The Alberta Party welcomed Abigail Douglass on board as its candidate for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake on Thursday.
The 23-year-old executive assistant with a media consulting company in Edmonton grew up in the Penhold area and said she wants to encourage young people to ask questions and vote in the upcoming byelection.
“I know that my age is going to be something that a lot of people will question. It’s really exciting to be able to speak on behalf of people my age,” Douglass said.
Douglass, who splits her time between Edmonton and Penhold, said she recognizes rural crime and economic recovery are important issues in Central Alberta.
“Oil and gas has been a little bit more unpredictable for people and I know people feel like they’ve been left behind and not been able to have that time to recover. I want to learn more about how we can help people.”
She supports finding ways to diversify the local economy such as the growing agri-food and agri-trade in the riding.
“There is a lot of opportunity here in Central Alberta to reach out into new areas.”
Douglass’ interest in public service began early when she helped form the first student council at Gateway Christian School in Red Deer. She later served on the high school’s parent relation board.
She served two terms as student president while attending The Kings University in Edmonton, and sat on multiple boards including the university’s Board of Governors and Senate. She was involved with Alberta Students’ Executive Council and also helped run the university’s student athlete support department after graduating in 2017 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree.
Born in Russia, Douglass moved to a Penhold-area farm after she was adopted by Canadian missionaries Casey and Dorothy Douglass. Her mother’s family, the Hodgsons, helped settle the area.
Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel said the party was proud to have Douglass on the team.
“Abigail is an ideal candidate for the Alberta Party: hard-working, great with people and passionate about public service and building a stronger Alberta,” said Mandel who was in Sylvan Lake on Thursday for the announcement of Douglass’ candidacy.
A by-election for the Innisfail-Sylvan Lake riding is expected to be called in the coming days or weeks.