The Sturgeon River-Parkland riding has two more candidates vying for the Conservative nomination.
Dane Lloyd, current parliamentary adviser to St. Albert MP Michael Cooper, and Rick Peterson, former candidate for the Conservative leadership both launched their campaigns on Monday.
Both of the men are hoping the land the seat that former Conservative interim leader Rona Ambrose held. Since Ambrose’s departure from federal politics, she has joined Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) advisory board. Since she officially vacated her seat on July 4, Ambrose has also joined the Manulife board of directors.
Cooper’s current adviser is taking a step out from behind the scenes and is pursuing a seat of his own.
Lloyd, a 26-year-old resident of Sturgeon County, just finished training in New Brunswick and is now a fully qualified lieutenant officer in the armed forces reserves and is launching his campaign for the coveted seat.
Lloyd comes from a family of farmers who have lived in the region for generations. He was born and raised in St. Albert and has lived and worked in Ottawa for the last few years, but is now living on his family farm outside of Spruce Grove.
The Trinity Western graduate said that his unique experience will help him be a strong candidate for the region. While in Ottawa, Lloyd’s experience extended beyond Cooper. Lloyd worked with MP Ed Fast on international trade and with former MP Jason Kenney with citizenship and immigration.
While working with Cooper, who is the Conservative justice critic, Lloyd became passionate about helping victims of crime. He worked closely with Shelly McInnis-Wynn and the McCann family, which have inspired him to seek changes to the justice system.
Lloyd has committed to bringing legislation forward similar to the ‘no body, no parole’ law in Australia.
“If you are convicted of a crime and the bodies are not found, you should not be able to get a parole until you give up the location of the bodies,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd said it is “abhorrent” that families will not have the closure of a funeral after a crime and then are subjected to the fear of having the criminals back on the street again.
Lloyd also worked closely on Wynn’s Law under Cooper’s leadership and said that his experience makes him a great candidate for the riding.
“I probably have the best experience out of any of the candidates in terms of what it takes to get a bill passed,” Lloyd said.
His campaign will focus on challenging the carbon tax, standing up for victims of crime, supporting members of the military and defending the rights of firearm owners.
So far, Lloyd has been endorsed by Cooper, Shelly MacInnis-Wynn and Fast.
The former Conservative party leadership candidate is seeking the open federal seat.
After living in Vancouver for 30 years, Peterson has moved to the community and announced his candidacy in the race. Peterson will move into a house in Spruce Grove on Aug. 25 with his wife and stepson. He plans to stay in the city even if he doesn’t win the race.
Peterson is a native of Alberta and grew up in Grande Prairie. He attended the University of Alberta and has spent the last 30 years working as an investment banker.
Peterson said that he is a right fit for the seat because of his 30-year tenure with the Conservative Party.
“When talking to Conservative members, they want somebody that will have as much profile in the party as Rona Ambrose did,” Peterson said.
Peterson said he wants to be a strong voice in caucus who will use his political experience to advocate for businesses.
Peterson said he likes the Sturgeon River – Parkland riding because it combines urban, suburban and rural.
“I think we are the perfect epitome of what the rest of Canada is like and our goal here is to make this a strong riding inside the Conservative family.”
Despite being new to the riding, Peterson said that he isn’t “new to the issues that count here.”
“I’m an Albertan coming to this riding with a strong base of understanding of what the issues are and I’m going to work hard for them,” Peterson said.
Peterson said that the riding is facing issues such as taxes, the opioid crisis and the downturn in the economy.
Peterson’s campaign will focus on a generating a stronger economy through tax reform, such as a zero per cent corporate income tax and a 15 per cent federal income tax flat rate. He also wants to push for safer communities through smarter firearms policies and offering a bounty on fentanyl dealers.
Peterson has been endorsed by Kevin O’Leary and John Stevens, the president and CEO of ENTREC Corporation in Spruce Grove.
The Sturgeon River-Parkland riding was created in 2011 by combining Edmonton-Spruce Grove, Westlock-St. Paul and Yellowhead. Each of the ridings have been Conservative strongholds with members being elected from the Conservative, Canadian Alliance, Reform and Progressive Conservative parties dating back to 1979.
There has been no date set for the byelection, but one must be announced by the end of 2017. Jamie Mozeson has already announced her candidacy.