Dan Campbell is the Liberal candidate for Grande Prairie-Mackenzie, and he hopes that becoming the region’s next member of parliament can bring him back to the community he loves.
“I love Grande Prairie, I worked there when I was 20,” said Campbell, who said he had to move because his career in project management took him to Edmonton.
“I really felt like this was an opportunity to come back,” Campbell said.
Campbell says he wanted to run for Liberals in this election because he believes the people of Grande Prairie-Mackenzie need to have their views heard in Ottawa, after years of representation from the Conservative Party.
“This is the question, if you’ve done something one way for so long and it doesn’t work, what are you doing to change it?” Campbell said.
It speaks not only of representation of Grande Prairie, but also of significant representation in places like High Level, Rainbow Lake, and the surrounding indigenous communities.
“We don’t have any representation in Ottawa for Alberta,” Campbell said, “we don’t have any representation, especially in northern Alberta.”
According to Campbell, another reason he decided to run for the Liberal Party was because he connected with the party’s vision of social and economic development, something he calls “jobs and babies.”
“One of the main reasons was the commitment to economic development and diversification, because we know that things will change over time,” said Campbell.
Campbell says he wants the region to be more than just agriculture and energy, and he believes the city of Grande Prairie has the population to create new opportunities.
“It’s not a small town by any means,” Campbell said, “there are absolutely opportunities here that are beyond what we already see. How can we make it the next great power? “
Campbell also believes that the Liberal Party’s commitment to child care for $ 10 a day is another way the party can help people in this community.
“We want to make sure people have adequate child care, and this is a great opportunity,” Campbell said.
Campbell also says that his party’s commitment to truth and reconciliation, and advancing indigenous issues is another important part of his platform.
“Absolutely, that has to happen,” Campbell said.
When asked why he has not been as visible during the campaign as many of the other candidates, Campbell said it has been primarily because of job constraints, but also because of how polarizing conversations with voters have been in Grande Prairie-Mackenzie.
“As I go out, it’s been a very challenging conversation,” Campbell said, adding “and you have to get away from that and regroup.”
Campbell says before the campaign he had no illusions that running as a Liberal in Grande Prairie-Mackenzie would be easy.
“I absolutely knew what I was going to get, but you have to be willing to make some kind of change,” Campbell said.
“I really want to be the person who is listening to what the voters have to say and really advocating for everyone in Ottawa,” Campbell said.
Federal Election Day is Monday, September 20. Candidates for Grande Prairie-Mackenzie are Chris Warkentin (CPC), Dan Campbell (Liberal), Ambrose Ralph (Maverick Party), Jennifer Villebrun (NDP), Shawn McLean (PPC) and Donovan Eckstrom (Rhino Party).