Incumbent Wetaskiwin-Camrose MLA Bruce Hinkley received the NDP nomination for the next provincial election Jan. 8.
At his nomination meeting held at the Wetaskiwin Heritage Museum, Hinkley thanked his supporters, pointing out a candidate’s name is on a poster, but many people had to work hard to get to that point.
Hinkley said preparations for the next provincial election, scheduled sometime this coming spring, have already begun. Changes have been made to the name and boundaries of the constituency; it will be called Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin, and will be a lot bigger.
Hinkley’s election fundraising is already running and has surpassed the first level of $40,000.
He also noted that the NDP was polled as running behind the UCP recently, but the ruling party has managed to shrink that gap considerably. Hinkley said he isn’t taking the election for granted. “We would rather be behind in the polls and work harder to show we deserve that win,” he said to the crowd of about 80 people.
Hinkley said the NDP is closing in polls, keeping their promises and proud of their track record, with too many accomplishments to go into in such a short time but mentioned projects like building schools and hiring more teachers.
“We said we would do this, and we have and we are going to,” said Hinkley.
He also asked the crowd if Alberta has ever had a better combination of premier and deputy premier than Rachel Notley and Sarah Hoffman?
“People are going to have a clear choice,” said Hinkley, noting the election will be a choice between progressive versus slash and burn.
“If you believe in social justice…I need your help.”
Minister of Health
Guest speaker was Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman, also Minister of Health. She congratulated Hinkley on his nomination, and spent most of her time on the upcoming election.
Hoffman noted Hinkley has worked hard for the Wetaskiwin area, and renovations at the Reynolds Alberta Museum are a good example. Hoffman stated Hinkley has been diligent in ensuring local contractors have access to the work, along with local underrepresented people.
She said the last four years of NDP government in Alberta have meant protecting people who’ve been bullied and giving Alberta the highest minimum wage in Canada, along with plenty more.
“Everything we’ve done together is at risk of being undone,” said Hoffman.
The deputy premier stated that Premier Notley has a path to balance, and it doesn’t involved hurting people.
She said the upcoming election is going to be a battle. “We did it last time,” said Hoffman. “We can absolutely do it this time.”
RDE president Cliff Reed opened the meeting and introduced the many guests, including Minister of Municipal Affairs and MLA for Leduc-Beaumont Shaye Anderson, Edmonton Whitemud MLA Bob Turner, Sherwood Park MLA Annie McKintrick and Edmonton Mill Creek MLA Denise Woolard.
Turner said Wetaskiwin voters have one of the best MLAs in Alberta representing them. “You’ve got a great MLA,” said Turner at the meeting.
McKintrick said Hinkley’s interest in jogging is similar to his approach to politics. She said Alberta NDP supporters need cooperation. “We really need to work together in the next election,” said McKintrick.
Woolard, who worked in education like Hinkley, said the MLA’s work ethic is admirable. “I think working with Bruce…he can overcome mountains,” said Woolard.
Anderson said he’s always considered Hinkley hard-working, honest and a fighter. He said Hinkley doesn’t look at politics like a game, but rather when he speaks in the Legislature, he speaks from the heart.
The evening wrapped up with an appeal to those present to donate to the NDP for the next election.