Day two of the by-election campaign trail saw the leader of the United Conservative Party make a stop in the RMWB.
Jason Kenney made a stop in Fort McMurray on Saturday to help kick off the campaign for the UCP candidate for Fort McMurray-Conklin – Laila Goodridge.
The UCP leader took time to commend Goodridge for being a strong, dynamic, principled and youthful voice for the party.
“Here and in Innisfail, we had very competitive nominations with several candidates in both ridings,” Kenney said. “In both cases, our members voted to choose the youngest candidates in the race. Meaning that I think voters are trying to send us a message. They want a new generation of leadership in Alberta and that’s what Laila represents.”
Goodridge meanwhile, was ecstatic to see so many supporters come out.
“That shows the strength of our community and our desire to keep this a strong, conservative seat,” Goodridge said. “So, thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being here, let’s get to the doors and let’s start earning every vote here in Fort McMurray Conklin.”
Kenney also took time to criticize the timing of the bye-election – feeling that a mid-July vote is an inconvenience to voters who will be trying to enjoy summer vacation.
He noted the timing indicates the NDP wanting the “lowest possible turn out.”
He feels the UCP are the only party that can bring Alberta to the forefront of economic prosperity.
“So that we will have a government next year that unapologetically stands up for and defends Alberta, our jobs, our economic interests and yes, our resources against all of those who are attacking this province and particularly this community.”
— MIX 103.7 News (@Mix1037FMNews) June 16, 2018
On the opposite side of the spectrum, as the NDP prepare Jane Stroud’s campaign – some of their representatives were on hand to witness Goodridge’s campaign kick off and took exception to some of the faces in the crowd.
NDP spokesman Mike Brown noted an abundance of UCP representatives out of Edmonton.
“If this is truly a local campaign, it was striking to us that half the people in the room were from outside Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo. So, if you are trying to portray yourself as a local campaign, that doesn’t really look so great – that looks more like a fly-in-fly-out campaign.”
Goodridge, who’s born in Fort McMurray has been the target of NDP criticism for her past work in other ridings such as running as the Wildrose candidate in 2015 for Grand Prairie-Wapiti.
That campaign was at former Fort McMurray-Conklin MLA Brian Jean’s request and Goodridge also has family ties to the area.
She does, however, call Fort McMurray her home.
In spite of that, Brown feels given Stroud’s history in the RMWB – she likely has more familiarity with the public.
“Jane has been on council for three terms getting stuff done for Fort McMurray and the region and I think that counts for something. When we’re at the doors, people recognize Jane, they know who she is, they know she’s got a deep connection and deep roots in the community and they appreciate that.”
NDP candidate Jane Stroud will open her campaign office on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m.
Local businessman Sid Fayad is running with the Alberta Party – while no candidate has been named for the Liberals.
The by-election will be on July 12.