The Highwood riding has a third candidate running in the provincial election.

Mike Lorusso is representing the Wildrose Independence Party.

He's originally from North Bay Ontario but says he's always been an Albertan at heart.

"Ontario went downhill for me quickly starting just before the pandemic, I started to see just how things were going and knew that the last chance at freedom was Alberta so without too much hesitation, on a whim almost in 2021 I ended up moving to Alberta and within a couple of months I ended up getting involved behind the scenes with the Wildrose Party and even at that point I wanted my voice to be heard more and so when it came to election time I decided, it's time to do something more and make more of a change so I went to the party and said 'I'll run, I want to be part of this election and hopefully make a difference, not just in the community but across the province and put my voice in the legislature," Lorusso says.

He says the next generation of voters and leaders need the right kind of education so they can be successful and take hold of any opportunity they want.

"We're revamping and reforming the school system to teach kids how to file taxes, how to work with their hands, how to do daily tasks as opposed to the ideologies and agendas that are being pushed in the school system right now that are ultimately coming from the federal government, which we need to stop doing."

He's heard a lot of talk about health care as well.

"We have to have it where the funding follows the patient where it's going to be a hybrid model there, more of a hybrid system so you're still going to have access to your public health care but you're going to have the option to pay a bit more if you want to skip the wait lines and we're also going to revamp those hospitals, so the wait lines are reduced."

Lorusso says when it comes to attracting more doctors and nurses it's a good idea to start from within.

"We saw over the last three years what they tried to do, any hospital employees, doctors, nurses, whatever who were unwilling to get the COVID vaccine were let go from their jobs and then they complained about hospital staff shortages and not enough beds.

"Well, the thing is you took away people's right to make decisions for themselves and you put them out of work, rather than allowing them to continue to do their job when they've seen it from the inside, they know the truth of what's been going on and they want to stay and help other people who are sick."

Lorusso says when it comes to homelessness and addictions, people need to be treated like patients, not criminals.

He says getting them the help they need will aid them in becoming contributing members of society again.

Lorusso says both of the major party leaders, Danielle Smith and Rachel Notley are guilty of giving away money right before an election.

"Danielle Smith announced funding for a new arena for the Calgary Flames, isn't that convenient timing right as an election's about to be called. Was that necessary? Of course their arena is falling apart but was that completely necessary when we still have people on the street, we still have people who are struggling to pay bills or people who need to get into post-secondary education and to get into a college or university it's unaffordable for most people but then they try to go and get a job and they say 'you need a degree' how can they afford to get that degree?"

He plans to be at the Highwood Candidates Forum May 17 and looks forward to meeting more voters.

The election is May 29.