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Peter Guthrie Building Momentum for UCP Nomination
Peter Guthrie, declared United Conservative Party (UCP) candidate for the new Cochrane-Airdrie riding, believes the Alberta NDP government is doing whatever it must to be re-elected and said people shouldn’t be fooled.
“Harry Truman said if you can’t convince them, confuse them. I’ll tell you what; this NDP government has done a fantastic job of that confusion part of the equation. Don’t be fooled. Right now the government is running around this province trying to be socialists, liberals, conservatives and green party all in one, doing anything and everything they can, searching for votes.”
“For this province to be successful we need to reduce the confusion.”
Guthrie gave a half-hour presentation as part of a meet and greet at Killarney’s Family Pub, Apr. 7, and outlined what he believes will be among the initial priorities of the UCP should they become the Alberta government.
Guthrie says UCP party leader Jason Kenney has made it clear if his party is elected in the spring of 2019, it will be followed by the “summer of repeal” that would remove what they see as damaging NDP legislation.
Guthrie took aim at the ballooning deficit and bureaucracy, carbon tax, education policies, farm and ranch workplace legislation, business and personal taxes, health care, equalization, red tape, career politicians, recall legislation, the challenges presented by the legalization of cannabis and the need to provide short-term support for small businesses.
“This is just a preliminary list, this is what we’re going to have to deal with on Day One. It’s big.”
After consulting with industry and small business, he believes there’s a lack of trust in the Alberta government and that has hindered job-creating investment.
“The word ‘uncertainty’ continues to come up. Business has no security in this ever-changing, heavy-handed regulatory regime. In the course of a week, policy hits the floor and becomes law without consultation and takes everybody by surprise.”
It’s this same lack of consultation that concerns him with farm and ranch workplace legislation and says it should be repealed.
“Let’s work with them, let’s find out what they think and design policy based on that and go back and forth and come up with a policy that works. We’re not going to satisfied everybody but at least we’ll have an industry that’s going to buy in, rather taking something and putting it together behind closed doors and cramming it down their throats.”
He doesn’t particularly trust career politicians and says any government caucus needs to be balanced.
“When you elect those that are wishing for a lifelong career in politics, they can make decisions that serve themselves best and in the wrong hands that can create that top-down mentality that developed in previous governments.”
He believes it’s time for Alberta to stand up for its resource industry and believes we have been laying back too long and says its roots date back a few decades.
“There was finger pointing at us from the States back then and it’s still going on now. We’ve allowed special interest groups to take control of our province and this country and we need to take that back. We need to fight, we need to fight here in Alberta, we need to fight across Canada, we need to fight internationally and not lay down.”
He took an aim at left-leaning governments in Alberta and federally on a number of occasions.
“There needs to be a realization in this province and in the country that we need a healthy private sector in order to have a healthy public sector. They don’t need to be at loggerheads like the leftists think.”
Since becoming the first to announce his candidacy for the new riding he’s been building support for his bid.
Guthrie used his extensive background in industry as a chemical engineer, small business operator and rancher to build his campaign. But that wasn’t enough.
“Back then when I was thinking about it I knew about the problems going on in small business, being a small business person and then when they instituted Bill 6, I was a former rancher, so I knew the issues with that. So you come at it with your own ideas from your history but one of the things I wanted to do was to get out to industry and business first and that’s what I did because I wanted to really have a good idea of what people are thinking in every sector, not just the areas that I know.”
So far, he’s has knocked on the doors of 390 businesses in Cochrane and 90 in Airdrie to hear from business and industry. He’s been holding a steadily increasing number of meet and greets throughout the constituency and anticipates the nomination meeting will come in the fall.
“You need to get in front of people. People need to see you, they need to talk to you, they need to feel they can trust you and the only way that I feel I can do that is to have as many of these as I can.”
Guthrie says he’s always voted PC but by the end of their reign wasn’t happy with the direction being followed.
“I’ve always voted PC both provincially and federally, but I wasn’t happy with what I was seeing within the party and the party fracturing and then the top down mentality and corruption. They started to go off the rail with spending as well, which is not the formula.”
When the NDP government was elected he decided he would put his name forward.
“Once the NDP got in, I knew the situation we would be in facing because I use to live in B.C. so I knew the kind of corruption and spending. I knew how they operate.”
In addition to meeting with constituents, Guthrie is releasing a video every two weeks on his Facebook page and web page to give opinions on various topics.
During the meet and greet, Guthrie and his wife Tracy raised funds for the families of the Humboldt Broncos. People attending donated a total of $285 and the couple matched it to donate a total of $570.
Cochrane’s Morgan Nagel has also declared his candidacy for the UCP nomination.