Bert Seatter is candidate #3 for the position of MLA for Lesser Slave Lake. The retired Jarvie farmer and truckdriver got his paperwork in just before the May 11 nomination deadline. A day later, he was in Slave Lake and stopped in for an interview.
Seatter is running as “an independent,” but belongs to a political party called the Solidarity Movement of Alberta. It was founded by Calgary street preacher Artur Pawlowski. What the party wants, pretty much, is independence from Canada.
“They’re not going to negotiate with us until we cut off,” he says. “We need something different. The status quo isn’t working.”
The status quo seems to have worked fairly well for Seatter through his career. He spent many years working in construction, oil and gas exploration and heavy hauling, all over the north. He lives on the family farm in Jarvie, pioneered by his grandfather, an Orkneyman, in 1907.
As for why Seatter chose Lesser Slave Lake, rather than his home riding to run in, he gives a couple of reasons. One is that his wife is working the election in Athabasca-Barrhead- Westlock and he thought it best to keep away from any potential conflict. The other reason is he spent a lot of time working (mostly in trucking) in Lesser Slave Lake. He knows it well and likes it.
Seatter has experience in elected leadership. He served three terms (nine years) as a Westlock County councillor. He was also a volunteer firefighter for 29 years, according to the bio he is handing out, as well as sitting on the housing authority and coaching hockey. He’s a member of the board of his church.
Getting back to the reason he is running, Seatter says he thinks Alberta would be much better off keeping its money at home and not depending on Ottawa. His party, according to his campaign brochure, makes its disaffection with Ottawa quite plain, point after point. Everything from equalization payments down to the mandatory use of French would be out the window in a SMA government.
“Alberta as a sovereign nation could get out of the United Nations, World Health Organization and World Economic Forum,” it says, among other things, one of them being a provincial police force to replace the RCMP.
Asked about the possibility of splitting the conservative vote in Lesser Slave Lake, to the benefit of the NDP, Seatter says he’s heard such concerns, but doesn’t buy it.
“I believe we’re going to siphon off the NDP vote,” he says.