OLDS, AB: Following the historic unity vote on July 22, which saw the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties come together to form the United Conservative Party (UCP), I hit the road this week to hear from Albertans in their own communities.
As we continue building our united conservative movement, listening to everyday Albertans about what they want to see in a modern, principled and compassionate conservative party will be integral to my success as Interim Leader and our future success as an Official Opposition caucus. It’s important to hear directly from Albertans about the real-life impacts of NDP policies and I am committed to building a party and a caucus that will provide a common-sense alternative to Rachel Notley’s NDP.
As I said after my caucus colleagues chose me to serve as Interim Leader, my job is not to take the party to the left or to the right. Instead, my job is to build it up, and that starts with seeking advice and feedback from everyday Albertans on how they would like to see us move forward.
It’s not enough for me to tell you who I am, or what the UCP stands for. I know that in order to build trust with Albertans, my colleagues and I will need to walk the talk – and that’s what this tour is all about.
Since the NDP took power more than two years ago, they have spent more time talking about consulting with Albertans than they have listening. We have seen policy after policy result in unintended consequences that could have easily been mitigated if the government had just listened to Albertans in the first place. The UCP will not make those same mistakes and my summer tour puts action behind that promise.
Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be at parades and rodeos, coffee shops and community meetings, listening to Albertans and getting to know them on their turf. Along the way, I will be joined by local UCP MLAs and municipal leaders who will show me around and make sure I know what each community needs to grow and prosper.
If you would like to know more about where I’ll be this summer, on my Facebook page. I look forward to seeing you soon!
Nathan Cooper is the Leader of Alberta’s Official Opposition, the Interim Leader of the United Conservative Party and the MLA for Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills.