The United Conservative Party may not have the smooth ride to the finish line they’re accustomed to in the Fort McMurray-Conklin byelection.
UCP Leader Jason Kenney was in Fort McMurray on Thursday campaigning with party candidate Laila Goodridge.
He tells Mix News there are some concerns that they could lose this election.
“Fort McMurray has a long tradition of voting for pro-enterprise conservative representatives but we shouldn’t take that for granted, we have to earn every vote.”
There’s also concerned about the timing of the election – right in the middle of summer, usually a weak time for voter turnout.
“It’s possible we may only have 1,500 to 2,000 voters here.”
From knocking on doors to meeting face-to-face with residents, Kenney notes Goodridge is trying very hard to gain residents support.
He also believes she’s more qualified to be an MLA than the majority of the provincial government.
“She has relevant experience well beyond her years as a senior advisor to the Minister of Environment federally, a researcher in the legislature who worked for Brian Jean and Tany Yao, so if she’s elected MLA she’ll be better prepared, with more relevant experience than most members of the NDP Cabinet.”
In the end, Kenney believes this riding could send a strong message to the NDP about the carbon tax.
“People are frustrated by the price of gas up here, 16 cents of that is the carbon tax – that will be going up 25-30 cents if we follow Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plan, I want to cut that 16 cents out of the price of filling up. If you agree with that, it’s not going to happen by accident, it’s not going to happen by itself, it’s only going to happen democratically, July 12 is your chance to make that statement.”
Meanwhile, Kenney wasn’t the only leader in Fort McMurray on Thursday.
Premier Rachel Notley met with supporters across the RMWB including Anzac, Janvier, and Conklin.
Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel arrived on Wednesday and has met with residents over the past two days.
-With Files from Brandon Piper