced a series of upcoming nomination meetings, with Robyn O’Brien seeking the nomination in Innisfail-Sylvan Lake on February 27, Kate Andrews seeking the nomination in Calgary-Acadia on March 1, Julia Bietz seeking the NDP nomination in Calgary-Lougheed on March 2, Rebecca Bounsall seeking the nomination in Calgary-Fish Creek and Hafeez Chishti is seeking the NDP nomination in Calgary-North West on March 3.

The NDP have also scheduled nomination meetings in Calgary-South East, Drumheller-Stettler, Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre, and Vermilion-Lloydminster-Wainwright on February 28, 2019, and in Brooks-Medicine Hat on March 2, 2019.

Colette Smithers
 has been nominated as the Alberta Party candidate in Cypress-Medicine Hat.

Another Alberta Party candidate banned

It appears as though Tim Meech, the Alberta Party candidate in Livingstone-Macleod, and his CFO Mark Taylor, who is the executive director of the Alberta Party, have been added to Elections Alberta’s now infamous list of people ineligible to serve as candidates or CFOs.

Taylor is also serving as CFO for Red Deer-North candidate Paul Hardy and 4 Alberta Party constituency associations.

If you know any candidates who have announced their intentions to stand for party nominations, please send me an email at david.cournoyer@gmail.com. I will add them to the list. Thank you!