Traditional PC riding up for grabs

The Progressive Conservatives have governed Calgary-West for the better part of 47 years, 19 of which had Peter Lougheed representing this riding as Premier. Between 1993 and 1997, Liberal Danny Dalla-Longa was the MLA in Calgary-West. But the 1997 general election was won handily by the PC’s who have remained in this seat ever since.

Calgary West sees five candidates vying for the vacant seat left by Progressive Conservative Ken Hughes who resigned on Sept. 29. The candidates are:

• Mike Ellis – Twitter
• Wildrose – Sheila Taylor – Twitter
• Liberal – David Khan – Twitter
• NDP – Brian Malkinson – Twitter
• Alberta Party – Troy Millington – Twitter

The scandals surrounding former Premier Allison Redford and the “culture of entitlement” associated with the PC’s put this riding very much in question.

Candidate’s platforms are all generally the same with a few variations between parties. Care for seniors, updating Calgary schools, healthcare and maintaining Calgary infrastructure are what the candidates are talking about. 

(SEE ALSO: Calgary-Elbow, Calgary-Foothills)

Calgary Journal Note: For the Q&A portions of this article—with each of the Q&A’s being conducted through email— the candidates were charged with answering the questions asked of them using a maximum of 100 words.

The Calgary Journal byelection team made multiple attempts to encourage Mike Ellis and Sheila Taylor to participate in the Q&A portion of this article but were refused.

Candidates Snapshots

Photo courtesy of Mike Ellis’ Facebook page.Mike Ellis, PC
Eillis has served 12 years as a member of the Calgary Police where he has been involved in community policing and working with some of Calgary’s less fortunate population through the Alberta Secretariat for Action on Homelessness program. Ellis also trains other officers on how to help victims of crime. He has spent his entire adult life as a Calgary resident.

Platform Tidbit: With more families moving to Calgary, Ellis will be looking to bring more schools to the community. To learn more about Ellis, visit http://mikeellis.ca/ 

Photo taken from the Wildrose Party website.Sheila Taylor, Wildrose
Taylor has served as a public school trustee in Calgary since 2010 and recently completed a term as chair of the Calgary Board of Education. She has worked in marketing, sales, accounting and management, spending eight years with Imperial Oil. Taylor has served as president on the board of her local community association, the Lake Bonavista Community Association.

Platform Tidbit: She would push for the government to do everything she can to protect gay and lesbian students. To learn more about Taylor, visit http://www.sheilataylor.ca/ 

Photo courtesy of David Khan’s Facebook page.David Khan, Liberal
Khan practices Aboriginal law across Western Canada as an associate with Rath & Company, Barristers & Solicitors. He has represented clients at all levels of court in numerous Canadian jurisdictions, including the Supreme Court of Canada. He has a specialization Aboriginal and environmental law. This byelection is Khan’s introduction to the Alberta political arena.

Platform Tidbit: He will aim to have the wealthiest corporations and the wealthiest one per cent pay their fair share of taxes. http://www.davidkhan.ca/

1) What do you think is most at stake for your party?

We are in an enviable position, as all ridings up for grabs are traditionally PC ridings. There isn’t much pressure on us since we are underdogs in all four ridings. The pressure is on the PCs and the Wildrose. If the Wildrose fail to win any of the byelections, Danielle Smith’s leadership will be in jeopardy. Likewise, if either of Jim Prentice’s two unelected cabinet ministers fail to win a seat, he’ll suffer a blow. While the spotlight is on these parties, we’re busy hitting the doors and sharing our vision for an Alberta that enjoys a strong economy and a strong society.

2) What is the biggest misconception that the public has about your party?

The biggest misconception is that we are formally tied to the federal Liberals — we’re not. We’re a made-in-Alberta Liberal party that is concerned strictly with delivering a strong economy and a strong society for Alberta. If we disagree with the federal Liberals on a matter of vital importance to Alberta, we’ll say so. We’re all Liberals, but it doesn’t mean we agree all the time. We put Alberta first, and we think it’s scandalous that the richest province in the country has public services that are — at best — mediocre. We believe Alberta deserves the best in education, health care and seniors’ care.

