The riding of Lakeland will have a contested nomination, as Lewis Semashkewich will be running for the nomination of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Semashkewich was in the Lloydminster area on Wednesday, meeting with party organizers.
Semashkewich said that he decided to put his name forward for the nomination of the Conservatives Party because he feels as though Lakeland has been without a voice for some time.
“We have been without a solid voice for quiet some time now, we have an opportunity now with the new riding of Lakeland,” he said.
“Part of what I’m looking at in my nomination is the uniqueness and the riding’s special place in the country.”
Semashkewich said that can be said for Lloydminster as well.
“We have here a city that is cut in half by borders, dynamics that I don’t believe have been fully examined and thought, what would be best for the people of Lloydminster?” he said.
He went on to say that he believes that there has been a big disconnection between the municipalities in country and the federal government. “With the provincial infighting that is happening, and the disconnect between the federal government, smaller communities have been left in the cold,” Semashkewich said. He went on to say that society has a tendency to move everything into the bigger urban centres, “It hurts rural Alberta.”
With the great MPs that we have had in the past, “The economic engine of Canada and rural Alberta has been forgotten,” he said.
“It’s time for a strong, united voice in rural Alberta,” he added.
Semashkewich, who is married with one child said that there are two main reasons he wants to run and become the first MP for the newly created riding of Lakeland.
“Aboriginal issues is a big issue across Canada and here in the Lakeland riding,” he said.
“We need to do something about that now. The way we look at the issue has to be looked at differently.
“Getting the country to work together would be the second issue I want to champion if chosen as the candidate.”
Semashkewich said that the spirit that Canada once had is gone.
“We are a bureaucratic society working on policy, and procedures that are making sense. The people’s voice is not being echoed,” he said.
He went as far to say that northeastern Alberta does not have a place where a group of people can come together and talk about the ways we can better Canada.
Asked if he had a chance to speak with MP Brian Storseth or MP Leon Benoit about his nomination, Semashkewich said that he hasn’t because he’s about looking forward and not about looking to the past to move forward.
“Part of my mandate is not about looking at where we have been, but more about where we can be as a riding,” he said.
“So, I’m not going to dwell on what they have done.”
The riding of Lakeland takes in parts of three different ridings, including Westlock-St.Paul, Vegreville-Wainwright, and Fort McMurray– Athabasca, (where Semashkewich currently lives).
The riding redistributions happen every 10 years, after the census is completed. There are currently 308 ridings in Canada, that will be increased to 338 after the next election in 2015.