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Local MP announces intent to run in new federal riding

By: Sara Wilson

  |  Posted: Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 11:28 am

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Local MP Blake Richards announced on Feb. 8 that he will be seeking the Conservative Party’s nomination in the new electoral district of Banff-Airdrie.

“I am excited to announce that I will seek to be our party’s candidate for Banff-Airdrie in the next federal election,” Richards said Saturday evening. “Since 2008, it’s been my honour to serve the constituents of the riding of Wild Rose as part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, and I look forward to earning the endorsement of my fellow party members in Banff Airdrie to carry our banner in 2015.”

Richards currently represents the Wild Rose riding, which covers a population of 138,617 residents and spans from Airdrie, Olds, Didsbury, Cochrane, Canmore, and Banff, as well as the Municipal District of Bighorn, the County of Mountain View, Improvement District No.9 (Banff), parts of Clearwater and Rocky View. The Stoney First Nation is also located within the riding. The riding is bounded by British Columbia to the west, Calgary to the southeast and Red Deer to the northeast.

Canada’s new electoral boundaries will take effect during the next general election, which has yet to be announced and a date will be called by Prime Minister Stephen Harper later this year.

The new riding of Banff-Airdrie will include Airdrie, Cochrane, Canmore, Crossfield, and Banff; the Morley Reserve of Stoney Nakoda First Nation; and parts of Rocky View County and the MD of Bighorn.

The new riding will level out the number of voters to 100,000 in each riding in Alberta, which according to Richards will help give each vote more of a voice.

“It’s important for everyone to receive fair and equal representation,” Richards said. “With a population of 150,000 it gives the voters less of a vote.”

Richards was first elected in 2008, and has made his mark on Parliament Hill by introducing a private members bill in 2011 that brought tough new penalties for wearing a mask or disguise while participating in a riot.

Richards also sits on the House of Commons Public Safety and National Security Committee, the Influential Procedure and House Affairs Committee, and is Chair of the Parliamentary Tourism Caucus.

Richards explained the issues facing his constituents are those that are challenging for the rest of the provinces and he said he’s heard residents’ concerns from the public budget information sessions he hosted.

“Really the issues are the same as what they are in the existing area (constituency),” he said. “People are wanting to see a balanced budget in 2015, continuing to grow the economy and see safer streets.”

The Blake Richards campaign can be reached at info@voterichards.ca


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