By Letter to the Editor on September 15, 2021.
In 2019, I had the honour to be your NDP candidate for Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner.
A recent article about the 2021 candidate, the incredible Jocelyn Stenger, incorrectly states that I was a former Hatter at the time of my candidacy. I am a Hatter through and through, including during the 2019 federal election. In 2019, I was living in Southview and working as a community connections coordinator at Saamis Immigration. I was born and raised in the Hat, as was my mother. In fact, most Hatters likely know someone from my extended family, since I’m part of the Wahl family (the construction Wahls, not the music Wahls).
I am currently not living in Medicine Hat, having taken a job for the Alberta NDP Caucus as a policy assistant since October 2020 – a full year after the 2019 federal election.
I still advocate for Medicine Hat issues, I still stay current on news from the city and I visit my parents whenever I can.
There is a larger issue in this though, and that is what makes someone ‘local enough’ to be seen as a legitimately local candidate.
What makes a Hatter, a Hatter? To me it’s…
– Knowing the start of summer is not heralded by the weather but by the opening of Tino’s and Swirls;
– The sound of Bob Ridley’s voice meaning it’s time to cheer for the Tigers;
– Having strong opinions on which toboggan hill really is the best (definitely Lake Park in South Ridge);
– Preferring our Stampede because it’s the original;
– Singing Big Sugar’s All Hell for a Basement from the top of your lungs.
Because being a Hatter isn’t about where you were born or where you live at any given moment, it’s a pride that comes from being from the forgotten corner but never forgetting your home.
Elizabeth Strange (formerly Thomson)
A Hatter forever