Meet the Candidates – Wheatland County

Wheatland County – division 1

Alice Booth
Being your Councilor for Division 1 has been rewarding. I, Alice Booth, have been honoured to serve on numerous boards over the years, volunteer in different communities, sing in two choirs, while keeping up with my farm, home and gardens,I believe infrastructure is imperative, market access depends on our road building & paving program. Highway 842 continues a priority to be rebuilt as this is important to the Economy of this area. Clean drinking water, waste services, housing, schools and recreation keep our communities vibrant, Key components of economic diversification that are being reviewed include: The Land Use Bylaw, Municipal Development Plan, Regional Growth Management Strategy, Economic Development Strategy, a challenge I’m looking forward to.Wheatland County has a bright, dynamic, innovative and ever-changing future. The Government expects 1.3 million more people in this area in the next decade. We can expect to be the recipient of some new families seeking homes, jobs, and schools. This is an exciting time, to be planning the Economic future of Wheatland County as the best place to live, work and play. I look forward to meeting and serving all the residents of Wheatland County and ask for your support on election day.

Jason Wilson
My name is Jason Wilson and I am asking for your support in the upcoming county election. As you may be wondering, “aren’t you a little young to become a councillor?” Yes, I am young, but with that I can understand the importance of looking forward and investing in the future. It was once said “Age considers, youth ventures.”
That is what I plan to do, venture. I want to hear from you, the rate payers of Wheatland County, for it is you that I am wanting to represent. The issues and policies you raise will be a part of my platform because you should be able to have a say in what happens in your community. I was raised just north of Gleichen on our family ranch. My family came here in 1901 and since then we have been able to create a life in this county and I want to continue that. I believe it is the people who have something invested in our small rural communities that matter the most. Those who want to raise a family here, those who have built businesses here, those who want to create a life here. Small tight knit communities have built this province and I believe we can do it again. If I am lucky enough to be elected to represent Division 1, I will do my best to serve those people, our county relies on.

Wheatland County – division 2

Sandra Desmet
I am Sandra Desmet and I am part of a third-generation family farm. I have strong family values, and have been active in our community. My husband and I have raised four children that are all employed in the Ag Industry.
My motivation behind running for council is that I want to see our county thrive, to have strong representation, and a dependable voice, and I believe I am person for that role. I would bring a strong decisive voice to council. I will strive to ensure that the public services enhance the life and life opportunities for the people in our area. I will be a capable representative for my ward, be a trusted point of contact and be an effective advocate for the people. I would like to communicate council policies and decisions back to my ward more efficiently. I would like to improve on the developing, receiving and monitoring of the performance of services. I would also advocate for preserving property rights, protecting the family farm, wise use of our tax dollars and find solutions to the escalating rural crime. I also encourage everyone to come out and vote. Thank you for your support.

Amber Link
I’m running for Division 2 Wheatland County Council because I absolutely love where I live and I want to do my part to keep it the incredible place that it is.
I have deep roots in Wheatland County, I grew up on a farm near Rockyford and except for a few years of University, to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree, I have lived in this area my whole life.
My husband, Kevin, a paramedic with Wheatland EMS, and I moved to an acreage in Namaka in 2007 because we knew it was the perfect place to raise our five children.
My experience as a school board trustee for seven years, serving as vice chair of the board for two of those years, taught me what board governance involves. I was involved with strategic planning, visioning, policy development, and hiring committees for multiple administration positions. My work on the negotiations committee resulted in the successful negotiation of contracts and the prevention of strikes within the division.
I currently volunteer at the Alberta Children’s Hospital and with our local down syndrome association, Ups and Downs. I have previously served as the vice president of the Namaka Community Association. I have volunteered in several ministries within our church, including teaching marriage courses, youth, and a meal ministry. I’ve always been actively involved with my children and their activities, and co-lead a Junior Forest Wardens club for the last eight years.
I love spending time with my family, days outdoors, hiking or camping are my favourite. I love finding beauty in unexpected places and capturing it in photos.
I am your Link to council, if elected I promise I will listen to our community and be a voice for all residents of our division. That’s my promise: to be your voice.

