A high school shop teacher has thrown his wrench into the NDP ring for the now contested Morinville-St. Albert riding.
On March 2, James Grondin announced his intention to seek the NDP candidacy for the next provincial election.
In an interview with The Gazette, Grondin said he is running because he felt compelled to act to try to help.
“After listening to the education minister and the premier talk, and just say lies or half-truths over and over again, I just, I couldn't sit by and not try to help anymore. I needed to act,” he said.
He said his turn to politics was the next logical step after the work he has done for the Alberta Teacher’s Association.
“Whether it's Professional Conduct Committee or contract negotiations for my local joint Work Health Safety Committee things, I've done a lot of work in and around the union. And this seemed like the next logical step,” he said.
Grondin has lived in St. Albert for more than a decade. He is a high school trades teacher in Sherwood Park. Before he got his teaching degree, he was a red seal/blue seal machinist.
Grondin is the second person to announce an intention to seek candidacy for the NDP in the Morinville- St. Albert riding.
Former four-term Sturgeon County Councillor, Karen Shaw, announced her intention to seek NDP candidacy for the next provincial election in December.
Shaw was first elected to Sturgeon County council in 2007. She did not run for re-election in 2021.
“I’m seeking the nomination for Morinville-St. Albert to be a voice for the region. [Premier Jason] Kenney’s budgets, and his botched pandemic response has cost many Albertans their lives and livelihoods — we need much better representation at the provincial level,” she said in a press release.
Grondin said the party is in good hands no matter who wins the candidacy.
“We're both people that are trying to do good in the world. Her background is a little different than mine,” he said.
The next provincial election is not set to happen until some time between March 1 and May 31 of 2023, according to Elections Alberta, but Grondin said the polls he has seen are looking good for the NDP.
“I think I'm a good match for [the current UCP MLA] Dale [Nally]. I have an education degree and a background in the trades. And I think I can really relate to all the people in the riding,” he said.
No formal date has been set for the nomination, but Grondin said it is tentatively scheduled for the end of April.