One City councillor is looking at making the jump to provincial politics.
Buck Buchanan said he is looking at possibly seeking the PC nomination for the soon to be vacant MLA North Red Deer position after Mary Anne Jablonski announced last week that she will not run in the next election.
“I’ve been interested for quite some time. It came a lot sooner than I anticipated. Obviously I am committed to the City and I initially thought (a provincial election) would come around in 2016 and if I was successful, completing that last year wouldn’t be hugely difficult,” said Buchanan. “It’s not the most opportune time, I don’t think, so that is one of the things that may hold me back if I don’t run. I’m torn at this point. I’m interested in the position to further the wants and needs within the City.”
Buchanan was first elected to City council in 2007 and said his experience at the municipal level will lend itself well to the provincial level.
“As municipalities we are a by-product of the province. We are dealing with a lot of things locally at the whim of the province. Without a doubt it would be a learning curve, but I don’t think it matters what level of government you are at, it’s the networking piece whether it be with the people that put you there or whether it be with the people that you are working with,” he said. “It would be a change because you’re going from non-partisan where I’m kind of beaking all the time to party stuff where there’s a little bit more where you have to follow the party flag. I was born and raised conservative and the (party’s) values are not different than what I believe in. I like the conservative government and I like the style of (Jim) Prentice and how he’s doing things – when he showed up on the scene he took charge and you have someone who’s ready to pull the trigger and be a decision maker. That impresses me.”
Buchanan said the issues he is currently passionate about and advocates for the City would stay the same if he was elected as the City’s north MLA. “Policing and safety and security are passions.”
Meanwhile, if Buchanan was successful in his bid for MLA in north Red Deer and left his seat on City council, a municipal by-election would have to be called within 90 days if it was more than 18 months before the next scheduled municipal election, according to the Municipal Government Act.