Sharon Sequillion
I have lived and worked in Wheatland County and the Strathmore area for 20 years. I have raised seven children and I now have three beautiful grandchildren. I recently resigned from my position with Alberta Health Services after 17 years of service. I have advocated for many people in Wheatland County as well as listen to their point of view. I have learned that the best way to advocate for change Is by example not by opinion. I live an honest life and work very hard to give back to the community I live in.
I was approached by two constituents in my area, Division 2, asking me if I would consider running for council. After much consideration, I sat down with a former county councillor of Division 2 to discuss the job itself, and I came away with a determination to run and win.
I am willing to work hard as well as listen to individuals’ needs, both for farmers who helped mold the agricultural footprint of Wheatland County as well as the many new people in Division 2.
I have a new energy and a willingness to learn. I also have the time needed for the position. Public service has always been a big part of my every day life and I see running for council as a great opportunity to serve the area in which I live as well as the people in it. This is why I have decided to run for county council Division 2.

Wheatland County – division 3

Donna Biggar
I was raised in this area and raised my children here. Throughout my years in Carseland, I have involved myself with many committees and boards. It was an honour to serve on the Hall Building Fund, the Carseland History Committee, Public Benefit Club, and Carseland Curling Club. It was also a pleasure to teach junior curling for 15 years.
I’ve worked for many years in agriculture before I was inspired to pursue horticulture. For the last 14 years I’ve been managing Aspen Crossing Ltd., a successful tourism attraction in Mossleigh, Atla. Aspen Crossing has grown from an employment of three to a total of 55 this fall. With the company’s growth I have acquired strong skills in team building relationships, leadership and business knowledge.
I believe that my acquired skills are the perfect asset to help assist the residents of Division 3, and our county to deal with growing changes within our community. Helping to create a positive future for the interest, safety and welfare of my fellow neighbours, friends and family.

Angela Cinq-Mars
As a Carseland resident in Division 3, I feel that as residents we have lost our voice in council. Division 3 has the potential to thrive with the right representation leading us. With our industrial corridor that is being underutilized, I will actively seek out business to come into our division. This would provide a much-needed increase in our tax base and local jobs for our many residents. We need to ensure our tax dollars are being spent in the most efficient manor. Council needs to educate everyone on the importance of our local farms, and make them aware of the obstacles farmers face during certain times of the year. We need to explore social programs and facilities for our youth and seniors. We need to come together as a division and ensure that our voices are heard again and that we are able to prosper and grow. I would like the opportunity to represent all of you in Division 3 and make the changes we need now and for our future success. My name is Angela Cinq-Mars and I would like you vote.

Cody MacLean
I have decided with the full support of my family to run for councillor for Wheatland County Division 3. I have lived in Division 3 for five years, where my wife of 15 years Stacy and myself are raising our two beautiful daughters. I grew up and was raised very close to Wheatland County. In my 41 years I have mainly worked in the agriculture sector and know firsthand some of the struggles our farmers and ranchers face, as well as small business owners as I am also one of them. I believe in family first and have met lots of families young and old in the community at various events as I am a very active volunteer. Wheatland County is a great place and my reason for running for council is to help it continue to grow, at the same time staying responsible to its taxpayers and making sure due diligence is done on every new project. I want to be the voice of the great people in Division 3. To all the families young and old, farmers, ranchers and small business owners if you are looking for honesty and integrity then I am your man as I have based my life on those very things! My handshake is my bond. I look forward to meeting you all! Lets work together and keep this great county moving forward!

