Shannon Stubbs is hoping to continue the Conservative's run in the Lakeland riding as Canada heads into its 42nd federal election.
“My number one focus is based on promoting the Lakeland and the Lakeland's importance to Alberta and Canada as a whole,” said Stubbs. “This is an issue I think is critical for voters in the Lakeland and Alberta to consider as we come up to the next election.”
Nominated in December 2014, Stubbs is taking over the candidacy in the riding from outgoing Conservative MP Brian Storseth. The longtime Lakeland resident currently resides near Two Hills. Stubbs has a diverse background, including time spent working in the Departments of Energy and Economic Development. Most recently, Stubbs held positions with Alberta's Wildrose party as the director of legislative affairs for the Official Opposition House Leader between 2012 and 2014 before making the move into federal politics.
Voters will be heading to the polls in a little over two months in what Stubbs is calling a “particularly important” election for the province and the riding.
“We contribute so much as a constituency, we put food on the table for the rest of the country and provide fuel for our lives and all of that activity provides jobs and spin-offs in other sectors.”
Stubbs added, “I think that issue is really at stake. The leaders of the other parties you see, on one hand, blame Alberta for the economic downturn in other parts of the country, or they stand in opposition to projects like pipelines, which are critical to Alberta's long-term prosperity.”
The local Conservative nominee further stated that she is strongly against the divisive approach to Canada some party leaders have taken by saying Alberta is setting the socio-economic projection for the entire country.
Despite the Lakeland covering a substantial amount of land and many communities, the issues facing the riding are similar across the board. With agriculture and energy being central economic drivers in all corners of the Lakeland, Stubbs noted that it's important for the residents to choose an MP who understands those markets.
“One key concern is access to export markets for agriculture and energy. The conservative government has completed more than 40 free trade agreements for products in various sectors since becoming a majority government,” explained Stubbs.
However, there's more to the area than just industry. Stubbs said she recognizes that new and long-time residents who are settled in the Lakeland have concerns that extend beyond oil and gas.
“People want support for their families. They want the kind of tax relief that the federal Conservatives have delivered for families, seniors and small businesses. The Conservatives recognize that hard working families and individuals need help to make ends meet,” Stubbs said. “Of course there's overarching socio-economic concerns around labour and balancing environmental stewardship with industrial development, which go hand in hand.”
Stubbs also cited infrastructure funding and the need for municipalities to receive the necessary resources to upkeep local infrastructure as focuses for the Conservatives.
The campaigning might have just officially kicked-off Aug. 2, but Stubbs has been out and about since her December nomination. While she started out doing the majority of her door knocking by herself, the Conservative nominee has since grown her troops to ensure that ever corner of the Lakeland is heard.
“Lakeland is a vast constituency geographically so I'm committed to building a team that reflects the geographical area. We have sort of ambassadors in each community across the constituency.”
It might present a challenge, trying to cover every corner of the riding, but Stubbs said it's one she is excited to take on.
“I believe it's important for the candidate to be the federal representative to get out to all of the communities across the constituency in order to be available and accessible. Hear from community members, local leaders, business leaders and community activists to stay up-to-date on the priorities and concerns across the constituency.”
Voters will head to the polls on Oct. 16 to cast their ballots in the federal election. Along with Stubbs, Libertarian Robert McFadzean and NDP Duane Zaraska will have their names on the ballots hoping to become the Lakeland riding's next MP.
Stubbs said it's great to see that there will a few choices for constituents.
“I think that the more people in the race the better, that's the whole point and the challenge and the fun of democracy.”
Regardless of how many candidates are in the race, Stubbs stressed that she believes the critical issue for voters to consider is who will best stand-up for the Lakeland and appreciate the riding.
“The federal Conservatives and I strongly value Alberta's contributions to Canada. We know that a strong Alberta is a strong Canada and I want to be a representative that promote and assert the Lakeland's contributions to Canada, particularly because of our activity in the agriculture and energy sectors.”