As residents in the Banff-Airdrie riding ready for this fall's federal election, a new brand of conservatism will be vying for their votes – securing local representation with Cochranite Nadine Wellwood.
Those curious to learn more about the newly formed People's Party of Canada (PPC), headed by Maxime Bernier, will have a chance to do so at a Saturday, June 8 meet and greet at Frank Wills Memorial Hall from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
"I am honoured and excited to represent the people of Banff-Airdrie in the upcoming election," said Wellwood, an independent financial planner/business owner of local WealthTerra Capital Management Inc., wife and mother to seven-year-old Gabby who has lived in Cochrane since 2006.
"If you want to see change you have to be actively involved in it," said Wellwood.
The People's Party of Canada (PPC), under the leadership of the outspoken Maxime Bernier, was formed last fall shortly after the MP's departure from the Conservative Party.
Citing the basis of his decision to part ways from the PPC, on the "moral and intellectual corruption" of the Conservatives under the leadership of Andrew Scheer, Bernier struck up the party in the face of conservative accusations that he was fragmenting the right.
Wellwood, a self-described "average Canadian" said she was inspired to run under the PPC banner after witnessing firsthand the mounting pressures on her clients and watching leader Maxime Bernier speak.
"I see their struggle and their fears ... trying to live within their means is getting more and more difficult," said Wellwood, who feels Bernier's proposed two-tier tax system makes sense and will offer tangible benefits for average people – with an estimated $7000/year tax savings for the average Albertan earning around $70,000/year.
Acknowledging that the most negative feedback comes from conservative voters concerned that the PPC is simply "splitting the conservative vote," Wellwood said this thinking is what has led voters to the limited choices before them today and the common misconception of voting for "the lesser of two evils."
"I'm asking people to vote for something and not against something," said Wellwood, who feels the time is now for "fresh ideas, faces and passion."
Wellwood affirmed her committed to the PPC principals of freedom, responsibility, fairness and respect.
She believes Canadians are in need of less government regulation and lower taxation in order to achieve a higher quality of life and healthy lifestyle.
On Bernier himself, Wellwood said she finds his ethics based on fairness and equality.
"When I first heard an interview with Maxime Bernier, I was pleasantly surprised and somewhat shocked that a politician had the courage to speak up on principles and say what was not always popular, but needed to be said," she penned in a recent press release. "I kept a close eye on this 'unicorn' of politics and now feel that Canadians finally have a voice that speaks for all of us, our families and our country."
Conservative local MP Blake Richards announced in early 2018 his intentions to seek a fourth term this fall.
There are no other confirmed candidates for other parties as of yet.
According to a recent press release, over the last seven weeks the PPC party has reviewed 429 candidate applications, approving 307 nominees seeking representation of 221 ridings. In order for Bernier to be eligible to participate in the two official leaders' debates, he must run candidates in at least 304 of the 338 ridings.
To get in touch with the local constituency, email email@example.com or visit their Facebook page PPCBanffAirdrie
The Banff-Airdrie Electoral District Association includes president Derek Taylor, Vice President Michael Walton, Treasurer Jacqueline Hochhausen, and members at large: Dee Kobald, Ron Voss and Barry Blick.
To learn more about Wellwood, visit nadinewellwood.ca.