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Election Candidates' Forum Reveals Stettler County Concerns

Nate Horner and Juliet Franklin in Stettler
Nate Horner and Juliet Franklin at the Provincial Candidates Forum, May 8, 2023. Photo: Stettler Local May 10, 2023 at 7:20 pm

There was a large variety of questions put to local candidates at the Drumheller-Stettler Provincial Candidates Forum last Monday night.

UCP incumbent Nate Horner and NDP candidate Juliet Franklin fielded questions from constituents at the Stettler HUB on May 8.

Some questions were submitted beforehand, but most came from those in the audience.

Horner and Franklin shared their views and experiences, and when the two candidates disagreed, it was done with respect.

Issues raised underscored the concerns of residents in the town and county of Stettler, such as health care and education, water and sustainability.

Leona Thorogood Stettler
Moderator Leona Thorogood. Photo: Stettler Local

Candidates were asked about the economy, federal transfer/equalization payments, and plans to tackle the provincial debt.

There were concerns brought forward regarding agriculture, and the struggles farmers and ranchers have faced in recent years.

People asked about orphan wells, renewable resources, and provincial energy regulators.

These were issues for which a well-prepared candidate would have been ready. However, there were three unusual questions dealing with perceptions of government figures:

  1. How will you restore voter trust and confidence?

  2. How will you respect the views of the majority?

  3. What are things you notice about us [constituents]?

In response to the first question, Franklin said she believes in improving the lives of the people whom you serve. In a rare occurrence, Horner agreed with Franklin by saying, "Why are you doing it if you're not helping?"

When responding to the second question, Franklin said there is a concern about people not being heard. Horner said it's important not to politicize every issue.

The third question seemed to take both candidates by surprise. Franklin responded, "Whether people are for me or against me, we're all for Alberta."

Horner offered a piece of advice given to him by Shirley McClellan, former MLA for Drumheller-Stettler: "Cherish the riding because the challenges are real. But the riding is amazing."

The Alberta provincial election is Monday, May 29, with advanced voting May 23-27.

  • A third candidate, Hanna Viens, from the Wildrose Loyalty Coalition (WLC), had submitted her papers the day before, but was not at the forum.

  • According to CBC, Shannon Packham of The Independence Party, is a fourth candidate in the Drumheller-Stettler riding.


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