Shane Getson is new to politics, and he likes it that way. Taking the position of MLA is a pursuit he has enjoyed, and his background with consulting has prepared him for the job ahead.
Getson won the election in March with a landslide victory securing 15,820 votes. The closest candidate behind him was the NDP’s Oneil Carlier with 5,642, a whopping 10,178 difference between first and second place.
“That was my first time winning an election as a politician. I was stepping into the unknown. I was running a pipeline project in Sherwood Park and had to tell my client I couldn’t do both. I had to have that hard dialogue with my family about potentially what this new life would be like,” said Getson.
“What we wanted to do was make sure we didn’t get dragged down into divisive politics that was happening at the provincial level. We wanted to keep it clean and really focus on the issues. I think we managed to do that,” he added.
Getson said his first day in the Legislative Assembly was one that impacted him and something he won’t soon forget.
“It was pretty astounding that some farm kid could get in there and do that,” said Getson.
Getson touched on the ups and downs of 2019 with one of the main downs that has had an impact on everyone in our community being the Rochfort Bridge tragedy.
“Your heart hits the bottom of your chest. In this new role, it’s very difficult to save everybody or to get in front of those things. You try to take care of your family. The folks in that area are an extension, they are our friends and our family. You want to do the best for them.”
Getson emphasized the business of causing scare politics, especially from the opposition, is not one he would condone. The Alberta budget came out not long ago and Getson said making everyone scared instead of working together is a huge issue right now in the province.
“The last thing I would do is to try and make people scared. Everyone has been under so much stress over the last number of years. It’s wrong to get people amped up that way. Apparently, that is just a part of the new industry I’ve fallen into. You get a lot of divisive ideas and you get people fighting amongst each other rather than dropping the minor things we might disagree on and pulling together and doing what is right for our community, province and country.” Said Getson
“I’d rather get people talking amongst each other about the regional output we have. Often times we get to fixated in our own backyard that we are a part of something larger here. Once we start working together, we can solve a bunch of these problems not just point fingers.” He added.
Getson elaborated on the police cost sharing issue which had many municipalities wondering about their future and how much the agreement would affect their budgets.
“If folks want to keep things the status quo and they don’t want they extra police coverage, they don’t have to pony up a dime at all. The fact is that we have a rural crime issue. The fact is that most of these small municipalities have not paid a lick for police coverage. 80 per cent are paying for the other 20 per cent.”
Getson said if people did not feel they were consulted, it is because they did not partake in the options that were proposed for them to get familiar.
“If those folks didn’t feel like consultation was taking place, it’s because they didn’t participate or take that step forward to have those dialogues or engagements. Now the fact that they are putting these funding models together that doesn’t mean that’s the be all end all. If there are changes or enhancements, that’s when you have that dialogue, it’s not over.”
Getson said 2020 will be another year of hard work with many great things on the horizon.
“The federal election really set us back a bit. It’s going to be another year of tough work. Our Prime Minister has to take us serious,” said Getson.
“I am so happy to be on the team that is going to put Alberta where it should be.”