What appeared to be a two horse race to replace outgoing MLA Genia Leskiw has expanded to include three with local Rob Fox joining the Bonnyville- Cold Lake competition; representing the Alberta Party.
Fox, a 58-year-old retiree, was born and raised on a farm in the Bonnyville-Glendon area. He spent over 25 years working in the oil and gas industry, which included years of operating his own company.
According to Fox, he is throwing his name into the ring to give people more of a choice when they go to the polls on May 5.
“I don't believe there is a lot of difference between the two candidates on the ballot for the Wildrose and the PCs,” said Fox. “I want to give people an option for a centre party. We are socially progressive, economically reasonable party and I think we are a way to move Alberta forward.”
PC candidate Craig Copeland and Wildrose candidate Scott Cyr are the other two competitors Fox is referring too. Copeland has taken a step away from his duties as the Mayor of Cold Lake to enter the race, while Cyr has paused from his normal job as an accountant.
While both Cyr and Copeland clearly laid out the issues they plan on tackling should they be elected, Fox wasn't as clear - feeling that the real issues are unknown at this point in time.
“I would like to say we are going to balance the budget and everything else, but the books have been closed for basically 43 years. Until those books are opened I don't think anybody really knows what shape Alberta is really in,” said Fox. “The first thing we have to do is have government business, which is the peoples business, opened back up to the people.”
Fox went on to say that should he be elected, his expenses, itinerary and everything else he does as an MLA would be public knowledge and presented to the people of his constituency.
“With the technology today all of that information can be put online and there is no reason for it not to be online,” said Fox. “It is the ordinary citizens' money that is being spent and to hide what's happening with it is just not right.”
Along with the seemly daunting task of making government spending more public, Fox also hopes to tackle a large local issue; the one of trying to get all of the local politicians back on the same page and working together.
“There are a lot of synergies across the constituency the different municipalities can work together on for the benefit of everybody, but right now the biggest barrier for moving forward in this area is getting everybody to cooperate,” said Fox. “I have never seen a place where there are people so upset, and they have brought it into then political spectrum. It is not a healthy situation.”
Similar to Cyr and the local Wildrose, Fox and the local Alberta Party members were somewhat caught off guard by the election being called on April 7. While he is a little late to the party his signs were popping up throughout the constituency towards the end of last week and he says he is ready to go.
“We were slow starting, but we have some volunteers now. We will see if we can make a difference in this constituency and the province,” said Fox, who was proud to be resenting the Alberta Party, feeling they have a unique quality.
“We are required as elected members of the party to vote with the constituency rather than with the party (with some exceptions),” said Fox. “Even if the party introduces a Bill, in the constitution of the party, my first priority is to the constituents and not to the party. It is really unique in politics.”
Fox says he hopes to help put the representation back into the people rather than the politicians in the central offices of larger cities.
For more information on Fox and the Alberta Party you can visit albertaparty.ca.