Tag Archives: Lorna Wolodko

Alberta Conservatives now appear less united than they have in years

Progressive Conservative leader Jason Kenney took aim at the New Democratic Party and Alberta’s teachers this week, claiming that both groups are planning to hijack the July 22 vote to fold his party and the Wildrose Party into a new United Conservative Party. Kenney’s claims are unsubstantiated and are likely a distraction from the unity crisis happening in his own party.

After having served the party for approximately fifteen years in various capacities, I am not in support of the direction the party is currently taking under the new leader,” wrote Sumita Anand in an email May 24, 2017 email announcing her resignation as west Calgary regional director on the Progressive Conservative Party board of directors.

At the board level there is no opportunity for positive participation and there seems to be a staged place for only those board members who agree with the leader on all suggestions even if they are far from being either socially progressive or inclusive,” wrote Anand, who was president of the Calgary-Foothills PC association from 2014 to 2016.

Anand is one of a handful of high profile Conservatives to resign from the PC Party board since Kenney became leader on March 18, 2017.

Among the individuals who have left the PC Party board since the change in leadership include president Katherine O’Neill, northern finance committee chair Stephen Mandel, budget director Kim Krushell, southern Alberta vice-president Jordan Lien, south Calgary regional director Connor Turner, St. Albert regional director Lorna Wolodko, north Edmonton regional director Stephanie Shostak, central north east regional director Bud James and vice president organization Denise Brunner. Janice Harrington resigned as vice president outreach to become the party’s interim executive director.

Kenney’s public statements on Gay-Straight Alliances and his party’s recent political maneuvering around Edmonton’s Pride Parade suggest he is willing to appeal to the loud vocal minority of social conservatives at the expense of moderate conservatives already in his party.

Shostak announced on her Facebook page that she had joined the Alberta Party, and Brunner has emerged as the Edmonton regional organizer for the Alberta Party. Brunner recently sent an email to Alberta Party members announcing a series of annual general meetings to be held in the Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview, Edmonton-Castle Downs, Edmonton-Decore, and Edmonton-Manning constituencies.

The Alberta Party’s recruitment of former PC Party executive director Troy Wason, and his extensive list of contacts across the province, will surely help the party, but it needs organization on the ground and money in the bank. The Alberta Party raised only $14,070.49 in the first four months of 2017, which was only three percent of total amount that was fundraised by the governing New Democratic Party in the same period.

The Alberta Party is not the only recipient of political refugees from the PC Party. Former PC Party member Kerry Cundal recently ran for the Liberal Party leadership and some PCs unhappy with the direction of the party have even joined Rachel Notley‘s NDP.

The most high-profile Tory to join the NDP recently has been Calgary-North West MLA Sandra Jansen, who crossed the floor in November 2016 after dropping out of the PC leadership race. More recently, Thomas Ockley, a former PC caucus and party staffer who served as Richard Starke’s scrutineer in the 2017 PC leadership race, is now listed on the Alberta government website as being employed as a researcher for the NDP caucus at the Legislature.

Support for the new party is not unanimous in the Wildrose Party either. Leader Brian Jean faced pushback from party president Jeff Calloway this week. Sharon Maclise, the party’s president in Edmonton-Glenora, described abandoning the Wildrose Party to create a new party as an “idiotic idea” in a letter to the editor in one of Edmonton’s Postmedia newspapers last month.

Unlike Kenney, who only needs the support of 50 percent plus one to fold the PC Party, Jean requires a steep 75 percent approval from the Wildrose Party membership.

While Kenney’s hostile takeover of the PC Party earlier this year may lead to the creation of a United Conservative Party (at least on paper), conservatives in Alberta now appear less united than they have in years.


Here is the full email from Sumita Anand:

Dear President and fellow board members,

Regretfully, I submit my resignation from the board of Directors. 

After having served the party for approximately fifteen years in various capacities, I am not in support of the direction the party is currently taking under the new leader. 

During my tenure as a volunteer with the party, I have always observed and recognized the leader as being the pillar on which the progressive and conservative values stood firm and grounded, leading the party’s initiatives to form government without any selfish objectives. Those principals seem to have been lost under the current leadership.

