DISTRICT: OLDS-DIDSBURY-THREE HILLS
|Updated: Mar. 4, 2008 12:02 MST
||65 of 65 polls reporting
OLDS-DIDSBURY-THREE HILLS (69)
Current MLA: Richard Marz (PC)
This riding in south-central Alberta stretches from the Red Deer River
in the east to the area around Cremona in the west. In the 2004 redistribution
the boundaries changed somewhat, with an agricultural section in the far
west transferred to Banff-Cochrane, while in the southeast a section of
the old Drumheller-Chinook riding - including the community of Carbon
- was added. Major communities include Olds, Didsbury, Carstairs, Trochu
and Three Hills, as well as Olds College.
Agriculture is the major employer, with retail a distant second. Household
incomes, at $53,174, are below the Alberta average. Seven per cent of
residents are considered low income. More than two-thirds of the people
here were born in Alberta, while seven per cent are immigrants. People
of German origin make up nine per cent of the population. More than 96
per cent say their language at home is English, the second-highest rate
in Alberta. (2001 census)
Right-leaning parties have fared well in this riding. Richard Marz, the
incumbent, is a Conservative and has held this seat for a decade. In his first election win in 1997, the runner-up
was Social Credit candidate Don MacDonald. In 2001, Social Credit ran
third, behind Marz, who won easily, and second-place finisher Liberal
Gayleen Roelfsema. In 2004, Marz was re-elected, with more than 5,000 votes ahead of Alberta Alliance Gordon Quantz.
Before Marz, PC Roy Brassard won three elections here.
In 1986 he defeated Elmer Knutson, founder of the Confederation of Regions
party. In 1989 the runner-up was the Social Credit's Ray Young. Liberal
Dinna Gole placed second to Brassard in 1993. From 1971-82 the riding
was represented by Robert Clark of the Social Credit Party. After his
resignation in 1982, a byelection made Gordon Kessler of the separatist
Western Canada Concept an MLA. Kessler's election brought the riding and
the party into the national spotlight, but the attention was short-lived:
that same year Tory Stephen Stiles won the seat in the general election.
Stiles served from 1982-86.
In 2004, voter turnout was 56.6 per cent.
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