Voters go to the polls in Sturgeon River-Parkland federal byelection
Byelection triggered after former MP Rona Ambrose retired from federal politics
Voters are going to the polls Monday to elect a new member of parliament for Sturgeon River-Parkland, formerly held by Rona Ambrose, who left federal politics in June.
Dane Lloyd is running for the Conservatives, Shawna Gawreluck for the NDP, Brian Gold for the Liberals and Ernest Chauvet for the Christian Heritage Party.
Lloyd, 26, is a military reservist who recently worked as a parliamentary assistant for Michael Cooper, the Conservative MP for St. Albert-Edmonton.
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Lloyd was not available for an interview with CBC on Friday. At the candidates' forum in Morinville Thursday night, Lloyd said he would push for a law where convicted murderers are made ineligible for parole unless they reveal what they did with their victim's bodies.
He said, if elected, he would continue the Conservatives' battle against the Liberals' small business tax changes.
"They're in retreat and I am not going to quit fighting until we take back all of these business and family farm tax reforms," he said.
Liberal candidate Brian Gold was given a boost Friday when he was joined by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Gold's campaign office in Spruce Grove.
Gold, a businessman and instructor at the University of Alberta, said people he's talked to at the doors are looking for change.
"I feel this too, as an Albertan, I think the Conservative party takes us for granted," he said. "But I also think there's a desire for continuity, meaning they want an experienced voice in government, which is Rona [Ambrose].
"Even though we disagree on many, many issues, that's something that she provided and what I hope to provide also."
'We have voices that actually need to be heard'
Gawreluck, 43, is a medical laboratory technologist who also owns an Edmonton landscaping business with her husband.
Gawreluck is concerned that seniors on a fixed income are not being helped and that lower-rank members of the Canadian military don't make enough to support their families.
She says tax changes proposed by the Liberal government are unfairly targeting small businesses, farmers and doctors.
"We have two political parties that are so busy shouting insults and sound bites at each other that the actual issues that concern Albertans in this riding aren't being heard," she said.
"I think a vote for me sort of says that to Ottawa. That we're tired of politics as usual and that we have voices that actually need to be heard."
With municipal elections taking place across Alberta, Gawreluck acknowledges it has been hard to get people to pay attention.
Christian Heritage candidate Chauvet, 66, is running for the second time. He is a former two-term president of Alberta's francophone association and and founder and director of a Catholic bible school.
Chauvet says while his party's fiscal policies are similar to the Conservatives, Christian Heritage is the only party that is explicitly against abortion.
"None of the other parties are willing to do any form of restriction on abortion," he said. "Those are the clientele that we're responding to, that we're representing. And to those that are willing to make that their issue and their vote."
Ambrose, who was first elected in 2004, was the interim Conservative leader from October 2015 until Andrew Scheer was elected leader on May 27.
Ambrose became a visiting Global Fellow on Canada-U.S. trade issues with the Wilson Centre's Canada Institute in Washington, D.C.
The riding west of Edmonton includes Stony Plain, Spruce Grove, Morinville and Redwater.