Richard Starke, PC candidate for Vermilion-Lloydminster, is already working on defending his title, with his campaign having commenced immediately following the premier’s call for an early election on Tuesday.
Starke said he’s getting ready to hit the streets and talk to constituents over the next four weeks in an effort to hold his place as the local representative.
“I’m campaigning as of 10:31 (Tuesday) morning,” Starke said with a laugh, referring to the minute after Jim Prentice began his announcement. “We have a complete multi-prong strategy: we’ll be door knocking, we’ll be visiting public events and holding coffee houses, attending candidates forums and just, in general, engaging with the electorate.”
He said these will be good opportunities to talk about some of the issues that are facing Albertans and how the Prentice team plans to address those challenges. Starke thinks the PC leader gave a clear picture of the direction he’d like to take the province and his plan to get off the “oil roller coaster.”
Regarding the early election, Starke said he agrees that Albertans deserve a chance to voice their opinion and that Prentice needs a mandate for his plan. He said the only way to do that in a democratic society is to have a general election.
He stands behind Prentice’s ideas and would like to continue with the good governing he feels the PC party have provided.
“Jim Prentice clearly has a vision for the province and is by far the most capable leader in executing that vision,” said Starke.
See “Starke,” Page 9
“Here locally, I sincerely believe that I’ve provided good quality representation over the last three years, that’s what people have been telling me, and I feel very proud of the service I provided and I want to continue with that work.”
If reelected there are a number of new initiatives he would like to go forward with as well as some previous ones he’d like to finish. They’ve made several announcements about the expansion of the Pioneer Lodge, which Starke said he feels is an important issue and there will also be construction of a new school in Paradise Valley.
Improvements to roads and the local highway system are also areas he would like to address if voted in for another term.
“We have seen the initiation of a functional plan for the interchange at secondary Highway 897 and Highway 16, also known as the Kitscoty corner, which has been an intersection that has unfortunately been dangerous over a number of years and I want to continue to push that project forward,” he said.
“There are a number of road improvements that need to be done throughout the constituency and there are going to be a number of them done this year but we continue to need to make sure that our highway system is in a condition that will allow for the safe transportation of both people and goods. So those are the kinds of things that I continue to work on behalf of the constituents.”
There will be an open house at Starke’s campaign headquarters at 2910 50 ave. on April 11 starting at 10 am. People are invited to have refreshments and anyone interested in volunteering, donating or grabbing a lawn sign will have opportunities to do so.