Willie Hoflin for MLA  of Fort McMurray- Conklin

Serving our community... for more than 40 years.

A MESSAGE FROM WILLIE

We Need Leadership and a Strong  Voice

My family and I are living proof of the benefits of the oil sands and what it can mean to Albertan families. I’m proud of the industry, our community and everything we have accomplished. I have worked in the Alberta Oil Sands for more than 40 years, I raised my family in Fort McMurray, my son works for Syncrude, there is not a stronger believer in this community than me.

While I have enjoyed my work at Syncrude, I would like to continue my service to the community as the next MLA for Fort McMurray- Conklin.

There has never been a more crucial point in the viability of our livelihood than now. We need to expand people’s understanding of the Alberta Oil Sands, bring industry to the table, continue building a strong community infrastructure and ensure the Wood Buffalo region has an experienced voice in the Legislative Assembly.

I know one thing for certain, when the by-election is held I will play an intricate role with the UCP Campaign if not as the candidate, apart of the team of whomever is chosen. Our community needs strong leadership. I wish all the candidates the best of luck throughout the campaign.

Please nominate me as your United Conservative Party leader in this upcoming election.

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WHO IS WILLIE HOLFIN

Industry Proponent & Career Man, Family Man, Community Ambassador, Experienced Political Advocate, Pioneer Farmer

Willie Hoflin’s family came to Alberta from Sweden, settling in the farming community of Valhalla Center in 1919. As the grandson of an immigrant farmer, Hoflin has always believed in the promise of Alberta, and always known that without hard work, nothing grows but weeds.

Hoflin spent his childhood on the farm where his father instilled the importance of hard work and accountability. After graduating high school, Hoflin began working as a surveyor for Bechtel, which in 1972 got a contract to help construct the Syncrude oil-sands project. Hoflin has worked at Syncrude for more than 40 years.

My name is Willie Hoflin and I work on site

His first few years were as a contractor with Bechtel. The full-time job came in 1974 when his wife Hilde was pregnant with their second child. Hoflin marched into Syncrude’s head office to suggest it was time the company hired him. (He left an hour later with a job offer.)

In 1977, after starting full time with Syncrude, Hoflin moved his young family to Fort McMurray. He soon became Syncrude’s chief surveyor and has worked directly in every area of the operation. He oversaw the first ever land reclamation project by an oil sands operator, what is today called Gateway Hill.

Although the reclamation of 104 hectares was a success, the government was slow in giving Gateway Hill official certification as reclamation land. To speed the process along — and to prove the land was habitable—Syncrude arranged for the transportation of a buffalo herd to the property.

The government soon issued the certificate. The buffalo herd is still there.

Buffalo herd roaming Gateway Hill to show reclaimation land was habitable.  This lead to the official certificate from the government as reclaimed land.  Photo courtesy of Syncrude Canada Ltd.

After Gateway Hill, Hoflin rose through the ranks at Syncrude. He became one of the company’s first Business Controls Advisors and then a Production Service Advisor, a title he holds to this day. He is considered an industry leader and pioneer in ethical and financial accountability of oil sands operations. He developed and implemented cost control and auditing systems that helped bring transparency to Syncrude’s operation and are now considered industry standards. Hoflin has also been at the forefront for the push for environmental stewardship in the oil and gas industry.

Gateway Hill reclaimation site, photo courtesy of Syncrude Canada Ltd.
Willie receiving Certificate of Merit in 1988 from the Government of Alberta due to his contribution to Fort McMurray.

It is over 40 years of front line experience at Syncrude that has provided Hoflin with a deep understanding and knowledge of every facet of the operation.

Hoflin is one of the founding members of the Northern Alberta Athletic Association.

Hoflin is a dedicated and active member of the Fort McMurray Minor Hockey and soccer leagues, coaching many young members of the community over the years. 

Giving Back to the Community

Hoflin used that same business acumen to bring Junior A hockey to Fort McMurray. When the Alberta Junior Hockey League refused to consider a team for Fort McMurray because of the associated travel costs, Hoflin spearheaded a season-ticket drive that sold eight-hundred tickets in just under six weeks. Fort McMurray got its team and the Oil Barons came to town.

Hoflin is also one of the founding members of the Northern Alberta Athletic Association; the group that owns the Oil Barons. In the early days, the Oil Barons were in deep financial trouble until Hoflin and the NAAA took control of the team and turned things around. Today, the Barons are the toast of the AJHL, with approximately a $3-million budget and a consistently packed Casman Centre not only to play in, but also to hang the team’s three championship banners.

For Hoflin, giving back to the community is something that extends not just to sports and volunteerism, but also to public service.

 

Hoflin’s father was a proud member of the Social Credit party and would knock doors every election, often accompanied by his son. This was Hoflin’s first exposure to politics — family and neighbours talking on the wrap-around porches and grain yards of his hometown, a friendly and important community activity people treated with respect and made time for, no matter who was getting their vote. It is an impression of politics that has stayed with him.

The Right Man with the Right Experience

Hoflin was Guy Boutilier’s campaign manager for his first run at elected office, as a Fort McMurray city alderman in 1986. He was with Boutilier for every campaign after that, right up to mayor and then Conservative MLA for Fort-McMurray-Wood Buffalo. Hoflin was also the campaign manager for Adam Germain when he was elected in 1993 to represent Fort McMurray in the Legislative Assembly. Hoflin has been advocating for the region of Wood Buffalo for over 30 years. He played an intricate role in establishing and maintaining both Wildrose and PC constituency associations and most recently was the Chief Financial Officer for former MLA Brian Jean in the Fort McMurray- Conklin riding. He received the Alberta Centennial Medal by the Ralph Klein Administration for his tireless efforts to improve the quality of life for residents in his home community and all of Alberta.

Hoflin, who has a son and daughter and has been married more than 40 years, describes himself as a fiscal conservative with a strong social conscience, ala Boutilier. He believes if you pull together and work as a community — work together at the local level — great things can be accomplished. He also believes passionately in the oil sands and in Fort McMurray.

“My family and I are living proof of the benefits of the oil sands and what it can mean to Canadian families,” he says. “I’m proud of the industry, our community and everything we have accomplished. I have worked in the Alberta Oil Sands for more than 40 years, my son works for Syncrude, there is not a stronger believer in this community than me” Adds Hoflin “But there has never been a more crucial point in the viability of our livelihood than now. We need to expand people’s understanding of the Alberta Oil Sands, bring industry to the table and ensure the Wood Buffalo region has a strong voice in the Legislative Assembly.”