A familiar name wants to be the next United Conservative Party candidate for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake.
Devin Dreeshen has entered the contest to replace Don MacIntyre, who resigned after he was charged with sexual assault and Sexual Interference.
The son of Earl Dreeshen, Conservative MP for Red Deer-Mountain View, he is taking aim at the NDP government, specifically at the carbon tax and Bill 6, which mandated Workers Compensation Board coverage for paid agricultural workers.
“That’s how most people get involved in politics, is because of issues that make them want to take a stand,” he said.
“Getting rid of the NDP government is on top of my priority list and repealing things like the carbon tax and Bill 6, that’s something near and dear to my heart.”
Dreeshen, a fifth-generation farmer, brings some Parliament Hill experience to the race as for seven years he worked as an advisor to Gerry Ritz, then the federal agriculture minister. Dreeshen focused on Canadian agricultural trade, improving rural infrastructure support and was part of the effort to end the Canadian Wheat Board Monopoly.
“Serving the community and giving back is something my family has believed in and stood for,” said Dreeshen. “Running for elected office is a way I can give back.”
According to a release from Dreeshen, Ritz has endorsed him saying Dreeshen “was the point man on grain issued and ending the CWB monopoly.
“He was a strong advocate for farmers and for rural communities within the Harper government and I know he will be just as effective on Jason Kenny’s team.”
He has also secured the support of a former Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA as Luke Ouellette, who represented the riding from 2001 to 2012, said Dreeshen would be a great MLA.
“He will be at the front, pressing the government on issues like hospital funding, making sure we get what we need.”
Dreeshen is a director of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association, a board member on the Crossroads Agricultural Society and a volunteer at the Pine Lake Country Fair.
He farms near Pine Lake and is a long-time conservative party activist.
The seat was vacated after MacIntyre resigned on Feb. 2. A byelection has yet to be called.