Conservative Party candidate Chris Warkentin is looking to represent the Peace region for a fourth term, but this time it will be under a different name. He’s running in the new Grande Prairie – Mackenzie riding, one of the two constituencies the former Peace River riding split into.
“It is bittersweet because I have many people that I’ve gotten to know and love and appreciate in those areas that will no longer be part of the constituency that I’m running in, but it is good news for northern Albertans as we see the representation reflect the population growth that we’ve seen over the last number of years.”
The Peace region has been a stronghold for the federal Conservatives over the past decade, but Warkentin says he doesn’t want to take his previous success for granted. He’ll again be trying to reach as much of the area as he can during the 11 week campaign period.
“Ensuring that we have an opportunity to tell them what we’re planning to do, but also to listen to local folks; to hear what they have to say to ensure that we continue to represent Peace Country residents and move our community forward in a way that will ensure that future generations can enjoy and take advantage of all the opportunities that generations before have enjoyed.”
That point has become even more important for the lifelong area resident, with his young family providing added motivation. Warkentin points to Conservative initiatives like increasing the Universal Child Care Benefit, and the eligibility age for receiving Old Age Security benefits, along with Stephen Harper’s promise of extended tax credits for businesses trades apprentices as key.
So far only one other candidate is in the running: James Friesen with the Green Party.