A business owner who lives near Calahoo is hoping to earn the UCP nomination in a Sturgeon County provincial riding.
Everett Normandeau is one of five candidates hoping to score the UCP nomination for the newly formed riding of Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland, which combines pieces of four current ridings and is home to the west side of Sturgeon County.
Normandeau is not a lifelong political junkie but said that as he has grown older he finds himself caring more about political issues. He joined the Wildrose Constituency Association for Spruce Grove-St. Albert around three or four years ago when he felt that his MLA was not representing oil and gas and rural Albertans well.
While serving on the board of the association, he realized that he was the only voice speaking up for rural Albertans.
“I was always the outnumbered guy. I was always the rural guy. There was nobody else,” Normandeau said.
One of the issues the business owner thinks needs to be addressed in the riding and across Alberta is rural crime. He said that while the statistics for rural crime in Sturgeon County are not rising, crimes are still being committed. Normandeau said that many rural residents are not reporting crime and are left chasing thieves off their property without RCMP help.
Other issues he said that are facing the riding are getting the Trans Mountain pipeline built and developing a strong economy.
“This is a unique riding because we have a lot of coal communities so between oil and gas … it’s kind of the perfect storm for economic conditions,” Normandeau said.
The father of four’s roots in the community run deep and both he and his wife are part of families who have been farming in the area for more than 100 years. Normandeau was born and raised in Edmonton but eventually moved out near Calahoo, near his extended family, after graduating from school.
Normandeau has owned his own business, Summit Land and Environmental Ltd, for 15 years, which acquires land for oil and gas companies. He said if elected, he will take a step back from the day-to-day operations of the business to focus on being an MLA.
Normandeau is one of five candidates running for the UCP nomination in the new riding of Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland. Normandeau is facing off against Jerry Molnar, Leah Wood, Dale Johnson and Barbara Costache for the new riding.
In the Morinville-St. Albert riding, five candidates are vying for the UCP nomination including Joe Gosselin, Donald Rigney, Amber Harris, Trina Jones and Dale Nally.
Shawna Gawreluck is the only NDP candidate seeking nomination in the same riding, although incumbents such as Trevor Horne from Spruce Grove-St. Albert have yet to declare which riding they will run in during the election.
St. Albert MLA Marie Renaud is seeking the NDP nomination in the St. Albert riding.
Current Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock MLA Glenn van Dijken has secured the UCP nomination for the next election. Van Dijken is running in the Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock riding after the ridings were redrawn in 2017 and his current riding, Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock, was divided.