SUNDRE - A year after being denied the opportunity to run for the UCP nomination in the provincial Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre riding, former Clearwater County reeve Tim Hoven has announced he will be running as an independent in the expected May election.
“Constituents told me they are disheartened that they are denied the right to elect their UCP candidate for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre,” Hoven said in March 12 press release announcing his plans to run.
“Our constituency is a microcosm of a bigger political problem experienced elsewhere. Our citizens stated what they wanted, but their voices weren’t heard because outside agendas have priority. Constituents have been repeatedly ignored. They’re tired, they’re frustrated and many have said they’ve lost hope.”
Incumbent UCP MLA Jason Nixon says he believes he will defeat all challenges, including Hoven, in the upcoming election.
In March 2022, the UCP prohibited Hoven from seeking the nomination in the riding.
At the time, the party informed Hoven, an Eckville-area farmer, that he was being barred from seeking the nomination because he had followed a website platform linked to white nationalists in the U.S. and that he allegedly disparaged the RCMP at the Coutt’s border protests.
“I was branded a white nationalist. I am not a white nationalist,” Hoven told the Albertan at the time. “At no time did I claim the RCMP engaged in a conspiracy to lie about the violence at the Coutts boarder crossing. I have never actually disparaged the institution of law enforcement or law enforcement officials.”
In an Albertan interview, Nixon said Hoven cannot claim to support the UCP while running against the declared party candidate.
“I think Mr. Hoven’s actions show that he is not a supporter of the party but is rather focused on his own ego and his own ambitions,” said Nixon.
“This is a disgruntled candidate who has been disqualified from running for the United Conservative Party, a disqualification that has been upheld by multiple reviews.
“I think Mr. Hoven should focus on the fact that he could not even run for the party, rather than trying to defeat Danielle Smith and the UCP inside Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre.”
Asked if he believes he will win re-election in May, Nixon said yes.
“I’m confident that our constituency wants to deliver a conservative government and we are going to give them every opportunity to do that,” he said.
“I’m disappointed to see Mr. Hoven campaigning against the conservative government, but the reality is I won’t be distracted by individuals who are focused on their egos and their own ambitions.”
For his part, Hoven says, “We’re all very grateful that together we can look forward to all members of this constituency getting to have their voices back on May 29.”
Premier Smith has not yet officially announced when the next provincial election will be held.