Pubdate: Wed, 27 Oct 2004
Source: Fort McMurray Today (CN AB)
Copyright: 2004 Fort McMurray Today
Author: Patrick Morley, Today Staff
Bookmark: (Canadian Marijuana Party)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


With just under a month to go before Albertans go to the polls, and
with the Grits and ND's yet to assign candidates in this constituency,
Reginald Normore of the Marijuana Party and Eugene Eklund of the
Alberta Alliance are the only competition for Progressive Conservative
Guy Boutilier. So far.

Despite being on opposite ends of the political spectrum the two
candidates are firing very similar pre-election attacks at the Tories.

Eklund, a 51-year-old oil worker from Slave Lake, said premier ralph
Klein has alienated Alberta's health care and education sectors by
focusing tax dollars in the wrong direction. He said his party will
change the face of health care by injecting money into the bottom of
the system, not the top as the Conservatives have done.

"What I'm saying is that three quarters of all health care dollars
goes to feed the bureaucracy, not the patient. Essentially the trickle
down effect is not working. We put millions in at the top and pennies
come out the bottom. We want to reverse that process," said Eklund. He
added his party is a viable alternative to the Conservatives with
policies similar to the old former federal Reform Party.

"Albertans support the Alliance federally, so why not

"The thing is that people don't have a say. Ralph runs it all.
Back-benchers don't even have a say. Ralph has (ticked) off everybody
in the province and there is a very good possibility that people will
vote for someone else."

Tory incumbent MLA Guy Boutilier was out meeting with voters at press
time but he told Today on Monday he was looking forward to the
election and added, "I welcome the opportunity of anyone who runs
against me."

Normore, who ran an unsuccessful campaign in the 2000 provincial
election said, "Klein is terrible and does nothing for the people." He
added that the Tories have taken away the trades that were once taught
in school leaving the education system, not to mention health care and
social liberties, in shambles.

"Health care is not looking good at all," said Normore. "And the laws
against (marijuana) need to be changed."

Normore -- who is awaiting a January court date for possession of
marijuana for purposes of trafficking and production of a controlled
substance, said Boutilier is a "good guy but too bad he's a puppet to
the terrible Ralph Klein."

Eklund too, had nothing bad to say about his Conservative competitor,
but reiterated his earlier point that Boutilier, like the rest of
Albertan's, are "at the mercy of Klein."

"I don't know if he (Boutilier) personally agrees with their policies
but the way the government is run he has no choice."

Eklund believes the trend that saw many of Alberta's municipal
incumbents lose their positions will transfer to the provincial scene.

"As I look across Alberta we had many mayoral changes," said Eklund.
"St. Albert, Edmonton, Red Deer -- many incumbents were replaced.
People want a change, let's keep the momentum for the betterment of
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MAP posted-by: Derek