Tag Archives: Len Skowronski

Anti-Abortion activists stage an “invalid takeover” of Alberta’s Social Credit Party

Jeremy Fraser Social Credit Party Alberta Leader

Jeremy Fraser

It has been a long time since Alberta’s Social Credit Party played a central role in mainstream politics in our province. This could be why little attention was paid to the Socred’s annual general meeting in January 2016, where it appears that a group of anti-abortion activists staged a takeover the party leadership.

Len Skowronski, who served as leader from 2007 until the leadership change at the AGM, described it as an “invalid takeover” executed by a group of pro-lifers. “We true Socreds hope to rectify the situation at the next AGM,” Mr. Skowronski wrote in an email to this blogger.

According to Elections Alberta documents, Jeremy Fraser is now the party leader. He previously served as the party’s first vice-president and the party’s candidate in Highwood in the 2015 election, where he earned 187 votes.

Mr. Fraser posted the following message on his Facebook page days before the AGM:

Dear Pro-Life Social Credit Party Members and Supporters,

I want to thank you for all your support of the Social Credit Party over the past year! We have made great progress in building the Pro-Life political movement in Alberta. From recruiting many emerging Pro-Life leaders who have gained valuable knowledge and skills in political leadership on our provincial board to activating lifelong Pro-Life supporters at the grassroots level, helping them engage effectively in our last provincial election.

It hasn’t always been easy, but we have made great strides in promoting Pro-Life public policy and working for a Culture of Life! Thank you!

This Saturday is our Party’s Annual General Meeting. This is a very important opportunity to forward the Pro-Life cause politically in Alberta!

We will be voting to elect a strong team of Pro-Life leaders to the Provincial Executive and Board of Directors. Registration will take place from 1:00-1:30 PM at the Capitol Hill Community Hall, 1531 21 Ave NW, Calgary from 1-4. You can register at the door, $10/person 14yrs or older. Families are welcome to bring their younger children as there will be plenty of room.

This year’s AGM will be critical. We will be voting on the current leadership of the party which could result in the election of a new Leader of the Alberta Social Credit Party. It is vital that we ensure that we vote for a Leader who stands strongly for Pro-Life principles and shares our focus on promoting them openly.

A Social Credit advertisement from Alberta's 1944 election.

A Social Credit advertisement from Alberta’s 1944 election.

Speaking to the High River Times in April 2015, Mr. Fraser was quoted as saying “I will emphasize the Pro-Life values of Albertans, making constituents and other candidates aware of the issues surrounding abortion and how they are directly relevant to provincial policy… We should de-fund abortion and fund the life affirming alternatives of crisis pregnancy support, parental support, and adoption.”

It just so happens that “Eliminate the funding of abortions” is now prominently included in the first section of the Social Credit Party 2019 election platform, which has been published on the party website.

Mr. Fraser was a volunteer for the publicity campaign to recall Highwood MLA Danielle Smith after the former Wildrose leader crossed the floor to the PCs in December 2014. Also volunteering for that campaign were conservative activists Amanda Achtman and Caitlyn Madlener, who are now contributors to Ezra Levant‘s Rebel Media website (Ms. Madlener stood behind Jason Kenney as he launched his campaign for the Progressive Conservative leadership).

Ironically for Mr. Fraser, Alberta’s only recall legislation was repealed by the Social Credit government in 1936.

The Social Credit Party formed government in Alberta from 1935 to 1971. The party last elected an MLA to the Legislature in 1979. Former Social Credit Party leader Randy Thorsteinson, who led the party to win 6.8 percent of the vote in the 1997 election and later formed the Alberta Alliance Party (now known as the Wildrose Party) recently became the leader of the newly formed Reform Party of Alberta.

A message sent to Mr. Fraser was not responded to at the time this post was published.

alberta election candidate update – february 2012.

With an election call expected in the next three to six weeks, Alberta’s opposition parties are busily nominating candidates to stand in the upcoming vote. Some parties, like the Wildrose Party and the NDP, are close to nominating a full-slate, while the Liberals are scrambling to catch up. The Alberta Party and EverGreen Party are only expected to nominate a small number of candidates.

