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Airdrie Library board chair nominated by NDP in Airdrie-East

Local teacher Dan Nelles has been chosen as the Alberta NDP candidate in Airdrie-East for next spring’s provincial election. Nelles’ candidacy confirmation was held at Nose Creek Museum on Nov. 20.
Daniel Nelles, an Airdrie-based labour rep and the board of the Airdrie municipal library board, is running as the NDP's candidate in Airdrie-East next election.

Local educator Dan Nelles has been chosen as the Alberta NDP's candidate in Airdrie-East for next spring’s provincial election. 

Nelles’ candidacy confirmation was held at Nose Creek Valley Museum on Nov. 20.

A teacher by training, Nelles was raised in Airdrie, and is currently the Alberta Teachers’ Association Local 38 labour relations representative and chair of Airdrie Public Library's board of trustees.

“It’s an honour and an absolute pleasure to represent Alberta’s NDP in Airdrie-East,” Nelles said in a recent interview. “I have lived in this community since I was a wee little gaffer just before Kindergarten in 1985. It’s exciting to be able to have another opportunity to give back to my community.”

Nelles said his first order of business, if elected, will be listening to concerns of Airdronians and representing what their needs are to the provincial government.

“In speaking with folks on the streets and at the doors, what I can tell you is the priorities of Airdronians are the priorities of Albertans,” he stated. “People in Airdrie-East are concerned about economic security. They are concerned about the affordability of everyday life. They are concerned about access to health care. And they are concerned about the trustworthiness of this UCP government.”

According to Nelles, an NDP government would be committed to working equitably with local municipalities and political leaders to identify priorities and provide the resources they need to do what is best for their citizens.

The candidate said some examples of this are the overcrowding of local schools, and the need for new municipal infrastructure in Airdrie to support the rapid growth of the city.

“The lack of respect shown by this (UCP) government to school trustees in the expression of the (growth) needs they have, the lack of respect to municipal councillors about the needs they have – that’s very concerning.

“What an NDP government will do will make sure we are listening to our partners at other levels of government and work with them in order to problem solve and address the issues that are important to our constituents.”

Apart from Airdrie, Nelles said the neighbouring municipality of Rocky View County (RVC) also has growth pressures and needs that he feels have consistently been ignored by the current UCP government.

“I am thinking about the rapid growth element that is happening in the Balzac area,” he said. “I need to consult with (RVC) council to make sure they have the support they need from the provincial government in order to help spearhead the economic development of that area.

“We want to encourage and foster economic development in that area, but to do it in a sustainable way, and to do so in a manner that isn’t going to overtax the resources of the municipality.”

Nelles said his experience on Airdrie's library board in overseeing the municipality's multi-million dollar project and planning is experience which is directly transferable to the provincial government, should he be elected. 

But, he said, the biggest issue on the ballot box this spring will be trust. Nelles felt Airdronians have had an opportunity to take Premier Danielle Smith’s measure, and have found it wanting. On the other hand, he argues Albertans know and trust his leader, Rachel Notley, to do right by Alberta families and communities.

“Rachel is a trusted leader,” he stated. “She cares about Alberta families, and Albertans know she is honest, dependable, and moreover she is competent. Rachel Notley will be an effective premier and can listen to Albertans, and govern in the best interest of Albertans. That does give me a lot of hope hearing that on the streets (of Airdrie-East).

“They are interested in electing an NDP government because they simply can’t trust what the UCP stands for.”

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