Alberta Liberal Party leadership hopeful Kerry Cundal stopped by Slave Lake last week for a meet and greet. The Leader popped by and chatted with Cundal, who let us know that though her campaign only started recently, it’s been going rather well as of late.
“We just started the end of March but, it’s been really good so far!” she says. “It’s exciting to be up north here in Slave Lake.”
Cundal, who up until recently served as director of parliamentary affairs for ministers of immigration, refugees and citizenship, says she decided to run because she saw a ‘lack of unity.’
“We’ve got to be smart,” she says. “Folks all across Alberta want hard-working people in their government that use common-sense and evidence-based decisions. We need to be working together – if someone else has a good idea, let’s use it! A good idea is a good idea.”
Her name may ring a bell for some, as Cundal ran in the 2015 federal election for the Liberal Party in the Signal Hill area of Calgary. She says one of the main reasons she joined the provincial leadership race was she saw a need and wanted to get involved.
“It’s time to end this ‘it’s you against me’ type of politics!” she says. “We need a government that makes fact-based policies rather than what Jason Kenney is doing. It’s unfortunate that his illogical message is tapping into people’s fears. I saw this and thought I could do a whole lot more if I was actually in government.”
According to Cundal, if she indeed does win the leadership, she plans to focus on raising the standard of living for every Albertan.
“We need to plan for the future of this province,” she says. “We need to identify best practices and technologies to help set Alberta on a prosperous path.”
Cundal says she supports responsible resource development, the oil and gas industry, laws that respect the diversity of various Albertan communities, clean energy innovation, fiscal responsibility, and last but not least, transparent and accountable government at every level.
As for her only opponent, David Khan, Cundal says it’s been a fair race so far.
“I at least have a 50/50 chance of winning since there are only two of us,” she chuckles. “I know David and it’s been quite civil.”
For more information on Cundal and her campaign, visit www.kerrycundal.com.
The other Liberal party leadership hopeful David Khan also visited Slave Lake last week to chat with locals about his vision for a better Alberta.
“I started my campaign because I want to make a difference for Alberta,” he says. “So far it’s been going really well!”
Much like Kerry Cundal, Khan’s main areas of focus are creating jobs, being fiscally responsible, better communication with Albertans, and creating stable relationships with like-minded organizations.
“Over the past year, I’ve been hard at work on the executive of the Alberta Liberal Party to help renew and rebuild the organization. I’ve seen firsthand the issues our party faces and I have a plan to address them,” he says. “I will reach out to like-minded organizations who wish to work with the Alberta Liberal Party on issues of shared interest. I will continue with an ongoing examination of administrative costs and expenditures, with the goal of reducing them, by developing organizational efficiencies. We need a strategic and targeted approach to controlling government spending. There are unnecessary layers of management and bureaucracy, particularly in our healthcare system. With smart cuts that have minimal impact on frontline workers and services, we can begin to tackle Alberta’s deficit.”
Khan says he hopes voters realize that he differs from his opponent (Cundal) because he’s actually put out a public notice on how he plans to implement his goals.
“Kerry wants to bring everyone together but doesn’t have a plan and only has un-detailed ideas,” he says. “I plan to rebuild our party and show Alberta our values and our strong leadership.”
Khan adds, “I have the first-hand experience with the party’s governance and organization and the understanding of what mistakes have been made in the past and how to correct them. I also know what mistakes were made, but what strengths we had, in the last election having run a very high-profile campaign in Calgary-Buffalo in the 2015 general election and having run in Calgary-West in the 2014 byelection.”
As financial responsibility was a hot topic during Khan’s talk, The Leader was interested to hear what he thought about the lack of funds to combat rural issues, such as homelessness.
“I’m committed to Alberta exploring the implementation of a basic income pilot project here in Alberta,” he says. “That would go along way to help. We need to be more aware and cognitive of areas outside the big city centres.”