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‘I can’t be a bystander’: Former Calgary city councillor Druh Farrell seeks NDP nom

Former Ward 7 Coun. Druh Farrell wants to make the jump to provincial politics.

Farrell, who spent 20 years around the council horseshoe, is vying for the Alberta NDP nomination in the provincial riding of Calgary-Bow.

“I can’t be a bystander,” Farrell told LiveWire Calgary.

“I’m born and raised Albertan. The province, this place is in my DNA. And I’m, I’m concerned about the direction that we’re taking.”

UCP MLA Demetrios Nicolaides currently holds the Calgary-Bow seat after winning it convincingly over one-term NDP MLA Deborah Drever.

Farrell opted for retirement from Calgary city council prior to the last civic election. Terry Wong now represents Ward 7. 

Farrell said she didn’t have her sights set on higher office prior to making that decision to vying for the Calgary-Bow nomination. This one evolved over the past four months.

“If I see something that needs fixing, I will try and help,” she said.

“I believe that our province has so much in store for it if we choose to embrace a bright future.”

A lot being broken

Farrell said no matter where you look, she feels things are being broken. She said healthcare, education, public trust in government are all deteriorating under the UCP.

“It takes work to build and it’s easier to break so I think there will be a lot that will be needed to be fixed in the next election,” Farrell said.

Farrell said her experience as a city councillor and the relationship with the province would serve the NDP well. Her understanding of municipal concerns like transit, affordable housing – and in particular, Calgary’s downtown – are tools she brings, she said.

“It’s a critical part of governing the province to have a strong, healthy relationship with municipalities,” she said.

“Rebuilding that relationship will be extremely important in order to thrive.”

Overall, Farrell said Alberta’s rising cost of living, the UCP’s fiscal waste and citizen frustration with services bode well for NDP fortunes.

“I believe that Albertans can see the result of this government and they’re still found wanting.”

Alberta’s next provincial election is slated for May 29, 2023.  It’s uncertain when a nomination decision for Calgary-Bow will be made.

(Note: The original story had the election date as a range between March 1 and May 31, 2023. Changes in Bill 81 set a specific date.)