DISTRICT: PEACE RIVER
|Adele Boucher Rymhs
|Updated: Mar. 4, 2008 12:02 MST
||63 of 63 polls reporting
PEACE RIVER (70)
Current MLA: Frank Oberle (PC)
||Adele Boucher Rymhs
This huge wilderness riding occupies Alberta's northwest corner, bordered
by the Northwest Territories to the north and stretching more than 400
kilometres south to the community of Peace River. British Columbia forms
the western border. The riding
stretches to Wood Buffalo National Park in the east, changed with the 2004 redistribution. The Fox Lake and
John D'or Prairie First Nations have been added to the riding. Other communities
include Manning, High Level and Rainbow Lake.
Despite the northerly location of the Peace River riding, agriculture
is the main industry, followed by manufacturing. Household incomes, at
$57,570, are somewhat under the provincial average, though fewer than
10 per cent of residents are low income. Fifty-six per cent do not have
a high school diploma, making this Alberta's least formally educated riding.
The aboriginal population, at nearly 27 per cent, is the province's second
highest. Another 12 per cent of residents are of German origin. Two-thirds
of people speak English at home. More than seven per cent speak German
at home. Immigrants make up fewer than five per cent of the population,
and three-quarters were born in Alberta. (2001 census)
Peace River has been represented by three Tories since 1971. In 2004, Conservative Frank Oberle was elected with 2,884 votes to Liberal Adam Bourque's 1,092. Before Oberle, Gary Friedel held the seat for about a decade. Friedel
was first elected in 1993 when he beat Elmer Cardinal, a Liberal, by 754
votes. In 1997, Friedel defeated Liberal Bruce MacKeen by 1,422 votes
and in 2001 Friedel's margin was 2,238, this time over Liberal Susan Callihoo.
He did not run in the 2004 election. From 1971-93, Al Adair served here,
holding various cabinet posts during one of the longest legislative stints
in recent Alberta history.
In 2004, voter turnout was 30.7 per cent.
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