Support for UCP remains solid, unwavering despite controversies

UCP supporters say controversial comments by current and former candidates and investigations by the elections commissioner and RCMP into possible voter fraud and irregular campaign donations will not affect their intention to vote for Jason Kenney in this month’s election. For some, the controversies have solidified and even strengthened their support for the two-year-old party. 

Shawn Nelson, who farms near Sterling, Alta., says Kenney offers the best hope to get people back to work, to make life better for Albertans and to stand up for the province.

“Albertans are mad right now, they’re hungry for work and they want to get back to the Alberta Advantage,” he said.

Nelson says he’s willing to accept and look beyond some of the so-called bozo eruptions from the party’s candidates. He attributes some of the controversies to ‘dirty politics’ — how the UCP’s opponents are digging up dirt on candidates for what was said or done in the past. 

He was referring to comments made by Mark Smith, the UCP candidate for Drayton Valley-Devon.

On Tuesday, audio surfaced of Smith suggesting that “homosexual love” isn’t good love and compared it to pedophilia.

The remarks were made during a sermon he delivered to the Calvary Baptist Church in Drayton Valley in 2013.

Two Calgary candidates dropped out of the election after racist and homophobic opinions were revealed in posted comments by Eva Kiryakos and private messages by Caylan Ford

Nelson says he doesn’t agree with the comments, but he’s willing to look the other way. 

“I’m not saying I condone the things that were said but, you know, with my buddies, I’m sure I’ve said some things that I’m not proud of,” he said.

“I’m looking more big picture.”

Nelson says what matters to him is the economy and getting people back to work.

Stand up to rest of Canada

Paul Graf, a retired Calgary firefighter also living in southern Alberta, believes Kenney is the best leader to defend Alberta’s interests against British Columbians and Quebecers whose policies, he says, hurt Alberta.

Graf, 60, has a list of grievances that includes the carbon tax, “out of control” government spending, stalled pipelines and what he describes as an anti-oilsands and anti-Alberta sentiment. He says it makes no sense for New Brunswick and Quebec to purchase oil from places like Saudi Arabia and Algeria while B.C., which depends on Alberta crude oil, continues to fight the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

“We’re backed into a corner.” 

“I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a bar fight, but you get backed into a corner, you fight a hell of a lot harder.” 

“We’re tired of it, and I think he [Kenney] is willing to take a stand,” said Graf. 

Controversial comments

Natalee Bouman, who is a massage therapist and yoga teacher in Medicine Hat, says she is actually disappointed Ford and Kiryakos stepped down as candidates. 

“I’m a little disappointed in them, for backing down like that on their position,” she said.

Bouman says Kiryakos should have stayed on as the candidate in Calgary-Southeast “after someone tried to drag her name through the mud.”

Bouman, who is also part of the CBC’s election focus group, says all of this has strengthened her resolve to vote for the UCP. She says her views “don’t align” with Kenney’s views on abortion and women’s issues, but she believes the UCP will make things better for small business owners.

Leadership controversy a non-issue

Some UCP supporters also appear willing to look the other way when it comes to allegations swirling around Jason Kenney’s 2017 UCP leadership victory. 

Alberta’s election commissioner has fined several people donating money that wasn’t their own to the so-called “kamikaze” candidate, Jeff Callaway.

The Callaway and Kenney teams worked together during the leadership race to discredit their main rival, Brian Jean.  

“If it did happen, it’s just part of politics and part of life,” said Lorne Doktor, a retired police officer.

Doktor was asked whether he’s concerned the RCMP is investigating allegations of voter fraud and irregular campaign donations during the UCP leadership vote. 

“It doesn’t bother me at all, both parties probably do it,” said Doktor. 

‘Take Alberta back’

Data scientist John Santos of Janet Brown Opinion Research says many UCP supporters are most likely uncomfortable with the controversial statements and comments made by Kiryakos, Ford and Smith. 

He says they feel so strongly about taking Alberta back from what they consider the NDP’s “accidental government” that they’re willing “to overlook a lot of things.”

“There is this sense of wanting to take Alberta back, they are not just the natural governing party of Alberta, but they ought to be the natural governing party of Alberta,” he said.

“I wouldn’t underestimate how strong that is of a motivator for people. They view this as their province and they are ready to do what is necessary to take it back and their supporters are willing to overlook a lot of things in order to take it back,” said Santos. 

  • Alberta Votes 2019: CBC News brings you all the news, analyses and columns you need for the election
  • VOTE COMPASS | Find out how your views on campaign issues line up with the platforms of Alberta’s major parties

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Sherwood Park

Sherwood Park is a large hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Strathcona County that is recognized as an urban service area.[7] It is located adjacent to the City of Edmonton’s eastern boundary,[8] generally south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead Trail), west of Highway 21 and north of Highway 630 (Wye Road).[9] Other portions of Sherwood Park extend beyond Yellowhead Trail and Wye Road, while Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) separates Refinery Row to the west from the balance of the hamlet to the east.[9]

Sherwood Park was established in 1955 on farmland of the Smeltzer family, east of Edmonton. With a population of 70,618 in 2016,[6] Sherwood Park has enough people to be Alberta’s seventh largest city, but technically retains the status of a hamlet. The Government of Alberta recognizes the Sherwood Park Urban Service Area as equivalent to a city.


Sherwood Park, originally named Campbelltown, was founded by John Hook Campbell and John Mitchell in 1953 when the Municipal District of Strathcona No. 83 approved their proposed development of a bedroom community east of Edmonton. The first homes within the community were marketed to the public in 1955. Canada Post intervened on the name of Campbelltown due to the existence of several other communities in Canada within the same name, so the community’s name was changed to Sherwood Park in 1956.

The Sherwood Park Urban Service Area is located in the Edmonton Capital Region along the western edge of central Strathcona County adjacent to the City of Edmonton.[8] The majority of the community is bound by Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) to the north, Highway 21 to the east, Highway 630 (Wye Road) to the south, and Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) to the west. The Refinery Row portion of Sherwood Park is located across Anthony Henday Drive to the west, between Sherwood Park Freeway and Highway 16. Numerous developments fronting the south side of Wye Road, including Wye Gardens, Wye Crossing, Salisbury Village and the Estates of Sherwood Park, are also within the community. Lands north of Highway 16 and south of Township Road 534/Oldman Creek between Range Road 232 (Sherwood Drive) to the west and Highway 21 to the east are also within the Sherwood Park urban service area.

Originally posted 2019-04-05 05:45:14. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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