I would like to correct some misinformation that has been floating about in the Drumheller-Stettler Constituency during the current Provincial election contest.
Full disclosure, I have a bias as I have worked in Mr. Strankman’s Stettler office for the past seven years.
Firstly, a narrative is being promoted that Mr. Strankman, as an independent conservative, is going to split the vote and allow the NDP to run up the middle. There is absolutely no chance of that happening. It is simply fearmongering.
In the 2015 Provincial election Mr. Strankman under the Wildrose Party garnered 7,570 votes or 47.66 per cent, Mr. Hayden under the PC’s took 5,388 or 33.92 per cent and the NDP candidate had 2,927 votes or 18.43 per cent.
In the 2012 election, the NDP had 408 votes for 2.7 per cent.
So anyone with a room temperature IQ can crunch the numbers and see that a split is not remotely possible.
Mark Nikota is a credible candidate with the Alberta Party and may make some gains in the Constituency but Drumheller-Stettler’s history suggests a Conservative outcome.
Secondly, Mr. Strankman has been accused of trying to take land away from landowners in the Special Areas, that being Crown leases or tax recovery land.
Again totally untrue. He has talked about making revisions to the Special Areas Act that has been in force since 1938.
Furthermore, he has suggested reverting to Municipal governance may be a better vehicle to promote economic development in the Special Areas.
Currently, the Minister of Municipal Affairs has total control of Special Areas.
Certain parties are happy with the status quo as they benefit greatly from revenue accruing from oil/gas leases on the aforementioned Crown leases.
This has been an ongoing debate for decades and could easily be resolved through referenda.
When I first met Mr. Strankman he made a statement to an audience, “There is never a wrong time to do the right thing”.
I have never seen him deviate from that pronouncement. He has treated all his constituents with dignity and respect, no matter what political stripe.
There is no doubt in my mind that Jason Kenney and the UCP will form the next Government of Alberta but who will hold his feet to the fire, “to do the right thing”.
He has already cast off “the grassroots guarantee” that propelled him into the leadership of the UCP.
He has also watered down his promise to eliminate the offensive carbon tax and will keep it in place for large emitters. And you know who these so-called large emitters will pass that expense along to.
The Kenney/Callaway alliance in the leadership race should also be troubling if one believes in ethics.
For those of you who supported the Wildrose Party in past elections, you may want to check your hiney for tread marks.
Mr. Strankman has proven to me that he is an honest and decent person, a rare commodity in politics.
I will be voting for principle and integrity on April 16. I hope you will do the same.
G.A. (Gary) Wilyman