Election 2023: Brad Friesen – Alberta Party

What are your thoughts on the oil sands sector?

Well, I mean, we definitely got to work within the oil sands sector. And, obviously bring it to you know, make sure we’re within as environmental as we can. I mean, obviously, with any of the reclamation that we got to be doing, we should be doing that. I guess within its sector, we also have, you know, the dead wells, we got to be cleaning up. I mean, we got to make sure whatever parties are involved over the course of the last, however many years, I’d say 70 years, we get some of those orphaned wells cleaned up. But as far as oil sands, one of my hopes would be to make sure you know, we have enough pipeline capacity that we can get as much oil to market as we can, whether that’s to the west coast or out East to the Hudson’s Bay. I mean, we realized that we’re having a struggle through Ontario and Quebec. So I mean, I guess it’ll best alternative is probably Manitoba. So you know, whether that becomes an energy corridor with highways, pipelines, railways. To me, that would be obviously the best, best mix of transportation for products.

Do you have any plans or policy regarding emissions from oil sands?

I mean, I think what we got to do is just work with each of the partners, just make sure obviously, we’re emitting as less as we can. And I mean, if there’s something we can do for carbon capture, I mean, obviously working on, you know, whatever, we can do it, I guess, to best create less environmental effect.

What are your plans for addressing EMS response times?

Well, I mean, EMS response times, obviously comes with obviously knowing what we have for assets where those assets are, you know, having the Central Dispatch versus the local. I mean, we got to have more local. I mean, it’s got to be where somebody is calling 911. It goes to somebody here in Fort McMurray, they know where tower road is. They know a little bit more about where Fort Mckay is, you know, some of the roads in Fort Mckay. Fort McMurray’s roads. I mean, it’s all different than what’s in Grande Prairie, Edmonton, Calgary, or anywhere else within the province. So I mean, to me, we got to keep it as local as we can.

Do you have plans to address inflation or economic plans in general?

As far as economic and inflation plans, I mean, I’ve been very involved in agriculture over the years. So I mean, to me, obviously, food has been one of the bigger ones as well as I mean, cost of gas. I mean, whether that’s obviously the taxes on fuel, I mean, we got to fight obviously, with the federal government to get some of those taxes reduced when it comes to fuel. I mean, the province is doing what they can as far as the taxes go currently. Maybe that needs to be implemented longer where people even know Okay, for the next year, maybe even year and a half. We’re gonna say, you know, freeze on any provincial taxes for fuel.

Why did you choose to run?

Um, well, I’ve been in Fort McMurray since about 2001. Was came up here with a garden center with Dunvegan Gardens, we set up shop. At that point, things moved fairly steady. It was a very good place to be starting in business. There was a lot of opportunity. There wasn’t the red tape. I mean, that said, we did struggle within within Dunvegan, we bought a farm. We’re irrigating all of a sudden, you know, we didn’t have the right water withdrawal licenses. We went through things in the past that, you know, we’ve had to correct. But I mean, to me, a lot of it was to do with staffing within the province, within the municipality. I mean, we’ve got to make sure we have enough of the right staff who know the rules. And when people go in and ask for things they can get them. I mean, and that is also comes down to the amount of red tape that’s out there. I mean, we’ve got to be able to make it where businesses freely flow. I’ve talked to different people in the city. I mean, businesses came up to Fort McMurray, they struggled with the planning department, all of a sudden they decided, you know what, it’s easier to stay to work out of Edmonton. We’ve got to encourage these businesses to come and want to stay. So I mean, to me, I don’t know what sort of a department that looks like. But I think within our region anyway, we need to have somebody that can be there to totally advocate for, you know, new companies wanting to set up so that they don’t get bogged down by six months, eight months, 10 months, almost a year, waiting for the right permits. I mean, we need to get them the permits and get them operating.

What makes you the right choice?

I guess I’ve always been out there for you know, people within the community. I’ve always tried to, we’ve done a lot of events over the years for people within the community. You know, we’ve always focused on family. I mean, we want to build this community, the only way to build it is to make it a place where people want to come bring their families and actually stay. If we could do that, then there’s there’s no stop in the growth that Fort McMurray could see.

If someone is undecided, what would you do or say to convince them?

I would tell them, you know, what, look at the candidate. I mean, my biggest thing today, I just say is, you know, look at track records for candidates, look at what they’ve done in the past. You know, I guess, maybe some of what they’re talking about what they’d like to see. But I mean, I think more than anything is any sort of track records, because to me, that speaks as to whether somebody’s going to do more. I mean, you know, we’ve always tried to get out there help the food bank, we’ve always tried to get out there and help other not-for-profits, whether it was through fundraisers, I mean, to me, these things all create community. So I mean, I guess take a look, look at each candidate. Don’t go by party, don’t say, Well, I’ve always voted conservative. I vote conservative today. I mean, my family comes from 70 years, 80 years, 90 years of conservative. I mean, Alberta party is more to the center. Do some people think that’s a little strange? Well, yes. But to me, I just want to be here to represent the people. So I guess, all I’ll say is take a look at each candidate.

Anything else regarding plans or policies or anything you want the people to know?

I mean, to me, I think what I want to be able to say is, you know what, I want to be able to listen twice as much as I talk. So I mean, you know, if you vote for me as your candidate, you know, my plan is to sit and listen, see what people want. And then go to Edmonton and try and fight for those things for our community for our constituents, here in Fort McMurray, Wood Buffalo.

You can listen to the full interview here: Election 2023: Brad Friesen – Alberta Party.

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