DISTRICT: GRANDE PRAIRIE-SMOKY
|Updated: Mar. 4, 2008 12:02 MST
||80 of 80 polls reporting
GRANDE PRAIRIE-SMOKY (56)
Current MLA: Mel Knight (PC)
Grande Prairie-Smoky is a sizable northwest Alberta riding, bordered on
the north and west, in part, by the Smoky River, and in the south, in
part, by the Athabasca River. The riding takes in the northeastern half
of the community of Grande Prairie, along with the communities of Fox
Creek and Valleyview.
Oil and gas is the largest provider of jobs here, followed by retail.
Household incomes are slightly below the Alberta average, at $62,519,
and 7.4 per cent of residents are low income. Two-thirds of the population
were born in Alberta, while just over five per cent are immigrants. Almost
11 per cent of residents are aboriginal.
This has been Tory country for at least 30 years. Mel Knight, the current
MLA and energy minister, won his seat in 2001 by beating Liberal Barry Robinson by an almost 4-1 margin. He held onto the riding in the 2004 election, beating Liberal Neil Peacock with a 2-1 margin.
Knight's predecessor, Walter Paszkowski, had first been
elected in 1989 in what was then the Smoky River riding. When Grand Prairie-Smoky
was formed in 1993 he won again, beating Liberal John Croken by 2,436
votes. Croken challenged once more in 1997 and lost by 3,758 votes. Marvin
Moore, a Tory, was Smoky River's MLA from 1971-89, holding several cabinet
In 2004, voter turnout was 35.2 per cent.
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