At the board level there is no opportunity for positive participation and there seems to be a staged place for only those board members who agree with the leader on all suggestions even if they are far from being either socially progressive or inclusive. 

A party leader’s actions are a reflection of the direction for not only its members but for Albertans at large. Currently the party reflects being resourceful but not compassionate, responsible, open or practical.  I would like to contribute my capabilities to a party that is humble yet remarkable and according to me, those values are not aligned with the direction this party is taking. 

While working with the party, I have found great friends and take back with me very fond memories.  I appreciate the opportunity given to me through the years for contributing to community at large. 

I wish the current board success through its endeavors. 

Sincerely 

Sumita Anand 
Board member 
 Dated: 24th May 2017

alberta candidate nomination update – november 2011 (part 2).

With a fixed election “period” expected to be set for sometime between March 1 and May 31, 2012, Alberta’s political parties are still in the process of nominating candidates in the 87 new constituencies that will be contested in the next provincial election.

Total Nominated Candidates
APAlberta Party 8/87
LIBLiberal 20/87
NDPNew Democratic Party 60/87
PCProgressive Conservative 50/87
WRWildrose 58/87

Here are some of the updates I have made to my growing list of nominated and declared candidates:

Battle River-Wainwright: Four candidates are seeking the Wildrose Party nomination being held on November 18. Dave Nelson is a Buffalo Trail Public School trustee and a founding member of the Responsible Firearm Owners of Alberta, Sean Maciborski is the Mayor of the Village of Heisler, Rob Johnson is a farmer and Masters Student living near Daysland, and Tom Jackson is a farmer and anti-Wheat Board activist living near Killam.

Bonnyville-Cold Lake: Bonnyville Town Councillor Gene Sobolewski is challenging first-term MLA Genia Leskiw at the PC candidate nomination meeting on November 19, 2011.

Calgary-East: The Wildrose has announced that Jesse Minhas is their nominated candidate in this constituency.

A photo of Joey Oberhoffner, Calgary-Fish Creek PC Nomination candidate (November 2011)

Joey Oberhoffner

Calgary-Fish Creek: Blogger and public servant Joey Oberhoffner has announced his intentions to seek the PC nomination in this south Calgary constituency. The constituency has been represented by Heather Forsyth since 1993. In 2010, Ms. Forsyth left the PC caucus and joined the Wildrose Party. A high profile candidate from Mount Royal University is expected to join the PC nomination contest.

Calgary-Klein: Christopher Tahn is expected the seek the Liberal Party nomination on November 22.

Calgary-McCall:  Jamie Lall appears to be the only candidate have officially declared their interest in the PC nomination in this north east Calgary constituency, but there is expected to be up to ten other candidates to join the contest. Two candidates said to be interested in seeking the PC nomination withdrew or were disqualified from the Wildrose nomination contest in that constituency –  Deepshikha Brar and Brahm Luddu.

Calgary-North West: Chris Challis has been nominated as the Wildrose candidate. Quietly moved away from the nomination is Russell Hillier, assistant to Conservative MP Rob Anders and founder of the Canadian Culture and Integration Society (which was dedicated to reducing mass-immigration and eliminating official multiculturalism in Canada).

Cardston-Taber-Warner: Agriculture consultant Pat Shimbashi is challenging MLA Broyce Jacobs at the PC nomination meeting scheduled for November 26. Mr. Shimbashi was narrowly defeated by Mr. Jacobs in the 2008 PC nomination. Mr. Jacobs served as this constituency’s MLA from 2001 to 2004 and 2008 to the present.

Edmonton-Ellerslie: The Wildrose Party has nominated Jackie Lovely as their candidate. She is the Past President for the Summerside Community League.

Edmonton-Gold BarAs covered in a blog post earlier this weekJosipa Petrunic is planning to seek the Liberal Party nomination in this long-held constituency.

Richard Coleman Ed Stelmach

Richard Coleman and Ed Stelmach

Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville: Vegreville Mayor Richard Coleman has joined the race for the PC nomination that already includes Strathcona County Councillor Jacquie Fenski and former Fort Saskatchewan Mayor Jim Sheasgreen.

Grande Prairie-Smoky: Bret McNally is the third candidate to enter the Wildrose Party nomination race. Mr. McNally is facing off against Duane Stevenson and Todd Loewen.

