Peter Guthrie at The Venue on Saturday night as he made his formal announcement.
Provincial politics will get interesting over the next few months as candidates vying to represent the newly formed United Conservative Party (UCP) come to the surface.
Cochranite, Peter Guthrie, announced his intent to seek nomination as MLA for the new Airdrie to Cochrane riding this past Saturday (January 27) at The Venue Bar and Grill to over 120 supporters.
Calling Cochrane home for the past eight years, Guthrie has been awaiting this moment since 2015. “My decision to run came May 5, 2015, I hadn’t thought about running prior to that but that was the night of the last election. Once the NDP won, I knew we were in for a long four years and I knew debt was going to be something we would be burdened with afterwards. I felt strongly that I wanted to be part of making a change going forward.”
Guthrie has a multifaceted background bringing his knowledge of professional chemical engineering, agriculture, forestry, sales/ marketing and franchise business owner to the table which he feels adds to his credibility and knowledge of many constituents concerns.
Knowing he couldn’t possibly run and maintain a high level of performance within his business, an unexpected offer came his way. “Surprising, we weren’t for sale but someone within the Mr Lube system decided to buy us and bring an offer forward and I knew right then and there what I was going to do next.”
His announcement brought forward favourable feedback and now Guthrie will get to work. “I am trying to be in the community as much as I can, engage with small businesses, farmers, a lot of one on one, but also be out there on social media.”
A little different than a general election, in order to win the nomination, Guthrie needs to connect with and convince current UCP members as well as bring on new ones. “The list of UCP members is not available until after the ratification, so right now I am trying to pursue memberships as well as get my story across.”
Although the Provincial election is not until spring 2019, Guthrie anticipates we could see a nomination election as early as June or by September. “The AGM for the UCP is in Red Deer, May 4,5 and 6. That is where they will ratify the constitution and ratify all the rules/ regulations; after that any constituency especially one that is organized as this one can call a nomination election. My hope is that we are one of the first one’s going.”
Guthrie is looking forward to sharing his experiences, his balancing of home versus business life, and education to the forefront over the next few months. His focal points of his campaign centre around stimulating the economy and helping small business owners via reduced taxation, repeal of the carbon tax, and reduction of legislative bureaucracy, as well as bringing attention to the annexation of timberlands.
Believing he has what it takes to be a successful and effective politician, Guthrie feels he can drive change both locally as well as help the UCP party remain humble and get started on the right footing. He knows change will not be fast but is excited to get in on the ground floor.