2015 04 29 candidate joe gosselinJoe Gosselin is the Wildrose Party candidate for the Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville provincial constituency. Photo by Jonathan Milke

Joe Gosselin is the Wildrose Party candidate for the Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville riding in the May 5 provincial election.

Gosselin was raised in Ontario until he was 19, at which point he joined the military. He chose to serve his first three years in the West, including time in Wainwright and in Calgary, where he left the military and spent the next seven years.

He reenlisted in 1982 as a mechanic and served until 2000, at which point he began a wood-working business in Morinville. He noted he'll close his business if he's elected based on his belief becoming an MLA would be a full-time job.

He spent six years with Morinville's municipal government, including about 12 years on the municipal planning commission. He was also a member of the Morinville Chamber of Commerce board and has been a coach. He's been married for 27 years with two children and a new grandchild.

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Gosselin has helped out the Wildrose Party since before the 2012 election and said he hasn't been happy with the way things have been going.

"I'm a firm believer that you have to be part of the change that you want to see," he said, adding he's putting his time and effort toward that change rather than simply talking.

He said he hopes to make a change, adding he's served both his country and his municipality, commenting, "I guess it's only right that now I try to serve my province."

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Gosselin said he's joined the Wildrose because they are closest to his values. He said most of them were once Progressive Conservative (PC) but that party drifted from the values he feels are what they stood for, and so he said his new party wants to bring back the values they think the PC Party left.

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Gosselin said he's hopeful people will recognize his character and work ethic as they get to know him. He noted the question has arisen of whether he'll cross the floor, adding character is important for this campaign since there were both those willing to cross the legislature floor and those willing to accept them.

He said he'd be responsible to his constituents, and more importantly to him, he said that kind of move would be an embarrassment to his family as well. He said his word and handshake have meaning, adding people will find he's "an honest, caring MLA" if they support him.

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Gosselin noted he is new to the riding, admitting he's still weak on the issues specific to this riding but is working to improve his knowledge.

That said, Gosselin added the biggest issue brought to his attention early is the transportation difficulty posed by the Highway 15 bridge into Fort Saskatchewan. He noted there's work that needs to be done, but at this point, he has to do more research to determine what progress has been made.

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Gosselin wasn't the original Wildrose Party candidate for the Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville riding, as Karlana Eastwood was the party's first nominee, but she chose not to pursue the position.

The party turned to Gosselin because of his long involvement with their efforts, and he agreed after receiving the constituency association's blessing -something he felt was essential for his acceptance.

He noted he's not from within the riding but didn't feel that should be a barrier since his commute would be no different than a person from Fort Saskatchewan or Vegreville driving to Edmonton for work. Beyond that, he said some constituencies are so large, both those communities and Morinville could easily be in the same electoral district.

He also added, if elected, a move to within the constituency could also be a possibility.

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Gosselin concluded by commenting he could say more about what kind of man he believes he is but said people need to meet him to really determine whether he's "worthy of support."

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More information on Joe Gosselin is available on the Wildrose Party website.

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