Mark Wilcox, Maverick Party
Current occupation: Airline training captain. I love my career but feel compelled to get politically active for my own and all of our children. Let’s face it – we can all stand some change for the better.
What are the three most pressing issues facing Central Albertans and how will you address them?
A major issue facing Central Albertans, and all Westerners, is not having a voice in Ottawa. I will correct this by advocating only for the West in Ottawa. Case in point, the current MP consistently votes “yea” on issues that only benefit Quebec. It’s challenging to see this repetitive voting pattern as anything other than pandering for votes in Central Canada. The national parties are well aware that forming government is impossible without support in Central and Eastern Canada. So they concentrate their efforts there, hanging the West out to dry while happily accepting our tax and equalization payments. It’s well past time for western MP’s to represent the best interests of the West. Westerners deserve a Western voice equivalent to our contributions to this Confederation.
Our economy is paramount. Our energy industry and pipelines are essential in our region. O’Toole, in his first week as leader met with the Quebec premier. He literally assured him that Energy East was “off the table”. In the meantime, Canada buys roughly $12 billion of dirty Saudi oil per year ignoring our clean Western oil. We are world leaders in production and emissions standards. And our energy is produced by hard working women and men; definitely a product to be proud of. Dirty Saudi oil is from a dictatorship where women can’t vote. Are we really discussing this? Canada first, every time, and forever.
My approach to taxation and equalization is completely different. Rather than discuss how much Quebec receives, I look at how much money would be left in our economy if we weren’t making these payments. In my mind that’s the heart of the matter.
Consider taxation. Many families are struggling to pay their bills while paying massive taxes. Where is the CPC on this? O’Toole himself implemented an “O’Toole” bucks carbon tax. How is this helping Western Families? It isn’t. Although I’m in favor of green initiatives, I cannot support punishing Albertans for driving to work or to get groceries. I cannot support punishing Albertans for getting their kids to hockey and soccer. And especially I cannot support punishing Albertans for heating their homes! It’s asinine.
A few more things …
Where were you born/raised? Where do you live now?
I was born in Victoria and grew up in a small town near Vernon, BC. My wife, Shannon, and our daughters, Gabrielle, 14, and Aaliyah, 10, moved to Carstairs in 2014.
If you have run for/served in office before, what have you learned? If not, why are you running now?
Running for the Maverick Party is the first time I’ve run for public office. This is key. Politicians, of every stripe, are part of the problem. Frankly, their antics and lack of leadership are why we are in this mess. I am running now because the path and direction we are on is so far removed from where most Western Canadians want to be. It’s time to grab the bull by the proverbial horns and get this under control.
Why would you make a good representative for your constituents?
The constituents of Red Deer-Mountain View know I don’t waver when it comes to defending the West. The Conservative candidate has no option but to vote along with the party lines. The orders are dictated by CPC headquarters in Ottawa. They are rarely helpful to Western Canadians. It’s past time that the West has an option that is from the West and only for the West. All national parties eventually capitulate to the East. The Maverick Party doesn’t need to. We only represent the West. Holding the balance of power, our votes will make the difference and benefit the West.
Tell us a surprising or interesting fact or story about yourself.
I’m a huge music aficionado with eclectic taste enjoying everything from 80’s punk rock to the 90’s resurgence, outlaw country and everything in between. I am a drummer and bassist and proficient enough to say “I play guitar”. Sometimes it feels like the music industry is in no better shape than the political world. Many of the greats have gone and no one is stepping up to take their place. Where is the new Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, or Lemmy Kilmister? Really looking forward to hearing from them – SOON!
Notable past achievements/titles/jobs.
I currently hold an ATPL. This is the licence required to be the pilot in command (captain) of a large jet internationally. Previously I’ve owned, operated and sold several medium size businesses. I was also the President and Operations Manager of an airline in B.C. Worldwide, aviation is a VERY challenging business. I believe it is also an excellent industry from which to segue into politics.