Gary Hanna is running for office after his daughters pointed out he should do something about his frustration with the system.
“I didn’t have a political home. There was no party that I felt represented what my values were,” Hanna said. Then he discovered the Alberta Party, and got involved and helped volunteer.
He hadn’t planned to run, but the 48-year-old high school teacher and union local was encouraged by an organizer to run. Thinking the next election was in 2016, he didn’t give it much thought.
“I’d get home and I was just so frustrated … finally my girls said ‘you know Dad, you need to do something about it,’” Hanna said. His decision was clinched after cuts to the auditor general and the children’s advocate offices, while in the same week the new federal building and its expensive accoutrements were on display in the press.
Asked about his political priorities, Hanna said his views tend to match to the Alberta Party platform, noting a six-year plan to get the budget back in order and citing the need for a progressive income tax, a carbon tax and the need to find efficiencies in the health care system by consulting frontline workers.
Hanna of course is concerned about the state of the education system and how the lack of growth funding could impact it, and said senior care is another big area for him.
“The PCs are really good at announcing schools,” he said. “They’re just not good at building them.”
He also pointed out the Alberta Party plans to raise corporate income tax rates by one per cent, though he personally would prefer a two per cent hike.
Hanna, who grew up in the capital region, ended up heading south to Texas with his ex-wife, a nurse, after the Ralph Klein cuts of the 1990s.
They eventually came back because they were concerned about the U.S. education system.
He spends much of his free time with his family, Hanna said.
When asked why people should vote for him, Hanna said he has passion.
“I’m pretty passionate about the need for change in this province. I’m absolutely passionate about making sure the people are being served. We have been so unrepresented in this province for so long,” Hanna said. “The people are just not being serviced by this government, and it’s all about corporations and continuing to make the rich richer … we just simply can’t continue this way.”