The NDP candidate for the Airdrie-Cochrane riding was impressed with the crowd at last night's nomination meeting and believes it's a very promising sign for the campaign ahead.

Steve Durrell, 29, a candidate with Cochrane roots, was uncontested in his bid to become the first NDP MLA for the newly-created Airdrie-Cochrane riding. Held at the Frank Wills Memorial Hall here in Cochrane, Jason Phillips, who's known Durrell since attending Bow Valley High School together, presented his nomination.

"I was very blown away with the crowd that came out tonight and I'm thrilled and very excited for the campaign going forward," says Durrell.

Banff-Cochrane MLA Cam Westhead with Durrell at last night's meeting.

Current Banff-Cochrane MLA Cam Westhead and the NDP's candidate in the new Banff-Kananaskis riding spoke of the accomplishments since the 2015 provincial election and it had the tone of a pre-election speech.

Both candidates believe Albertans will be choosing between two drastically different directions being offered by the NDP and the United Conservative Party when the rite is dropped.

"There's a very distinct choice that Albertans will be making pretty soon on how our province moves forward," says Westhead. "Rachel Notley has been investing in communities and has been protecting health care and education. Jason Kenney is more interested in giving a $700 million tax break for the top one per cent and cutting the services for the rest of it."

Durrell believes Notley has been paying more attention to the needs of the residents of Cochrane and Airdrie and will continue to do so. Among those is the need to complete the Hwy. 1A-Hwy. 22 interchange he believes will be in question if the UCP is elected.

"They flat out said they're not sure whether or not it will be built," says Durrell. "They're leary the project will be completed if they're elected. Whereas, Cam has said over and over again in his time that the money is there, that it's being built and the commitment is there to get it done."

The government's throne speech is scheduled for Mar. 18 and many speculate an election will be called shortly afterward.

"What happens after that is up in the air," says Westhead, "but we're looking forward to the throne speech of laying out our vision of what the future looks like under Rachel Notley. We want to show a positive vision and will continue to support public service."

UCP leader Jason Kenney spoke last night at a fundraiser An Evening with Jason Kenney and Peter Guthrie at the GlenEagles golf course.


Steven Durrell Seeks Airdrie-Cochrane NDP Nomination