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.
The first candidate out of the gate was Peter Guthrie who announced his intent to seek nomination back in January.
When asked about his journey of campaigning, Guthrie states his desire to get involved began long ago. "Over the last few years, my wife and I had come to the conclusion that this was something we wanted to do. So we didn't officially start telling people in the community until our business sold August 1, 2017, and then we became a lot more active with notifying people. For me, it's fourteen months of campaigning and we have a week to go. We have worked hard to get to where we are right now and we're going to have to continue working hard after this nomination as well."
Guthrie states his strength as a candidate is that he is a well-rounded individual, with a great deal of experience that comes from continually challenging himself. Whether it's his knowledge of engineering or his vast sales experience that took him all over Canada and abroad, he feels he has a different, more worldly perspective. Leaving roles he was comfortable in and venturing into the farming and ranching industry, was both challenging and valuable. "We did that not for opportunity, but for family. It was something very foreign to me but that switch and going in and tackling something that I knew absolutely nothing about and to be able to come out the other side and be successful at it, gave me a great deal of confidence."
Confidence gained from farming and ranching enabled Guthrie to also own and operate a successful small business which created a good portfolio for stepping into politics. "I have life experience, business experience, industry experience, agriculture experience and all of these things together I think shows why I want to move into politics and to help this province get started and going on the right foot."
If Guthrie is successful in winning both the nomination for Airdrie-Cochrane UCP and named our MLA he says there are five items that are on almost every UCP candidates' mandate for change; repealing the carbon tax, lowering taxes, cutting bureaucracy, a new deal on equalization and balancing the budget. While these are ideals are shared amongst many UCP candidates he says, personally, he would also like to see the addition of a small business tax credit, recall legislation to keep politicians accountable, explore creating a provincial hedging policy to stabilize our royalties, create a non-partisan infrastructure committee that would oversee criteria and determine priority for rural and urban projects, as well as taking Bill 6 back to the drawing board. "We need to start again. Do the proper consultation with farmers and ranchers, find out what they need and then we'll get proper input that should have been done in the first place but the NDP didn't do, and then we'll develop policy based on that."
Guthrie took part in both Cochrane and Airdrie forums and shares he thought both were executed well with a diverse amount of questions.
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 Peter Guthrie, he says he is in the race for all the right reasons. After growing increasingly frustrated with municipal, provincial and federal bureaucracy and taxation, he says he wants to help. "I want to utilize my experience to help this province get stared on the right foot. I am 49 now and will be 50 at the general election, I am not going into politics as a lifelong career. I am here because I want to assist, I like this province, and I have had enough of sitting on the sidelines. It's time to step up."