Glenn Spiess is new to politics, but he doesn’t plan on letting that discourage him from running for Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul MLA.
“For me, politics is an avenue of service, and as an educator, my whole life has been one of service to others,” he said. “What I see as I observe politics from a grassroots perspective, is whether you’re engaged at a local, provincial, or federal level, there really is no difference except for the size of constituency that you’re serving.”
Although he doesn’t have much experience when it comes to politics, he doesn’t feel taking on the role of MLA would be too intimidating.
“It’s a big task, but it’s certainly something that isn’t overly daunting, because it’s just an extension to what I do as a teacher already,” he expressed.
Spiess was raised in southern Alberta, where he feels he learned the value of hard day’s work. He’s been working in education since 1992, and attended Catholic and public schools growing up.
Now, he resides in Myrnam, Alberta with his family.
His expansive educational background is one of the reasons why education is so near and dear to his heart, and is such a large part of his platform.
“As a teacher, our role is to sit, observe, plan, engage, present, and assess. I see politics very much in the same way, where we would be listening to the people and to the grassroots, and I see more and more how the family, education, and our freedoms are being encroached on by government,” detailed Spiess.
According to Spiess, there are four main areas he wants to address in his platform: family, freedom, education, and economy.
He used the carbon levy to explain how one aspect impacts another.
“The government imposed it on people, which affects the family,” he explained. “When that happens that effects that whole family and the economy, which is an important aspect of Alberta that has been degraded because of policy that isn’t looking at investing in the necessary areas that we need to survive.”
When it comes to rural crime, like many, he knows it’s a problem that needs to be addressed.
“A lot of people have asked me how I would address rural crime, and I see many different factors. I think part of it is a depressed economy. If the economy is good, then I don’t think people will turn to other activities and exploiting the opportunities that exist within the current system,” detailed Spiess. “Rural crime needs to be addressed from a perspective of criminal justice. There needs to be justice for these repeat offenders, and ensure they’re not just going through a revolving door and there is some kind of action that can be taken to limit and restrict their ability to continue with crime.”
Regardless of the fact that the riding has nearly doubled in size, after amendments made by Alberta Elections to constituencies across Alberta, Spiess isn’t worried about travel time.
Travelling for work has helped him prepare for that, he said.
“I’ve seen a great amount of the province and dealt with a variety of demographics in terms of location, people’s economic strata, and that sort of thing… The reality is, I travel more than this now with my current job.”
Spiess is currently seeking nomination for the United Conservative Party, up against Craig Copeland and Dave Hanson.
If Spiess wins the nomination race, he would then throw his name into the running for Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul MLA.
According to Spiess, he has always been a strong conservative, and agrees with many of UCP leader Jason Kenny’s values.
“I’m a conservative. I call myself a classical conservative because they deal with all aspects of conservative thought and aspect, both fiscally and socially, but more importantly, it’s about respecting freedoms and the role of government,” he expressed. “There’s a philosophical background to conservatism that one needs to be able to appreciate. I grew up in a principled environment within my family, and I recognize the importance of core principles such as freedom of speech, debate, dialogue, the ability to associate, the ability of respecting family, and parental responsibility.”