The Rhinocerous Party will be among those butting heads with more established political parties in central Alberta this election.
A Rhinocerous Party candidate stepped up on Tuesday by the 2 p.m. deadline to get on the ballot for the Oct. 21 federal election.
Voters in Red Deer-Lacombe and Red Deer-Mountain View will have nine candidates from five parties from which to choose.
In Red Deer-Lacombe riding candidates are incumbent Blaine Calkins for the Conservative Party of Canada, Sarah Palmer for the Green Party of Canada, Laura-Lynn Thompson for the People’s Party of Canada, Lauren Pezzella for the NDP, Tiffany Rose for the Liberal Party of Canada and Remi Watts for the Rhinocerous Party.
In Red Deer-Mountain View riding, incumbent Earl Dreeshen for the Conservative Party of Canada will face off against Conner Borlé for the Green Party, Paul Mitchell for the People’s Party of Canada, Logan Garbanewski for the NDP and Gary Tremblay for the Liberal Party of Canada.
Elections Canada had not included Tremblay or Watts on its website as confirmed candidates by late Monday afternoon but both were on their party websites.
Both central Alberta ridings were easily won by the Conservatives in the last election. Dreeshen got 74 per cent of the vote and Calkins 70 per cent.
Voters will have some new choices this election. The year-old People’s Party of Canada, formed by former Quebec Conservative MP and cabinet minister Maxime Bernier, is running candidates in both Red Deer-area ridings.
The Rhinocerous Party is also rumbling into the electoral fray along with its unique brand of politics. On its website, the party defines itself as a “co-operative of candidates, where each candidate can promise what he wants in his riding!”
A couple of party choices will be missing this election. In 2015, James Walper ran as a Libertarian in Red Deer-Mountain View, picking up 0.72 per cent of the vote.
The same riding also saw Scott Milne representing the Pirate Party of Canada, which was modelled on the Swedish Pirate Party and advocated for greater government openness and intellectual property reform among other issues. Canada’s version officially deregistered at the end of 2017. Milne picked up 0.5 per cent of the vote.
All of the candidates will have an opportunity to pitch their platforms at an Oct. 10 federal election forum in Red Deer.
The Red Deer College Student Association and the Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce are hosting the forum at the Red Deer College Arts Centre from 5 to 7 p.m. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Attendance is free.
Meanwhile, voters should keep their eyes on their mailboxes in coming days. About 28 million Voter Information Cards have been mailed out.
Unlike provincial elections, voters must cast their ballots, either in advance polls or on election day, at their assigned polling stations.
Those who have not received their Voter Information Cards by the end of this week have not been registered to vote. People can register when they vote. To register in advance go to www.elections.ca or call 1-800-463-6868.