Hinton mayor announces Alberta Party leadership bid

Glenn Taylor
By MorinvilleNews.com Staff

Edmonton – Former Deputy Premier Doug Horner and former finance Minister Ted Morton are not the only ones who have announced their intentions to run as head of their party. Tuesday morning three-term Hinton Mayor Glenn Taylor announced his plans to seek the leadership of the Alberta Party.

Speaking from the Art Gallery of Alberta Taylor told reporters he first became acquainted with the Alberta Party in the fall of 2009 after attending a party meeting, but really felt the party was his political home after attending the Alberta Party’s policy convention last fall.

“This party is talking about how we do governance differently, how we do politics differently,” Taylor said, adding the Alberta Party met with thousands of Albertans before developing its policies.

The Alberta Party hopeful said he feels the time is right for the forward-looking change the Alberta Party can offer, governance that would embrace new ideas and new technologies to move Alberta into the future.

“It seems our government is hobbled by fear of the future,” Taylor said. “We’ve tried old style politics for too long. We need a government ready to deliver on the promise of Alberta.”

Taylor said it was that promise of Alberta that first attracted him to the province in 1991, back when Alberta owned an airline and was a strong supporter of arts and culture.

“We’ve been coasting on cruise control ever since and its time to get back into gear,” he said, adding it was time to bring the province, the people and its resources together.

Taylor first became involved in politics in 1997 when he ran for the NDP. “I wasn’t ready then,” he said, adding he was an activist involved in labour issues during his initial run at politics. “There is a lot to be learned by losing.”

The Alberta Party leadership candidate said following his election loss he took some steps back and decided to focus on municipal politics. That road began in 2001 when Taylor was elected to Hinton Town Council and has continued through three terms as the community’s mayor.

In addition to serving as Mayor of Hinton, Taylor has also been active in the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) as vice president and served as chair of the Rural Alberta Development Fund and Grande Alberta Economic Region.

The Alberta Party candidate said he feels the party will undoubtedly be labelled as left of centre or even far left, but in reality it, like much of the province, lies in the middle of the political spectrum.

“People are always trying to define the political spectrum,” Taylor said. “The vast majority [of Albertans] live right in the middle. I believe that’s where the Alberta Party is landing.”

But regardless of where the party lies on the spectrum, Taylor said he believes Albertans are looking for good government, good policy, a fair return for their tax dollars and a return to civility in politics, all things he believes he and the party would give the province.

““When I run my council meetings back home I demand civility,” Taylor said. “It’s about the ideas we need to debate, not the person bringing those ideas forward for consideration.”

The candidate and Hinton Mayor said he has the support of his council as well as the overwhelming support of Hinton residents in his leadership bid. During his campaign, Hinton’s interests will be looked after by the town’s deputy mayor.

The Alberta Party is set to elect its party leader May 28. Nomination deadlines are set for Apr. 18.

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