Prairie Post (East Edition)
Independence Party joins Brooks-MH race
A fourth candidate has entered the field of the Nov. 8 Brooks-Medicine Hat byelection, promising to challenge Premier Danielle Smith on an apparent walk-backs on the facets of her “Sovereignty Act,” emissions goals and her level of support for vaccine protesters.
Bob Blayone is the Alberta Independence Party’s membership director who announced his local byelection bid on Monday to a group of about 75 supporters in the Kin Social Room in Medicine Hat with leader Artur Pawlowski.
Blayone told the News on Wednesday that a referendum is a better route for the province, and his party best represents freedom of the individual, including hard stances against COVID vaccinations
“The Sovereignty Act is a dead-end road – it was saying what Albertans wanted to hear,” said Blayone. “Our own police force, pensions, unemployment insurance? Great, we can do that today. The real power will come from a referendum, and Smith said she’s not going there.”
“It’s same old, same old, lobbyists control politicians who don’t what to change anything. They don’t want the conversation to happen.”
Smith called the byelection in the BrooksMedicine Hat riding following her win as United Conservative Party leader and swearing-in as premier.
The same day she drew criticism for stating those affected by health restrictions were heavily discriminated against.
Elections Alberta states that Smith, Alberta Party Leader Barry Morishita and New Democrat Gwen Dirk have submitted their candidacy papers to run in the Nov. 8 byelection. The nomination deadline is Friday at 2 p.m.
Blayone, who lives in Peace River, had a meet and greet at a local restaurant Wednesday and says he will be in the region for the duration. He hopes to challenge Smith and highlight his party’s strong stances.
Campaign literature criticizes former premier Jason Kenney and prime minister Stephen Harper for being complicit in a “United Nations and World Economic Forum agenda in Alberta.”
Other opponents have criticized Smith for what they say is a destabilizing first few weeks in office, including implications of Alberta not recognizing federal laws. Smith stated Alberta would respect the final decisions of the Supreme Court, but that issues are often re-litigated.
“Smith has already backtracked on the Sovereignty Act” and at the Supreme Court “we’ll lose – we already have on the carbon tax,” said Blayone.
He also takes issue with Smith’s position that technological innovation is the best driver of net-zero emissions, including carbon capture.
Blayone states that widespread carbon capture in industry is unfeasible or will require massive government spending.
“Let’s have that conversation on climate change,” he said, also adding that those who oppose vaccination need to have better standing in health care and pandemic operations.
“Rather than having Smith give soft support to these people I’d like to see her meet with these experts,” said Blayone. “They are showing us that we need to shut this down immediately.”
Blayone (pronounced “blay-own”), 54, is retired after owning an oilfield services company. He was born in Taber but grew up in Raymond and then northern Alberta. He says he is committed to moving to the riding if elected.
He resigned as member of the UCP party association in his home riding of Peace River in 2020 criticizing inside party politics and health measures.