Airdrie-Cochrane riding heating up
Thursday, Mar 01, 2018 06:00 am
The race for the new Airdrie-Cochrane riding – which includes the section of Airdrie west of Eighth Street and north of Yankee Valley Boulevard, as well as land to the north of the city to Madden and Crossfield – is heating up as candidates are throwing their hats in the ring.
Currently serving his second term on Cochrane’s Town council, 27-year-old Morgan Nagel is aiming to further his political career by representing the United Conservative Party as MLA in the Airdrie-Cochrane riding.
“My political drive is initially and fundamentally rooted in patriotism,” Nagel said.
“I come from an extremely patriotic family – my older brother is a full-time member of the Canadian military, and the day he shipped off to boot camp is the day I started thinking very seriously that I wanted to dedicate my life to Canada, as well.”
Seeking opportunities to get involved with conservative politics, Nagel found himself volunteering for local mayoral campaigns as well as for Conservative MLA Blake Richards. According to Nagel, from there, he went on to accept an internship with the Conservative Party of Canada, where he worked on Parliament Hill.
Since being elected in 2013 as one of Cochrane’s youngest-ever Town councillors, Nagel said he has continued to pursue involvement in other political work. While serving the part-time position of Town councillor in Cochrane, Nagel worked for the Manning Centre and as part of Jason Kenney’s team during the development of the United Conservative Party and Kenney’s campaign for leadership.
“I’ve pretty much dedicated my life to working in public service – that’s what I’ve been passionate about from a very young age, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have had opportunities to actually do it for work,” he said.
In addition to his work in politics, Nagel said he has worked as a farmer, as a labourer in the construction industry and as a bartender. He said he also put himself through university and received a degree in economics from the University of Calgary.
“I’m very focused on financial issues – when we are abusing our finances, when we are running deficits and borrowing money, people think it’s a selfless act,” he said.
“But actually, when we’re borrowing money to pay for health care and education and social services today, we’re doing it at the cost of health care, social services and education in the future.”
However, while Nagel said he has “big opinions” on many topics that impact Albertans, his work with Kenney taught him the importance of grassroots politics. In Cochrane, he said, he has developed an active volunteer base and is looking forward to expanding to the rest of Rocky View County (RVC) and Airdrie.
“To achieve that, I’m putting together a policy committee of regular, everyday Albertans, who will actually formulate my own nomination platform,” Nagel said.
“Then, if I am successful in becoming MLA, that same committee is going to guide me through my entire time in provincial government.”
Still, Nagel said he is aware of several issues facing the communities within his riding already. During his time as Town councillor in Cochrane, Nagel said he has been one of the loudest voices for increased investment in traffic infrastructure and holding developers accountable – but is hoping to hear from more residents in RVC and Airdrie to help address some of their concerns, as well.
“I’m hearing talk of concerns with an uptick in crime, and I’m hearing people talk about their concerns with traffic congestion, as our region has been growing so quickly,” he said.
“People are also wondering when the province is going to step up and start providing facilities for appropriate health care – there are people in Airdrie who feel that it’s time the province starts planning for a hospital, because the city is getting so big.”
Residents can get in touch with Nagel through his website, morgannagel.ca