Two new faces have stepped up to run for office in the next federal election.
Kevin Taron and Rob Fox have been nominated as the federal Liberal candidates for Edmonton-St. Albert and Westlock-St. Paul.
Taron, an Edmonton resident, was acclaimed as candidate for Edmonton-St. Albert on July 8. He replaces Sam Sleiman, who earned about 15 per cent of the vote for the Liberals in 2008.
Sleiman said that time commitments to his consulting firm in the United Arab Emirates made it impractical for him to run again. "It's not going to be healthy for me." He decided to hand the job to someone else. "I support [Taron] all the way."
Fox, nominated earlier this year, replaces Leila Houle as the candidate for Westlock-St. Paul. Neither Fox nor Houle could be reached for an interview. Houle earned about nine per cent of the vote in the 2008 election.
New and old faces
Born and raised in Castledowns, Taron, 29, said he considers himself a lifelong Liberal. A fan of canoeing and mountain climbing, he works for the CapitalCare CHOICE seniors program in Edmonton and is a reservist with the Canadian Forces.
Recent polls suggest that Canadians aren't satisfied with where their government is going, Taron said, and are looking for an alternative.
Many residents have told him they want safer communities, which means working with offenders where they live. He's seen many young offenders turn their lives around as a volunteer with the Edmonton Youth Restorative Action Program. "When you have the victim and the offender in the same room discussing what happened, it's incredible."
Taron said he felt honoured to represent the Liberals and was eager to get out into the community. "We're going into [the next election] to win, and we'll be ready."
Home renovator Peter Johnston is preparing for his third run for office as Edmonton-St. Albert's Green Party candidate. "The real issues haven't changed," said the 63-year-old Edmontonian. "You can't have a sustainable society without a sustainable environment."
Johnston did not expect to win the next election, but hoped to get other candidates to take a longer-term view of the world in the process. "I want to do my bit to change the political environment in Canada." He earned about eight per cent of the vote in 2008.
The New Democrats did not have candidates for Edmonton-St. Albert or Westlock-St. Paul as of press time. The Greens had yet to pick a candidate for Westlock-St. Paul.