Liberal Party candidate steps forward in Airdrie for provincial election
By: Stacie Snow
| Posted: Wednesday, Apr 11, 2012 05:48 pm
Joel Steacy believes in the democratic process. That is why the Airdrie resident put his name forward as the Liberal candidate for the April 23 provincial election.
“I don’t feel democracy is best served by not having a Liberal candidate,” he said.
Steacy called the Liberals to see how he could help out with the campaign and was told there was no candidate for the city he has lived in for two years.
He decided to put his name in the hat to round out the ballot. He has a degree in political science from the University of Western Ontario and worked on the 1992 and 1996 Progressive Conservative campaigns in Ontario.
“I’m not a party centric guy,” said the 35-year-old father of one. “I think all parties have good ideas and things I don’t like. There are a lot of smart ideas that can make the province better for everyone.”
Steacy works in sales with an IT company in Calgary.
“Like many people in Airdrie, I have a young family and I think we have been vastly under-served with health care and education in this community. I agree with (Wildrose incumbent MLA) Rob Anderson and I feel we have been short changed when it comes to education.”
He said the biggest issue in Airdrie is getting 24-hour health care in the community because it is a matter of life and death.
“The Peter Lougheed is our closest hospital and it is 20 to 30 minutes away on a good day and that’s scary,” he said. “People that I talk to in various other locations in North America are flabbergasted that a city of more than 40,000 doesn’t have a hospital.”
He said he feels the workers at Airdrie Urgent Care do a great job and that a start to 24-hour health care in Airdrie would be expanding the hours of the current facility.
Steacy said he is disappointed with the voter turnout in Airdrie in past elections.
“With today (April 9) being the anniversary of Vimy Ridge, I think it is important to remember that people have fought and died for our right to vote,” he said. “It only takes 10 minutes to vote. It is such a small amount of time and it makes such a big difference. Get out there and have your say.”
He said he hopes more people will vote in this election because it doesn’t seem as “predetermined as other elections.”
“If this election doesn’t get you out to vote, I don’t know what will,” he said.
He encouraged residents to go to the forum at Bert Church Theatre on April 16 at 7 p.m. to ask questions of the candidates.
“This is your best chance to ask about local issues first hand,” he said.
“See how the candidates react to the policies and thoughts of others. Let them know what your concerns are.”
Steacy said the people closest to the issues are the best ones to make the difficult decisions.
“We have seen that centralization doesn’t work,” he said. “With the deterioration in ambulance service that we have seen when the Province took over, I don’t think that is the best way to make a positive difference.”
He said the Liberal party presents a real alternative to the PCs.
“People are disaffected with the PC party and it’s structure but that is why you have to get out and vote. The provincial government can make the most impact on your daily lives.”