A local minister has been named the Liberal candidate for the new riding of Red Deer – Lacombe for the upcoming federal election this fall.
Members of the Red Deer – Lacombe Federal Liberal Association met this past Sunday and nominated Jeff Rock as the Liberal Party of Canada candidate in Red Deer – Lacombe for the next general election.
Rock, minister at Gaetz United Church, said he has always been interested in politics.
“It has always been something that has been in the back of my mind,” he said. “It’s really the team approach that Justin Trudeau has taken that helped me feel like it was time to put my energy and my time where my mouth was. To me politics is a process and part of being a citizen is being engaged in that process.”
Rock has served as the board chair of the Central Alberta AIDS Network Society, he has sat on the City of Red Deer’s Downtown Redevelopment Plan Committee and is the founding chair of the Red Deer Interfaith Network.
In the coming months, Rock said he is looking forward to getting out and engaging with people.
“Because it’s a new riding there’s not a huge bank of volunteers in the riding association, so just like Justin Trudeau has, I want to take a team approach and get as many people involved as possible and have as many people having conversations as possible,” he said.
“Because the riding is large and contains both rural and urban settings, it will be important to have those conversations with both urban and rural people. We haven’t done that very well in Canada, I don’t think.
“I look forward to talking with people and finding out what Central Albertans are passionate about.”
He added although the Liberal party has yet to finalize their platform for the upcoming election, Rock said there are some key points to look at.
“If you look at the Keystone Pipeline rejection in the United States – that affects us as Albertans,” he said.
“The price of gas is going to start hurting us pretty soon, if not already. It’s nice to fill up (for less) but it has real drastic effects on the Alberta economy. I say where ever you are on the spectrum of oil and gas, you should be upset right now because Stephen Harper has denied climate change to the point that Canada’s oil and gas is no longer marketable.
“The goal of the leader should be to bring Canadian products to international markets. One of my key beliefs is that the environment and economics should be talked about together – they are not opposing forces. I think this will be a huge issue in the coming months in Central Alberta.”