Alberta’s New Democratic Party (NDP) has a candidate for the Lacombe-Ponoka constituency in the prospective spring provincial elections.
Ponoka’s Doug Hart was acclaimed as the NDP candidate during a nomination meeting Friday, March 6 at the Lacombe Memorial Centre. For Hart, it is not just about running. “I’m announcing my intention to win,” he said in an interview.
He suggests Albertans may be unhappy with the how Wildrose Party members crossed the floor to the Progressive Conservatives. Hart feels both groups did a disservice to voters and says Albertans are eager to see a strong vocal opposition.
“Everybody wants a stronger opposition but they want the opposition to come from the neighbouring constituencies,” he added.
He wants to see a better way of funding for rural communities since much of the province’s revenue comes from outside the two large cities of Edmonton and Calgary. “We’re producing the oil, the gas, the poultry and the grain,” he observed.
Per capita funding must be redefined, says Hart, as rural communities have different economies of scale. Another subject Hart will be speaking to voters about is how the provincial government has looked at dealing with a large economic shortfall.
Hart feels the government’s suggestion of applying a sin tax and cutting services from hospitals and schools is unimaginative. He suggests large corporations should be expected to pay more in taxes to help alleviate the strain.
Rural colleges and universities should have the opportunity to provide agricultural degrees not just certificates. “Why aren’t those degree programs where the agriculture is supplied,” he asked.
A provincial elections date has yet to be set.