Alberta backbencher announces federal plans

EDMONTON – Backbench Alberta MLA, David Xiao, announced his plans to seek the federal nomination in the new riding of Edmonton-West.

Tuesday’s announcement was attended by seven other MLAs who showed their support, including Steve Young and Peter Sandhu.

Former Edmonton mayor, Stephen Mandel, was also in attendance.

Xiao has been an MLA since 2008.

He says he will continue to serve as an MLA until a decision is made on his nomination.

“I don’t want to leave my constituency without representation – or without effective representation – in the legislature because my whole riding is in the new riding, the new Edmonton-West federal riding,” explained Xiao.

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“It’s too late for me to campaign, so the best campaigning I can do now is to focus on what I’m doing as their representation in the legislature.”

Currently, Alberta has 28 ridings in the House of Commons. As of the next election, that number will become 34.

“I think David Xiao is simply the beginning of what is likely a trend of MLAs who see their prospects limited for advancement in the Redford caucus, and they take an opportunity of the new redistribution of seats to seek their fortunes in federal politics,” says Chaldeans Mensah, MacEwan University political scientist.

“I don’t think we should read too much into an individual leaving caucus to seek opportunities for re-election at the federal level,” he warns, “but clearly, some individual MLAs have problems with this leadership, and they haven’t been able to express it, but they see this opportunity to jump into federal politics where their prospects might be better.”

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