ATHABASCA – Door-knocking isn’t just something for election campaigns—it’s something incumbent MP and Conservative Party of Canada candidate Shannon Stubbs has taken to doing throughout the Lakeland riding for the six years since she was elected, just to meet the residents she represents.
Stubbs was first elected to Parliament in 2015 and then again in 2019 with resounding vote percentages of 73 and 84 per cent respectively, but with three conservative-minded parties fielding candidates in Lakeland this time around, she isn’t depending on former electoral glories.
“In this election, I hope that people will see that I have never taken the position for granted; that I have an extremely strong work ethic; and that I've been a relentless advocate for the riding,” she said in a Sept. 3 phone interview, adding she has also become a prominent voice among Canadian Conservatives, has the social media following to prove it, and intends to continue doing what she’s been doing.
During her time in office, Stubbs has twice been selected as Parliamentarian of the Year by MacLean’s magazine, which is decided in an annual poll of MPs from all parties, as the best representative of constituents.
In an election where Western alienation is a common theme with the Conservatives, People’s Party and Maverick Party all calling for a better deal for the West in Confederation, whether it be in decreasing taxes; limiting the scope of government; reforming the equalization formula; helping resources get to market; focusing firearms legislation on criminals; or incentivizing economic growth, Stubbs hopes voters will keep in mind that she has been tireless in representing Alberta’s and Lakeland’s interests on a national stage.
She also acknowledges that Western alienation is a very divisive issue, and that there is a lot of rhetoric in this campaign about the future of the West, but places that squarely on the prime minister and the Liberals. There is good reason to be frustrated and angry, she said.
“I think that it is so polarized and so divided because of the tactics and the approach of the Liberal government … and what they've done in terms of their policy approaches,” Stubbs said, citing the recent rejection of Alberta’s childcare plan; attacks on the oil and gas industry; and the double standards that exist between the provinces.
The splitting of the conservative vote in the 2019 election, led to a stronger Liberal mandate, she said, noting PPC candidates took enough votes away from Conservatives that non-conservative candidates took the seats instead. Stubbs said she knows two weeks is a long time in a federal election campaign, “but as of right now, Conservatives are the only party in a position to defeat the Trudeau Liberals, and if conservatives choose to vote for other parties, which are, again, on these key issues, virtually the same, then that is sort of a risk.”
Indeed, most recent polling shows a near dead-heat in popular voting between the Liberals and Conservatives.
Stubbs has also served as Shadow Minister for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness since 2019, and would be a strong contender for a cabinet position in a Conservative government under Erin O’Toole. As shadow minister, she has been among the most critical voices to speak out against recently passed firearms legislation that Conservatives say punishes responsible gun owners instead of criminals.
Stubbs is also held in high enough regard in conservative circles in Alberta that rumours about her moving into provincial politics to make a bid for the leadership of the United Conservative Party have been circulating for months. Her focus though is on the federal election and continuing to represent her constituents in Ottawa, she says.
“I don't know where that rumour has come from, but I have heard people have said that. I guess I appreciate people having that consideration, but I'm 100 per cent dedicated to representing the people who elected me here.”