Hoback acclaimed as Prince Albert's Tory candidate

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Tyler Clarke
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Prince Albert MP Randy Hoback is seen in Downtown Prince Albert this week, during which it was revealed that he’s been acclaimed as the Conservative Party candidate for the local federal riding. 

Seeking at least four more years in office, Prince Albert MP Randy Hoback will not face any opposition from local Conservative Party supporters.

 

The local electoral district association capped off its nomination process on Tuesday, revealing Hoback as the lone Conservative Party candidate in the federal riding of Prince Albert.

In his riding during a weeklong break from the House of Commons, Hoback said with a chuckle on Wednesday that he’s not disappointed to be without the headache of competition.

“It’s a compliment,” he said. “It makes me feel that I’m doing things properly -- that nobody felt the need to challenge me.

“You never take the job for granted. It just shows that I’ve got a great team on the ground and that generally people are satisfied with the work that I’ve been doing.”

In addition to staff that takes care of the public’s dealings with bureaucracy, a group of 25 dedicated volunteers keep the political side of things alive in Prince Albert.

Hoback said that “being there” for constituents has been key to his success in retaining the Conservative Party spot in Prince Albert -- a position he’s held since 2008.

He said that he travels about 45,000 kilometres in his constituency per year -- mileage he accumulates primarily during weekends, since his truck is parked at the airport during most weeks.

“I try to get out to as many things as I possibly can, because it’s always best to build a relationship without having an issue in front of you, so when issues come up they already know who you are, they know what you’re like,” he said.

“I don’t want them to feel there’s a barrier or a wall there.”

The moments he was able to help people with individual issues is what Hoback said best stick out during his first few years as Prince Albert’s Member of Parliament.

He managed to help a Nipawin family through the labyrinth of bureaucracy that surrounded their adoption of children from Haiti.

When Prince Albert teenager Shivanne Chand faced a serious medical crisis during a trip to Brazil in 2012, Hoback hooked her father up with the travel visa he needed to get to her.

“Ottawa’s interesting, but Ottawa’s Ottawa,” Hoback said. “Those are the things that you know you were able to help someone directly.”

You never take the job for granted. It just shows that I’ve got a great team on the ground and that generally people are satisfied with the work that I’ve been doing. Randy Hoback

In addition to serving as Prince Albert’s Member of Parliament, Hoback will remain chair of ParlAmericas until his term runs out in September.

Consisting of 35 independent states from North, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean, ParlAmericas provides a forum between all member nations.

Hoback also serves on the Agriculture and Agri-Food Committee and the International Trade Committee.

He’s also on the Joint Interparliamentary Council, which controls funding for parliamentary associations.

As chair of the Saskatchewan Conservative Caucus he’s helping prepare the party for the 2015 federal election.

Of the province’s 14 seats, 13 are currently filled by Conservative MPs -- the only holdout that of Liberal MP Ralph Goodale who represents Wascana.

“Our goal is to have 14 out of 14 in 2015, and I think that’s achievable,” Hoback said.

Although Saskatchewan boasts ample Conservative Party support, with Hoback himself winning by landslides in 2008 and 2011, he cautions against getting cocky.

“The support’s there, but in the same breath you can’t be complacent,” he said. “I could remember the last election, there were a lot of Bloc members who left Ottawa saying ‘We’ll see you in six weeks,’ and they never came back.

‘Things can change really quickly. My goal is for people to vote for Randy Hoback because Randy Hoback does the job, Randy Hoback’s there if I need him. If (people) have an issue with the federal government they can phone my office and they can get professional service.”

Last month, former MLA Lon Borgerson announced his intention to seek the NDP nomination in Prince Albert’s federal riding.

“I’ve been telling people we need to stop Harper,” Borgerson told the Daily Herald at the time, summarizing his reason for running. “If you want it really brief and succinct, that’s it.”

Organizations: Prince Albert, Conservative Party, Tory House of Commons Agriculture and Agri-Food Committee International Trade Committee Joint Interparliamentary Council Saskatchewan Conservative Caucus NDP Daily Herald

Geographic location: Ottawa, Haiti, Brazil Caribbean Saskatchewan

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