Meet the candidate: Red Deer – Lacombe (Maverick Party)

Harry Joujan, Maverick Party.

Harry Joujan, Maverick Party.

Harry Joujan, Maverick Party

Current occupation: I am currently semi-retired but looking forward to serving Red Deer-Lacombe constituents by breaking our representation deadlock in the west and in Ottawa.

What are the three most pressing issues facing central Alberta residents, and how will you address them?

Here are my three pressing issues of concern for central Alberta and measures I will support to help bring a better, brighter future to the West. First for me and the Maverick Party is the appalling abdication of any effective representation for Westerners by elected Conservative MPs. Government and opposition MPs in Ottawa dictate policies that have damaged the West for more than 100 years. But those policies become decisions that protect what central and eastern provinces demand. Western MPs are outnumbered and relegated to party-enforced silence by MPs in government and all opposition parties. A specific aggravating example is the federal government’s Equalization Program formula enshrined in the constitution. Alberta has paid a staggering total of multi-billions of energy industry dollars to Quebec – designated a “have not” province – over the past decades. And yet under the program formula, when Alberta had an $8.7 billion budget deficit in 2018-19 and Quebec showed an $8.3 billion surplus in the same year, Alberta still got nothing. Westerners believe the federal transfer payment program is irreversibly flawed so the Maverick Party will work to have it abolished.

Second, the Liberals’ carbon tax is an attack on taxpayers and unfairly penalizes western Canadians with no measurable effect on carbon pollution. Erin O’Toole’s frantically produced carbon levy also has no measurable carbon-reducing benefits but again attacks westerners disproportionately to satisfy eastern demands. The Maverick Party supports eliminating any form of carbon taxes or levies to individuals. Further, the Maverick Party does not support further economic impositions on Westerns and Canadians in a futile attempt to achieve the unrealistic expectations and goals agreed to by the Liberals under Paris Climate Accord. The Maverick Party will advocate for market-based approaches to environmental protection, including reduction of GHG emissions.

Third, the federal government must stop its incessant attack on the oil/gas sector that supports this region’s economy with the most ethically-produced products in the world. The Maverick Party calls upon central and eastern Canadians to end the hypocrisy of being critical of the West’s ethical oil while importing dirty, unethical oil from other countries. Ensure unethical foreign oil is financially penalized for “bad practices”. The Maverick Party supports an import levy on every barrel of imported oil with an offsetting credit for every barrel of oil the exporting country imports from Canada. Further, regional autonomy in the West’s resource industries must be held by Westerners.

To conclude, I’ll say this to voters in the West, simply and directly. The West has met its obligations to Canada under an archaic constitution, ever since we joined confederation. Now I’ll support measures to get millions of Westerners a better deal for a brighter future. We’ve earned it.

A few more things …

If you have run for/served in office before, what have you learned? If not, why are you running now?

I was born in Lethbridge, raised in Alberta and B.C. and now live in Red Deer.

If you have served in office before, what have you learned? Why are you running now?

I’ve learned that serving your community on the issues that are the most important to them is considerably more difficult and challenging than focusing on those issues that are easy to accomplish but matter little to the people you serve.

Why would you make a good representative for your constituents in the legislature?

Western voters’ aspirations for long-term sustainable prosperity have been wilfully ignored by hundreds of elected Conservatives for decades. That party buried our goals in favour of Eastern Canada priorities. In today’s West, it’s time for voters to seize control of the root causes of our simmering discontent, now about to boil over. The Maverick Party is our liberator.

Here’s my Charter for Service to the constituents of Red Deer-Lacombe.

• Relentless representation of our grassroots to win long-held, soul-deep goals and objectives

• Principled, passionate pursuit of Western priorities, successes and achievements

• Resounding results across the spectrum of Western aspirations

• Daily delivery of true grit, sheer guts and personal pluck

Tell us a surprising or interesting fact or story about yourself.

Today the primary issue facing my community is the deterioration of our western identity. Eastern needs and desires do not reflect western values and priorities. However they do have a strangle-hold in Parliament. Only a united western voice can protect our families, culture and conservative values from total erosion. I can no longer wait for change. I must stand up now.

Notable past achievements/titles/jobs.

My objective for every commitment I’ve made in my lifetime is to always strive to do my best. Among my memorable positions of service was my seat on town council in Inuvik, NWT. I have been honoured serve as president/chairman on numerous non-profit and community groups in my career including the chamber of commerce, the Lions club, an NWT Workers Compensation task force and a joint federal/NWT committee for the approval of funds for industry-related initiatives in the western arctic to name a few.

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