Tonight is the last of 2 scheduled CPC nomination candidates forums which will be taking place at the Granite Club, 8620-107 St at 7 p.m. If you are a current member please take the time to come out and listen to the candidates and get informed. One of these three is going to become the Conservative candidate in the next federal election and with a bit of hard work will become your Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Strathcona.
The candidates: some background and some personal thoughts on each.
(in alphabetical order)
Linda Blade: Website. Linda has been married for 20 years and has 2 children, she has a PhD in Kinesiology, has conducted research and sport-related seminars at the university level in Africa, Asia, North America and South America and is currently the Sports Performance Manager at the RoyalGlenora Club. She was the Canadian Champion in the Heptathlon 1986 and Pentathlon (indoor) in 1987 and represented Canada in international competition. She has been active in the community being a founding member of the Edmonton Sports Council and the International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry as well as having experience as a multiple term Board Director for Athletics Alberta.
Some personal thoughts and opinions: If I could sum up Linda in a single word it would be energy. This is quite evident when you meet her in person and her success in the world of sports both personally and with training/coaching others bears this out. While not having the most political experience of the bunch she is well aware of the situation in Edm-Strathcona and after speaking with her it is clear that she knows what it will take to win and the determination to make it happen. Her performance at the candidates forum was good and she was able to show off some of that energy as well as her political skills in a public setting.
Ryan Hastman: Website. Ryan is married and is a graduate of the University of Alberta School of Business. He speaks French, started his own business and was also founding director of the Edmonton Young Professionals association and Her Dream Next Door, a mentoring organization for young women. Politically Ryan has been active on many boards in the past and he recently returned home to Edmonton after working in Ottawa for a senior cabinet minister and in the Prime Minister's Office.
Some personal thoughts and opinions: Ryan may be the youngest of the candidates (which could be an asset in the riding) but he has plenty of political experience. His ability to speak French has to be considered a plus and he too knows what is required to win back the riding and has some good ideas towards achieving that goal. His performance in the forum was very good and I was impressed that he used no notes. He came across as very approachable with good political knowledge and instincts, and looks to be a good team player with fresh ideas for the conservatives.
Cathay Wagantall: Website. Cathay has been married for 33 years and has 3 married children and 5 grandchildren. She studied Physical Education at the University of Saskatchewan and served as Athletic Director at Taylor College and Seminary as well as in development, accounting, and student loans. She and her husband have ran their own business and she has been very active in the community. Politically Cathay has served on Conservative Party of Canada Board of Directors for Edmonton – Mill Woods – Beaumont since 2004 where she has been the Election Readiness Chair, President, and Financial Agent, she was a delegate to the last 2 Conservative National Conventions and was the campaign manager for MP Mike Lake for 2 successful election campaigns.
Some personal thoughts and opinions: Here is where my bias is going to show through. Having personally worked with Cathay in the past, briefly on the 2006 campaign and to a much greater extent on the 2008 campaign, I can safely say that she has a work ethic that is second to none after having seen her in action. This work ethic combined with her history and desire to serve the community will be a strong asset. Her performance at the forum was good as she came across as straight forward and honest, demonstrated a good grasp of politics both locally and nationally and like the others she knows what it will take to win in the riding.
Having spoke with each of the candidates and after having attend the first forum I can honestly say that any of them would make a good representative both locally and in Ottawa for the people of Edmonton-Strathcona. All have expressed and shown a willingness to work hard to serve their communities and have committed to increase the conservative presence in the riding. All are supporters of PM Harper, all have expressed a belief in conservative principles, and all have shown that they know what it will take to turn Edmonton-Strathcona blue once again. But only one will get to face off against incumbent Linda Duncan of the NDP and it is going to be up to the CPC members of Edmonton-Strathcona to make the decision on which of these three worthy candidates gets the nomination.
So get out, get informed, and choose wisely.
The nomination vote will take place Wednesday June 17, 2009 at the Delta Hotel South located at 4404 Gateway Blvd NW.
Voting will take place between 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Note time change!
The ballot will be preferential where you list your first, second, third choice.
Please bring two pieces of ID. One photo ID as well as something that shows your name and address within the riding. (Examples: Driver’s license, current original bank or credit card statement, current original utility bill, personal cheque, vehicle registration etc)