Two years after first entering the political realm, Cochrane's Nadine Wellwood is once again representing the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) in the upcoming federal election.
While Wellwood said she is excited to return as the PPC’s candidate for the Banff-Airdrie electoral district, she added she is disappointed an election was called in the first place. The writ was dropped on Aug. 15 after Prime Minister and Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau dissolved parliament, triggering a 36-day snap election campaign that will culminate with the vote on Sept. 20.
“In my opinion, this is a grab for more power and a very selfish move,” Wellwood said.
Last election, Wellwood garnered 2,609 votes, or about 3.4 per cent of the total votes in Banff-Airdrie. The PPC – a right-wing party created by former Conservative Party of Canada MP Maxime Bernier in September 2018 – collected 1.6 per cent of the total vote in Canada, not winning a seat in the House of Commons.
Wellwood said she is more optimistic about how the party will fare this time around, citing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular.
“I think Canadians have seen it’s a very different environment than it was in 2019,” she said. “A lot has happened and changed, and a lot of people have woken up to the dangers of more and more government control, and giving our government more power.”
As far as her party’s platform, Wellwood said the PPC’s mandate is mostly consistent from the 2019 election, with the party focused on freedom, responsibility and respect. In an Aug. 24 email, she highlighted the PPC is the only federal party rejecting the idea of mandatory COVID-19 vaccine passports.
She blasted the Conservative Party of Canada, saying the party led by Erin O’Toole has not been a strong representative for conservative voices in Alberta.
“They’ve had 18 months to be a strong opposition, but they lack the courage and strength to do so,” she said. “We need to send someone to Ottawa who will have the strength and courage to stand up for Albertans, be their voice and make sure we continue to uphold our Canadian values of freedom, respect and responsibility.”
Given the public health restrictions that were imposed on Canadians throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Wellwood said she expects personal liberties and freedoms to be an important topic this election.
“We have Justin Trudeau and the Liberals that have decided for themselves that the rights and freedoms of Canadians are a political bargaining chip,” she said.
Away from politics, Wellwood is currently a chartered investment manager.
She added she has a background in health and wellness as well, and has lived in Cochrane for the last 16 years.
Wellwood said she thinks the Sept. 20 vote is an opportunity for voters to “send a clear message” to Ottawa.
“I think the government is asking people right now to choose between whether they want to live in a free society or if they want to live in a 'papers, please,' surveillance police state,” she said.
“What is enshrined in our legal system, culture, and our very values is that Canadians have the right to freedom of speech, expression and of person. [The government] has made this a bargaining tool, and I think the PPC is needed now more than ever.”