Conservative Party of Canada leader makes stop in Central Alberta

By: Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Drumheller Mail
The Honourable Erin O’Toole made a visit to Alberta as part of his Southern Alberta tour, with a stop at the Home Place Ranch in Kneehill County on Saturday, July 10 with some 200 people attending the meet and greet event.
Battle River-Crowfoot MP Kurek opened the meet and greet by thanking John Hamm for the use of the Home Style Ranch, and introducing his fellow colleagues in attendance-Bow River MP Martin Shields, Red Deer-Mountain View MP Earl Dreeshan, and Ontario Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MP and agriculture and agri-food shadow minister Lianne Rood.
MP Kurek said it was an honour to have the opportunity to have Mr. O’Toole visit Central Alberta and Kneehill County.
This is the first time Mr. O’Toole has been able to travel to Alberta in the capacity of party leader since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. He last visited Alberta as a Member of Parliament in January 2020 when he began his bid for leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.
“Alberta’s success, Alberta’s prosperity, is Canada’s prosperity,” O’Toole said during his address.
O’Toole spoke to the beauty of Kneehill County, saying he had to stop and take in the scenery, which he said was “truly Albertan,” of a pumpjack standing before a yellow field of canola.
Among the topics of discussion were the impacts of the Liberal government on Canada and, in particular, the western provinces since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was elected to office in 2015.
O’Toole stated, if elected, he would endeavour to restore fairness for the western provinces. He lamented how Albertans have given more than their “fair share” and one way he would address this imbalance would be to make changes to the current equalization program by giving Albertans an equalization rebate and passing a fair equalization bill.
Other topics which O’Toole touched upon were the impacts to mental health across the country, and job and industry losses due to “Trudeau’s war” on the oil and gas energy sector.
Following his address, Mr. O’Toole took time to answer several questions from the audience. He also took a few moments to personally meet and shake hands with some of those in attendance-something he said he is still unable to do in Ontario.