Members of the Alberta NDP in the Airdrie-Cochrane riding gathered in town to discuss various topics at the local AGM that took place last Saturday.
A topic brought forward was the leadership race that will be taking place as current Alberta NDP leader, Rachel Notley, has decided to step down.
The meeting also discussed changes regarding executive members' attendance at executive meetings, and hosted an executive election.
In attendance for the AGM was Shaun Fluker, the NDP candidate for last year’s election with his newly elected role as secretary for the executive.
“The real takeaway from me was the number of people who were here that indicated a strong interest in being involved and helping the Alberta NDP continue with success that we saw in the last election,” Fluker said.
Last election, The NDP garnered 37.3 percent of votes in the Airdrie-Cochrane riding. Although they would have preferred to win, Fluker said this speaks to the amount of voters looking to ride the orange wave.
“Comparatively across the province, it showed we really compare well with a lot of constituencies in Alberta, including the urban ridings, where the Alberta NDP did take their seats,” he said. “I think it shows we have a lot of support in Cochrane, and the takeaway I had from the election is it had a really good turnout.”
With an approximate 67 per cent voter turnout, Fluker said it all speaks to the dialogue of having healthy, competitive, and democratic elections.
“It’s really encouraging to see Cochranites getting involved in elections, it’s a great thing to see,” he said.
When asked about the looming leadership race in the coming months, Fluker said this is the chance for the NDP to demonstrate that they are a big tent party, and that they are a government in waiting.
“I think that we demonstrate that by having a healthy competition with a lot of really credible contestants who represent all different aspects of Alberta, and show that we are a party that is willing to govern on behalf of all Albertans,” Fluker said.
Energy critic and Calgary-Glenmore NDP MLA, Nagwan Al-Guneid, also attended the event in town. With a good turnout on for the Saturday evening meeting, Al-Guneid said she is impressed by the participation in the community.
“It shows how excited and committed people are to the work,” Al-Guneid said. “They chose new executives, and these are the executives that will carry out their work and the important work of engaging with the membership in many future races and projects.”
When discussing the numbers of last year’s election, Al-Guneid said the results of the NDP in Airidrie-Cochrane were comparable to some of the urban areas in Alberta.
“The NDP have won all of Edmonton and all of Calgary, practically," she said. "We lost some ridings, but doubled the presence over there, and grown in some ridings like the one here in Airdrie-Cochrane."
Al-Guneid said this was due to many factors, including an impressive NDP representation by Fluker.
“The Alberta NDP also had the right platform of focusing on what matters to Albertans, which was healthcare, the economy, education, and everything that matters to Albertans,” she said. “I think people are just looking for a party that can govern on things that matter to people, so day-to-day activities, and not ideologically driven agendas.
With the upcoming leadership race for the Alberta NDP, Al-Guneid said it both exciting and important for communities like Airdrie-Cochrane to have a say in the future leader of the NDP and possibly future Premier of Alberta.
“Especially if someone is disenchanted with the government and the last six months, we’ve had between imposing a moratorium on renewable energy, not really securing doctors for Albertan families, or a strong ideological agenda,” she said “This is the opportunity for Cochrane to get involved.”
She invited anyone who is interested to get involved with the Alberta NDP.
“Get a membership, vote, and really choose the future Premier of Alberta,” Al-Guneid said.