The Sherwood Park riding will be the battleground for UCP incumbent Jordan Walker and the NDP candidate Kyle Kasawksi.
Walker won the constituency in 2019 with 12,119 votes, making up 45 per cent of the total ballots cast, after the NDP had won the seat for the first time in 2015.
Kasawksi was selected for the Sherwood Park NDP nomination last September in a bid to take back the riding.
What sets them apart
Walker believes that being the incumbent provides his constituents with a record they can judge him on and hold him accountable.
He has been a legislator for the last four years and has made significant contributions to Bill 220, which brings flexibility to bereavement leave which now includes parents who lost their child to miscarriage or stillbirth.
If given the opportunity, Kasawksi brings over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur with an extensive background in the energy industry, renewables, and technology adoption. Kasawksi defeated former NDP MLA Annie McKitrick, County Councillor Katie Berghofer, and teacher Jeff Manchak in the 4-way NDP nomination for Sherwood Park.
This story is part of an editorial partnership between the Calgary Journal and MacEwan University journalism.
“This is in stark contrast to the lead up to the 2019 election where the issues were about oil and gas, the economy, and jobs.” says Duane Bratt, a political scientist at Mount Royal University.
Affordability and healthcare are two important issues for Albertans in this election.
Walker addresses these two concerns with UCP’s affordability action plan where they continue to pause the provincial gas tax and provide electricity and natural gas rebates. Their health care action plan aims to decrease wait times, improve EMS response times, reduce surgery wait times, and empower front line workers.
Kasawski mentioned a lot of anxiety in health care from the community, revealing that several residents voiced concerns about the lack of available family doctors. NDP’s Family Health Teams aims to expand current clinics and establish new clinics to meet the growing demand.
The replacement of Sherwood Heights Junior High is also a critical election issue for the community in this provincial election. Both candidates have expressed their party’s commitment to building the replacement school.
What’s next for the area
The candidates say they’re looking forward to big things in the community.
For Walker, it’s the expansion of the Strathcona Community Hospital which he and another local MLA, Nate Glubish, lobbied effectively for.
As for Kasawski, the entrepreneur candidate, it’s how the community can take part in the new developing economy. “Sherwood Park is adjacent to Alberta’s Industrial Heartland and you know there is a multi-billion dollar opportunity with projects being developed in clean tech, hydrogen economy, advanced materials manufacturing.”