Shawna Gawreluck has been selected as the provincial NDP candidate for Morinville-St. Albert.
On Thursday night, Gawreluck was acclaimed as the candidate in the upcoming 2019 election. She ran unopposed for the NDP nomination.
Gawreluck has been living in the region for around 30 years and said she is happy to be selected to represent the party in the riding.
“Everything is ramping up with more door-knocking and more community events to really get out there and meet people, which is sort of the fun part of campaigning in my opinion,” Gawreluck said.
The mother of three said that she is hearing from residents across the riding that they are concerned about the economy. She said residents are saying they appreciate that Premier Rachel Notley is fighting for the province and that she is working on diversifying the economy and getting off the boom and bust cycle.
Gawreluck said people in the riding are concerned about the future for themselves and their children.
“The vast majority, you know, are thinking about the kids, are thinking about their own long-term planning and they're looking forward to an Alberta that will accommodate them and their children in the future,” she said.
Along with the economy being a concern, Gawreluck said schools and healthcare are top of mind for Albertans.
“I think Albertans recognize we did without for so long,” Gawreluck said.
In the riding, Gawreluck wants to advocate “loudly and proudly” for refinery expansion and more schools.
Gawreluck has been a member of the NDP for four years and represented the party in the recent Sturgeon River-Parkland federal byelection. She was eventually beat out by Conservative candidate Dane Lloyd.
The medical laboratory technologist works in transfusion medicine and also owns a small business. Gawreluck also owns an outdoor construction company with her husband, where she does payroll and other paperwork.
Gawreluck said she has been able to put her economics degree to good use as the chair of the Sturgeon County Economic Advisory Board. She also volunteers with Community Options, a non-profit that provides services like speech pathologists and rehab therapists for children.
St. Albert MLA Marie Renaud said she is looking forward to working with another female nominee and called Gawreluck a “powerhouse”.
“She brings a lot of experience for me, first of all, just from the community, but you know, juggling a full-time job and her own business and three kids, I think she's a bit of a powerhouse and she's really knowledgeable about so much. I'm really looking forward to (working with her),” Renaud said.
Gawreluck will be facing off this spring against Dale Nally with the UCP. For the Alberta Party, both Neil Korotash and Wayne Rufiange are vying for the nomination. Cass Romyn has been acclaimed to represent the riding for the Green Party.