AIRDRIE – As voters prepare to head to the polls for a federal election on Sept. 20, the current governing party has unveiled its candidate for the Banff-Airdrie riding.
David Gamble, the owner of a business management consulting firm in Calgary, was announced as the acclaimed Liberal Party of Canada candidate for the riding on Aug. 12. He said he is excited to comb the region in the coming five weeks to hear voters’ thoughts and bring that message back to the Liberal Party.
“I think there’s a really good opportunity to raise the issues in the riding that perhaps don’t come to light, because they don’t match the Conservative Party of Canada’s (CPC) agenda,” he said.
“I think the biggest issue is that it’s time for Canadians to have the opportunity to speak their minds and choose what they’d like to see going forward. I think [this election] is an opportunity to choose the government they think will give them what’s needed after the pandemic is over.”
After months of speculation that he would do so, Primer Minister and Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau officially called the snap election on Aug. 15, triggering the Sept. 20 return to the polls.
Though he’s running for a federal seat in the House of Commons, Gamble highlighted topics that fall under the provincial government's purview when asked what he thinks voters in Banff-Airdrie will identify as important issues in the upcoming election. Specifically, he brought up $10-a-day child care, improvements to regional transit and affordable housing.
“A lot of these things are provincial, but I’ve been told by several people that they’d like to see federal dollars coming directly to municipalities to help with this ideological position the provincial government seems to be taking,” he said.
Other than transit, housing and child care, Gamble said he anticipates the state of the local tourism sector to be another hot-button issue in Banff-Airdrie this election, considering the importance of the industry in the riding, and the fact so many companies were impacted by restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Banff is not the only touristy area in the region,” he said. “If you drive through it, there’s so much to do, and it’s a very large riding. Even places like Balzac, with the mall, [visitor-based businesses are] a pretty important part of the local economy.”
Gamble ran for the Liberal Party of Alberta in the Calgary-Klein riding in 2015, and he was also previously the party’s executive vice-president and vice-president of policy. Federally, he said he has volunteered for a few different Liberal Party candidates in the Calgary area over the years, including Marlo Raynolds’ run in 2015 in Banff-Airdrie and Matt Grant’s campaign in Calgary-Confederation the same year.
In terms of his career outside of politics, Gamble is the co-founder, president and CEO of Dandly, Inc. and Dandly, USA Inc. – a business management and consulting firm. He previously worked for Talisman Energy Inc. and Pembina Pipeline.
“I have a pretty good connection to oil and energy,” he said, adding he’s a member of the Petroleum Club.
“I support oil and gas and believe most oil and gas companies are responsible in their development of these resources and are working towards meeting our climate change goals. I think sometimes politicians can be cynical about this, and there is a lot of bridge-building that could be done there.”
Even though his career has centred around the energy sector, Gamble said his education background is in the arts, as he initially sought out a career as an English professor.
He also volunteered for the American Chamber of Commerce’s Canada and Canada West boards, and said he recently started a non-profit called the Society for Multiculturalism in the Built Environment.
While he doesn’t currently live in Banff-Airdrie, the Calgary resident said he would move back to the riding – he previously called Cochrane home – if he wins the seat.
“I really have some strong roots in Alberta and in the riding, and I’m excited about getting our message out there as a party, listening to Albertans in the riding and in general,” he said.