Wayne Shapka
I have lived in Division 3 for 25 years and have developed strong friendships and ties to the community. My wife and I raised our family here. I see the position of councilor for Division 3 as an opportunity to give back through an even more significant role to the community that I love.
I have always enjoyed serving the public, and am recently retired from the City of Calgary after 34 years with Calgary Transit. For many years I have enjoyed being an active member of the Carseland Lions Club serving as president, treasurer and currently as secretary. This has allowed me to actively participate in many community projects and endeavors, including the Carseland 100 Year Centennial Celebrations.
I have an active membership with the Carseland & District Agricultural Society, having served a term as vice president. While there, I was instrumental in facilitating and implementing the creation of a paid general manager position. In addition, I was responsible for the selection and purchase of new grounds keeping equipment.
As a candidate, I believe you cannot expect to parachute into a position of responsibility in your community, such as Division 3 Councilor, without having been actively involved already.
Volunteering and other forms of community participation are key to connecting with, and gaining an understanding of, your community.
Involvement = experience = commitment to your community
“Your Neigbour, Your Community”

Don Vander Velde
My reason for running for councillor again is to see some of the future projects that the county is taking part in come to a conclusion. For example, being involved with a new lodge and hospice centre that is being proposed for the county residents. The challenge and effect of part of Wheatland County becoming part of the Calgary Municipal Plan and the increasing costs to the county in regards to repairing roads due to the amount of heavier traffic using county roads is of concern as well as the loss of agricultural farm land to small residential subdivisions. Seeing the new Carseland fire hall in operation will be a positive outcome but the main reason for running for councillor is to be an advocate for the residents in Division 3.
Our family is a fifth-generation family, living in the Carseland district. I have lived in the area all my life. My grandfather and his three brothers came in 1909. One of the greatest rewards of being a councillor is the friendships that are created.

Wheatland County – division 4

Berniece Bland
My name is Berniece Bland and I have been very proud to represent Division 4 the last 10 years. With my husband John, we transferred to Cheadle over 40 years ago due to his final RCMP posting. Our four children have been raised in this community and we love to call it home.
I am running for another term because this work has taught me many things, including the passion I have to represent my friends and neighbours. I want to continue to be your voice for the issues that affect our division and Wheatland County.
I stand for integrity, honesty and transparency. I will continue to promote smart growth that balances the needs of agriculture and our increasing rural population. I am very proud of the road and infrastructure improvements that have been completed during my term.
I have served on various committees including Southern Alberta Energy from Waste (SAWEA), WFCSS, WADEMSA and Wheatland Lodge. I would like the opportunity to continue the great work we have accomplished with these organizations.
I have the experience, passion and commitment to serve another term and I ask for your support on Oct. 16!

Tom Ikert
Tom Ikert, Division 4 Councillor candidate, was raised on the Wheatland County farm where he currently resides. Tom’s parents, Carl and Ruth, purchased the quarter section in 1968 and later built a modest ‘dream home’ where they raised their sons.
Tom, a self-employed journeyman carpenter, and his wife Crystal took over the farm in 2008. The farm is home to horses, cattle, dogs, cats, and miniature donkeys. The land itself contributes to Alberta’s economy through leasing for farming and oil extraction. Referring to the farm he calls home, Tom says, “I love where I live and cannot contemplate living anywhere else.”
Tom is running for council, because council needs new ideas. There are better ideas than raising taxes every year, and all of them need to be explored. I don’t have all the answers, but I am committed to collaborating with my neighbours in Division 4 to find them, to find the best path forward. Tom says, “I want to be your advocate, to your local government. Things change, that is life. It is time for a change in council. You have a choice.”

