Mark Grinder works in the oilsands in heavy trades.
He shares in the concerns of many in the region about the oilsands, industry, and the future of Alberta.
Grinder first thought about running when he came across the Independence Party in October 2018.
“I looked through their policies, and that’s what attracted me: The lower taxes, [and] a better future for all Albertans and for our kids.”
The word “independence” alarms many, the 12-year resident and experienced welder will admit.
However, Grinder says in light of recent failures to get Trans Mountain and Energy East pipeline built, the future of Alberta is in the hands of the province.
“We all know we’re not getting a fair shake by Eastern Canada. I mean it’s pretty evident.”
Grinder chose to self-finance his campaign.
He believes those elected should reflect what their constituents want.
“The politics now is the decision is taken away from the average people. Why not give those people the decision again? Politicians work for the people, not the opposite.”
Friends and running mates
Running alongside Mark Grinder is friend and co-worker Mike Keller, who will candidate for the Independence Party in the Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo riding.
He says Keller became quite interested after speaking with Grinder about the party and their election mandate.
“I just basically gave him some information, [he] came back and said ‘Yeah, I like what I see from the policies and stuff like that.'”
Both will continue as full-time oilsands workers while they run their individual campaigns.
Should Mark Grinder win the MLA seat in Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche, he will leave his post in heavy trades.
He believes his platform and experience will resonate with voters when they head to the polls on April 16.
“I want everybody, more or less, to become more informed. Do the research, look into everybody, all their policies, and then they decide.”