For South Peace News
After several months of not confirming rumours she would be seeking the Lesser Slave Lake United Conservative Party nomination, Martine Carifelle is now officially in the race to replace MLA Pat Rehn.
Or at least as official as announcing her candidacy to the M.D. of Opportunity council makes it.
Carifelle appeared at council’s Oct. 11 meeting and made the announcement.
Carifelle was Lesser Slave Lake MLA Pat Rehn’s constituency assistant for 3 1/2 years, resigning in September. Rumours of her running surfaced at least as early as last June, but Carifelle was coy about confirming them, perhaps not wanting anything official circulating while she was still employed by the incumbent MLA.
Or perhaps it just took her a while to make up her mind.
Rehn has not made any announcement of his intentions to seek the nomination at press time.
Speculation has it Rehn was promised a cabinet position if he switched his support to Danielle Smith in the UCP leadership race. He did switch, and if anything was promised, he likely will seek to be re-nominated in LSL. At least that’s what a source fairly close to the action told The Slave Lake Lakeside Leader last week.
As for the other confirmed candidate, Scott Sinclair has been campaigning since last June, but less actively recently.
It should be noted all of the above activity depends on party approval. Nobody’s nomination is official until an official nomination period has been declared and gone through.
The party was dragging its feet on this, not wanting any distractions (or maybe because they were simply too busy) during the party leadership campaign. Lesser Slave UCP constituency president (and treasurer) Gordon Ferguson says he expects the vote will happen sometime in December.
Apparently, a majority of constituencies are in the same position – waiting for the green light from the UCP to get on with their nomination process ahead of next year’s general election, scheduled for May 29, 2023.
According to insider information, all the campaigning could be for nothing, as the leader of the party has the authority to overrule a certain number of constituency nominations if she sees fit.
Could that happen here? Sinclair and Carifelle are certainly hoping it does not, and they aren’t the only ones. But most of what The Leader was told and heard on this topic last week was off the record.