Alberta Together makes a stop in St. Albert

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Alberta Together, a political action committee, made a stop in St. Albert this week to discuss its new initiative to foster a conversation around centrist politics.

The political action group is hoping get Albertans talking through an open ended survey dubbed The Together Project.

Former Progressive Conservative party president Katherine O’Neill is the executive director of the new group and she said that they launched the survey to help Albertans feel like they are being listened to.

“I’ve been travelling the province for the last two years and every time I go into a meeting I always know that people just don’t feel listened to. They feel like politicians are talking but nobody is listening to the average guy,” O’Neill said.

O’Neill said that the survey was inspired by the French movement La Grande Marche, which was a nationwide door-to-door campaign run by then-presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s party to help spark political conversations across the country.

The Together Project survey functions in a similar way and focuses on collecting survey data in a face-to-face setting rather than gathering data online.

Anyone who attended the Together Project event who wants to be a volunteer was given access to an app which allows them to ask their friends and neighbours. O’Neill hopes that each person who takes the survey and gets access to the app will then ask five people to also take the survey. They are hoping to get a minimum of 10,000 people to respond.

O’Neill said that part of the goal is to gather information from the survey, but another part is to use the survey to help start a discussion about politics with their social circle.

Once they gather the results, the group will release them to the public for anyone to access or any party to use. O’Neill plans to have a series of town hall meetings across the province to discuss the finding with the public.

The committee is a non partisan group that wants to support the centre of the political spectrum, but they are not directly affiliated with any party. Their events are open to anybody with any political affiliation.

Despite this, they do have some association with the Alberta Party. In June, a group of centrists gathered for an Alberta Together meeting and 83 per cent of those in attendance voted to support the Alberta Party.

The Alberta Party communications chair Robbie Kreger-Smith was at the event talking to attendees about the Alberta Party.

Stephen Khan, former PC MLA for St. Albert and  PC leadership candidate has been involved with Alberta Together. Lorna Wolodko, the former regional director for St. Albert area, was also in attendance at the event as she is now working with the Alberta Party to help them set up constituency associations in the St. Albert area.

Alberta Together is travelling across Alberta and will wrap up the survey program by November 2017.

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Jennifer Henderson

Jennifer Henderson joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2016. She writes about municipal, provincial and federal politics; court and crime; general news and features.