Alberta Politics

Party Business: Leadership Races and Palace Coups

– The Wildrose Party constituency association in Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills passed a motion calling for Brian Jean to face a leadership review at the party’s annual meeting in Red Deer on October 28 and 29, 2016. That constituency is represented by MLA Dave Hanson, who was one of the 9 Wildrose MLAs who signed an article comparing carbon pricing to genocide. Postmedia reports that Mr. Hanson was present at the constituency meeting where the motion was debated but did not speak in Mr. Jean’s defence or vote on the resolution. Similar motions are expected to be proposed by a number of other Wildrose constituency associations.

Late last month, pressure from party activists and MLAs inside his caucus forced Mr. Jean to back down from his attempt to suspend Finance Critic Derek Fildebrandt from the Wildrose Caucus.

Mr. Jean received 78 percent support in a leadership review following last year’s provincial election, which appears to mean little now as elements within his party are openly challenging his leadership.

– The Progressive Conservatives will be choosing a new leader before April 30, 2017. Party President Katherine O’Neill will chair the leadership race and former premier Dave Hancock will act as a senior advisor to the Leadership Election Committee. Cynthia Williams and Krista Balsom will co-chair the Delegate Convention & Debates Subcommittee. A motion introduced by Ms. Williams at the PC Party’s recent convention led to the adoption of a delegate system to choose the new leader.

– The Alberta Liberal Party executive board appointed Calgarian Nirmala Naidoo and Edmontonian Kevin Feehan as the co-chairs to oversee their leadership campaign scheduled for 2017 (Mr. Feehan is the brother of Edmonton-Rutherford NDP MLA and Minister of Indigenous Relations Richard Feehan). The next Liberal Party leader will be selected by a system that counts votes through a constituency-based point system. Calgarian Russell Scantlebury appears to be the only candidate openly campaigning for the position.

– The Alberta Party is holding its annual general meeting on June 11 to elect a new board of directors and debate constitutional amendments. One proposed amendment would limit future leadership candidates to those who have been a “member in good standing of the Party for at least one (1) year prior” to the candidate nomination deadline. The amendment would allow the board of directors to waive this requirement by a super-majority vote.

– It is not a leadership change or challenge but this motion might set off some fireworks at this weekend’s New Democratic Party convention in Calgary. Members of the Edmonton-Calder NDP association in the constituency represented by Education Minister David Eggen‘s are expected to introduce the following motion for debate: Be it resolved that the Alberta NDP urges the Provincial Government to discontinue advocacy or promotion of specific pipeline projects while stakeholders such as First Nations communities,Metis settlements, farm owners, and municipalities have expressed objections to a pipeline project being built through or terminating on their land.

Since entering office last year, Premier Rachel Notley has become a strong advocate for oil pipelines and has taken a more diplomatic approach to pipeline advocacy than her predecessors.

4 replies on “Party Business: Leadership Races and Palace Coups”


Just wondering why you felt it necessary to directly name Dave Hanson as the MLA for Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills when noting their leadership review motion and didn’t feel the need to name David Eggen as the MLA for Edmonton-Calder when noting their anti-pipeline motion?

One would think that the passing of an anti-pipeline motion by the constituency board of a sitting cabinet minister would be important to note?

Thanks for the note, Dylan. That’s a fair point and was an oversight on my part. It is notable that this motion is coming from a CA from a constituency represented by a sitting cabinet minister.


No worries. I appreciate the update. I’m just impressed that you get the jump on motions from all parties. I think this weekend will be an interesting one for Minister Eggen as he will have to defend the government’s position or his constituency board’s position. Not a good battle to be in the middle of.

The Wildrose has been begat with problems from the day the party was formed.
1) They lack effective leadership. The leaders they have had, like Danielle Smith, betrayed their constituents by croosing the floor to the Alberta PCs, at the goading of Preston Manning. Brian Jean flip flops on issues and also can’t seem to keep his party members in check.
2) The Wildrose has had candidates and has cabinet members who say things they shouldn’t. Ron Leech, Bill Jarvis and Rick Strankman are examples. This doesn’t help them.
3) The Wildrose has ex Alberta PCs in their party, who were involved with corruption as PCs. This does not bode well in the long run for the good of Alberta.
4) I don’t see any actual plans from the Wildrose. All I see is complaining, childish antics and inappropriate comments from MLAs. What solutions do they have?
5) The Wildrose seems power hungry.

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