More than 400 Chestermere-Strathmore constituents attended the UCP Constituency Association (CA) Annual General Meeting on Aug. 27.
Chantelle de Jonge recommended 30 candidates to be elected to the CA board and was shocked to see 450 residents show their support.
“Those are crazy numbers, usually at these meetings we see 15 to 30 people, but to have over 400 people there was unbelievable. The grassroots are really stepping up here, and they really want to see change,” de Jonge said. “The amount of people who showed up on a Saturday morning for a political meeting shows the change they want to see in our riding.”
De Jonge has been campaigning for a UCP nomination for about 16 months and trying to get out to talk with constituents every day.
Part of her platform for the UCP candidate nomination was to recommend 30 candidates to join the CA board.
“That amount of people showed up because I and my team reached out, and said we need to see some change, this is the change that I would like to see, and this is my platform,” de Jonge said.
De Jonge is not on the board herself or stepping into a specific role but is hopeful to be involved in the nomination process to determine the next UCP candidate.
“That’s where I would step in, with hopes to improve the representation in our riding. There have been political changes happening in our riding for some time,” de Jonge said. “What our riding needs is an effective and true conservative representation.”
She explained that the Chestermere-Strathmore riding is unique, as there is a collection of communities facing many challenges in sectors such as energy, farming, healthcare, education, and development, that disadvantage rural and small communities.
“We need strong advocacy on these issues,” de Jonge said. “We need a representative who is going to stand up for the conservative principles that really have made Alberta one of the greatest places to live.”
By recommending the 30 candidates for the CA board, de Jonge wanted to get constituents more involved in the riding, and in the political process.
“We want to see a fair nomination, and we want to see a process of integrity. Clearly, the UCP members in this riding were on board with what I was trying to accomplish, and showed up,” de Jonge said. “Ultimately, what we wanted to achieve was to get a board of integrity in place and get a fair nomination in our riding.”