Wheatland County – division 5

Scott Klassen
I’m Scott Klassen and I want to be your Wheatland County Division 5 councillor. I have over 15 years of experience in Municipal Government, a strong business sense, an open mind, and a commitment to making Wheatland County a better place to live.
I was raised on an acreage north of Nightingale and attended school and graduated in Strathmore. In 2007, my wife and I moved back to Nightingale on an acreage to raise our children. I wanted our children to grow up in the great community I was raised in.
I currently co-own a trucking company in Strathmore, which I have been a part of since moving back to Nightingale. I have many years of Municipal experience and worked as a water plant operator for Corix utilities. I started as a labourer and worked my way up to superintendent of operations. I gained experience with subdivision and development of municipal lands, contract negotiations, labour, budgeting, forecasting, emergency planning and infrastructure maintenance and upgrades.
I will be your division voice at council meetings, I will honestly represent the best interests of our Division 5 residents, I will not be afraid to voice your concerns.
My family and I love living in a farming community and have many animals that we care for. We are very involved in the 4-H and Gymkhana communities and enjoy riding very much. I enjoy helping out our neighbours in the farming community whenever I can.
Please come out to vote advance polls are Friday, Oct. 13 at Wheatland County office from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Election Day is Monday, Oct. 16th from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at either Lyalta Hall or Nightingale Hall.
Your vote is important to me and your community.
Thank you.

Brenda Knight
I’m Brenda Knight and currently serving my community as your council representative in Division 5.
I was born, raised and reside on a farm within the division with my partner of 23 years, Boyd.
I believe “rural matters” and rural communities are just as important as our urban counterparts.
Our infrastructure, roads, bridges, railroads, water, sewer and waste are critical.
Social and economic development depends on industry, oil, gas, solar, wind power, agriculture, commercial, retail, tourism which requires balanced long-term planning.
Family and community services including transportation, policing, fire services, housing, recreation, libraries, increase viability, secure and strengthen our communities.
Access to education and health care programs and services, especially those most vulnerable our children, seniors, veterans, is imperative.
Land use, rivers, creeks, soil, air quality, noise, wildlife, species at risk and our ecosystems should be part of everyone’s conscience
Wheatland County is very large with distinct hamlets and even smaller named areas built by our forefathers. The current local residents work continuously on keeping their autonomy. A one size fits all approach may not work however treating everyone equally is expected.
I will continue to work on your behalf and ask for your support on election day.

Wheatland County – division 6

Glenn Koester
I am Glenn Koester and I have lived in the Rockyford area all my life and I am happily married to my wife and best friend Lois for 43 years. Together we have raised four children on our family farm and are the proud grandparents of five grandchildren.
I am also a councillor for Division 6 and I have the honour of being the Reeve for Wheatland County. I have been Reeve for six years and I stand for: integrity, honesty and compassion.
Integrity: I endeavour to ensure that all people are treated the same, everyone should have the chance to voice their concerns and have their concerns heard. All the residents of Wheatland County should be shown respect and their opinions matter.
Honesty: I endeavour to be trustworthy, to always tell the truth and to always accept the truth. I am open to new ideas and will remain open minded and pursuable until it is time to make a decision. I have a sincere will to serve Wheatland County and its residents to the best of my ability. I will be fair, however I realize that I cannot make everyone happy all the time.
Compassion: I always have time to listen, to take the time to understand the wants and needs of a resident, an organization, a community and Wheatland County. I will take the time to try and find a way to achieve. My first response will not be “You can’t do that.”
It has been an honour to have served Wheatland County residents for the last 14 years. If re-elected I will continue to serve you with the best of my ability; that is what you deserve and it’s my responsibility. I am asking for your vote and the opportunity to continue to serve you in Wheatland County.

Fiona Lauridsen
I have arrived at a point in my life where I have the time and energy to devote to the challenges of the position. This, coupled with strong encouragement from trusted friends and voters in the division, tells me this is the right time to put my name forward. I enjoy working with the public and possess a strong sense of humour to keep me balanced. I am reflective and analytical by nature. Through life and work I have learned commitment, empathy, creativity and discipline. These skills are vital to becoming an effective councillor.
I have had discussions with provincial ministers, industry leaders and the premier of this province on landowner rights. The issues were often contentious but I am experienced at navigating conflicting views and competing interests. A councillor’s job is not to promote a personal agenda, but to work to find sensible and sensitive solutions which bring the greatest benefit to the community as whole.
Any council, board or committee must constantly regenerate if it is to remain vital and effective. As a councillor for Division 6, I would add a new perspective and a different energy to Wheatland Council.
I am ready to give my best.