Meeting the candidates for Grande Prairie-Mackenzie

The Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce hosted the All-Candidates Forum for the Grande Prairie-Mackenzie riding at Grande Prairie Regional College on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. From left to right: NDP candidate Erin Alyward, People’s Party candidate Doug Burchill, Moderator Dan Wong, Liberal candidate Ken Munro and Conservative incumbent Chris Warkentin. Green Party candidate Shelly Termuende was not in attendance. John Watson / Daily Herald-Tribune

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The Grande Prairie-Mackenzie riding has five candidates running in the 2019 Canadian federal election on Monday, Oct. 21: Erin Alyward (NDP), Doug Burchill (PPC), Kenneth Munro (Liberal), Shelley Termuende (Green) and Conservative incumbent Chris Warkentin.

Candidates were asked to write a bio/profile that introduces themselves to Daily Herald-Tribune readers and riding constituents. They were all given the same instructions and word limits.

Profiles are listed alphabetically by surname (top to bottom) with their party included.

To learn more about the riding or how to vote, visit Elections Canada’s website.

Erin Alyward – New Democratic Party

Erin Alyward (NDP) Submitted

Erin Alyward is a single mother of four beautiful girls, three under the age of 18.

From working at thoroughbred race tracks and teaching riding lessons to working at Superstore, Erin has had extensive and varied working experience.

Erin is a prominently active union member, has served on the executive board of UFCW Local 401, and is an energetic advocate for worker’s rights.

In addition to worker rights, Erin has a keen focus on domestic violence and would be a loud voice for this issue.

Doug Burchill – People’s Party of Canada


Doug Burchill (PPC) Submitted

Doug is a born and raised Albertan and a proud Canadian with a proven track record in engineering, construction and business, he started working for an oilfield trucking company, moving rigs and equipment throughout the Peace Country.

After graduating from NAIT as an Electronic Engineering Technologist, he worked for a Canadian petroleum company while completing studies in Electrical Engineering at the University of Alberta. Upon graduation, He married Lillian and raised two daughters.

He went on to work for over 20 years as a Professional Engineer, business executive and business owner; living across Canada from coast to coast to coast. From Labrador to British Columbia, from down south to the up north in the High Arctic.

On returning to Alberta, he spent the last 10 years in the engineering consulting industry and established successful small to medium size businesses. This gave Doug and Lillian the freedom to get out of daily business operations and relocate to his family’s farm in the Peace Country.

Doug and Lillian now focus on investing, hunting, trapping, raising horses and honey bees and enjoying what makes life worth living. That is, family, friends, community and country.

In recent years, the people of Alberta have felt betrayed and ignored by the Trudeau Liberals. We’ve seen our quality of life and vital economic interests fall to the wayside and get ignored, even as we’ve risen up to demand that our concerns be addressed.

Here and now in the Peace Country, the politics of cynicism and despair are rearing their ugly heads. As our righteous anger with the federal government has burned, we’ve looked to our traditional representatives, the Conservative Party of Canada, to step into the void and give us a better option.

But in order to win support in other regions that could be described as more vote rich, more important to their chances of winning, and less conservative, Andrew Scheer and the Tories have compromised and backed away from many of the promises that we expected from them. Talking points, relentless appeals for money, and centrist, boilerplate policy will no longer cut it for us here in Grande Prairie – Mackenzie.

Politics as usual makes for local representatives that support party doctrine at the cost of representing the interests of their constituents.

He wanted to be a part of a party that is in touch with the struggles, hopes and dreams of Albertans.

And he truly believes Maxime Bernier and the People’s Party of Canada is that party. Maxime has given us a vehicle to get Canada back on track. Maxime has given us a clear, honest and straightforward vision for Canada with the opportunity for governance according to four principles: respect, fairness, freedom and personal responsibility for All Canadians.

With Doug’s life experience, proven track record of success in the private sector, and his great love for the people of the Peace Country, now is the time he felt compelled to stand up and fight for our country, our province and the good people of Grande Prairie-Mackenzie.

Kenneth Munro – Liberal Party of Canada

Kenneth Munro (Liberal) John Watson / Daily Herald-Tribune

I am a professor emeritus in history (University of Alberta) where I taught and worked in administrative positions. In 1980-1983, I worked as executive assistant to “Bud” Olson, a federal cabinet minister. I have written several books and articles focusing on the Canadian Crown and French-speaking Canadians in Alberta.

