'What it needs is a spark': Liberal candidate talks developing Grande Prairie-Mackenzie

Kenneth Munro is running as the Liberal Party candidate for the Grande Prairie-Mackenzie riding this upcoming federal election on Oct. 21. Submitted

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Kenneth Munro is giving politics another shot as the Liberal Party candidate in the Grande Prairie-Mackenzie riding this upcoming federal election on Oct. 21.

Munro grew up just north of Lake Superior in the small town of Longlac, Ont. He came to Edmonton in 1972 to teach at the University of Alberta where he continues to work as a historian specializing in French Canada.

In terms of political experience, Munro had a stint as an executive assistant for a Canadian minister in the early ‘80s and ran once before federally in the former riding of Edmonton-South during the 1984 election.

Now he’s about to run again.

“Albertans seem to be down in the dumps and they’re a bit cranky,” Munro said.

“I see Grande Prairie-Mackenzie as the up-and-coming area of the province. It’s got everything you need. We’ve tried for years to diversify. Well, there’s diversification there.”

Munro noted that the region needed to be stimulated in order to remedy issues such as homelessness.

“What it needs is a spark,” he said.

“I believe I can help with that in the near future.”

According to Munro, the region could potentially benefit from developing tourism, the Liberal Party’s promise to plant two billion trees and other initiatives.

“People are down and out with their complaining about Trudeau but Trudeau has helped, particularly that area,” Munro said.

Although acknowledging that education and health care mostly fell under the authority of provinces, Munro highlighted the opportunities with Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC) and the in-progress Grande Prairie Regional Hospital.

“What a federal government can do is give money for chairs,” he said regarding GPRC.

“I would help get a chair established there for a professor for that purpose but it would depend on what the people in the area wanted. But that’s one example of what can happen.”

Munro emphasized he was in favour of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion and the need for oil to help make products such as plastics.

“The Harper government was not able to get a pipeline built outside our borders,” he said, noting the Trudeau government would balance the project with environmental and Indigenous concerns.

Munro again stressed the economic diversity in Grande Prairie-Mackenzie.

“This is the future and I want to be part of it with you,” he said.

“I will help as much as I can through the federal institutions to help you realize your goals and dreams.”