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UCP will choose from three candidates

United Conservative Party members in Livingstone-Macleod will choose this week between three candidates for the nomination.

Members vote later this week to determine the party’s candidate in the May 29 provincial election.

MLA Roger Reid will not seek re-election, opening the field for Tanya Clemens, Chelsae Petrovic and Don Whelan.

The three candidates were at a forum Wednesday at Southern Alberta Livestock Exchange (SALE) in Fort Macleod.

More than 100 people turned out to hear the candidates’ platforms and ask questions.

Tanya Clemens

Tanya Clemens

Clemens was born and raised in southern Alberta where her family operates the farm it established in the Blackie area in 1909.

Clemens has degrees in science and education and worked as a math and science teacher in Foothills School Division.

Clemens taught at Okotoks junior high school and left teaching while her children were young. She then returned to teach at Blackie school.

Clemens was inspired to seek the nomination in order to fight for a prosperous and responsible energy sector in Alberta, and to protect people’s rights and freedoms.

“I got involved in this because I just wanted to make a difference,” said Clemens, who wants to bridge what she sees as a growing rural-uran divide. “I know that I can be accountable and accessible.”

Clemens said conservatives have to be united in this election in order to keep the New Democrats from forming power.

“I think Alberta is at a turning point right now,” Clemens said. “We have to push ahead.”

Chelsae Petrovic

Chelsae Petrovic

After serving about 1 1/2 years as mayor of Claresholm, Chelsae Petrovic is seeking the UCP nomination for Livingstone-Macleod.

Petrovic said she was inspired to get involved in politics to address the issue of politicians representing government to the people, rather than representing the people in government.

“The job of the MLA is to listen to what the community asks them to do,” Petrovic said.

Petrovic cited her experience as an emergency room nurse and as head of My City Care, a non-profit in Claresholm, as evidence she is committed to service.

Petrovic, whose family operates a ranch near Claresholm, is concerned about the federal government’s “attacks” on Alberta’s rights and freedoms.

Affordability in Alberta is a concern for Petrovic, along with protecting the rural way of life and Alberta’s energy industry.

Petrovic also cited as a goal bringing conservatives together for a united party.

“My life has been one of doing as much as I can as effectively as I can,” Petrovic said.

Don Whelan

Don Whelan

Don Whelan brings a wealth of experience in a variety of sectors, having worked in energy, construction and as a pastor.

“I think it gives me a lot of different prespectives,” said Whelan, who lives in the Parkland area.

Whelan moved to Alberta from Newfoundland and grew to love both the people and the scenery of Livingstone-Macleod.

Whelan was inspired to seek the nomination in order to protect Livingstone-Macleod’s rural way of life  and family values by standing against Ottawa’s over-reach.

Whelan said he was impressed by the sense of freedom that existed in Livingstone-Macleod when he first moved here, but has since seen those freedoms eroded under the federal Liberals and provincial NDP governments.

“We’ve got to draw back together if we want to have a province that we’re proud of,” Whelan said.

Whelan said throughout his life, in whatever jobs he held, he has looked out for others.

“I’ve always been an advocate who stood up for people,” Whelan said. “I want to stand up for you. I want to be a voice for people who have been missing a voice for a long time.”

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