Running in the Conservative stronghold of Banff-Airdrie is a challenge but one taken seriously by long-time Liberal David Gamble.
"I'm giving people another option that is moderate, practical, understands oil and gas is one of our main industries, that we need to attract new industries, and that we're in the process of attracting new business."
"I believe that the Liberal Party of Canada is going to deliver. It's going to have the best plan for recovery, that we're going to have a stronger Canada, a more united Canada. I think those are important things to keep in mind, you know, what kind of Canada do we want to live in."
Currently residing in Calgary, David Gamble is no stranger to the Banff-Airdrie constituency or Cochrane in particular, where he and his wife Lee Yee bought their first home.
While here, Gamble briefly chaired the Cochrane Society for Housing Options and has more recently worked with the Cochrane and Area Victim Services. In the end, it was the lack of transit that forced his family to move to Calgary and was not a decision they made lightly. They did recently consider moving to Gleneagles but transit remained an issue.
"I had a lot of fun there. I have a lot of mentors in the community still and talk to them."
He is a strong advocate of the federal Liberals' $10/day daycare plan and says the Conservative option of a tax credit falls short of the mark.
"The Liberal plan is going to create jobs. Those people are going to pay taxes, and that's better than doing a tax deduction which is just going to drop our revenues. Our revenue shouldn't be dropped when we're putting so much stimulus into the economy because of the pandemic."
He believes $10/day daycare is a game-changer for many families.
"It's clear that there's a demand in Cochrane and throughout the riding where people are having to often commute to Calgary for work."
He says it will also benefit people with children working from home.
He's also a strong advocate of the Liberals' regional transit plan and focus on affordable housing.
After working for Talisman Energy and Pembina Pipeline, Gamble and his wife co-founded Dandily Inc. in 2012 and recently created the nonprofit Society for Multiculturalism in the Built Environment.
They were hit by the downturn, and again by the pandemic. He believes the Liberal Government's pandemic strategy saved companies like his.
"I'm definitely very grateful that the federal government has allowed us to retain staff and keep things going. We're working on a lot of things right now and by maintaining my staff we're excited to continue."
He's concerned about how rhetoric over the energy sector is diluting the possibility of reaching a middle ground.
He says lost in the conversation is how the oil and gas industry is doing everything it can to reduce carbon emissions.
"I don't think that it's always understood outside of Alberta because we have this rhetoric, and we have this really negative rhetoric that becomes polarizing, and we don't see that middle ground."
"When we get into conversations of 'us versus them,' and we don't have any dialogue, we end up with these untenable positions. Nobody's going to win. When we keep saying it's either all oil and gas or no oil and gas people are going to lose jobs, and people are losing jobs. We continue to have layoffs."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been attacked for calling an election early.
Gamble believes the Liberals are seeking a new mandate from Canadians because much has changed since the last election.
"The reality is there's a big difference between 2019 and post-pandemic, and I think that there's nothing that can be said about choosing an opportunity to get a mandate from the population when you make a major change in your platform."
He has been questioned about the estimated $610 million price tag of the election and says it's worth it. Often speaking to those who have come to Canada from other countries, Gamble says sometimes we forget how lucky we are to have a strong democracy.
"You can never spend too much on democracy. Democracy is precious, and people fought really hard to get democracy, and now that we have it, it's very important we exercise it, and we should exercise it respectfully."
Since the rite was dropped, Gamble has been touring the constituency. He's made several stops in Cochrane and will be returning here Friday to attend the Pride Patio Party on Friday.
He intends to have a series of picnic events and town halls.
"I think we've gotten off to a good start. We've had consistent events. We've been getting donors, we have a good campaign war chest, we're ready to be out there across the riding. I intend to go to every community."
He says this election is an opportunity for Canadians to speak up.
"I'm really quite excited about getting out and meeting the people. I think this is an important opportunity for people to have their voices heard, and more importantly, this election is about people having their voices heard.
"I think there's nothing more important than being informed, having your say, and being able to make sure you're on the voters' list and get out and vote."
He believes the Conservatives tend to take Alberta for granted during elections but believes Albertans are largely moderates who have a diverse range of views.
Gamble ran for the Alberta Liberals in Calgary Klein in 2015 and came fourth. He was highly visible in the campaign of Liberal candidate Marlo Raynolds in the 2015 federal election here.