The Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer contacted all candidates running for the Drayton-Devon constituency, asking them the same questions. Their responses will be published as soon as they are received.
Gail Upton, Alberta Party
1) Please tell the readers a bit about your background, including family such as spouse and children and occupation
Hello, I’m Gail Upton, your Candidate for Drayton Valley – Devon for the Alberta Party. I grew up in Edmonton and moved to Devon many years ago to raise a son. I’m an accounting professional of more than 20 years and volunteering has been my second career for even longer.
2) What do you feel is the key issue in this provincial election?
Jobs/economy, debt reduction and more of a voice in the federal arena.
3) Why did you want to run in this election?
I was asked to run and represent the Alberta Party which I have been supporting member of for a number of years. I was a reluctant candidate to be honest but I passionately believe in getting involved as part of a positive change rather than waiting for someone to do it. I am very concerned about the polarization in politics today and I want to make sure that a balanced approach was represented on the ballot this year.
4) How well do you think Alberta’s economy has been handled over the past four years?
It has been a difficult four years for Alberta. Actually it has been a difficult 5 years. We have been losing investments in Alberta since 2014. The reasons why are both connected to industry and certainly to the government not doing enough. Some government investment is often necessary to pull an economy out of recession but it has to be strategic and forward thinking. I don’t think Alberta is facing just another typical cycle of market correction. The world is innovating at faster paces and automating to cut work forces. I think that the Alberta Government has been reactive rather than proactive which has resulted in money being spent without the return on investment that creates a sustainable future.
5) If elected as MLA, what is your first goal?
My first goal is to set a budget that moves towards debt reduction and sets realistic measurements. The Alberta Party has been producing shadow budgets for a number of years so I’ll have a head start.