It may seem a bit early to be getting into election mode, but not for Judy Kim-Meneen. She’s the Alberta Party candidate for the Lesser Slave Lake riding. She tells The Leader the scuttlebutt is the writ for the next provincial election will be dropped some time in February.
So she’ll be in full campaign mode after that?
“I already am!” she says.
Kim-Meneen is a resident of the Tallcree First Nation, about three hours north of Slave Lake. Oddly enough, although it is part of the Lesser Slave Lake riding, it won’t be in the next election, the borders having been adjusted. She doesn’t expect that to be an issue, and is – as noted – already making the rounds and getting her name out there.
The Alberta Party styles itself as centrist, willing to take ideas from the right or the left if they make sense and benefit the people of the province. Kim-Meneen says that appeals to her and was one reason she chose the party. This was after she was approached by two different parties, asking if she’d be willing to run. She did her research and made her choice.
“It’s all about creating a diverse government,” she says. “For all of us.”
Married (to a Tallcree member) with two young daughters, Kim-Meneen works in the education field for the North Peace Tribal Council. She holds a PhD in community public health and a Master’s degree in education administration. Born in South Korea, she came to Canada as a child and lived with her family in Elk Point. She studied at the University of Alberta and subsequently taught school at Tallcree and Atikameg. Her PhD thesis was on the parenting styles of second-generation residential school survivors.
Kim-Meneen says she hopes an Alberta Party constituency association can be developed over the next while. For now, she’s making the rounds, making connections and building relationships. She knows she’s got her work cut out for her.
“I’ve done the numbers,” she says. “In 2015 (the election, that is), the UCP (had it existed, and had everybody who voted Wildrose and Conservative voted for it) would have won by 5,000 votes.”
Readers can do their own research on what the Alberta Party stands for and how it differentiates itself from the rest. As for the candidate, she says she’s got lots of connections in communities around the region and hopes to make more.
“I want to understand the (concerns) of the Slave Lake riding. There are 11 First Nations, three settlements and a lot of agriculture. I want to talk to farmers and ranchers and find out what their needs are.”
Last week after the interview, Kim-Meneen was due to attend a community barbecue in Joussard. She is also planning, she says, to attend the fall fair in Smith this coming weekend.
Kim-Meneen can be contacted by email at email@example.com.