A local man has been named the Alberta Party candidate for the Lacombe-Ponoka constituency.
Members of the local Alberta Party constituency met recently and named Tony Jeglum as the candidate for the next general election, which is set for May 5th.
Jeglum, who has a background in agriculture, oil and gas and politics, said he believes healthcare and education are issues on the forefront of the election.
“It doesn’t matter if we are in Lacombe, or Calgary or out in Mirror, healthcare and education are the top issues on everyone’s mind and that’s one of the reasons that I’m running for the Alberta Party,” said Jeglum.
“Healthcare and education are paramount. The environment and seniors’ care and what we are doing with our land mass is also vitally important.”
Jeglum has been involved with the Alberta Party for many years. He was the sole employee of the party in 2014 and was also involved with policy creating committees in 2011.
“I just don’t think they (the PCs) can renew the party like they have claimed they can,” he said. “It’s the same thing we’ve heard from Premiers Redford, Stelmach and Klein. It’s very difficult to renew a party when they are still in power.
“Premier (Jim) Prentice argued that he needed to have this election in order to secure mandate because the budget was going to be such a dramatic change in direction that he would require a new mandate and that just hasn’t come to pass. The budget was too little too late.”
Jeglum said the government is still too dependent on the price of oil and lacks the foresight to plan for students and education, in particular those younger students entering into Kindergarten.
Jeglum also noted that when it came to Bill 10, a bill that mandates gay-straight alliances in any school in the province where students want them, the PC government was forced to get on board.
“I would like a government that doesn’t have to be hauled kicking and screaming to the Supreme Court of Canada in order to extend basic human rights to citizens,” he said.
Jeglum said he is optimistic the Alberta Party will gain some support during this election. “We are a few years on, we’ve got a little bit more media exposure and we have more organization behind us,” he said. “I’m cautiously optimistic we can make some ground in this election.”
This will be the second time Jeglum has been selected by the Alberta Party as a candidate. Jeglum was the Alberta Party candidate in the last provincial election in 2012. He also ran for Lacombe County council in the last municipal election.