Yesterday, NDP candidate Steve Durrell planted his election sign in front of his parent's house in the Riverview neighbourhood, a place he called home until he turned 18.
He didn't stop long, though; much needed to be accomplished on Day One of his campaign leading up to the Apr. 16 election.
After taking in the election announcement by NDP leader Rachel Notley in downtown Calgary yesterday and finalizing his leave from work, he and his team continued to prepare his headquarters in downtown Cochrane and start to plant election signs throughout the riding.
Regular hours will soon be set for his headquarters upstairs in the Sheridan Mall in Cochrane on 1st Ave. next to the Royal Bank and a grand opening will be held shortly, says Durrell.
"I'm super excited that the election date has been set," says Durrell.
"We've been having a great time talking to people at the doors. People have been regularly talking to us about the importance of getting funding for health care and education. In Cochrane especially people are talking to us about the need for funding for continued funding for infrastructure projects, like the 1A-22 interchange which is slated to begin construction this winter."
He fears all three of these areas will face drastic cuts in a plan laid out by the UCP.
"Jason Kenney has commented that they plan to cut $4.5 billion of revenue from corporate tax to the government and when you look at revenue it's rural communities who are hit first with the cuts in spending. I would hate to see that impact Cochrane-Airdrie."
Durrell was attending school in Cochrane during the Klein years and doesn't want to see history repeat itself for his three young children, the oldest of which is in grade one.
"I grew up in the Klein years in Cochrane. I remember class sizes in the 45-50 kid range. The only good part of this was that kids ran to class to get a seat because otherwise there weren't enough chairs in every classroom."
"Seeing how the changes in funding and classroom structure have impacted the way that they learn and the quality of education that they get with more one-on-one interaction with teachers in the classroom, I want to continue to see that in the future. I believe that Rachel Notley and the NDP are the only people in this race who are looking to ensure those outcomes continue."
Durrell emerged from the high-energy election announcement at the National Music Centre fully embracing his party's campaign that includes keeping pace with health care and educational needs while continuing to address infrastructure needs and fighting for pipelines. He says the NDP seeks to provide a government that benefits all Albertans, not provide one for the rich and one for the rest.
"It is important that we go forward as a single province, as one group, and the only way that we are going to be able to do that is to continue to work for all Albertans."