Two more candidates step up for UCP nomination

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Joan Barnes and Gail Langford register with Elections Alberta

INNISFAIL – Two more area residents are seeking the United Conservative Party (UCP) nomination for the riding of Innisfail-Sylvan Lake.

Red Deer lawyer Gayle Langford and Sylvan Lake realtor Joan Barnes registered with Elections Alberta earlier this month, becoming the third and fourth candidates and the first two women to announce their candidacy.

Langford, 60, was born and raised in a small farming town in northeastern Alberta and now lives in Red Deer County. She has worked in nursing, law and government. She is also the past president of the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce, has been active with its agriculture policy committee and brings a strong policy background to her campaign.

“I am at heart a nurse, a lawyer and a farmer. I’ve been fighting for 10 years for individuals and groups,” said Langford. “I know how government works, I know where the laws are weak and I know where the laws have infringed on people’s rights,” she added. “I know where the balance is and how to get things done.”

Langford said it’s important for her to treat every issue and every potential constituent with dignity, respect and compassion.

“I have always stood up for the little guy in every capacity,” she said, adding her areas of focus include health care, education, seniors’ care, property rights, agriculture and rural crime.

“I want opportunities to talk to people. I want to know what their concerns are and what their priorities are,” she added.

Barnes, 47, grew up west of Edmonton in a small farming town and is a longtime Sylvan Lake resident. She has worked in health care, real estate and brings political experience to her campaign, as a former municipal councillor in Sylvan Lake as well as a trustee on a local school board.

Barnes said seeking the UCP nomination was the right thing to do.

“I have to do something. I can’t sit back,” said Barnes. “I want to do something about the issues.”

Those issues for Barnes include education, agriculture, the carbon tax and health care.

“I was watching bills being passed that are affecting our children and our schools,” said Barnes. “I believe we’re being very negligent with our children in our school system.”

Health care is another priority.

“Per capita, we spend the most amount of money (in health care) and yet give the least service,” she explained. “Something has to change.”

Barnes noted the importance of unity in representing the people of Innisfail-Sylvan Lake.

“There’s power in unity. If we come together as a team, we can make change that way,” said Barnes. “Everything I’ve learned to this point has allowed me to serve the people, understand the people and have relationship with people.”

More people are expected to put their names forward for the UCP nomination in the coming weeks, said Lee Eddy, president of the Innisfail-Sylvan Lake UCP constituency association.

He has already received several inquiries.

“If everybody that called me decides to register with Elections Alberta, we’d have over 10 people (seeking the UCP nomination),” said Eddy. “If people want to run for the UCP nomination, they can register with Elections Alberta.”

Lee Eddy, president, UCP constituency association.

“If everybody that called me decides to register with Elections Alberta, we’d have over 10 people (seeking the UCP nomination).”

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Kristine Jean

Kristine Jean is a reporter with the Innisfail Province, joining the newspaper in 2015. She covers Penhold municipal politics, news and community events as well as sports in and around the town as well as in Innisfail.