Twelve years after he fired Trustee Danielle Smith by dissolving the Calgary Board of Education, former PC cabinet minister Lyle Oberg announced yesterday that he was joining the Wildrose Alliance and would be introducing Ms. Smith at her party’s fundraising dinner last night in Edmonton.
Attracting a high-profile Tory like Mr. Oberg is a public relations coup for the Wildrose, but it is not impossible to connect the dots that led to his decision. Mr. Oberg’s wife, Evelyn, works for Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo Wildrose MLA Guy Boutilier and, in 2006, Mr. Boutilier was one of two PC MLAs who supported Mr. Oberg in his failed PC leadership bid (the other was Lesser Slave Lake PC MLA Pearl Calahasen).
Mr. Oberg served as Minister of various portfolios while Ralph Klein was Premier and was Finance Minister in Premier Ed Stelmach‘s first government from 2006 to 2008. After discovering that the real financial power rested not with the Finance Minister, but with Treasury Board President Lloyd Snelgrove, Mr. Oberg went out of his way to publicly contradict the Premier’s message on energy royalty review and a national securities regulator before announcing that he would not seek re-election in 2008.
Another former PC cabinet minister, Doug Main, was the Master of Ceremonies for last night’s fundraiser.
I thought that Premier Stelmach’s resignation announcement would have stemmed the flow of high-profile former PCs joining the Wildrose. I wonder who could be next?