Hjertaas to run for Liberals in upcoming federal election

Estelle Hjertass speaks at her nomination on March 28, 2019. (Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald)

A new face will be entering the political scene for the 2019 federal election in Prince Albert.

The Liberal Party announced during a nomination meeting at the Prince Albert Golf & Curling Club Thursday night that Estelle Hjertaas will be their candidate  for the Prince Albert riding when voters go to the polls later this year.

“I’m excited to get to work with our team here, across the province and of course our leader Justin Trudeau,” Hjertaas said.

“There are still six or seven months until the election itself and I’m going to be working as hard as I can ahead of time. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone around the riding and hearing their stories, which is something I enjoy and get a lot of motivation from.”

Hjertaas, who is a Criminal Lawyer at Legal Aid Saskatchewan, moved to Prince Albert five years ago and has been involved with a number of programs in the community.

She is currently serving on the boards of the Prince Albert YWCA, the Prince Albert Bar Association and La Société canadienne-française de Prince Albert, in addition to previously serving on the boards for the John M. Cuelenare Public Library, the Association des juristes d’expression française de la Saskatchewan and the Prince Albert Downtown Strategic Plan Board.

“I got into politics as a teenager and studied political science at McGill, but the interest in actually running as a candidate started a couple of years as I felt it was the right time to do so,” Hjertaas said.

“I learned a lot from helping Gord Kirkby in the last election and he’s a mentor for me as I get ready for this campaign.”

Estelle Hjertaas greets the crows during her nomination as the Prince Albert Liberal candidate on March 28, 2019. (Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald)

Kirkby, who served as the MP for the old Prince Albert-Churchill River riding from 1993 to 1997, finished in third place in the 2015 election behind Conservative MP Randy Hoback and Lon Borgerson of the NDP.

Hoback, who has been in the House of Commons since 2008, is the only other confirmed candidate so far for the riding.

During her speech on Thursday, Hjertaas made a point of focussing on issues such as improving opportunity for Indigenous people and continuing to work towards reconciliation, along with growing the middle class.

“The main message we want to get out there is that we have a strong choice here in this riding,” Hjertaas said. “We’re definitely short of Liberal voices in Prince Albert and we’re trying to make that more prominent.

“The focus now is to get out there and meet everyone in the riding over the next few months.”