Alberta Politics

one fewer lifeboat on the ship: lethbridge liberal mla bridget pastoor to join pc caucus today.

MLA Bridget Pastoor

According to Calgary Herald columnist Don Braid, Liberal MLA Bridget Pastoor will cross the floor and join the Progressive Conservative caucus today. Ms. Pastoor is currently serving her second term as the MLA for Lethbridge-East, a constituency represented by Liberal MLAs since 1993. She is currently assigned Official Opposition critic roles for Agriculture and Rural Development, Seniors and Community Supports, and Municipal Affairs.

Ms. Pastoor was a PC supporter during the Premiership of Peter Lougheed and in 2009 suggested that she was thinking about crossing the floor. As a respected member of the opposition benches, this move would be a blow to Liberal leader Raj Sherman (a former PC MLA) and a certain win for Premier Alison Redford.

In April 2010, Calgary-Currie MLA Dave Taylor left the Liberal caucus to sit as an Independent. He is now the lone Alberta Party MLA in the Assembly.

The Liberal Party has struggled in the polls and suffered from serious internal party dissent since the 2008 provincial election. Though its large outstanding debts have been paid off, the Liberal Party continues to operate with minimal staff support (its executive director position is currently vacant). The party is now lead by its third leader in four years and a recent poll has placed the party in fourth place province-wide behind the PCs, Wildrose Party, and NDP.

22 replies on “one fewer lifeboat on the ship: lethbridge liberal mla bridget pastoor to join pc caucus today.”

@Daveberta – is that because his Caucus can’t stand him or because he refuses to share any “credit”?

If Briget Pastoor had it out for Raj Sherman, why did she go out of her way in her news conference to say that her change had nothing to do with his leadership and that she respected him for standing up for what he believed in last fall ? Interesting spin from the P.C.’s who demanded by-elections when their M.L.A. defected to Wildrose, but don’t feel that this should apply now. They say Raj Sherman didn’t precipitate a by-election, hoping people forget that he was kicked out of the P.C. caucus and then sat as an Independent for some time afterwards.

Raj never left the Tories. They kicked him out for standing up on moral issues of health welfare and human care. He advocated internally for 2 yrs, but it fell on deaf ears. Sherman’s departure is different than floor crossing and DOES NOT necessitate a by-election.

A little cleaning up the dirty closet is good for any party. She’s in her 8th decade, she has to think about retirment, and being with the opposition probably wasn’t paying the bills, but joining a $40Billion budget, now any politician can get creative to plan for retirement. We all wish her well at the Tory Trough.

Interesting! PC Party says if there is an incumbent running in a riding , then nomination meeting must be held by Dec 10. Not time for this to happen. So what about the poor PC candidates that were going to run for the nomination. A neat trick to parachute a candidate

@Michael is nasty piece of work, and a re-writer of history to boot! Sherman did cross the floor, albeit in slow motion. He was an apologist for the Tory bull dozer until it became clear he would not be promoted.
Ms. Pastoor was a Tory-like creature from the beginning, which fit in well with Liberal culture, such as it is. Her bumbling incompetence and glad handing will make a good fit with the PC’s too.

Pot calling the kettle black. So how does one cross the floor “slowly”??? Did’t Raj’s constituents tell him to stay as and independent, for some time? Yes he honored their wishes. His riding was a LIberal riding before he turned it blue. Sherman spoke out against the ER and physician intimidation, when it became the Tories don’t care about the intimdation and wanted to in fact hide and muzzle it, they tossed him. Did you watch any of the news last November? Or are YOU re-writing your own history. It takes balls and courage to speak out for Albertans, especially when you are staring down Leviathan, let alone Goliath. You can’t stay as an independent forever, as you will never have access to resources to do much. You have to cross once, you get tossed for dare uttering the unspeakable. Get your head facts straight, he stood up on moral principles. Any body who can dare do that and risk everything, deserves to be the leader.

I believe that a nomination meeting COULD be held before December 10.. and would suggest that the current candidates in Lethbridge East would probably have more feet on the ground and memberships in hand than Bridget could field in two weeks.

Whether the candidates will oppose the PC Machine is a different question, however, which has always been the problem in the party as long as I was involved..

So – I guess we’ll wait and see – but as former President of Lethbridge East, I can tell you the good people who are still involved (and they are good people) would be hard-pressed to say “no” if the hammer comes down telling them not to hold a contested nomination.

Word also is that Bridget is grooming her daughter for possible involvement – so don’t be suprised by an uncontested nomination process where the candidate is NOT Bridget, but is her daughter, local alderman, Bridget Mearns.

