August 19, 2014 6:36 pm

WATCH: Alberta premier, Wildrose and NDP leaders take on Ice Bucket Challenge

WATCH ABOVE: Wildrose leader Danielle Smith, Premier Dave Hancock, and NDP leader Brian Mason get soaked to raise awareness and money for ALS.

EDMONTON — Chances are your social media streams have been flooded by videos of friends, athletes and celebrities doing the Ice Bucket Challenge, a fundraiser for ALS. Now, Alberta politicians are joining the trend.

Wildrose leader Danielle Smith was first, posting a video of herself on YouTube Monday evening taking part in the challenge. She nominated Alberta’s premier, and leaders of the province’s other two parties to do the same.

On Tuesday, Premier Dave Hancock and NDP leader Brian Mason stepped up, dousing one another with icy water.

Mason got a little lucky, with Hancock missing his head.

Hancock challenged the mayors of Edmonton and Calgary to take part “in honour of bringing more enlightenment and more interest, more awareness to ALS.”

READ MORE: What is ALS?

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, affects approximately 3,000 Canadians. It can affect anyone, anywhere, according to Dr. David Taylor, director of research at the ALS Society of Canada.

Researchers don’t know exactly what causes it; and 80 per cent of ALS sufferers die within two to five years of diagnosis.

“Unlike other diseases, the only hope for those living with ALS is in research,” John Tuckwell, who works for the Alberta government, wrote on a board.

ALS has taken away his ability to speak since he was diagnosed with the disease in 2012.

WATCH: John Tuckwell gets drenched with icy water to raise awareness for ALS, and nominates other ministers to follow suit.

Tuckwell also nominated Global Edmonton’s health reporter, Su-Ling Goh. She plans to take on the challenge on Wednesday.

The viral trend started in Massachusetts when a man with ALS posted the initial video, challenging Boston athletes to participate.

The most grandiose participant to date might be NHL forward Paul Bissonnette who paid for a helicopter to gather glacier water and pour it on him while he stood on a mountain top.

According to NBC, from July 29 to August 18, the ALS Association has raised more than $15 million. During the same time period last year the organization raised $1.8 million.

READ MORE: How to keep ALS fundraising dollars in Canada

In Canada, the Ice Bucket Challenge has raised more than $300,000 to date.

You can donate to ALS research here.


With files from Terry Elkady, James Armstrong and Crystal Goomansingh,Global News

© Shaw Media, 2014

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