In the spirit of the United Conservative Party (UCP) promise to let the people steer the next government, Cochrane town Coun. Morgan Nagel is throwing his name in to seek the nomination for the Airdrie-Cochrane riding.
“My number one election priority is in the spirit of this grassroots party – I’m offering my own grassroots guarantee that the residents of this riding are ultimately going to be responsible for what I advocate for.”
With the clock ticking down to the 2019 provincial election, Nagel said he has given much thought into how he can best serve the residents of Cochrane and believes all signs point to stepping into the provincial political arena.
“I can do far more for the people of Cochrane through representation at the provincial level than municipal,” explained Nagel, adding that he will “continue to work hard as a town councillor up until the provincial election in 2019.”
His grassroots vision is three-fold: to immediately create a local grassroots policy committee where participation from UCP members will shape his official nomination campaign platform; to honour all democratically-created UCP policies through the party’s founding convention this May; and to commit to frequent and ongoing engagement with the committee throughout the campaign and, if elected, throughout his entire term as MLA.
“I’ve built this movement with the Jason Kenney team since day one and this party is like no other in Canada, with such a strong grassroots, bottom-up approach,” said Nagel, who attended Kenney’s swearing-in as MLA for Calgary-Lougheed in Edmonton on Monday night.
His core principles are centered on supporting all private industries, balancing the budget, cutting taxes and investing in the Alberta Heritage Fund.
Nagel said he is concerned that large-scale projects on the books – including five major traffic projects, the intersection project at highways 22 and 1A, attracting more business and industry to town, managing growth and retaining as much independence as possible and managing health care facilities – will risk limping ahead without a big voice to champion them. He also has his sights set on 24-hour urgent care services for Cochrane and a future hospital in Airdrie.
“Airdrie and Bearspaw and surrounding rural areas are very similar to Cochrane in terms of culture and economy and I think I will fit right in.”
Coun. Alex Reed is behind his fellow councillor’s vie for the nomination.
“Morgan has the passion, energy, and clearly demonstrated his solid commitment to our community and its citizens. Morgan’s impressive track record speaks for itself. He will be a strong advocate for addressing our transportation and 24-hour health care needs among other things. We would be very fortunate to have Morgan as our MLA.
Nagel said if elected, he would put the heat on to the long-awaited Highway 1A expansion project through town that has been in talks for decades.
Nagel has thrown himself headfirst into the conservative unity movement since Jason Kenney announced his goal to unite the PC and Wildrose parties in the summer of 2016.
He has been a mover and shaker for the conservative unity movement at the local level, an active member on the Jason Kenney leadership race team and is currently the President of the Banff-Cochrane constituency association; once the election writ is dropped, the new boundaries will come into effect for the new Airdrie-Cochrane and Banff-Kananaskis riding.
He will immediately be stepping down from his role with the constituency association.
The 27-year-old conservative was elected to his second term on Cochrane town council last fall – garnering the most votes – including the three mayoral candidates.
According to the town, the cost of a byelection in the event Nagel is elected MLA is roughly $50,000. Nagel asserts the cost will be offset as he will ”be the voice that saves taxpayers millions and makes the private sector billions.
Nagel has a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Economics from the University of Calgary. He was also the youth director for the Manning Centre – a conservative think tank.
Current Banff-Cochrane NDP MLA Cameron Westhead has confirmed with the Cochrane Eagle that he will seek re-election under the NDP banner for the Banff-Kananaskis riding.
To date, Nagel is the second candidate to announce he is seeking the nomination. Local businessman Peter Guthrie announced last week.
To follow Nagel’s campaign or to contact him go to morgannagel.ca
Potential candidates for other political parties have yet to come forward but are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org when they do.