The federal election will have the Grande Prairie–Mackenzie residents back at the polls on Sept. 20.
Town & Country News continues its dialog with candidates as they come forward.
Parti Rhinocéros Party - Donovan Eckstrom
Donovan Eckstrom has entered the political ring again for the Parti Rhinocéros Party.
The Sexsmith resident first entered the bid for a seat a decade ago, when he was 19.
“I ran in 2011 up in Peace River against Chris Warkentin and Jennifer Villebrun, and it's like a big reunion 10 years later, it's like the Friends reunion, but boring because its politics,” said Eckstrom.
He previously ran in Edmonton ridings while attending university before completing the Bachelor of Education program and making his way back to the South Peace.
“I feel like eventually, I might win. You can’t do it if you don’t try,” said Eckstrom.
Since entering the political ring as a young adult, he said he feels like he has aged 30 years.
“I think I'm both wiser and a little stupider, so it's a beautiful thing.”
The Rhino platform is making some changes this year.
“We want to one-up all of the separatist parties and actually kick the rest of Canada, out of Quebec, and the West,” explained Eckstrom.
“We, as a Rhino government, if elected, promise to recognize Pluto as a planet. I think that's a good relationship builder there.”
If elected, Eckstrom said, “I would sacrifice my sanity so that the Peace country would have a voice in every boring parliamentary subcommittee and sub-sub-committee.”
He also noted that if elected, “it would be a fate worse than death.”
Eckstrom shrugged at the mention of the economy, saying that it was another boring subject.
“The Rhinos will continue our promise from 1967 to replace Canada's currency with bubble gum that way we can control inflation a little bit better,” he said.
Ultimately above all else, Eckstrom said, “I promise not to keep any of my promises.”
In the last election, Eckstrom said that 73 per cent of people went out to vote in the region.
“Nobody wants this election, and there are about 20,000 people who didn't vote, and one can say that's certainly about apathy.
“They might just be completely checked out, but there's a lot of people that said I don't vote because I don't like anybody, and I hope to be that option.
“I'm essentially the none of the above option, and it gives you an opportunity to protest while still practicing your civic duty of voting.”
The Grande Prairie-Mackenzie riding has six candidates that also include CPC’s Chris Warkentin, Liberal Dan Campbell, PPC Shawn McLean, Maverick Ambrose Ralph and NDP Jennifer Villebrun.
Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News