INNISFAIL – After more than five months since announcing her intentions to run for mayor, Jean Barclay is officially launching her campaign on July 23.
Barclay, a town councillor since 2017, made the announcement on her campaign Facebook page on July 14.
She and former town councillor Glen Carritt are the only two declared candidates for Innisfail mayor in the upcoming Oct. 18 general municipal election. The winner will succeed the retiring Jim Romane.
Barclay said she’s self-funding her campaign and won’t be asking for or taking any cash contributions. She added all expenses and in-kind services will be disclosed as required under the provincial Local Authorities Election Act (LAEA).
Barclay said full disclosure will be provided to the public prior to election day.
“(I) will be asking other mayoral candidates to do the same by disclosing their list of donors and campaign expenses. I am a firm believer in transparency and accountability,” said Barclay in her Facebook post.
“As I have stated before I am committed to carrying out a respectful campaign, but at the same time will push back against misinformation and spin.
“Local elections are no place for party-style politics, silly antics, or candidates kicking down someone else’s sandcastle so theirs looks bigger. Municipal government is non-partisan and the only thing that should matter is representing the whole community and improving the quality of life in the community.”
In an interview with The Albertan on July 14, Barclay said she chose to hold off her campaign until now because she believes residents did not want to see or hear election campaigning for nine and a half months before the Oct. 18 election as per the new LAEA rules.
She said 90 days before the election is “long enough” to be out campaigning to give the people the visions that are available to them. Barclay noted federal election campaigns are a maximum of 50 days.
“I think 90 days in a municipal election is more than adequate and you don’t want to tire people out from listening to ideas, and it is summer time as well. It’s a good time to get started and we will move into the fall and just be consistent with messaging and getting the platform out there,” said Barclay, adding it was also important for her to be “fully organized” with a full election platform to pass on to Innisfail citizens.
“I’m confident my platform will resonate with people and I am always open for discussion and opinions, and whatever comes my way.”
As for the campaigning lead time already built up by Carritt, who resigned from council in controversy last January to focus on his mayoral ambitions, she does not see that as a disadvantage for her campaign.
“I don’t know if it is an advantage (for Carritt) because I am not sure the time he has spent in the public eye has necessarily been positive for the community,” she said. “It’s been more about COVID. His visibility in the community hasn’t necessarily been about his vision for Innisfail.”
Carritt was contacted by The Albertan for comment about the launch of Barclay’s election campaign.
“I wish the best of luck to all candidates deciding to launch their campaign,” said Carritt in a text message response to The Albertan.
For more on Jean Barclay’s mayoral campaign her website can be found at jeanbarclay.ca