FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sunday April 14, 2019
RESPONSE TO LETTERS ISSUED TO HOUSEHOLDS IN CALGARY-EDGEMONT
On Saturday evening, it became known to myself and my campaign team that letters specifically targeted at Chinese Alberta Party supporters in Calgary-Edgemont were issued by what appears to be the UCP candidate Prasad Panda. Copies of those letters are attached below:
This type of underhanded tactic is exactly why I chose to run against the UCP and why my campaign has focused on Connection to the Community, Democracy and Economic Growth. The letters contain inflammatory statements which I will address. However, it is most concerning to note that the Chinese version has two additional sets of text as follows:
2nd paragraph: "I respect the Alberta Party and their efforts, however, in the election, the only party who is competent to defeat NDP government is UCP. Please refer to CBC Poll Tracker on April 9th. "
4th paragraph: "UCP’s principles are aligned with those of Chinese families. What we fight for is in line with the interests of most Chinese families ..."
To try to insinuate that my Party, my campaign team and myself are incompetent is beyond reproach. Also, to use an outdated provincial poll to try to convince constituents that a vote for me is wasted is both a rebuke of democracy and an insult to the people of Calgary-Edgemont. It is as if the UCP and Mr Panda believe they have some manifest entitlement to represent the people of Calgary-Edgemont as MLA.
Furthermore, to insinuate that to be a member of a "Chinese family" means that your values inherently align with the UCP is an insult to the Chinese community, to me and again to democracy. Chinese speaking families like all Canadian families celebrate a diversity of values. Those values do not include multiple forms of hatred, lies and potentially even fraud - as have been demonstrated on numerous occasions by members of the UCP and their candidates. Dog whistle type statements like these are insulting to the Chinese community, and to provide different messages to different members of the communities within Calgary-Edgemont is dishonest and manipulative. Exactly the types of immoral activities Albertans have grown weary of in politics.
I have intentionally run a positive campaign, backed by countless volunteers, supporters and hard work. We have been listening to all members of the community and will continue to when elected to represent them. There have been opportunities in this campaign to take shots at both the NDP and the UCP, but I chose to focus on good policy supporting Democracy, Community Engagement and Economic Growth. I beg to differ on several the statements made in this letter. Mr. Panda, you have NOT striven to represent all members in your constituency - your own expense records demonstrate less than a handful of meetings held within your constituency. Additionally, numerous constituents have told me about letters sent to your office which were never answered. Your four-year record as an MLA indicates you have NOT taken the chance to represent the community, neither in the current Calgary-Edgemont constituency, nor in the former Calgary-Foothills. You have NOT stood up for the interest of the residents of Calgary-Edgemont. Your interest has been, and WILL be, lying perfectly in line with a small number of UCP "elite" members.
Your economic plan will NOT re-ignite our economy, because it simply yearns for bygone days and relies on stale economic theories and aggressive tactics which will further alienate Albertans from the rest of Canada. The UCP economic plan will only re-ignite anger and division.
We can agree that many of the NDP policies have worsened a terrible situation. Unfortunately, none of the UCP plans address the root causes of this terrible situation. Lack of market access, lack of value-added processing within Alberta and lack of economic diversity. The Alberta Party plans do address these issues and look to the future rather than the past, while also ensuring all Albertans will have their rights protected and access to the services they require.
In your final words you raise the specter of another NDP government as a result of vote splitting. Yet another strike at democracy, demonstrating the belief in your entitlement to a seat in the Legislature because you have run under the UCP. Mr Panda, if you truly hold 51% of the vote, a full war-chest, and the luxury of being the incumbent - what exactly are you afraid of? Perhaps, that the people of Calgary-Edgemont do not support the values of the UCP. That they value the rights of their fellow humans, have faith that voting FOR their values is an underpinning of democracy, and that there are people besides the UCP who offer a path to a bright future, rich with investment and prosperity.
No, Mr Panda, it is not only the UCP that can defeat the NDP in Calgary-Edgemont. On Tuesday, I encourage all voters to put an end to stale vision and entitled politicians, to vote in line with their values and put their faith in democracy.
Let's make a bold statement together.
Alberta Party Candidate for Calgary Edgemont
Campaign to Elect Joanne Gui
On January 20th, 2019, Calgary-Edgemont members of Team Alberta Party traveled to Red Deer for Campaign College, a campaign-oriented training event organized by the Alberta Party central office in preparation for the 2019 provincial election campaign period that begins on Feb 1st.
Party members and volunteers from more than 80 ridings all over the province showed up for the event, including more than 40 official Alberta Party candidates for the 2019 election. Among the group were Stephen Mandel, the current leader of Alberta Party, as well as Greg Clark and Rick Fraser, sitting MLAs for the Alberta Party caucus at the legislative assembly of Alberta.
Giving lectures at the event were multiple experienced campaign organizers, volunteers, and tech supporters. Staff of Election Alberta were also invited and explained in detail the current governing legislation and regulations regarding election candidacies, campaigns, and finance.
Stephen Mandel, leader of the Alberta Party, delivered a speech at the conference. He once again expressed his pride in the talented and diverse team of candidates that the Alberta Party has fielded. “They represent all cultures, ethnicities, all religions, all ways of life. We are the kind of party that should be governing Alberta because we are Alberta”, he said. He emphasized the Alberta Party’s mandate as reaching out and hearing Albertans’ voices to understand the requested changes in this province, and reinforced his strong belief that Albertans would be impressed by Alberta Party candidates once they learn about them. “We will create a wave with the talents on this team.” Mandel concluded.
