Jack Hayden, the previous MLA for Drumheller-Stettler, says he’s made it to where he is today because he’s a big believer in people.
“I represent the interests of those in my riding,” says Hayden, 61, who was voted in for the past two terms. “It’s not about what I want . . . The people give me a direction and that’s where I go.”
Hayden, the former Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation, is running again for the Progressive Conservatives in the Drumheller-Stettler riding.
A former county of Stettler reeve, Hayden says he’s all about the small guy.
“For me, keeping the smaller communities viable is extremely important.”
Property rights, a hot topic for the rural constituencies, are also on Hayden’s radar.
“It’s a big battle trying to get the message out there that Alberta already has one of the best protection policies for property rights in the country,” he said. “It’s a huge issue for me and something I myself as a landowner am very passionate about . . . I’ve written numerous letters and such on it.”
Hayden has been involved in provincial politics for the past five years and was in municipal politics before that for 15 years. He’s held titles with the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties as well as with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. He was also the rural campaign chair for previous premier Ed Stelmach during the PC leadership campaign.
“I have a proven track record,” he said. “I bring the best.”
Hayden lives on his 102-year old family homestead in Byemoor, 80 km northeast of Drumheller, and farms beef cattle. He moved there 35 years ago from Calgary to raise his three children in a more rural setting.
Today he has three grandchildren.
He first got into the political field over concern about keeping smaller country schools open, starting as a school trustee and moving up to become the school board chair.