Rick was first elected to the Alberta Legislature in April of 2012. He was one of only five MLAs that stayed loyal to the Wildrose after an historic floor crossing.
In May of 2015 Rick was re elected by the constituents of Drumheller Stettler. On July 22nd of 2017 the United Conservative Party was formed after members of both the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party and the Widlrose Party voted in favor of unification of conservatives in Alberta. After a hard fought leadership race former federal MP Jason Kenney was successful in the campaign.
Rick has owned and operated a farming business since 1973. From 1999 to 2011 he also volunteered as secretary/treasurer of the Western Barley Growers Association. Although initially interested in agriculture he became increasingly involved in politics and social activism in response to federal regulation of the agriculture industry, including legislation relating to the Canadian Wheat Board. His commitment to public service began early on and as a youth Rick was honoured with the Queen’s scout award by Boy Scouts of Canada. Rick also has a keen interest in aviation and has held a pilot’s licence and done aerial application since 1974.
Strankman was jailed in 2002 after being charged under the Customs Act for taking 756 bushels of wheat across the U.S. border in protest of the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly. Rick and 12 other farmers arrested received a pardon from Prime Minister Stephen Harper on August 1, 2012, when the federal government’s Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act came into effect, which allowed producers to opt out of the Canadian Wheat Board and sell wheat on the open market.
At a reunion with 12 of 13 farmers who had been jailed for taking wheat across the border, Rick stood by his decision to participate in the act of civil disobedience.
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