As the provincial election quickly progresses and voting polls open within weeks, Albertans are anxious to find out who their next representative might be.
Within Alberta there are 87 districts fixed in law. There have been various changes in the last few years looking at the designated areas that these representatives will have to maintain.
One of the biggest changes was the redistribution of the boundary lines back in 2017.
The Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock and the Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater ridings were split up and areas within were used to form what we know now as the Morinville-St. Albert riding.
Around 50,225 people live within this area according to Alberta’s regional Dashboard. The number of eligible voters, however, is quite a bit less with 37,099 in total. The 2019 provincial election saw a turnout of 72.84 per cent of voters from this constituency. As this was the first time that this specific constituency had been established, there is no previous data on voter turnout nor is there a definitive population count for the constituencies that were disbanded to instate this one.
Jaida Kosmynka is anxious to get started with the voting process. She has lived in Morinville for six years and has only voted in the 2021 federal election.
“I didn’t end up voting in the last provincial election because I was out of the country but I want to try and go this year. I’ve been trying to catch up on the candidates and figure out what I want for Morinville.”
There are currently two candidates running for election to become Morinville-St.Albert’s MLA: the UCP’s Dale Nally, who is seeking re-election, and Karen Shaw of the NDP.
Nally was promoted to be Minister of Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction when Danielle Smith became premier. His position oversees registry services in terms of land and titles as well as consumer aid and protection.
Whereas Shaw served 14 years as a Division 6 Councillor in Sturgeon County. Shaw was elected to the council in 2007 and has served there ever since.
“I am humbled, honoured, and excited to help build a better Alberta with the NDP,” she wrote on her website. Adding, “This community is Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, and I know the importance of this area not only to Alberta but to all of Canada.”
The constituents within this riding have a couple key issues that they have been concerned about. One issue frequently talked about among the rural areas is the response time for emergency crews. It can take anywhere from 15-20 minutes to get an ambulance at the time a patient needs it.
This story is part of an editorial partnership between the Calgary Journal and MacEwan University journalism.
Joseph Holubowich, a Morinville firefighter, explains that there is a need for consistent emergency response in the area.
“Sometimes we have to send our ambulance kilometres away for a call in another town but what happens if another call comes in while ours is away? We have to then call another one from the next department over and so on. It is a never-ending cycle.”
Another problem that has begun to bother the constituents of the Morinville-St. Albert riding is the road conditions in the winter season.
Adrianna Jones is one of these constituents, who’s on the road at least an hour a day five days a week getting for her job.
“Driving to work has been scary and even dangerous this winter. It doesn’t seem like the government puts in the work to keep our highways safe. Even in the middle of the day, the roads are covered in snow and I don’t see any plows.”
While part of Highway 2 that connects Morinville and St. Albert seems to be cleared frequently, citizens are worried about the roads between smaller communities such as Bon Accord and Legal.
While the election is still weeks away, the citizens of the Morinville-St. Albert riding have high hopes that their issues will be heard and that the representative that they choose will lead them all in the right direction.
The election will take place on May 29. Voters can find any and all information on