We are a week away from the UCP nomination vote and we thought we would do one more interview with each candidate vying to represent the Airdrie- Cochrane riding for the United Conservative Party.

Mauri Stiff may reside in Airdrie but she has family roots in the Cochrane area as well as a lot of support. Participating in both the Airdrie and Cochrane forums, Stiff felt both forums showed the strengths of all the candidates running for the Airdrie-Cochrane nomination.

Raised in an entrepreneurial family, Stiff started her first business as a high school student. Being raised to ride the highs and lows, she understands where business owners are coming from. "I bring my business acumen to the table, I have been in business since I was 16 years old and, truly, I have been through the ups and downs and I know exactly what business owners are going through right now. I want to fight for Alberta families to get back to work, to have those entrepreneurial experiences and to support our industries."

As a parent herself, Stiff believes wholeheartedly in supporting the rights of parents and building a partnership between the school system and families rather than working separately. "I believe it takes a village to raise a child. I see that there is a bit of protectionism going on from the school on the administrative side where they feel it does a better job of raising our children, eliminating parents out of those decision-making practices, allowing more and more things to happen in behind closed doors, and taking away a lot of the choices that we have available to us as parents. I feel very strongly to stand against that; I want to repair that relationship so that we are working in tandem and in partnership to educate our children and the next generation going forward." 

If Mauri is named the Airdrie-Cochrane UCP representative and our riding's MLA in the general election, she says repealing the carbon tax is high on her list as well as creating a flat tax to help our business community and making sure our country knows 'Alberta is back and open for business'. One other key priority, of course, will remain on infrastructure. "I have a petition for the 1A and 22 interchange and I want to see that that interchange remains on the books. They have announced it for the fall of 2019 which likely they'll be out of power by then and so it is a little bit of a political game. We've had this on since 2004 and so that will be one of the things I will be advocating for as well."

Believing that anything promised at this point needs to be taken with a grain of salt, Stiff says continued public pressure will hopefully help see the interchange project come off the shelf and see shovels in the ground. "This has been on since 2004 as a project that is on the scope of the government but yet it has been consistently pushed off. So that awareness and public pressure is important to ensure it goes forward."

Campaigning has left Mauri with a new appreciation of others who have stepped into the political ring as well as learning about the amazing assets our riding has to offer. "Hats off to anybody who has ever run before. It is consuming but it has been fantastic meeting so many new people and the actual strengths within our province is so amazing. Getting to know some of the specialties within our community has been a phenomenal experience. It has been a real eye-opener and education experience that I have thoroughly enjoyed."

There are two dates set for Airdrie-Cochrane UCP members to cast their vote and those are as follows (you can vote at either):

Airdrie Polling Station, October 18th from 12 pm to 8 pm at the Goldenrod Community Hall 

Cochrane Polling Station, October 20th from 9 am to 5 pm at the Cochrane RancheHouse

Giving the last word to Mauri Stiff, she says being an Airdronian will have positive benefits for the Cochrane area. "I think I am uniquely positioned to represent both. Airdrie has gone through a lot of growing pains that Cochrane is in the works of right now. Much of what they've gone through can be made a lot easier when we have somebody who knows the history of Airdrie and can bring that to the table for Cochrane. In addition, I think Cochrane has so many unique and eclectic things that they bring to the table that I think when we put those two communities together, we'll have a powerhouse riding."

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