The NDP has announced that Dan Nelles will be the NDP candidate for Airdrie-East in the next provincial election.
Nelles' decision to run for the Airdrie-East MLA spot has been driven by what he said is his want to create a better future for his children, and to amplify Airdrie’s voice in provincial affairs. He noted that there are several provincial issues that require attention and would constitute his priorities as an elected member of the legislature.
"The biggest priority is obviously health – our 24-hour urgent care centre in Airdrie is precariously understaffed to the point where it couldn’t meet its 24-hour mandate over the summer. This is completely unacceptable. Ambulance response times haven’t been meeting service targets for years – there are just four advanced life support ambulances to serve this community – we need our government to do better. Moreover, Airdrie needs much more than just an urgent care centre. A community of more than 70,000 people needs a hospital," he stated in a press release.
As a former teacher and Executive Staff Officer with Calgary Public Teachers, Nelles is also wanting to focus his energy on education.
“Education has been severely mismanaged under this current government – there’s a lot of work to do to get this unforgivably poor curriculum cleaned up and to repair relationships with Alberta’s teachers.”
His hope is to also tackle rebuilding how the province interacts with municipal councils, especially when it comes to the issue of funding formulas. Nelles said that must be reassessed, but that such conversations must, in his view, occur with meaningful involvement from municipalities
"They [municipalities] should be leading that conversation so that your provincial government knows exactly what they need, and your provincial representatives should be listening very carefully.”
According to his biography, Nelles has been involved in a variety of community endeavours and has been a trustee for the Airdrie Public Library since December 2013. He has also been Chair of the Board of Trustees for the library since November 2014. He is currently on the Executive Committee of the 3016 (Airdrie) Royal Canadian Army Cadets Parent Association, acting in the role of Treasurer, and has volunteered for a variety of causes including the 2020 Alberta Winter Games (held in Airdrie).
Nelles has been involved as a New Democrat in Airdrie since 2004 in various capacities, though he has lived in Airdrie since 1985.
“I love Airdrie and [have] watched this city grow from a population of 7,000 to more than 70,000. This is my home, and being an Airdronian is a core part of my identity. I am so honoured that the community I care for so deeply has put their trust in me to represent them in a pivotal election for the city and the province."
Nelles said that his goal will be to amplify the voices of all residents in the community he serves.
“Airdrie-East deserves much better representation than it currently has under the UCP,” he said. “Residents feel as though their voice has been lost on the provincial stage for many years. This city is important to Alberta’s economy, and with an NDP government led by Rachel Notley, I believe that Airdrie’s voice will be heard much more clearly than ever before.”
Nelles started his career as a high school teacher, and after eight years of teaching, he transitioned into the labour relations role with Calgary Public Teachers (Local 38 of the Alberta Teachers’ Association), where he has been working for the past ten years.
He holds two undergraduate degrees (a BA in German and BEd in Modern Languages Education). A father of five, he and his wife Genevieve currently live in Ravenswood.
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