Doug Griffiths, former MLA and minister of Alberta Municipal Affairs, appeared at the event as a keynote speaker. He praised the Alberta Party candidates for open minds and willingness to work together with each other and all people in the province. “We are stepping up to serve Alberta, not to gain power”, Griffith commented. He then went on to encourage Alberta Party candidates to focus on people rather than getting elected, a modest, yet more effective way to secure victory.
Team Calgary-Edgemont enjoyed a rewarding excursion to the campaign college. Aside from the inspiring content of the lectures, a sample of Joanne’s lawn sign was also distributed during the event. These will be coming soon to lawns all over the communities in the Calgary-Edgemont riding. The Calgary-Edgemont TCA was also awarded with two honors: the most memberships added during candidate nominations, and the most funds raised in the 4th quarter of 2018; the first one coming with a $750 prize, as well. The community’s avid support of Joanne and the Alberta Party is apparent and earned these titles for our riding. Joanne and all members of the TCA thank everyone who has and who continues to support and assist in our association, nominations, and upcoming campaign. We could not do this without every one of you!
Although the writ has not yet been dropped, the official campaign period for the 2019 Alberta General Election kicks off on Feb 1st. Joanne and the team will officially move into campaign mode - working hard to hear the voices of Albertans, and to speak out for communication, cooperation, and responsible government.
In a Calgary restaurant packed by over 200 supporters, Alberta Party hopeful Joanne Gui held her first successful fundraiser on the evening of last Wednesday November 28. Alberta Party leader, former provincial healthcare minister and Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel featured the keynote speech at the dinner held for Gui in the Central Grand restaurant.
From what she heard through her recent door knocking in the Calgary-Edgemont Constituency, Gui spoke to the public's concerns at the weakening Alberta economy, increasing fiscal deficit, and polarized political discourse. Albertans are increasingly worried about the evolution in the provincial political landscape with the endless and useless debates between the ruling NDP and the opposition United Conservative Party. Voters felt they are being ignored by these party leaders. Gui told the audience of her motivation to stand out and run for provincial public office - being the voice of the community, especially for Chinese and visible minorities. She expressed her interest and willingness in listening to the community and, in return, she hoped the community will leverage their vote to improve the future of Alberta. She chose the Alberta Party for its fiscally conservative and socially progressive stand.
In his keynote speech, Mandel emphasized the Alberta Party's pragmatic approaches and presented the Party's vision to revitalize and diversify the economy. In his vision, energy remained the core industry in the province and the key to the provincial economy was to continue finding ways to improve access to deep water. Alberta should not only support the construction of the TransMountain Pipeline, but also re-engage in negotiation for Northern Gateway, Energy East Pipelines and other possibilities. In addition to the energy strategy, Mandel would endeavour to diversify the economy by supporting the growth of multi-industries like agriculture, manufacturing, information and communication technologies, and by enhancing investment in infrastructure.
Teresa Woo-Paw, former colleague of Mandel in the provincial assembly, made a short speech after the first two speakers. She thought highly of Gui's courage, and expressed her support to Gui. In her speech, Woo-Paw recalled her days with Mandel in the last government, and viewed him as a reliable and responsible visionary. She encouraged the audience to support these two candidates.
During the dinner, Mandel made efforts to meet and greet all 200 supporters and listen to their concerns and ideas.
Alberta Party candidate Jonathan Dai also attended the dinner, making the trek from Edmonton in support of the party, Mandel and Gui.
I am a first-generation immigrant Canadian, and like many of you here, I have worked hard. Together with my dear husband Chris, we have raised a family. I have also volunteered a significant amount of my time in community service. I feel very blessed with a great job as a financial advisor at major bank, a loving family and many many wonderful friends. Many are here tonight.
At your homes, at your doors, I have heard you say that we are not happy with what is going on in our province right now. We are concerned about the economy, worried about our jobs, uncertain about our children’s future, frustrated about pipelines not built, unhappy about carbon taxes, disappointed about government debts. The list goes on and on.
What makes it worse is that this current government is not listening to most Albertans. The current government is making many decisions that we know are not sustainable.
We can no longer afford to be bystanders any more. In order to get our voice heard, we have to get involved, we have to get engaged. Because we need change, and we want change. We want a government that will focus on finding solutions to the problems we are facing, instead of fighting each other over ideologies.
Yes, it took a huge amount of courage for me to step up to run for MLA. I like the opportunity to listen to you, and I like the potential to represent you, to be a part of the team that will make necessary and positive change, to shift the focus to the future, where the province of Alberta provides opportunity and success for all people.
I heard you ask me, why the Alberta Party then? Why indeed. I truly share the value and vision of the Alberta Party, and strongly believe that our platform in next year election will resonate with Albertans. Between the far right party and the far left party, the Alberta Party represents a middle road, which in my opinion is better aligned with many Albertans including new immigrants and minorities. I believe the Alberta Party represent a rising political force to reshape the current divided political landscape of Alberta. More importantly the Alberta Party under leader Stephen Mandal is thriving and has attracted many outstanding people, a slate of people who are a true representation of the Albertan demographic makeup, with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. By having more minorities like me, stepping up into the Alberta political arena, our collective voices will be better heard and our ideas will be better represented.
I am running for MLA because I am inspired to be part of the change. I’d love to see you get engaged, because your voice matters, and your vote counts!