Harris granted leave from city council to run for local NDP

Red Deer city council has granted unpaid leave to Coun. Paul Harris to seek the NDP nomination in federal riding of Red Deer-Mountain View.

Red Deer city council has granted unpaid leave to Coun. Paul Harris to seek the NDP nomination in federal riding of Red Deer-Mountain View.

Harris is excused from his municipal duties until party members vote on Aug. 24 to determine who will represent the New Democratic Party in the Oct. 19 federal election: Evan Bedford, Dianne Macaulay or Harris.

If he is successful in the nomination bid, Harris’s leave will be extended until the election.

Macaulay, who is a Red Deer Public School Board trustee, will ask for leave from her office if she secures the nomination.

Harris said he is not required to take leave but it just felt like the right thing to do.

“It feels really appropriate to me not to be doing two things at once,” said Harris. “It would be difficult to separate council business from federal work.”

Council has two meetings next week, including the mid-year budget review on Tuesday.

Harris said he is disappointed to miss a few upcoming council items, including his motion to advocate for Red Deer College to become a polytechnic university and his joint motion with Coun. Ken Johnston on payday loan businesses.

Harris has been approached three times to run federally but turned down the offer for personal reasons. He said the timing feels right this time.

He also said he believes his experience in municipal and federal policy and politics stacks higher than his opponents. Harris is a third-term councillor and has sat on the Federation of Canadian Municipalities board and committees.

The new riding covers the north side of the City of Red Deer. Other parties have already secured their candidates: Earl Dreeshen for the Conservatives, Mason Sisson for the Green Party and James Walper for the Libertarian. There is no Liberal candidate at this point.

NDPers will choose either Doug Hart or Katherine Swampy on Aug. 24 for the Red Deer-Lacombe riding (south Red Deer). Blaine Calkins is running for the Conservatives and Jeff Rock has the Liberal nod.

Electoral boundaries in Alberta have been redrawn, dissolving the former federal ridings of Red Deer and Wetaskiwin.

The former Red Deer riding was split into Red Deer-Lacombe and Red Deer-Mountain View.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

According to the city, trees are the main solution to improving urban canopy cover in downtown areas.
Tree care focus of free webinar

Red Deer and Lacombe Counties hosting March 11 webinar

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

EDMONTON — Alberta’s COVID-19-era budget made a hard landing Thursday with an… Continue reading

The expansion of the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre has been discussed for over a decade. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer hospital expansion gets about $6 million in 2021 provincial budget

According to the government’s three-year plan, the project will get $59 million by 2024.

The Town of Sylvan Lake has launched a new contest to attract a new business. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Sylvan Lake offering rent-free storefront space to lure new businesses

Winning business proposal will get a storefront space rent-free for a year

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

Calgary Flames defenceman Mark Giordano tries to help goaltender David Rittich stop a shot from Ottawa Senators right wing Drake Batherson during first-period NHL action Thursday, February 25, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Colin White scores two goals to lead Ottawa Senators to a 6-1 win over Calgary Flames

Colin White scores two goals to lead Ottawa Senators to a 6-1 win over Calgary Flames

Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy Vice-Admiral Art McDonald is seen during an interview with The Canadian Press in Ottawa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Military reeling as new defence chief steps aside amid allegations of misconduct

Military reeling as new defence chief steps aside amid allegations of misconduct

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

‘Black box’ in Woods SUV could yield clues to cause of wreck

‘Black box’ in Woods SUV could yield clues to cause of wreck

Team Saskatchewan skip Sherry Anderson reacts to her shot against Team Quebec at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Peterson’s wild-card team edges N.W.T. skip Galusha to qualify for championship pool

Peterson’s wild-card team edges N.W.T. skip Galusha to qualify for championship pool

No-size-fits-all residence approach a reality for Canadian Hockey League teams

No-size-fits-all residence approach a reality for Canadian Hockey League teams

FILE - New York Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist reacts after a save during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers in New York, in this Sunday, March 1, 2020, file photo. The Flyers defeated the Rangers 5-3. Star goalie Henrik Lundqvist will sit out the upcoming NHL season because of a heart condition, announcing the news a little more than two months after joining the Washington Capitals. Lundqvist posted a written statement and a videotaped one on social media Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, saying it was a "pretty tough and emotional day." The 38-year-old from Sweden was bought out by the New York Rangers after 15 seasons and signed a $1.5 million, one-year deal with Washington in October. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
Lundqvist back on ice, ‘months’ away from deciding future

Lundqvist back on ice, ‘months’ away from deciding future

Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa holds up water collected from Neskantaga First Nation, where residents were evacuated over tainted water in October, during a rally at Queen's Park in Toronto on Friday, Nov. 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Feds didn’t supply enough resources to end water advisories on First Nations: auditor

Feds didn’t supply enough resources to end water advisories on First Nations: auditor

Most Read