3) What is your approach to establishing trust with your electorate?

Getting out and meeting constituents at their homes, churches, mosques and temples, and at their community meetings. I’m approachable, friendly, and truly interested in understanding their concerns.

Photo courtesy of Brian Malkinson’s Twitter page.Brian Malkinson, NDP
Malkinson is new to Alberta politics. His career experience includes being a technician at a Calgary diesel heavy equipment supplier. Before moving into heavy mechanics, he was a designer/analyst for Internet start-ups. He is a third-generation Calgarian as his grandparents have been residents of the city for 60 years. He has a science degree from Simon Fraser University in B.C.

Platform Tidbit: Malkinson will aim to help regulate electricity prices so that the utility can be more affordable for Alberta families. To learn more about Malkinson, visit http://albertandp.ca/brianmalkinson 

1) What do you think is most at stake for your party?

In these byelections, the thing that is most at stake is the growth of our party. We are gaining momentum in Alberta and working hard to grow our caucus and our voice in the legislature. It’s important that we show Albertans that our support in the province is growing and that we continue to live up to our reputation as an opposition party consistently punching above its weight.

2) What is the biggest misconception that the public has about your party?

The concern I’m hearing on the doorsteps is that people want to support the NDP but they’re worried we will never win. The truth is, the NDP has made huge strides in the last decade and the hard work to become a viable alternative is continuing. Calgary is a priority for our new Leader, Rachel Notley, and in the next few years, you can expect to see the NDP become much more visible in this part of Alberta.

3) What is your approach to establishing trust with your electorate?

Accountability can go a long way to building trust. That’s number one. I want the electorate to know I’m listening to their concerns now, and I would listen as an MLA. I’m committed to taking constituents concerns to the government and fight for them. The other side of this is that I’m ready to be held accountable for any mistakes I make along the way. I’m human, I will make mistakes, but trust comes from proving that you’re willing to be upfront, honest and constructive when faced with these sorts of issues. I’m willing to do that.

Photo courtesy of Troy Millington.Troy Millington, Alberta Party
Millington — who is a stay-at-home dad to two pre-schoolers and self-employed computer consultant — has served terms on the boards of the Alberta Party and the Valley Ridge Community Association. He made a bid to represent the Calgary-North West riding in the 2012 provincial election. He ended up finishing fourth place in that race.

Platform Tidbit: He will push for innovative environmental leadership in order to sustain and increase the province’s resource-based wealth. To learn more about Millington, visit http://stthomasac.com/TroyMillington.com/index.php/item/7-vote-for-troy-millington#.VEjxT17gpAQ 

1) What do you think is most at stake for your party?

I believe the Alberta Party is poised to add a fresh voice with a new energy to the legislature. While (the) 2016 (provincial election) beckons in the not too distant future, Albertans are getting a preview now of what they can expect from members of the Alberta Party; fiscally conservative, socially moderate representation that is respectful and firm about expressing the need for positive change. These byelections are important to establish that we are effective, winning contenders for the job of representing Albertans.

2) What is the biggest misconception that the public has about your party?

Some have mistaken polite engagement for a lack of a fierce resolve to bring citizen-focused change to Alberta. We have incredible wealth all around us, yet the provincial government has time and time again failed to translate that into consistent, predictable funding and results for fundamentals such as health and education. Our diverse candidates reflect Albertans’ sense that it is time for the provincial legislature to be far more transparent and accountable to those who have elected them.

3)What is your approach to establishing trust with your electorate?

One of the core conditions of being an Alberta Party MLA is the requirement to be a voice for your constituents to the legislature and to the party instead of the other way around. Having your say in an authentic manner and knowing that your concerns and perspectives will have an impact is at the heart of how we are rebuilding trust in the political process.

Editors’ Note: Thumbnail photo courtesy of Daryl Mitchell on Creative Commons.

news@cjournal.ca