Lac La Biche-St. Paul: Lac La Biche County Councillor John Nowak has declared his intention to seek the Liberal Party nomination in this north east Alberta constituency.

Lethbridge-West: Dave Wright has declared his intentions to seek the Wildrose Party nomination. Mr. Wright was briefly nominated as his party’s candidate in Cardston-Taber-Warner earlier this year.

A photo of Michael Dawe, Alberta Liberal Nomination Candidate Red Deer North (November 2011)

Michael Dawe

Red Deer-North: Historian and former Red Deer Hospital Board Chairman Michael Dawe used the daveberta.ca Facebook Page to declare his intentions to seek the Liberal Party nomination.

Stony Plain: Four candidates are seeking the PC nomination in this constituency being vacated by retiring MLA Fred Lindsay. Vern Hardman is an Edmonton lawyer who had sought the Wildrose Party nomination in Edmonton-Calder last year. Mr. Hardman told the Stony Plain Reporter that “I joined the Wild Rose as a means of contributing to change in the province, but I started to see that the Wild Rose Party was not the answer.” The other three candidates include David Cymbaluk, Stony Plain Mayor Ken Lemke, and Mr. Lindsay’s Constituency Assistant Lorna Wolodko.

alberta candidate nomination updates – july 2011.

Airdrie – Former City of Airdrie Mayor Linda Bruce told the Airdrie Echo that she has been approached to run for the Progressive Conservative nomination. Ms. Bruce served two-terms as Mayor before being unseated by Peter Brown in October 2010. She currently serves as the Executive Director of Creative Airdrie. The constituency is currently represented by Wildrose MLA Rob Anderson.

Banff-Cochrane: Former Rockyview School District Trustee Trudy Hauser was acclaimed as as Wildrose candidate, which is not sitting well among some Wildrose supporters in the constituency. The group, including interested candidate Paul Rugglestold the Cochrane Eagle that they felt the nomination selection was ‘closed-door process.’

Lee Easton Calgary Buffalo Alberta Party candidate

Lee Easton


Calgary-Buffalo: Mount Royal University Professor and recent Alberta Party leadership candidate Lee Easton is seeking his party’s nomination in this downtown Calgary riding. Seeking the Wildrose nomination is the former host of 770AMs Calgary Today Mike Blanchard.

Calgary-Klein: Jeremy Nixon defeated former separatist leader Cory Morgan for the Wildrose nomination.

Calgary-Mountain View: Outgoing Liberal Party leader David Swann was nominated as his party’s candidate. Dr. Swann was first elected to represent the constituency in 2004 and was handily re-elected in 2008.

Edmonton-Manning: Catholic School District Trustee Cindy Olsen was nominated as the NDP candidate.

Lethbridge-East: Kent Prestage was nominated as the Wildrose candidate. Mr. Prestage was the campaign manager for former Lethbridge MP Rick Casson and made an unsuccessful run for the Conservative Party nomination when Mr. Casson retired earlier this year.

Innisfail-Sylvan LakeKerry Towle defeated Rod English to become the Wildrose candidate. Penhold Town Councilllor Danielle Klooster has been acclaimed as the Alberta Party candidate.

Ken Lemke Stony Plain PC candidate Election

Ken Lemke

Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills: Carstairs-based accountant William Stevenson is the first candidate to enter the nomination contest to replace retiring PC MLA Richard Marz. The PC nomination contest is expected to attract a crowded field.

Stony Plain: Two candidates have stepped up to retiring PC MLA Fred Lindsay. Town of Stony Plain Mayor Ken Lemke was the first to enter the nomination contest to replace Mr. Lindsay, who has represented the constituency since 2004. Constituency Manager Lorna Wolodko entered this week. Arlin Biffert is the nominated Liberal candidate.

Wetaskiwin-Camrose: Camrose County Councillor Trevor Miller defeated Tim Essington and Orest Werezak to become the Wildrose candidate. Mr. Werezak was the Wildrose Alliance candidate in Battle River-Wainwright in 2004 election and was the Federal Liberal candidate Crowfoot in the 2000 federal election.

Click here for a full list of nominated and declared Alberta provincial election candidates.