A local name has come forward in the running to represent the Whitecourt area in the next provincial election.
Whitecourt Town Councillor, Ray Hilts announced on Monday that he is seeking the United Conservative Party nomination for the West Yellowhead Constituency.
Currently, Whitecourt falls in the Whitecourt – St. Anne Constituency but will join the West Yellowhead for the next provincial election.
Hilts, who is also director of the forestry advocacy group the Alberta Forest Alliance (AFA), says he took the opportunity to throw his name into the provincial ring after seeing what NDP-led policies have done to industries over the last four years. Hilts says the oil and gas sector, forestry and natural resource industries have been negatively impacted by policies put into place and is calling for more stability and certainty in these sectors that areas like Whitecourt rely on and invest in.
Hilts also says it’s important to bridge the gap between the provincial and municipal levels of government when it comes to getting things done.
When speaking on gaps in government, he looks at the Caribou Range Plan as an example. Hilts points out that local mayors have worked tirelessly within the current constituency to bring the concerns surrounding the Range Plan to the province’s attention. He says that as MLA he will be a voice for people in the West Yellowhead and work with his constituents and the province.
Hilts will be engaging with all communities in the constituency as part of his campaign for the nomination and reaching out to those who work in industry and business and speaking with community leaders.