CHESTERMERE – This past October, former Global Calgary news anchor and Chestermere resident Bruce McAllister announced that he would be running as the Wildrose candidate in the new riding of Chestermere-Rocky View.
On Friday, Dec. 2, a fundraising event was held at the Chestermere recreation centre in support of McAllister and his campaign. Around 400 people attended the event in total, which McAllister said that he was “humbled beyond words” to see everyone there.
“I’m thrilled about the turnout,” McAllister said. “I’m glad that we got some momentum politically and that we were able to make some money as well.
“Most of all I was happy to see everyone else happy to accomplish what they did in putting this event on. It will be talked about for a while, it was first class.”
McAllister kept the political talk to a minimum, only making a short speech before dinner was served. He said that it was his first ever political speech, and said that his main goal was just to keep things positive and have everyone engaged.
“I wanted to strike the right tone,” he said of his speech. “Our opposition has a vital role to play, but sometimes the tone of politics can be more negative than I like.
“I tried to point out clear flaws with this government, but at the same time point out solutions. I just wanted everyone to be engaged, and I felt like they were.”
McAllister said that feedback he received throughout the night was “extraordinary” and that he was happy to meet and hear from so many people.
“Like I said said in the closing of my speech, some people pat themselves on the back and say “look what I did” when they see a room full of people like that, but for me I just feel an incredible amount of responsibility to be worthy of that support,” he said. “I looked out at that crowd and just had to think that this is the start of something really cool.
“I want to honor the support I’ve already received, and do exactly what I said I would do, which is stand up for the people of Chestermere-Rocky View.”
McAllister said that he appreciated being able to have Todd Gallant come out and emcee the event.
“I think is the most talented guy on television, and he carried the program so well,” he said. “He did exactly what he does on TV, he spoke from the heart and he made people laugh.”
As far as what he was the most proud of, McAllister said he couldn’t say enough about the organizing committee who put together the fundraiser. He said that his team of seven organizers, accompanied by the committee, worked long hours to get everything done.
“I was so happy for them because they worked so hard, and it all paid off,” he said. “It was great to have them and their support.
“While I’m off doing interviews, studying policy, meeting people and just trying to get it right, I have these kind of people backing me. They went above and beyond, no question.”
McAllister said that he would especially like to thank Jed Snatic of Lifepath Wellness in Chestermere for his support.
“He helped out in so many different areas, and he always gives back to Chestermere,” he said. “I’m quite happy to have his support.”
The money raised at the event will go toward purchasing campaign signing, cover costs for meet and greets and other events, and just generally getting the message out about the Wildrose campaign.
McAllister said that although the money raised will help him move forward with his campaign, that the event also helped to increase his confidence.
“I’ve got way more support than I ever would have imagined,” he said. “I think I’ve struck the right cord when I we say we’re doing it for the right reasons.
“My key point is that a lot of people are in government for themselves, and that isn’t right. It should be about the people in your constituency.
“I will be someone who stands up for people in this riding.”
McAllister said that the next few weeks will be about meeting with everyone he can to find out what is working and what isn’t in the area. He said that getting out knocking on doors and talking to people will be a major part of his campaign.
“I want know whats on peoples minds and in their hearts and whats important to them,” he said.
McAllister said that there are planning to host a similar event in the new year. Tickets for this event sold out in under two weeks, so he said that anyone who would like to attend the next fundraiser should pick up their tickets quickly once they go on sale.
More information about McAllister and his campaign can be found online at electbruce.ca.