Former mayor running for Progressive Conservative party nomination
Former mayor Linda Bruce will be seeking the Progressive Conservative nomination in the new Airdrie riding.
Bruce was on Airdrie City council for 15 years, served as mayor for six years and was the chair of the Calgary Regional Partnership from 2004 until 2010. Since losing the municipal election in October 2010 to current Mayor Peter Brown, she has volunteered on a number of boards and been very active in the community.
Bruce volunteered with defeated PC leadership candidate Gary Mar’s campaign last year.
“Airdrie has been my passion from day one when I moved here,” she said.
“This community got under my skin and I have enjoyed watching it develop into a modern, vibrant city. My voice has always been here, whether in my role as a volunteer, a member of council or as the mayor. I will continue to advocate.”
She said she decided to take the leap into provincial politics because she is dissatisfied with the “lack of voice” Airdrie has at the provincial level.
“It is important that we have the presence of a strong MLA,” she said.
“It is paramount to get the work done that needs to be done in this community. (Current Airdrie-Chestermere MLA Rob Anderson) is not part of the government, he is part of an opposition and therefore doesn’t have the voice we need.”
Bruce said, if elected, her key focus would be on education and health care, major issues in the community since she moved to Airdrie 20 years ago.
“We are not taken care of (with the announcement of three new schools to be built in Airdrie by 2015). There has to be future planning so we are not desperate for infrastructure again.
“With health care, we need to have a much larger facility and make sure we have 24-hour coverage.”
Bruce lives in Airdrie with her husband and three sons ages 19, 16 and 13. She said the advantage she has over other nominees is her experience with municipal and provincial politics.
“I will make sure the Province understands the needs of the city,” she said.
“I am not afraid to stand up for what I believe in and what is best for the city of Airdrie. I am prepared to work as hard as I need to.”
The Provincial government took over ambulance service in Airdrie while Bruce was mayor in July 2010. This split the Airdrie integrated service, cost millions of dollars and increased response times in the community. Bruce was a vocal advocate against this move.
“You can work from the outside or you can work from the inside to better that organization. I choose to work from the inside,” she said.
“We need to analyze the best way to provide these services. If they are going to run it as a regional health service, it needs to meet the needs of the community. This doesn’t mean we can’t have an ambulance service that is equal to what the City of Airdrie ran.”
Alderman Kelly Hegg is also running for the nomination (see story on this page). Bruce and Hegg worked together on council for six years.
“Kelly is a great guy and it’s just one of those things,” she said.
“We have a great relationship and I greatly respect him. You are always against someone and it just happens to be him.”
The Airdrie-Chestermere riding will be divided into two separate constituencies: Airdrie and Chestermere-Rocky View at the next election.
The Airdrie-Chestermere Alberta Constituency Association will stop accepting nominations on Jan. 18 at 4 p.m. The PC nominee will be chosen on Jan. 28.
The date of the general election has not been announced but Premier Alison Redford has said it will be between March 1 and May 31.