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Local UCP candidates debate future of the province

CANMORE – More than 60 people showed up for the United Conservative Party’s (UCP) Banff-Kananaskis nomination debate held in Canmore on Oct. 17.

CANMORE – More than 60 people showed up for the United Conservative Party’s (UCP) Banff-Kananaskis nomination debate held in Canmore on Oct. 17.

It was the second of two nomination debates held in the constituency and gave the public an opportunity to learn more about the three candidates vying to represent Banff-Kananaskis in next spring’s election.

Each candidate was given six minutes to introduce themselves, followed by a question and answer period and closing remarks.

In Canmore, UCP members will be able vote on Friday (Oct. 26). Polls will be open from noon to 7 p.m. at the Canmore Public Library at Elevation Place.

For those closer to Calgary, UCP members will be able to vote on Saturday (Oct. 27) in Redwood Meadows, near Bragg Creek. Polls open from noon to 6 p.m. at Redwood House, (1 Manyhorses Dr.).

In order to vote you must be a UCP member on or before Oct. 6 and bring a piece of photo ID and a document with your address. A driver’s licence covers both of these requirements.

Below is a brief recap of each candidate’s opening remarks.


Miranda Rosin

Canmore’s Miranda Rosin may be the youngest candidate running in the nomination battle, but don’t let her age fool you.

The astute conservative hails originally from Saskatchewan and isn’t taking anything for granted. She says she has knocked on more than 30,000 doors in the constituency over the past eight months and signed up more than 1,000 UCP members.

During her opening remarks she slammed the NDP government for its economic record and its failure to build new pipelines.

“Folks, we’ve got one out of touch government and it is spiraling our province to the point of no return,” said Rosin, who formerly worked in a managerial position for Coca-Cola and served as vice-president for the Canmore Young Adult Network (CYAN).

During her introduction she also shared stories about people she has met on the campaign trail that are struggling to make ends meet and reminded the audience that the Banff-Kananaskis riding, which no longer includes Cochrane, will be a difficult to win next spring.

“I’m humbly confident that the UCP is going to take government next spring, but we need to win back this riding in Banff-Kananaskis as well, and let me tell you, it’s not going to be easy,” said Rosin.

“If anybody thinks that this riding is a shoe in victory when we have the bulk of the population being quite NDP leaning here in the Bow Valley, let me tell you it’s not.”

She said the key to winning the next election will be nominating a candidate who is willing to put in the effort day in and day out.

“This election we need to make sure we have a candidate that is going to put in the work to win. We can’t have a candidate that is going to sit idly by while other candidates hit the ground running. We need to make sure we have a candidate who is out there in the community, making inroads, knocking on doors, meeting people, so we can win back this seat.”

To bolster her conservative credentials she tied herself to Conservative MP Blake Richards and former Conservative Premier for Saskatchewan Brad Wall. She is the chair of communications for the electoral district association board for Richards.

“As many of you know I grew up in Saskatchewan and my political roots are in the Brad Wall government, so I grew up seeing the incredible transformational change when politicians dream big and refuse to settle for mediocrity.”

Visit for more information about Rosin.

Scott Wagner

Scott Wagner is by far the most experienced candidate in the running, but in the world of politics nothing is guaranteed.

For the past seven years, the Springbank resident has worked in conservative politics at both the provincial and federal level, including running for the Wildrose Party in the last provincial election.

During his opening remarks he touted his local connection to the riding, his business acumen and his previous political experience.

“I’ve been here since 1993 and my wife’s family traces their roots back generations. This is my home, what a home it is, I love it here,” said Wagner.

“Growing up my parents were challenged making ends meet. My dad worked long hours in the grain business and my mom spent most of her career in a post office. Money was always tight, so I learned at an early age if I wanted something I needed to work for it.”

He told the audience that if he is nominated as the UCP’s candidate, he would take what he’s learned as an entrepreneur and apply it to government.

“The largest parts of my success in business have been the ability to build consensus and the ability to enable staff to thrive,” said Wagner.

He also took a few moments to talk about his political experience.

“Over the past eight years, I have been highly engaged in politics. I’ve been a long-term president of the constituency association, vice-president of membership and a candidate for the Wildrose in the last election.”

He described himself as a “victim” of vote splitting during the last election, which allowed NDP candidate Cam Westhead to win the local riding with 54 per cent of the final vote.

During his opening remarks he also touched on the diversity of the constituency, which includes two parks, four First Nation communities and one of the most diverse economies in the province.

“This is a constituency that is both rural and urban and needs representation of both,” said Wagner.

He also took time to acknowledge several local issues, such as the ongoing debate about the 2026 Olympics, wildlife corridors, tourism, affordable housing and outdoor recreation.

“Our great country was built on free enterprise and it has been proven time and time again that everyone suffers when governments try to pick winners and losers. Sadly the NDP has not learned this lesson,” said Wagner.

“I believe we need to get back to what made Alberta great. Free enterprise, a tax structure that makes sense, fiscal responsibility, a positive business climate and enabling people to get ahead.”

Visit: for more information about Wagner.

Michael Zubkow

Michael Zubkow will be the first to tell you that he isn’t a politician, but that hasn’t stopped the Springbank resident from throwing his hat into the ring.

As a trained engineer, he believes he has a unique way of approaching issues that his fellow candidates do not.

“I am an engineer first and foremost, I am not a politician,” said Zubkow, who is a small business owner and has worked in the oil and gas industry for the past 30 years.

“As an engineer I think I bring a unique skill set to the candidacy.”

During his opening remarks he told the audience he will work with the UCP leader Jason Kenney and the UCP caucus to re-establish the Alberta advantage by scrapping the carbon tax and reigning in the province’s ballooning debt.

“I am a fiscal conservative,” said Zubkow, claiming the government’s policies are hurting the province.

He also emphasized the importance of the oil and gas industry to the province, including the need to get its oil to tide water.

“The Alberta advantage comes back when our oil industry is functioning. It comes back with people working in the business and that all starts by getting these pipelines built. Shipping crude by rail is not the way to do it.”

He also took time to highlight his commitment to volunteerism, which recently earned him a Canada 150 lifetime volunteer award.

“I have a great passion for my community and feel that it is incumbent on me to actually give back to the community in anyway I can.”

Visit: for more information about Zubkow.

Paul Clarke

About the Author: Paul Clarke

Paul Clarke has spent the past four years working as a community news reporter in Jasper, Banff and Canmore.
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