Having taken second spot in the last federal election locally, the Green Party is hoping to retain that momentum and recognition this spring.
However, candidate Mike MacDonald said this week he is in it to win it.
“The ongoing goal is to build in Wild Rose until a Green candidate is elected… but I’m a typical Canadian who grew playing hockey and I’m here to win this election,” MacDonald said. “Realistically, I realize it is a Conservative riding and we have work to do to convince people the Green Party is a good option.”
The childcare worker also served as the Wild Rose Green’s Chief Executive Officer for the past two years until accepting the nomination.
He moved to Airdrie from Nova Scotia in 1998 before moving to the Village of Waiparous in 2009.
He spent 10 years as a child and family therapist and the last three for Alberta Health Services as an early childhood mental health consultant.
Like many in the riding, he said he enjoys outdoor pursuits like skiing, climbing, fishing and preserving the natural spaces that allow for those recreational activities to happen.
MacDonald said he became interested in the Green Party for its holistic view on the issues.
“Everybody thinks of Green as being an environmental organization,” he said. “When I did reading on what they had to say, I discovered they have a platform on all the issues.
“What I liked about it is for me it is a holistic approach, where they see different areas that need to be addressed being inter-related.”
MacDonald said the environment cannot be considered without also looking at health, the economy and education and vice-versa.
“Things are all tied together and you need an integrated approach,” he said.
The party’s founding principles of ecological wisdom, social justice, participatory democracy, non-violence, sustainability and respect for diversity also resonate for MacDonald as being in harmony with Canadian values.
That approach and being a big picture thinker are strengths he said he would bring as the Wild Rose representative in Ottawa.
Specific to the riding, MacDonald mentioned the environment in mountain communities as concerns from a federal perspective, including wildlife and water quality.
In other areas like Airdrie, those concerns expand to growth management for the bedroom community and ensuring services are available for young families, while agriculture is at the forefront in the northerly part of the riding.
MacDonald noted that across the riding, the economy has become issue number one since the recession pushed it to the forefront.
He said he doesn’t agree with the Conservative policy of staying the course.
“Isn’t it the course we are on that got us in trouble?” he asked. “Let’s chart a new course with new direction and policies.”
Riding-wide, in 2008, Green party candidate Lisa Fox received 12.6 per cent of the vote, up from 2006 candidate Sean Maw’s finishing with 10.8 per cent.
The race was tighter in Canmore and Banff for Fox, who received 27 per cent of the vote and 28.9 per cent respectively in the two communities.