Campaigning in the Red Deer constituency ramps up this week in the run-up to a May 2 federal election called Saturday after a non-confidence vote brought down the government a day earlier.
On Friday, opposition MPs voted 156 to 145 on a Liberal motion that said the House of Commons agrees with a report tabled earlier in the week that found the government in contempt of Parliament for not supplying enough information on the cost of F-35 fighter jets, justice reforms and projections for corporate profits and tax rates.
It marks the fifth time a non-confidence vote has occurred in Canada’s history and the first time it has occurred based on contempt of Parliament.
Governor General David Johnston agreed to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s request Saturday to dissolve Canada’s 40th Parliament.
That left Conservative Earl Dreeshen, Member of Parliament for the Red Deer constituency without a federal seat and back to campaigning for the second time in less than three years.
On Saturday, Dreeshen said he was hitting the campaign trail and was organizing a sign crew.
In preparation for the expected non-confidence vote, several political parties named their constituency candidates earlier last week.
The NDP has a full slate of Alberta candidates in place, having nominated or identified candidates in all 28 Alberta federal constituencies.
“We’re more prepared than ever before,” said NDP Alberta campaign manager Lou Arab, six days before the election was called.
Stuart Somerville will once again be the NDP’s candidate in the Red Deer riding. In the 2008 federal election he garnered 5,040 votes, second only to Dreeshen’s 33,226.
The Green Party this time around has selected Ashkan Hamzehi to run in the Conservative stronghold. The Red Deer resident says he has long been an advocate for social justice, sustainability, and environmental and fiscal responsibility.
In the 2008 election, Green Party candidate Evan Bedford garnered 4,332 votes in the Red Deer riding.
The party has yet to win a seat in Parliament.
The Liberal Party has not yet declared a candidate in the riding. In the 2008 election, Liberal Garfield Marks garnered 2,863 votes.