Mike Andrusco has strong views on family and faith and believes our freedoms are being kicked to the curb.
He's the Airdrie-Cochrane candidate for the newly-formed Solidarity Movement of Alberta.
"We don't really have freedom if we can't stand up for what we believe in, and if we can't talk about our beliefs," says Andrusco, who currently resided in Bearspaw and is a former long-time Cochrane resident. "If you can't stand up to oppose things without being censored and canceled by a whole culture just for disagreeing with them, I don't think we have our freedoms."
Andrusco was a Calgary firefighter until resigning under duress when he took a stand against being required to be vaccinated for COVID-19. He believes people should have had the right to decide whether or not to be vaccinated, and made a choice to stand behind his beliefs.
He says he isn't an anti-vaxer and has received what he considers to be all other required vaccinations. To him, it was a question of whether it was safe to use or even effective.
"I just didn't believe in this mandate. I don't think we should have been forced to do it, especially with something untested. There was no informed consent. No nobody would take liability for anything if it went wrong, I mean, especially in light of all the stuff that's been coming out lately on all its possible side effects."
"With the vaccine mandate, we lost a lot of freedoms. They really pressured a lot of people to do things that they didn't really want to do, and I think that was an attack on our freedom and our faith."
"I believe that this province and this country as a whole was founded on Christian principles, ethics, and morals. I think that's made this country and this province great, and I think that we need to get back to that."
He also embraces traditional family values.
"I think over the last two or three years, the core family unit has been under attack with all the transgender men can be women, women can be men stuff going on. I believe there are two genders and the one that we were born with is the one that we are. That's kind of my family push."
Andruso says the Solidarity movement is a grassroots party of everyday ordinary people.
"We don't have any career politicians and it's made up of people that basically no longer trust the legacy parties to really, truly represent them. Being truly conservative and true servants of the people is something the other parties have kind of forgotten."
"I think they're just out of touch with the hard-working people of this province. I think people are just tired of promises that are made and never kept. I think they're tired of politicians more worried about their jobs and their pensions than standing up for the people that voted for them."
For his campaign, Andruso will be posting videos on social media and participating in townhall meetings where possible.
He's disappointed to have not been invited to the candidates' forum in Airdrie earlier this week, and found it odd to have been held before the nomination deadline of Elections Alberta isn't until today (May 11).
Andrusco moved to the Cochrane area 20 years ago from Ontario.
"I love Cochrane and this area. Our kids are here, and our grandkids are here. I look forward to being a servant of the people, just like I was as a firefighter. That was probably the best part of the job. You're working for people and you're helping people. That's really where my heart is, to be a servant of the people and I look forward to hopefully serving the people of Cochrane and Airdrie."