‘Middle of the road’ Alberta Party looking to build a presence in the constituency

Gord Fortin
Lakeside Leader

The Alberta Party – in the news lately due to its leadership race – is looking to grow and establish a presence in the Lesser Slave Lake constituency.
Conrad Guay, the northwest regional organizer, explains that the party plans to have an active candidate and constituency organization in each provincial riding. This is part of the strategy to build up the party for the next election.
Guay says there is no constituency organization in this riding yet. He foresees building up party infrastructure as a challenge.
“Not as of yet, no,” he says. “It’s one of the tough nuts to crack, I’m finding.”
Guay has found that the knowledge and interest in building party infrastructure to be lacking in the northern areas. He feels this is because of the size of the region. That being said, it is still a priority for the party to build up the north.
The party membership is slim in Lesser Slave Lake but that is not stopping the party. Guay says he is planning to travel to the area with the party executive director to gauge interest and drum up support. The idea is to make the trip once winter weather calms down.
“We do have a few members there that are kind of looking at getting together and building a CA (constituency organization), but they don’t all live in the same area,” Guay says.
The plans include holding an annual general meeting in the riding. Guay says this would most likely take place in the town of Slave Lake.
If there is a spike in party interest, this might push ahead plans.
Guay explains that the Alberta Party is centrist, which means it is positioned to be a moderate voice or the centre of the political spectrum. This means the party works towards fiscal responsibility while being socially open minded. This mean the goal would be to find ways to rectify deficits and debt while maintaining the services that Albertan expect from the province.
Being centrist also mean the party will look at any positive ideas from either the left or the right.
“If it is a good idea, it doesn’t matter where it came from on the political spectrum,” Guay says.
Guay feels that the formation of the United Conservative Party (UCP) has left a void in politics. He says the Alberta Party overall has seen a surge in membership since the UCP formation and the election of Jason Kenney as that party’s leader.
The Alberta Party is currently going through a leadership race. Former leader Greg Clark recently resigned as leader. He was the only party member to win a seat in the legislature in 2015. Since then NDP MLA Karen McPherson as well as Rick Fraser both crossed the floor to the party.
There are three candidates for leadership. Calgary lawyer Kara Levis, former Edmonton mayor as well as Progressive Conservative health minister Stephen Mandel and Fraser have all thrown their names in the race. Nominations are closed and a leader will be chosen during the convention on Feb. 27.
To vote for leader you will need to be a member of the party by Feb. 12 at noon. If you are interested in the party and want more information you can contact Guay by email at [email protected], or [email protected]

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