By Kevin J Sabo
For the Advance
With the next provincial election a few months away, all of Alberta’s political parties are gearing up for the upcoming campaign.
With the latest polls showing that the UCP under the leadership of Jason Kenney are the most likely to take power at the conclusion of next year’s election campaign, Mark Nikota, the Alberta Party candidate in the riding of Drumheller-Stettler, wants to let voters know that there is another option.
“We want to be a positive alternative,” said Nikota at his meet-and-greet in Castor Nov 18.
The Alberta Party brands itself as a “centrist and pragmatic” alternative to the ideologically driven parties on either end of the political spectrum. The party intends to strike a balance between fiscal responsibility, and social responsibility.
“We’ve got to balance the budget,” said Nikota, “but we can’t leave people behind.”
The party’s current plan, should they find themselves in power, is to “find efficiencies” in the current systems and spread services out to rural areas, reducing the burden on major centers.
When asked about tax cuts, the contentious carbon levy a prime example, Nikota and his team were non-committal to any immediate tax relief.
“Debt is a bigger issue than cancelling taxes,” said Nikota Campaign Manager Dan Chostner.
What’s the party’s ultimate goal? “We want to leave the province better for our kids than we got it,” said Candidate Association President Andrew Bardahl. “We lost that for a generation. It doesn’t make sense to repeat it.”
The Alberta Party currently has 150 registered members in the riding of Drumheller-Stettler. Nikota and his team will be travelling the area on the campaign trail as the province heads into next year’s provincial election.