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Two Canmore candidates in race for Banff-Kananaskis NDP nomination

Sarah Elmeligi and Gavin McCaffrey have both announced their intent to seek the NDP nomination for Banff-Kananaskis this fall

BOW VALLEY – Two Canmore residents are vying for Alberta’s New Democratic Party nomination in the Banff-Kananaskis riding in what is expected to be a competitive race.

Sarah Elmeligi announced her intent to seek the nomination for the provincial NDP in this constituency in August and Gavin McCaffrey formally announced his intent earlier this week.

Elmeligi, who has been meeting with constituents over the past few months to learn what is important to them, said she values working with multiple stakeholders to define solutions that are good for people and for the landscape.

“The Banff-Kananaskis constituency is a very special place, appreciated by locals, Albertans, and international visitors for its natural splendour and varied recreational opportunities,” she said.

A biologist and conservation planner, Elmeligi’s professional experience across the constituency over the past 15 years includes working with multiple groups to address land use planning issues and complex conservation challenges.

She said NDP Leader Rachel Notley has an inspiring and positive vision that would create sustainable jobs, a diversified economy, and stop the attack on public services such as health-care and education.

“I want to listen to our constituents and learn from them,” Elmeligi said.

In announcing his intent on Monday (Oct. 25), McCaffrey said the opportunity to represent the socially, culturally, geographically and economically diverse Banff-Kananaskis region is “humbling and exciting.”

“The future planning and stewardship of our natural and human resources are instrumental as Alberta looks to continued growth in the tourism sector,” said McCaffrey in a press release.

McCaffrey, who first arrived in Lake Louise in 1997, has more than 20 years of experience in the tourism industry with work in sales and marketing, food and beverage to a general manager position.

Working as both a local branch manager and commercial manager for a federal financial institution for the past six years, he said he’s worked closely with individuals and small business owners throughout the COVID-19 crisis. 

“I have witnessed firsthand the struggles, the hardships and determination of Albertans as they have faced the challenges of the last two years,” he said.

McCaffrey said Notley has a roadmap and positive vision to strengthen the province’s public healthcare, develop sustainable jobs within a diversified economy and support the needs of all Albertans. 

“In seeking the Alberta NDP nomination for Banff Kananaskis, I am excited to bring a broad perspective and represent the diversity found in all corners of the constituency,” he said.

The next provincial election is slated for 2023.