Tannas wants to change the Senate's function
Election Day in Alberta will not only decide the next government in this province, but voters may be determining who will be representing them in Ottawa.
Scott Tannas, president and CEO of the Western Financial Group that has an office in Camrose, is one of 13 Albertans running for the elected position in the Senate. The Prime Minister has the final say in appointing the Senate positions.
"Throughout my travels to rural Alberta, I'm finding about 95 per cent of the people don't know or understand the Senate election," said Scott, during his stop in Camrose on April 13. "That has been consistent all across the province. I'm getting out to about 50 communities to let people know that they can vote for a senator as well. There is nothing worse than receiving a ballot and not knowing anything about it. In the last senate election, in 2004, about 30 per cent of the votes were destroyed. People turned them in blank because they didn't know who to vote for."
Scott started Western Financial Group in one small office and has turned it into a successful company with 20 offices throughout western Canada. "I'm a small town guy, so it is really important for me to connect with the rural communities. I was born and raised in High River and now have a wife and four children. I was lucky to be able to build a company from scratch and they are successful in the smaller rural communities."
Scott's business was built from the ground up by listening to the needs of his clients. He wants to do the same in the Senate. "For me, it felt so much more comfortable of the idea of engaging people in rural communities. That has been our strategy. We had a vision and worked hard towards the future. That skill is needed for the Senate. We need the Senate to step up. Today the Canadian Senate is useless. I want to be part of an active Senate that will be able to tackle big issues. I want to focus on problems and study things to come up with solutions on topics such as our role in Afghanistan, Native issues, water and the environment. When the baby boomers retire, we are going to need skilled workers. We need to find the right solutions. I think politicians would be relieved if we took some of those Canadian issues away from them. We have the time to study them and come up with good solutions."
Scott is always impressed with Camrose. "I've been here for business with the Camrose office, as well as for hockey tournaments. "I've been struck with the beauty of the city. The park-like setting and green space is great. There are very few towns or cities that have a well thought out and nice looking system like Camrose. The other thing I'm struck by is the business activity. It is always busy in Camrose and it is growing," said Scott.
The election will be held on April 23 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the advanced polling stations will be held in Camrose on April 19, 20 and 21 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Camrose branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, 5703-48 Avenue. Use the front 48 Avenue entrance.
You can find out where you vote by going to the Where Do I Vote web site, www.elections.ab.ca or by calling the Voter Information Centre at 1-877-422-8683 (toll-free outside of Edmonton). The Camrose number is 780-678-2491 and the Wainwright office at 780-842-1721.