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  • All candidates forum packs house

    Hundreds show up to hear from NDP, Wildrose and PC representatives

    Chestermere – Rocky View Candidates Forum
    Wildrose candidate Bruce McAllister, joined on stage by PC candidate Ted Morton and NDP candidate Nathan Salmon, speaks to the crowd during the all candidates forum on April 13.
    Chestermere – Rocky View Candidates Forum

    Wildrose candidate Bruce McAllister, joined on stage by PC candidate Ted Morton and NDP candidate Nathan Salmon, speaks to the crowd during the all candidates forum on April 13.

    CHESTERMERE – With the election just around the corner and now being decision time for Chestermere – Rocky View voters, the YELL all candidates forum saw a packed house on Friday, April 13.

    By shortly after 7 p.m., there were few empty seats to be found, so three of the four candidates from the riding took to the stage. NDP candidate Nathan Salmon, Wildrose candidate Bruce McAllister and PC candidate Ted Morton were present., but Liberal candidate Sian Ramsden was unable to attend.

    Apart from a heckler or two in the audience on occasion and the odd ribbing between the candidates themselves, the forum remained respectful, and each candidate was given three minutes to answer questions that were submitted by voters. No questions were taken from the floor, instead written questions that were submitted prior to candidates taking the stage, were randomly drawn.

    Topics such as diesel and electricity, the Land Stewardship Act and property rights, childcare and daycare, budget and finances, healthcare, education and libraries were all brought up during the forum.

    Perhaps the most general question of the evening gave each candidate the chance to
    talk about why local voters should choose them, as they were asked “Why do you think you would best represent us?”

    Salmon said, “Ultimately, I’m not a political science major, I’m not a 27-year MLA or whatever Ted is, and I’m not a news anchor, I’m just a regular guy who has been working hard in Alberta for 10 years.

    “I think we need a voice that represents what people are actually looking for and not what big businesses want. For far too long we have been giving our money away.”

    He said, “If you keep supporting conservative guys, it’s going to get worse, because they’re going to keep deregulating electricity and wasting money when they could be putting it into healthcare or education.

    “I think it’s important to say that even though I’m running for NDP, what you want comes before what the party wants. I’m not afraid to say what’s on my mind, and I’m running for the right reasons, because life is starting to be unaffordable.”

    Morton followed Salmon, saying that the role of the MLA is to represent, understand and know the community.

    “I’ve door knocked and I’ve listened to you. I know you need more schools, I know that you’re not getting a fair deal on out of the city of Calgary here, I know we need infrastructure,” he said. “You need an MLA that understands that and who can get the job done.

    “I’ve worked for eight years on the other side of Rocky View and Foothills, communities very similar to Langdon and Chestermere that are full of young, growing families that have these types of needs. I have a track record of getting what you need.”

    McAllister said that he would be best represent the riding because he is a “proud Chestermereian” who has lived in the community for a decade.

    “I don’t claim to have a world of political experience but I do claim to care a little bit more than most about my hometown,” he said. “We live here, we work here, we play here and we care about this community.

    “My job as an MLA, should you elect me, is to listen to you and do what you ask me to do, and to be present. I was here before the election campaign, certainly during, and you’ve got my guarantee that I’m going to be here after because it’s about accountability and accessibility in government.

    “Let’s be good for Alberta, let’s be good for our communities. Let’s do all of the things we should do as good citizens. Community counts and people matter, and I’ll be here the day after the election, this is still where I’m going to wake up.”

    The local youth group, YELL – Youth Encouraging Lasting Leadership – hosted the forum, and representatives said they were pleased with how everything came together.

    “I thought it went really well,” said YELL member Tony Jozeljic. “The candidates were very respectful and YELL was really happy with the turnout.”

    Whether it will be the political platforms the candidates have presented, how many signs they have managed to cover the riding with, their answers to the questions at the forum, or the party-specific coloured donuts from Tim Hortons that will sway voters, the results will be in on April 23.

    5 Comments

    1. barry

      April 18, 2012 at 10:02 am

      I was PC supporter for a long time but after hearing Nathan Salmon’s speak at the forum, i ve changed my vote!

      NDP NDP NDP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. Tina Marie

      April 18, 2012 at 10:49 am

      Well it’s about time a regular joe is being heard !! He truly speaks for the working folks and knows what it’s like out here in the real world !!! Media personalities should not depend on their popularity and slick word blurbs.. Mr.Salmon is refreshing, honest and a hard working father and husband who deserves the spot light more..

    3. Brad D.

      April 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm

      Good Job Nathan, this doesn’t surprise me at all.
      Good luck!

    4. Rick S

      April 19, 2012 at 9:30 am

      One thing can be said for a candidate like Mr Salmon, some Alberta’s are fine with complaining about their plight and Nathan is actually willing to try and DO something about it. Kudos

    5. Chester

      April 21, 2012 at 10:09 am

      It seems all 4 of the NDP voters have responded.