A former Morinville town councillor is vying for a spot in the upcoming provincial election.
Joe Gosselin, a two-term councillor in Morinville, is hoping to earn a nod from the UCP constituency for the new Morinville-St. Albert riding.
Gosselin, who stepped down from council in 2010, considered running for mayor in this upcoming election but decided against it only because of his aspirations to become an MLA.
The father and grandfather said that he has always enjoyed serving in one way or another, as he spent 22 years in the military before jumping into municipal politics.
"For several years now I have been interested in politics ... I have always served in one capacity or another," Gosselin said.
This election run will not be Gosselin’s first crack at provincial politics. In 2015, he ran for the Wildrose nomination in Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock. He ultimately lost the nomination to current MLA Glenn van Dijken, but was then asked to run as the Wildrose candidate for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville.
Gosselin finished third in the election with just under 21 per cent of the vote, following behind NDP candidate Jessica Littlewood and PC candidate Jacquie Fenske.
The business owner, who runs a woodworking shop with his wife, said that he would give up his business or transfer it to his wife if elected. Being an MLA is a full-time job, Gosselin said, and he noted he wouldn’t have time to focus on the business.
“Had I run for mayor I would have shut the business down if I was successful. When I was on council it was busy enough trying to juggle both,” Gosselin said.
Gosselin joined the Wildrose party in 2010 when he stepped down from municipal politics and has been involved in the Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock constituency association since then.
He is drawn to the UPC because he believes in parental choice in education and raising children; and he wants to see the province be more fiscally responsible.
“When you have to borrow money to provide people with services that tells me that there is a bit of a mismanagement thing going on. I think our party is pro-services, but not pro-services at any cost. We have to be able to afford the services and we can’t be everything to everybody,” Gosselin said.
So far Gosselin is running against four other candidates for the UCP seat in the riding. Donald Rigney, Amber Harris, Trina Jones and Dale Nally have all submitted their paperwork to run under the UCP banner in Morinville-St. Albert.
Shawna Gawreluck is the only candidate running for the NDP seat in the same riding, although incumbents such as Trevor Horne from Spruce Grove-St. Albert have yet to declare which riding they will run in during the election.
St. Albert MLA Marie Renaud is seeking the NDP nomination in the St. Albert riding.
The new riding of Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland, which is home to part of Sturgeon County, has five contestants running for the UCP nomination. Jerry Molnar, Leah Wood, Everett Normandeau, Dale Johnson and Barbara Costache have all submitted their paperwork with the province.
Current Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock MLA Glenn van Dijken has secured the UCP nomination for the next election. Van Dijken is running in the Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock riding after the ridings were redrawn in 2017 and his current riding, Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock, was divided.