Former city councilor seeks UCP nomination

Former city councilor seeks UCP nomination

Donna Andres wants to be MLA for Maskwacis Wetaskiwin

A former City of Wetaskiwin councilor with a strong municipal pedigree has thrown her hat in the ring for the UCP nomination for the new Maskwacis Wetaskiwin constituency.

Andres, who spent 12 years on city council and helped work on projects like the new city hall, economic development, strategic planning and budgets, has recently worked as a subsidized housing manager. Also a long-time city resident who with her husband raised a family here, she says there’s no place like central Alberta to live.

“I love central Alberta,” said Andres at the Pipestone Flyer building June 15.

Andres said her four terms on city council has given her a very strong foundation upon which to build a career in provincial politics. She said she worked positively with two mayors and about a dozen other aldermen and this is what she learned: “To listen to the people, and hear what they are saying.”

Budgeting especially was key at city hall noted Andres. “We had a very tight budget,” she said. “We really had to work if we wanted to bring that debt load down.”

Her recent work in community housing also gave her a chance to work with seniors, kids, special needs and many others and showed her the many different faces that make up Wetaskiwin. “I’m a good listener, and that’s what gives me compassion,” said Andres.

Running for council in your hometown is one thing, but Andres said seeking a party nomination to eventually run in the provincial election is another. “I actually thought long and hard and did some research,” she said.

Andres said she attended the UCP founding AGM recently in Red Deer, and was hugely impressed by the core of the party, MLAs and leaders.

She said the UCP convention atmosphere was vibrant and positive, with lots of energy, excitement and people from all walks of life showing interest in the UCP. Hearing the party leader Jason Kenney speak, along with other conservatives like Brad Wall and Rona Ambrose, was a highlight of the weekend.

She attended a few sessions with other women who are in politics and it reinforced her interest to seek the UCP nomination here. “It really solidified my decision.

“I’m running now because I know I can be a strong voice for this area,” said Andres.

She said her platform reflects much of what the provincial UCP promote. “I like the vision the new UCP party has,” she said. “I’d like to see good legislation passed that will help the people of Alberta.”

She also said helping the UCP come to power to eliminate things like the carbon tax is important. “I don’t believe the carbon tax gave us any kind of social license at all,” she said.

Andres said she was also disappointed to see the NDP government bring in Bill 6, which introduced labor elements to farms, and then state public consultation would be conducted after the bill became law.

She also said the staggering debt that’s built up while the NDP have been in power needs to be addressed.

The personal touch is important when it comes to politics she said. “As elected MLA, you need to be out in your constituency listening to people, listening to what they think you should be doing,” said Andres.

Andres noted the UCP nomination committee for Maskwacis Wetaskiwin has been formed, but no date has been set for the race. Whoever wins will represent the UCP in the next provincial election.

Andres said you can find out more about her campaign on her Facebook page, Donna Andres for Maskwacis Wetaskiwin UCP Nomination.

Stu.salkeld@pipestoneflyer.ca