ND’s and AP are pathetic. Any time there is negative press against the Liberals, you vote splitting fools get empowered and thrilled at the chance of being 3rd place instead of 4th. Neither of these parties are willing or have the political will to take on the Tory titanic, ND’s and AP just keep fighting for garbage scraps and rub their hands at the possible of stealing a few Liberal votes. Grow up people. Its time to work together in a more cohesive manner and challenge the Tories in their ridings directly. Find good candidates and support them to run. Vote splitting and infighting between the Libs, AP and ND’s is detrimental to the health of our democracy and giving the Tories an unfettered free ride. Those of you unwilling to recognize that are just plants for the Tories.

Note to ‘Oppositio Parties…”

Yelling at the NDP and Alberta Party isn’t going to stop the Liberal party from circling the drain.

Calling for people to unite the vote isn’t going to do the Liberals much good right now, as they are running fourth in the polls. It likely won’t be the Liberals who will benefit from strategic voting.

You make the case that others should ‘find good candidates and support them to run.’ The NDP has 61 candidates nominated, the Liberals have 19. Clearly the Liberals are not doing their homework. It’s not clear how many Albertans will even be able to cast a ballot for the Liberals – even if they want to.

And finally – watching comments on this page, it’s not the Alberta Party, the NDP, or even the PCs or Wildrosers who are doing the ranting and raving – it’s Liberal supporters like you – mainly aimed at other Liberal supporters.

You would be better off getting off your blackberry, taking a deep breath, and doing some of the hard work involved in saving your party from extinction.

Iam disheartened by the ex Lethbridge president whom indicated that good people would not say “no” if the hammer comes for a drop in candidate. I agree it is time to come together and start to try and defeat the PC’s riding by riding. Understand that we do not necessarily need a different govt, but the PC;s would be a better party if they were facing a decent oppostiion, Right now it is just a autocratic chamber – this is not good for Alberta (did anyone notice that we spent an extra billion over budget? – this is not the road to be going down).

I don’t vote Liberal, but I have the utmost admiration for our Official Opposition for how hard they work to hold this corrupt PC machine to account. Can’t imagine how diseheartening it must be to fight that arrogance day after day after day, facing constant belittling and put downs just for doing your job. Talk about workplace bullying!

That said, I’m disappointed in Bridget. What was the point of selling out her party (the Opposition) this close to an election? And given Redford’s track record of broken promises (fixed election, public inquiry, change in cabinet portfolios, transparency, actual democracy implemented in Alberta) along with out-of-the-blue legislation that is designed to punish the average Albertan rather than the 0.16 killers…why would you align yourself with these sleazeballs at this point, Bridget? I don’t get it.

Well, I am hoping since she voted yes on the Anaphylaxis motion on March 15, 2010 that when she gets there, she can help Doug Horner convince the rest of their team that protecting kids in school starts with education for the teachers. If anyone here is interested in that particular topic, please come to Allergic Living Forum or the Alberta School Councils’ Association…What about first aid…do you think that the people that you leave your kids with should be required to have first aid? We are getting a Act for Education…is the safe and caring all about bullying?

Ah,poor Rob. Still bitter, huh? You know very well that the Party constitution forces open nominations. If you had held on, rather than desert the ship,you would also be aware that PC “open” constituency nominations are not allowed to be held until After January 8. If people in Lethbridge East want to defeat the Bridgets, the opportunity is wide open. Good on them if they do.

Oh the Humanity – you have it wrong! Encumbents and Bridget is now one of them must be held by Dec 10. Only when the current MLA (and Bridget is one of them) has indicated that they are not going to run again and a “newbie” is to be elected is the nomination to be held Jan 8=31. The encumbents are all being put to task to announce one way or the other, and if they are staying they must have a nomination prior to Dec 10. I do not think Rob has deserted! He merely ststes he is a former prsident of a riding – they too change from time to time. And I have been in a constituency that experienced a “you do not want to do this – just let him/her have one more term – then it will be your turn” It is a not so subtle pressure. I also suspect it happens in all parties

The term for an elected candidate seeking re-election is an incumbent.
An encumbrance is a claim against clear title to a property.
I have no doubt that Pastoor’s defection could result in an encumbrance to the Liberal Party claim as Official Opposition. Many Liberal MLA’s have defected to the Conservatives over the years. If you claim your party to be in Opposition to the Tories you should appear different from them. A major issue in Alberta is the Keystone Pipeline. The Wild Rose made up of one actual Wild Rose and a few Conservative Thistles, the Liberals who all seem to want to be Tories when they grow up and need money are both with the Conservatives on the Pipeline. The pipeline takes our valuable non renewable resource and ships it in raw form to the United States for negligible royalty plus environmental risk. Only the NDP in Alberta oppose this project. If you want this project vote Tory, Liberal, or Wild Rose and you will get it. If you oppose it vote for the only real alternative to the Tories the Alberta NDP.

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