Paul Hinman

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Wildrose Independence Party leader Paul Hinman announced Saturday he will be a candidate in next year’s byelection in the riding of Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche.

He called it the most important byelection in the province’s history.

“We’re fast approaching the most important by-election in Alberta history, and I will be running for the Wildrose nomination here in Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche,” Hinman tweeted.

“Fort McMurray can send a strong message to Edmonton and Ottawa that Alberta is going to battle hard for its future.

“I truly believe that Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche is ground zero for Trudeau’s carbon net-zero attack on Alberta. The battle for Wildrose beachhead starts here and it starts now.”

Meanwhile, the battle to see who the UCP candidate will come to a conclusion Saturday night.

Former Fort MacMurray MP and MLA Brian Jean is running on a platform that he will help remove Premier Jason Kenney from power.

His opponent — and the one Kenney wants to win — is economist Joshua Gogo.

Kenney has said if Jean wins, he will sign his nomination papers.

Kenney has until February 15 to call the byelection.

The byelection is to replace Laila Goodridge, who successfully ran for the federal Tories in the September 20 election.

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