Candidate Mark Nikota (center), and his campaign team consisting of Andrew Berdahl (Left), and Campaign Manager Dan Chostner of the Alberta Party were in Casto Nov. 18 for a meet and greet at the Castor Legion in preparation for the run-up to the spring provincial election. Kevin J Sabo photo.

Political hopeful, Mark Nikota of the Alberta Party, stops in to talk to Stettler council

Council reaction to Alberta Party varied

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Independent

There is no better way to know that an election is imminent than when political hopefuls begin making the rounds in the ridings.

Alberta Party nominee for the riding of Drumheller-Stetter, Mark Nikota, attended the Jan. 15 Stettler town council meeting, and while the majority of council was welcoming, it was not unanimous.

“I think you are doing a great disservice by splitting the vote,” said Coun. Al Campbell. “It’s something that is very wrong.”

Nikota disagreed.

“I see us being a viable alternative.”

With support for the NDP having fallen significantly of late, but fears that if elected the United Conservative Party would bring back Klein era budget cuts to balance the books, the Alberta Party are branding themselves as being a blend of a fiscally conservative but socially progressive centrist party.

“I think there are people out there who want centrist options,” said Mayor Sean Nolls.

READ MORE: Town of Stettler passes interim budget, increases taxes 2% each year next three years

With concern for what will happen with current funding levels growing across the province and what could happen if his party were to be elected, Nikota was asked what the party would do if it were to form the government.

“I believe in balance,” said Nikota. “We need to bring our services back. We need to get services back to our local hospitals. The Highways work both ways.”

When asked about the most contentious issue facing Albertans currently, the Carbon Tax, Nikota said, “We’ll be getting it off home heating for sure. We don’t have anything officially figured out but have some ideas.”

Nikota admits his party is unlikely to form the next government, but he does feel that there is going to be a shift away from the NDP and is hoping that come next election the party can grow from their current three seats in the legislature and become a voice of reason in an increasingly polarized political landscape.

His recommendations coming into the pending election? “Do some research on the local candidates, don’t just vote based on the party you dislike.”

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