The Right of Way

An evening with Wildrose leader Brian Jean held in Elk Point

Wildrose leader, Brian Jean was in Elk Point on Friday evening at the Allied Arts Centre for a discussion on the future of the Wildrose party and the Unite the Right movement. The leader brought along fellow Wildrose members, MLAs Dave Hanson ( Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills), Scott Cyr ( Bonnyville-Cold Lake), Leela Aheer (Chestermere-Rocky View), and Nathan Cooper (Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills). It was a full room, with over 150 guests in attendance, along with Lakeland Member of Parliament, Shannon Stubbs and her husband, former MLA Shayne Saskiw.

The Wildrose leader says he wanted to hold an open discussion with the area residence to hold true to the Wildrose’s stance that the party has always been for the people. “I’m here to consult, first of all. To reach out to all the members of the Wildrose party and the PC party and Albertan in general, to find out what they want us to do about this unity issue,” Brian Jean says the number one element the he’s keeping in mind before any discussions are made, is what is the want of the people. “There’s a lot of talk about [unity] and we want to make sure we get it right. In Wildrose, the members are in the driver’s seat and they’re in charge.”

“The people, clearly, told me that they respect that I would come out and listen to them,” Jean explains surveys were distributed through the crowd, so the party is able to collect accurate data on what the people want. “Overwhelmingly, we heard that they were interested in unity, as long as we can keep our Wildrose, grassroots way of doing things and our principles.”

There are three common concerns heard in the room:

  1. How can the Wildrose join with the PCs without losing their principles and the grassroots ideologies?
  2. How can the Wildrose abolish without losing their assets?
  3. Once united, can the new right-wing party defeat the NDPs in the next election?

The Wildrose intend to address all of those concerns and find solutions that will be satisfying to the whole, “we will reflect Albertans as a whole,” states Jean and he’s putting it on the line. The leader made some bold statements to the room, including that he would step down as leader of the Wildrose party, should unity move forward. His intention would be to step down to run for the leader of the new, unnamed, united conservative party. “I’m only stepping down temporarily. I’m planning on being the next Premier of Alberta. To be able to put my job on the line to make sure we can get this unity done, is just a small thing to be able to do for Alberta.”

“It’s not about Brain Jean, it’s about Alberta. We should never let our egos and self-interests get in front of what’s important and what’s important right now is Alberta,” the Wildrose leader says he’s going to continue to visit communities in Alberta. Should the Wildrose decide to take the unity issue to a vote, 71 percent of the elected Wildrose officials must agree to unity for it to move forward. A timeline as to when a vote may happen was not given.