“Trust in the process:” Cyr and Hanson comment on tight nomination race

It was trust in the process that kept Scott Cyr’s head cool as he and David Hanson waited in limbo for a week and a half to determine the UCP nomination for the riding.

Cyr, ahead by one vote after the Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul’s constituency association counted the ballots and waited ten days to see if his victory would hold.

In the end, after a recount and analysis of eight previously deemed ineligible ballots, Cyr finished with 314 votes and Hanson with 313 votes, meaning the former MLA was a step closer to reclaiming a seat he once held.

Elections don’t get any tighter than this.

“In the end, when you had your party working together, as well as the candidates and three nominees, what you end up with is it was a real success at the end,” Cyr told Lakeland Connect. “Where you’ve got faith on all sides, on the fact that, we all know that this was done correctly. And in the end, the members got to voice who they wanted to move forward.” 

It was a competitive race between Cyr, Hanson, and former M.D. Reeve Greg Sawchuk. Hanson lead after the first round of ballots, eliminating Sawchuk from contention.

The second place votes vaulted Cyr slightly ahead of the incumbent MLA.

Hanson, who had appealed the initial vote count, thanked residents for their support.

It was a privilege to serve two terms as an MLA. Less than 1000 Albertans have done it in 117 years of our history, so it’s quite a privilege to do it,” he told Lakeland Connect. 

“What more can you say? Politics is politics.” 

Cyr represented the Bonnyville-Cold Lake riding from 2015 to 2019 as an opposition MLA in the Wildrose Party.

He said he stepped away from politics because of the age of his children. Now four years older and more independent, he felt comfortable running again, adding that the removal of Premier Jason Kenney and changes at the UCP Board level were also prime motivators.

“I also needed to see some healing happening within rural. And I believe Premier Smith is bringing that healing forward for rural people when we had a lot of divisiveness happening. What happened here is that I didn’t see a pathway to success, to beating the NDP, under the conditions that we were seeing,” said Cyr. 

“I’m hopeful that a lot of the members who ultimately put their faith behind Premier Smith with their vote in the leadership contest will see her vision as well. And I want to be a part of that.

“I think that our local members spoke; they see that I have done a lot of good things in my time from 2015 to 2019. And they wanted to see that growth from the province being filtered back to our local region. We haven’t seen that kind of growth being transferred to us – we saw it more or less being distributed to the big cities. And I think we need to remind our MLA colleagues that the majority of the resource wealth comes from Northeastern Alberta, yet we see such a small part of it.” 

Cyr will be running against NDP nominee Caitlyn Blake when an election is called.


Hanson continues before writ drops

Meanwhile, MLA David Hanson will finish out his term until the writ drops in the spring for an election.

One of his main files is as the Parliamentary Secretary for Procurement Transformation.

“I’ve got a couple of meetings next week, just trying to deal with getting a better deal for our contractors that work with the province of Alberta and making sure that folks get paid,” he said.

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