The Progressive Conservatives are expected to appoint their final candidate in Calgary-West on February 16. This appointment will replace previously nominated candidate Shiraz Shariff, who was disqualified by the PC Party last week.

Here are some of the recent updates I have made to the list of declared and nominated candidates standing in the 2012 provincial general election:

Battle River-Wainwright: Midge Lambert is seeking the Alberta Party nomination. Ms. Lambert was the Green Party candidate in Wetaskiwin-Camrose in the 2008 election. The NDP are holding a nomination meeting on February 21 where Terry Zalwalski is expected to be acclaimed. Mr. Zalwalski was the NDP candidate in the federal riding of Vegreville in the 1993 election.

Bonnyville-Cold Lake: Retired municipal administrator Roy Doonanco has been nominated as the Wildrose candidate, replacing previously nominated candidate Chuck Farrer.

Nicole Hankel Liberal Party candidate Calgary-Acadia

Nicole Hankel

Calgary-Acadia: Nicole Hankel is the Liberal candidate. She ran in the 2011 federal election as a Liberal candidate in the Macleod riding south west of Calgary.

Calgary-Elbow: William Hamilton has been nominated as the EverGreen Party candidate.

Calgary-Fish Creek: Nazir Rahemtulla is the nominated Liberal candidate in this south Calgary constituency.

Calgary-Fort: Said Abdulbaki has been nominated as the Liberal candidate in this east Calgary constituency. I am unclear whether this is the same Mr. Abdulbaki who ran for the Wildrose Alliance in Calgary-Montrose in 2008 and for the Wildrose nomination in Chestermere-Rockyview in 2011.

Calgary-Hawkwood: Social Credit Party leader Len Skowronski will stand as a candidate in this newly created constituency.

Calgary-Hays: Brian MacPhee will stand under the Liberal Party banner. Mr. MacPhee was the federal Liberal candidate in Calgary-Southeast in the 2011 election.

Calgary-Northern Hills: Stephanie Woodlund was recently nominated as the NDP candidate.

Calgary-South East: Marta Warszynski was chosen as the NDP candidate in a nomination meeting held earlier this week.

Calgary-Varsity: Jackie Seidel, Director of Field Curriculum at the University of Calgary Faculty of Education, was chosen as the NDP candidate this week, replacing previously nominated candidate Cynthia Caldwell.

Cardston-Taber-Warner: Aaron Haugen was nominated as the NDP candidate this week, replacing previously nominated candidate Barbara Eng-Bonthoux.

Rod Loyola NDP Edmonton-Ellerlsie nomination candidate

Rod Loyola

Cypress-Medicine Hat: Manuel Martinez is expected to be nominated as the NDP candidate on March 2, replacing previously nominated candidate Scott Riable. Mr. Martinez was his party’s candidate in the 2008 election.

Edmonton-Ellerslie: The NDP nomination contest is heating up. Rod LoyolaKevin Wright, and one other candidate are seeking the nomination. Former Liberal MLA Bharat Agnihotri, who was previously nominated as his party’s candidate in the upcoming election, appears to no longer be the candidate.

Edmonton-South West: Former Catholic School Trustee Rudy Arcilla was nominated as the Liberal Party candidate in this newly created constituency. Served as a trustee from 2007 to 2010.

Rick Szostak Liberal candidate Edmonton-Whitemud

Rick Szostak

Edmonton-Whitemud: Rick Szostak is the nominated Liberal candidate in this constituency. Mr. Szostak was previously the Liberal candidate in Edmonton-Sherwood Park in the 2008 and 2011 federal elections.

Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville: Spencer Dunn is the nominated Liberal Party candidate.

Highwood: Miles Dato was recently nominated as the NDP candidate.

Leduc-Beaumont: Dave Stasiewich has been chosen as the Wildrose candidate.

Little Bow: Everett Tanis is the Liberal Party candidate. Mr. Tanis was the 2008 Liberal candidate in this constituency, earning 1,080 votes. In 2011, he was honoured as Picture Butte’s Citizen of the Year.

Medicine Hat: Graham Murray is the nominated EverGreen Party candidate

Sherwood Park: Past County Councillor candidate and local bus driver Dave Anderson was recently nominated as the Liberal candidate.

