Effective immediately, I will no longer be associated with the Alberta Party and will be pulling out of the Edmonton-South provincial race. I do not relish in this decision, but after much thought, I think it’s the right thing to do as I am not happy with the direction (or lack thereof) of the party, or the way my campaign team and I have been treated thus far. I want to make one thing crystal clear, I am not threatened by my nomination opponents, Enayat Aminzadah or Pramod Kumar, as I, as well as my supporters (and there are a lot of them), knew that I had the nomination race won. I was looking forward to taking on Mike Nickel (UCP) and Thomas Dang (NDP) head on in a heated contest, and I was looking forward to winning. Over these last 8 weeks, we had a TON OF MOMENTUM, I was honestly quite shocked. We had it made! That being said, I want to thank every single person who volunteered, worked towards, or supported my efforts to become the MLA for Edmonton-South. Without you, this momentum and energy would not be here. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Now, because I’m sure a lot of you are asking “why?”; if I was so confident, what caused me to drop out and leave the Alberta Party? Well, that is one long story, but I will say that it came down to a lack of respect, and to be fair, I should’ve saw it coming; our relationship had been rocky from the start. What first attracted me to the Alberta Party was Greg Clark, who I felt was unfairly treated near the end of his Alberta Party leadership run. And let me be clear, to this day, I am still a “Greg Clark guy,” I think he’s a tremendous individual who could be our Premier one day. I’ve only been with the Alberta Party for about a year, but after Greg left the leadership office, and Stephen Mandel was elected as the new Alberta Party leader, I felt like the party lost a part of what made it special in the first place. Now, listen, I know I’m a new(ish) member, but I have been following the Alberta Party for years. It was like looking through the window of a candy shop that you had admired and walked past daily. They had a big, beautiful display, and the product looked unique and delicious, I was impressed! From the outside it looked amazing! But, I never actually thought about the management, the employees, how they got their candy, how the candy shop was doing internally, or even how the candy tasted. Maybe I was blinded by its impressive display?
Now, keeping up with the whole “candy shop” analogy. I applied for a job in this candy shop and wanted to work with the new leader; it was under new management and they were looking for help! Being a fan of this shop, I obviously wanted to help build the brand as I believed in it, and had always been impressed by the display! I walked into the Alberta Party “candy shop”, past the impressive display, past the cash register and into the back room, and needless to say, I…. was disappointed. I quickly found out that management didn’t like my style or resume, and they made that very clear. Now, for those of you who are on this page, reading this post, you probably know who I am, what I’ve done for this province, and the work-ethic that I bring everyday — I’m no slouch. I was surprised that there was so much hostility and distain towards me, my team, and my efforts!
And here’s where things get messy as I still have friends in the Alberta Party. I need to be completely clear here, I AM NOT TRYING TO TANK THE ALBERTA PARTY or ruin their chances in the upcoming election. I harbor no ill will and this is not personal. I am simply giving you an explanation on why I am leaving. The Alberta Party has some great candidates and candidate nominees who I genuinely like, and I hope, for their sake, that the Alberta Party gets their act together quickly. I am speaking from my experience only. They have a very talented roster, but they need to work on their management and lack-of-vision issues ASAP.
Long story short, things didn’t end up working out for me. I found out how disorganized, shortsighted, and hypocritical the store (Alberta Party) management is, and as of today, I no longer want to be a part of it. I have always considered myself to be a man of great integrity, and I have always fought the “good fight”. I have raised millions for this province, helped thousands and thousands of people, and have never once profited off of my work. I work hard everyday to change my corner of the world, I work hard for the people who need it most, and I work hard to keep my government accountable. I was never doing this for a “job”, I was doing this because I wanted to make real tangible change. I love Alberta, I love Edmonton, and I love the people; if I could go to work everyday and fight full time for all three of those groups, it would be a dream come true!!
In closing, after a long, long eight weeks, I am leaving the Alberta Party and pulling myself out of the Edmonton-South provincial race. I am sorry to those that I am have let down and I’m sorry to those who believed in me. I honestly do not know the next steps that I will take, but I do know that those steps will not be with the Alberta Party. I do wish them well in their future endeavors and wish them nothing but success, and I really hope they can get their act together before the election is called. Like I said, they have some great candidates, but the party itself needs a lot of work. At this time I cannot endorse, nor will I be voting for the Alberta Party, but they have time to make a believer out of me again! The ball is in their court, and I hope they come out stronger and better than ever! It will be good for democracy and it’ll be good for centrism.
