Alberta Politics

Derek Fildebrandt joins separatist Freedom Conservative Party, remains a Giant Thorn in Jason Kenney’s side.

Photo: In happier times. Wildrose MLA Derek Fildebrandt joined Jason Kenney on the eve of his victory in the PC Party leadership race. (Photo credit: @pcyouthalberta on Twitter)

Derek Fildebrandt has found a new way to become a giant thorn in the side of United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney. The MLA for Strathmore-Brooks has joined the Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta, becoming that party’s interim leader and its first MLA.

Leela Aheer Wildrose MLA Chestermere Rockyview
Leela Aheer

The former the boy wonder of Alberta’s conservative movement, Fildebrandt resigned from the UCP caucus in August 2017, was banned from returning , and barred from running for a UCP nomination in Strathmore-Chestermere after a long series of embarrassing scandals, ranging from a hit-and-run incident to renting his government subsidized apartment on AirBNB to being charged with killing a deer on private property without the owner’s permission.

Most Albertans will have never heard of the tiny right-wing separatist party, but as already reported on this blog, the Western Freedom Party was renamed the Freedom Conservative Party in late June 2018. The party was originally formed as the Alberta First Party in 1999, renamed the Separation Party in 2004 and again renamed the Alberta First Party in 2013. It was renamed the Western Freedom Party in April 2018 and again renamed the Freedom Conservative Party in June 2018.

The President of the party is Bob Lefurgey, who had previously reported to be collecting signatures to form another new separatist party that was to be called The Western Independence Party of Alberta.

In August 2017, Lefurgey described his plan to create the Western Independence Party to the Okotoks Western Wheel. “It’s basically to remove Alberta from confederation,” Lefurgey told the Western Wheel. “There’s been an accumulation of things over time and we’re in a perfect storm for separatists right now, with all the things going on – everything from immigration, gun control, equalization.”

Gordon Kesler
Gordon Kesler

Lefurgey was a candidate for the Separation Party of Alberta in the Airdire-Chestermere district in the 2004 election. He earned 394 votes.

Lefurgey is also the current President of the Freedom Conservative Party association in Strathmore-Brooks, the district currently represented by Fildebrandt. It is the party’s only registered constituency association.

The party’s Facebook page still does not yet reflect the June 2018 name change, though someone is continuing to post new content a few times a week, which includes some internet conspiracy theories that are typically seen on the right-wing political fringes of the internet.

In one Facebook post, which sounds like something that might be inspired by the anti-semitic 1935 Social Credit campaign, Fildebrandt’s new party wants to make sure that Albertans “Don’t find yourself waking up one day to find that the World Bank or George Soros and Aga Khan own your financial institutions. You will then understand what you should have done to stop the UN, the Songbird initiative, the Boreal Initiative, Y to Y and the Leap Manifesto and take your country back from the elites!

The last notable leader of a separatist party elected to the Legislature was Gordon Kesler, who was elected as a Western Canadian Concept candidate in the Olds-Didsbury by-election of 1982. Much of Kesler’s activities in the Legislature included opposing official bilingualism and protesting the introduction of the metric system.

As party leader, Fildebrandt could petition to join the mainstream media organized televised leaders debates during the next election. This was a status Kesler was denied when Peter Lougheed refused to debate him on TV. Kesler was defeated in the 1982 general election.

Fildebrandt remains popular in his district and is a formidable political campaigner. We should expect him to face off against UCP MLA Leela Aheer in the new Strathmore-Chestermere district in next year’s election. He might have a shot at winning, and he might not be alone.

Fildebrandt told Postmedia’s Don Braid that his party plans to contest UCP safe seats in the next election. His criticism of the UCP for their last-minute disqualification of perceived front-runner S. Todd Beasley in the neighbouring Brooks-Medicine Hat district could be the first step in a candidate recruitment strategy. It could also be an early sign that the Freedom Conservative Party might be a home for disgruntled and disqualified United Conservatives in the Alberta’s provincial election.

Yep, Derek Fildebrandt is still a giant thorn in Jason Kenney’s side.

10 replies on “Derek Fildebrandt joins separatist Freedom Conservative Party, remains a Giant Thorn in Jason Kenney’s side.”

I find it puzzling that these fringe-party Alberta separatists are all so far-right in their ideology. The only other province in Canada with a significant separatist movement is Quebec, where the PQ has always occupied the left of the political spectrum. Indeed, back in the 1960s and up to the 1970 October Crisis, the extremist separatists in Quebec were unabashed Marxists. One wonders at this difference between these two jurisdictions …

Lol! What a joke. Didn’t Derek just move to Alberta from Ottawa in 2012? 6 years ago and now he says he’s a separatist? Get a real job, dude.

An online poll today says that almost 27% of people think Fildebrandt’s Freedom Conservative Party will become a viable political party, that may be double the support for the Alberta Party. If I was Kenney, I would be a bit concerned by that.

Fildebrandt’s new party is planning to focus on rural Alberta only, where a more right wing and unfiltered message might resonate better than the very controlled and calculated Kenney. I’m not sure Fildebrandt is any more of a separatist than Kenney, who was recently ranting and railing against equalization and usually seems to be railing against Ottawa or other parts of Canada.

I am not sure if Fildebrandt is a populist, but I think he is closer to it than Kenney is, so I think he has a chance of attracting the support of the truly disaffected.

People through history have thought to free themselves from external powers, this is not new, it is primal in the human condition. I see nothing that is abhorrent or humourous, we sit at an interesting time, and we should not let petty personal traits obscure what we could build if we had the courage to do so. If you are an Albertan, even if you are not, it would be undeniable on how we are abused within the current Federation. This could be a chance to build a new life and a new reality that would build a brighter free future for ourselves and our children. Do we want to ridicule that kind of dream? Dream people DREAM!

Totally agree. With the right leadership
I think Alberta and Saskatchewan could become a solid country.

A solid country with no tide water, capable of being embargoed like an international siege. Man cannot live by bread alone, but flying solo we sure would have to give it a go.

I am interested in more details of the Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta. In what I am looking for is the Political Party of Alberta would get rid of these Taxpayers Dollars Government Programs like that of Alberta Supports, WCB, AISH, Student Aid of Alberta, CASE, Widows, Veterans etc and take the initiative to replace those desirables that o no good for the Poverty People of Alberta. Basic Income Guaranteed idea seems to be better than these garbage Social Programs in Alberta that is a waste of Taxpayers Dollars. I have had a conversation with Collina the Assistant for the Brooks Constituency MLA’s office.

I too am looking for a political party that will bring Alberta back to the Dickensian age.

Make Alberta Medieval Again!

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