Whitecourt-Ste. Anne: Likely winning the best name of the 2012 provincial election, is newly nominated NDP candidate Blue Knox.

SENATOR-IN-WAITING ELECTIONS

This past weekend, Progressive Conservative officials selected Doug BlackMike Shaikh, and Scott Tannas as their three candidates in this Spring’s Senator-in-Waiting vote.

alberta politics notes 12/12/2010

Don Martin goes to Ottawa
After 32-years writing for the Calgary Herald, Don Martin wrote his final column last week titled “ My last words on Alberta politics.” Mr. Martin will soon take over as the host of CTV’s Ottawa-based Power Play.

Budget
The City of Edmonton approved their 2011 budget with a 3.85% tax increase. Read Councillor Don Iveson‘s blog post on the budget debates and results. The City of Calgary also recently passed their 2011 budget with a 5% tax increase.

Urban municipalities conference
The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association held their annual general meeting at the end of November where they debated and adopted a series of new policies. Conference delegates also acclaimed Village of Breton Councillor Darren Aldous as their President for a second-term.

Lethbridge By-Election
The sudden death of Alderman-elect Bob Babki in October has triggered a by-election for Lethbridge City Council scheduled for February 1, 2011. Jeff Coffman, Kevin Layton, George McCrea, Wade Galloway are standing in the by-election.

Canadian Wheat Board elections
Allen Oberg of Forrestburg, Alberta, Stewart Wells of Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Kyle Korneychuk of Pelly, Saskatchewan, John Sandborn of Benito, Manitoba, and Henry Vos of Fairview, Alberta were elected or re-elected to the Canadian Wheat Board. All Board Members with the exception of Mr. Vos are supporters of a single desk seller. Just over 41 per cent of the eligible 28,481 eligible farmers returned their mail-in ballots.

Alberta Party releases MLA Guidelines
The Alberta Party has released a series of guidelines for MLAs and a process for sitting MLAs who want to join that party, which has generated some interesting debate on Facebook. The Edmonton Journal’s Sheila Pratt has wrote about a recent chat with the Alberta Party’s Acting-Leader Sue Huff, as did Angela Brunschot in SEE Magazine.

New Alberta Liberal Executive
The Alberta Liberals elected a new President at their recent annual general meeting. Erick Ambtman was acclaimed to the position as were VP Policy Debbie Cavaliere and Secretary Nancy Cavanaugh. Two other board positions appear to be vacant as VP Communications Jody MacPherson resigned for personal reasons at the AGM and the VP Fundraising position is listed as vacant on the party website.

Mar blocked Maryland global warming Bill
Alberta’s representative in Washington DC Gary Mar helped stop a piece of global warming legislation in the State of Maryland in 2009. According to The Tyee, Mr. Mar travelled to Maryland to speak against the Oil Sands Responsibility Act introduced by Representative Roger Manno. The Bill would have prohibited State agencies from purchasing high-carbon fuel, including fuel derived from Alberta’s oil sands.

Ted Morton running against Danielle Smith?
Probably not, but that has not stopped the speculation that the PCs would take advantage of changes in the electoral boundaries to put their top fiscal mallard Ted Morton on the ballot against Wildrose Alliance leader Danielle Smith.

Social Credit AGM
The elusive Social Credit Party held its annual general meeting on November 20, 2010 in in Innisfail where its members reaffirmed the leadership of Len Skowronski and heard what I am sure was a fascinating a speech from Paul Kennett, President and CEO of the Alberta Credit Union Deposit Corporation. The party also elected a new board of directors, consisting of President Gordon Barrett, Vice-Presidents Helge Nome and Garnet Medicraft, Area Directors Myrna Kissick, Gordon Musgrove, Tom Stad, Raj Sinha, Charles Relland, and Bob Whyte. Both Mr. Relland and Mr. Whyte are former members of the Alberta Party, which they both left after the party’s renewal attracted in an influx of new members over the past year.

Election earlier than 2012?
Liberal leader David Swann and Wildrose Alliance leader Ms. Smith are predicting an election in early 2011. Although I have heard similar rumours as they have, I still believe that as long as Premier Ed Stelmach is the leader of his party the next election will be in March 2012, as he has consistently said.

Read more in the Alberta Politics Notes archive.