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!