I hope to spark the imagination of voters so that we can find jobs and give people hope for the future. I will work with all sectors of our diversified economy—agriculture, forestry, oil and gas, health, education, Indigenous and Métis populations and tourism as well as the provincial and municipal governments to attempt to realize the dreams of the people of this constituency.

We must obtain more infrastructure funds to put people to work in the immediate future. With the hospital, I would like to see Grande Prairie become a centre of excellence in health for the region. I am a strong supporter of the Trudeau government carbon levy and would secure some of the two billion trees the government will distribute so that our children can plant them along a highway leading into our major towns.

The oil and gas industry needs pipelines to tidewater and I will support such initiatives. I will work with the agricultural and forestry sectors to ensure their continue growth. We also must develop the tourism industry. I would also like to see Grande Prairie as the distribution centre for the north and even as the main landing “port” for polar freight to Asia. To help the University, I would encourage the granting of a couple of “chairs” to fulfil needs the university requires.

The Trudeau government has taken a number of initiatives for students through the new student loan policy and for younger children, the Canada Child Benefit is a great tax-free help to parents and to the community as a whole. In addition, I will work with seniors. The new Ministry of Seniors is very important and indicates that the government places senior matters as a high priority on its agenda.

Shelley Termuende – Green Party of Canada

Shelley Termuende (Green) Supplied

Shelley Termuende is a dedicated leader with a passion for community service. She holds a degree in Political Science and International Studies from the University of Northern British Columbia.

Shelley has worked as an administrator for local governments across British Columbia for the last three years. Shelley has also worked as a community journalist, editor, server, and legal assistant. She understands that diversity is the key to a successful community.

Shelley has volunteered for many non-profit organizations such as the BCSPCA, Canadian University Press, and Over the Edge Newspaper Society. Shelley is passionate about eliminating interest on student loans to support the education of our future generations while reducing financial burdens. She is also a strong believer in providing access to safe and affordable housing and creating policies that allow for sustainable industry and sustainable development. Shelley is a hard worker and a passionate advocate for what she believes in. Shelley is dedicated to learning how she can best serve the Grande Prairie—Mackenzie riding federally and is determined to see results.

Shelley was inspired to run for the Green Party because of the leadership and commitment of Elizabeth May to put forward measured and thoughtful improvements to existing policy. Shelley believes in the power of youth to change our future for the better and wants to be a part of the movement that sees more youth becoming politically aware and active in government. Shelley is an avid reader and she loves to explore the beauty of the province with her dog, Emma.

Chris Warkentin – Conservative Party of Canada

Conservative incumbent Chris Warkentin

Chris Warkentin was born in Grande Prairie, Alberta and raised on the Warkentin family farm, east of Grande Prairie, near the Town of Debolt. After leaving home, Chris studied business and marketing at Grande Prairie Regional College. Prior to being elected in January 2006 as the MP for Peace River, Chris owned and operated a custom home-building company.

Chris was first elected to the House of Commons in the 2006 federal election and subsequently re-elected in 2008 and 2011.

In his first term, Chris set out to halt the spread of addictive drugs, introducing legislation to crack down on crystal meth producers. In the last parliament, Chris worked closely with his colleague, MP John Weston, to see Bill C-475, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, successfully pass into law on March 25, 2011.

Chris is also a strong advocate of youth involvement in politics. He is focused on getting young people engaged in the democratic process and encourages them to contribute their ideas.

Since being elected, Chris has sat on committees for Industry, Science and Technology, as well as Canadian Heritage. He has also had the privilege of serving as Vice Chair on both the Standing Committee of Government Operations and Estimates and the Conservative Party’s Alberta Caucus.

Chris most recently served as the Chair of the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Committee.

Chris has also been appointed to a number of Advisory Panels including the ad-hoc Advisory Panel on the Funding and Oversight of Officers of Parliament, the Caucus Advisory Committee of Public Works and Government Services, as well as the Red Tape Reduction Commission.

Chris and his wife, Michelle, along with their three children Abigail, Cobi, and Kyler, live in the County of Grande Prairie.