MARY DAHR, NDP
LAILA GOODRIDGE, WILDROSE PARTY
WAYNE DRYSDALE, PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE PARTY
Wayne and his wife, Sherry, live on
the family farm near Grovedale, near their daughter, son-in-law and two
granddaughters. Following the tragic death of their son in 2001, the family
established a bursary for local students pursuing a career in emergency
services, fire or EMS in Northern Alberta. To date the bursary has helped fill
49 emergency response positions in the region.
What made you decide to become involved in politics?
I’ve always had a desire to serve
my community, whether as a volunteer firefighter for the Grovedale Fire
Department, a councilor for the Municipal District of Greenview, MLA for Grande
Prairie-Wapiti or as a Minister for the Government of Alberta.
I have a deep love for this region
– having lived here all my life. Now, I am lucky enough to be able to watch my
granddaughters grow up in the same community that my family has lived for
generations. Leaving this community in better shape than it ever has been and
making sure future generations have every opportunity to succeed and live
happy, healthy lives is what motivates me.
I would consider it a great honour
to once again earn the trust of the people in Grande Prairie-Wapiti and have
another opportunity to represent our unique voice in the Alberta Legislature.
Why do you think education is important?
Education is one of the most
important services government provides. It prepares our children to be
thoughtful, kind, innovative and productive members of society. Citizens who
contribute to the economy, deliver our public services, enrich our quality of
life and raise the next generation of Albertans. Alberta has one of the best-funded
education systems in the country – and indeed, one of the best performing
anywhere. Education is our clear
priority which is why it was the only department to see its overall budget
increase this year, with more than $125 million in new money being directed to
cover salary increases for teachers.
At the same time, there are budget
pressures to manage and we’ve asked school boards to share some of this burden
and do what they can to help – either by finding 2.7 per cent in administrative
savings, or dipping into their funding reserves to cover the difference. While this is not an ideal
situation, it’s a balanced and measured approach to dealing with the sharp
decline in resource revenues and an ever-increasing population.
RORY TARANT, ALBERTA PARTY