Cochrane-Banff, MLA Cameron Westhead, has announced he will seek nomination for the new Banff-Kananaskis riding in 2019.
Even though the new electoral boundary will no longer include Cochrane, Westhead is extremely proud of the work he has been able to do since he first became elected to office in 2015. "There has been a lot that the provincial government has done for the people of Banff-Cochrane; in Cochrane alone the 1A and 22 intersection. During my campaign that was definitely the top priority I heard from folks and we delivered on that priority. I think that demonstrates to people that we are listening to them and understanding what their top concerns are and acting on them."
The 2019 election will be quite interesting and Westhead believes there will be a very clear contrast between political parties. Thankful to be representing the NDP, Westhead shares the newly formed UCP represented by Jason Kenney is all about making Albertan's lives more difficult. "He wants to give tax breaks to the wealthy, divert funding from public schools to private, and privatize health care."
While everyone would love to see a balanced budget, Westhead feels stability in both healthcare and education as well as continued support of infrastructure projects is also important. "I think folks understand that you can't give tax breaks to the wealthy, maintain services, and balance the budget all at the same time in such a short period of time. Our approach in the NDP is to undertake more strategic and compassionate belt tightening. Of course, we want to see a path to a balanced budget but we also know schools cost money, teachers cost money, and there are services people rely on, so we have to undertake a more careful and measured approach to that."
With the UCP stating they will undo everything the NDP has instituted if elected, Westhead states voters should know exactly what that means. "Does that mean undoing the infrastructure plan, undoing things like the 25 dollars a day childcare, there was even a time limit for victims of sexual violence and we took away the time limitations, so are they talking about putting time limitations back on for victims? These are questions people deserve to have answers to and the UCP has not been forthcoming."
Westhead, himself, will be concentrated on affordable housing for the Banff and the Kananaskis area as well as enhanced tourism initiatives.
Looking forward to a second term if elected, Westhead is excited to continue down the path he has been on. "One of the things I found out in this position, one of the most valuable assets is relationships that you can foster; getting to know people and also having people know me and feel comfortable approaching me. You get things done by knowing who to talk to, knowing what channels to go through to have people's voices heard and I would be happy to continue building those relationships and making sure people's priorities are heard in the government."
Proud of how he ran his campaign in 2015, the only tweak Westhead will make is better campaign architecture so all volunteers are utilized in the best possible way.
If you would like to connect with Westhead you can do so HERE.