LETHBRIDGE - With a background in construction and small business, Lethbridge-East UCP Candidate Nathan Neudorf admits that he doesn’t have a lot of political experience. But that, he says is just fine, because Albertans maybe don’t necessarily want someone that already has a strong political background.
Neudorf officially launched his campaign Wednesday evening (March 13) explaining “government started telling people how it should go, instead of listening to them and representing them. And that’s why I really wanted to get involved."
While not mentioning too many specifics, Neudorf feels most of the issues southern Albertans are passionate about are economy-related, including small businesses suffering because of the hike in minimum wage, the carbon tax and corporate taxes.
But he also talked about the community divisiveness that has emerged in the last year with the opening of the supervised consumption site. He does acknowledge that the site has a federal mandate to operate.
“There’s a lot of concern around that. So we haven’t released a platform on that yet. But I know that that’s something I want to advocate for in Lethbridge-east. For a really strong, comprehensive plan where we’ve looked at all four pillars of drug-addiction solution and not just one. We’ve looked at harm reduction, but we also need to look at prevention, enforcement and treatment and do that in consultation with our local police services, our first responders, our ER and our city council to make sure we address those issues where our entire community is happy with that answer, and not just part.”
When it comes to the fear that jobs in health care and education could be cut should the United Conservative Party form the next government, Neudorf says he doesn’t believe at this point there will be cuts to jobs. The United Nurses of Alberta, among other groups, have expressed concern there could be sweeping job cuts should the UCP be victorious in the upcoming election.
“Jason Kenney has been very clear, it’s part of our platform that we will not cut front-line workers in health care. We signed a pledge that we want to maintain those jobs. Now, that being said, we do want to look for efficiencies. There are lots of items where we can do that. Things that don’t harm front line jobs. We want to maintain that spending and re-direct dollars where we can, to front-line services because we need that. They haven’t rolled out the platform on the education system yet, but it will be similar. We know those services are in high demand. We know those services are needed…the only thing we’ve talked about to this point is curriculum. We just want to open that up. Open that up so that parents especially have a chance to speak to the curriculum."
Farming and agriculture he also explained, is the “lifeblood of Lethbridge.”
“There’s a huge population of retired farmers now in Lethbridge, and their legacy lives on in the surrounding communities. So, working for them whether it’s getting their grain or their canola to market, balancing how we do that with the plan of the current government to use rail cars- we have to balance all those. We can’t just serve one industry over another.”
Overall, Neudorf says with his private sector background, and his wife’s public sector work, he feels he has a strong sense of the cross-section of the population and knowledge of the electorate.
“I just want to represent the hard-working people of Lethbridge-east.”
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