Asterisk, Nygaard vie for Green nomination

Pearl Lorentzen
For South Peace News

People at the June 15 Green Party nomination meeting in Slave Lake received bumper stickers, but joked about the risk of putting them on their cars.

“Environmentalist are not the enemy,” says event co-organizer Jule Asterisk.

“Actually, we’re trying to make sure all of us have a future.”

Asterisk, of Slave Lake, and Peter Nygaard, of Joussard, are the two nominees competing to be the Green Party candidate for the Peace River – Westlock riding in the federal election anticipated for the fall of 2019. They spoke with Green Party members and potential members at a meeting at the Slave Lake Native Friendship Centre.

Voters many recognize Asterisk’s name from the 2011 election, when she ran for the Green Party.

“I won the debate, but lost the election,” she says.

Asterisk moved to Faust in 1992 after living in Mexico for a while. In December 2000, she started as the regional landfill manager at the Lesser Slave Regional Waste Centre.

Asterisk moved to Slave Lake in February 2001. She was on the team that brought recycling to Slave Lake. Asterisk helped start Alberta Culture Days. Before the 2011 fire, she was the program coordinator and housing first coordinator at the Friendship Centre. She worked in Slave Lake as a literacy learning program coordinator.

Currently, Asterisk is the project manager at Keepers of the Athabasca.

Nygaard was born in Fort McMurray. His family moved to Faust when he was two or three years old. He was raised in Joussard and attended junior high and high school in High Prairie.

He studied one year of accounting in Edmonton and graduated from NAIT with a journeyman ticket in plumbing.

For 10 years, Nygaard and his wife, Shahla, toured the world on bicycles. A few years ago, they returned to Joussard to publish a book called Decade of Discovery.

Currently, Nygaard is owner and operator of a plumbing and gas fitting business in Joussard.

Nygaard chose the Green Party because it represents everything he believes could help people and the world recover from too much production and not enough foresight.

While cycling around the world, he and his wife went through many places which seemed inhabitable. People were living there, but a slight shift and they would have to move elsewhere.

All of us should work together, Nygaard says, and the Green Party is focused on that.

The Green Party aims to limit environment and health impact, Asterisk says.

She adds Albertans are told pipelines create jobs but the proposed pipeline will create just 60 jobs. The focus should be on remediation of spent oil wells, of which there are around 100,000 in Alberta.

The Greens have a policy on bitumen, which is not oil. As a liquid, it is highly dangerous, but in solid form nobody would have an issue with transporting it. The Green Party proposes moving it as a solid.

The meeting on June 15 went well, Nygaard says. Those in attendance discussed benefits of becoming a member.

Asterisk agrees. Four new members signed up, five people took forms home to consider, and one agreed to be a monthly donor.

On Aug. 3, Green Party members vote to choose between Asterisk and Nygaard. The vote will be at Asterisk’s place and via Zoom video conferencing.

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