What I can guarantee you is that I will never stop fighting for my province, I will never stop building my city, and I will never stop supporting my people. It’s in my blood! I’ve always been called a leader, and it’s not something I take for granted. I may be letting people down by stepping away from the race and the Alberta Party, but I can promise you that I will never stop fighting the “good fight” or fighting for you! Thank you all once again for your continued support, and once again, thank you for sticking with me all these years. I cherish each and every one of you!
– Dan Johnstone (June 19th, 2018)
Original announcement – May 14th, 2018.
It is with great honor and privilege that my journey to be MLA for Edmonton-South officially begins today! I hereby formally announce that I am seeking official nomination to be the Alberta Party candidate in the upcoming 2019 Alberta election. You know, I say that my journey begins today, but it really began nearly a decade ago as I travelled this great province many times over, seeing both the good and the bad. Over the years, I’ve meet with thousands of people, heard thousands of stories, spoke at and hosted thousands of events, and I’ve seen firsthand a lot of issues and a lot of hurt that can easily be fixed by competent governing. For those of you who know me, you know my passion, you know my heart, you know what makes me jump out of bed every morning with a smile on my face, and that’s Alberta. I love my province, I love my city, I love the people, and I can easily say there is not a single thing that I wouldn’t do for Alberta.
In fact, during this last recession, I looked around, I watched the news, I heard the stories, and I spoke with my neighbors — there was a lot of pain and suffering out there, and the big cloud of uncertainty was bigger and darker than ever. It felt like nobody was safe from the bad economy or from getting laid off. So, I did what any true Albertan would do, I rolled up my sleeves, filled up my F-150, and I drove around this great province raising hundreds of thousands of pounds of food, and hundreds of thousands of dollars for Albertans in need — among countless other resources and items. On my travels I saw parents who were just laid off, struggling to put food on their table and wondering where the next meal was going to come from. I saw children waking up on Christmas day with no gifts under the tree because their parents couldn’t find a job or afford the “extras” in life. I saw seniors struggling to afford bus passes or find adequate housing, also wondering if they could make ends meet. I saw people in need and I said, “not on my watch,” so I did something about it. And I would do it all again in a heartbeat. This is not my first taste of helping the people of Alberta, nor working to build up my province, as I’ve been doing work like this since 2011. I’m proud to say that since June 2011, I’ve been able to raise millions of dollars in resources (food, money, clothing, items, etc.) for numerous charities across Alberta, without ever making a single cent off my work. Plus, I have been a strong and outspoken advocate for many different social programs and issues, such as the building of low-income housing, the protection of domestic abuse survivors, supporting our LGBTQ community, fighting for our senior citizens, and helping fund many programs that support children throughout the year.
This is what I have done; now, let’s get to what I will do as your MLA. Let’s talk about my values. I believe in fiscal responsibility and maximizing taxpayers dollars through accountability and transparency. I believe in keeping Alberta strong by embracing our number one industry and keeping our oil fields prosperous, while displaying continuous leadership in environmental protection. I believe in a grassroots approach to governing, and will ensure that everyone has a say and will be heard, I think this is very important. I believe in alleviating poverty and ending homelessness once and for all by working closely with organizations, charities and non-profit groups across Alberta. I believe in supporting and investing in our small and local businesses, and encouraging entrepreneurship. I believe in fighting hate and oppression by reinforcing that Alberta is a diverse, safe, and welcoming home for all. I believe in uniting Alberta by rallying the people and taking the divisiveness out of our legislature. I believe in fighting for the next generation by making positive strides in education and investing in our children’s future. I believe in investing in our economy by keeping Albertans working and their taxes low; paying down our province’s booming debt without cutting valuable social programs. I believe in Alberta!
These next few weeks will be very busy and I will be all over the place, but I am planning on hosting a few events to talk about my potential candidacy, the Alberta Party, and my dream for Alberta. I would love to have you join me at one of these events and I would love to hear what matters most to you! Like I said, I’m taking a very grassroots approach to my campaign, and for that to work, I need to hear from you! In closing, I would absolutely love and cherish your support, whether it be financial, word-of-mouth, or by simply volunteering and joining my team — I believe now is the time, I believe in the Alberta Party, and I believe in Alberta. But, I can’t do this alone. I need your support! Alberta Party memberships are currently selling for $1 — we believe that everyone should be able to have a say and that money should never be an issue. Join the movement! If you’re interested in the Alberta Party, send me an email, visit my website, attend one of my events, or contact me and we’ll set something up. Now is the time for change, now is the time for hard work, now is the time for Alberta; let me be your champion!
Dan Johnstone (May 14th, 2018)