Glenn van Dijken will vie to become MLA of the new Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock riding after earning its UCP nomination with 70 per cent of the vote July 14.
The nomination was announced in Barrhead after two days of voting spread out across the town as well as Athabasca, Smoky Lake and Westlock. A total of 891 ballots were cast with van Dijken claiming 70 per cent of them, according to party officials.
In a speech after winning the nomination at the Barrhead Agrena, van Dijken said he would continue to help build momentum towards winning the riding in the 2019 election.
“I look forward to helping repair the damage this NDP government has done to our province and helping bring the Alberta advantage back to Alberta. Thank you all,” he said.
Monty Bauer, van Dijken’s opponent for the nomination, took 30 per cent of the vote. He thanked everybody that participated in the process and said he would work to help van Dijken win the riding’s seat in the next provincial election.
“We’re going to help him in winning this seat for the UCP and I look forward to helping in any way I can in defeating this NDP government,” Bauer said in an interview after the nomination vote.
van Dijken, who serves as MLA of the current Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock riding, said he was able to build good support from across the constiuency.
“We travelled right across this constituency meeting people, working with people from different regions, helping to build a team,” van Dijken said in an interview.
“We knew it was important to have a team right across the region that was going to support us,” van Dijken said.
Melanie Bynra of Colinton voted for van Dijken in Athabasca July 14. She said his experience as an MLA was important to her.
“He’s a current MLA, so I know he’s got government experience. I know he’s been directly involved in politics for a long time now and experience is going to be needed in the United Conservative Party,” Byrna said in an interview.
Travis Olson also said he voted for van Dijken in Athabasca and said he has done well for the people in his current riding.
“He’s done a fantastic job representing people from Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock and I’m hoping he does just the same for us now,” Olson said in an interview.
van Dijken said people across the campaign trail brought forward concerns about the provincial economy, getting local contractors work and the impact of Bill 6, the government’s farm safety legislation.
He added the biggest takeaway he had on the campaign was the importance of listening to the people.
“It’s important as elected officials we get out and listen to the people because the people are the ones that we’re here to serve,” van Dijken said. “The people are the ones that will give us an idea on how to best serve them.”