When you think about it, a union Business Agent spends all of his time helping people.
Helping is so much a part of Bruce Payne’s nature – he’s very active in his church and with overseas charities – that he’s taking a huge leap of faith in the hope that he can notch his drive to help people way up to a whole new level.
Bruce has decided to run as the Alberta Liberal candidate to replace popular Liberal MLA Harry Chase in the Calgary Varsity riding. He has achieved his first goal: formal nomination by the party to be the candidate in that riding. It's official now!
Chase’s margin of victory in the 2008 provincial election – at a healthy 13% – was the greatest Alberta Liberal margin of victory in the province. So while it’s not quite what you’d call a ‘safe seat’, Brother Bruce’s chances still seem, well, darn good.
Bruce says his ‘red-necked Albertan’ political roots began to tilt back toward the centre when he was working in Lethbridge and became involved, through his work with the union, with Bridget Pastoor, then an alderman who later became an Alberta Liberal MLA.
“I realized that her party best stood for the fundamental principles that I believe in,” says Bruce.
Bruce was a recruitment target of a previous Alberta Liberal leader, “but back then I had just moved to Calgary. I had a new home, a new marriage and a new job with goals I wanted to achieve. The time just wasn’t right.”
Now, with Chase’s announcement of his political retirement, and Chase’s active support of Bruce as the new candidate for Varsity, Bruce is ready for the challenge.
“It will be a heck of a lot of work to run in the election, and even more if I’m successful.
“But I’ve always been inspired to try to achieve the highest level of service to people that I can.
“I’m not afraid of the work…it’s the opportunity to serve that I aspire to.”
Bruce says he’ll be knocking on the doors of ‘my future constituents’ for the next two or more years, making sure they develop a comfort level for him.
(Story posted December 2010)
Follow-up: Bruce and many other Liberals who had expected to do very well in the election lost as a result of the wave of PC votes that occured when homophobic and racist comments were made by another opposition party's candidates, causing many anti-government votes to change.