EDMONTON, AB: Yesterday, Wildrose Leader Brian Jean released a video outlining his vision for uniting and consolidating conservatives and consulting Wildrose membership.
As a member and supporter, I wanted to share this message with you first.
As party leader, I am your servant and my duty is to consult, listen to you the members and to act on your behalf.
Wildrose has an incredible story to share. For the past decade, we have been the beating heart of the conservative movement in Alberta.
And our party has never been in a stronger position to shape the future of our province and to give power back to the honest, hardworking women and men across Alberta.
Last year, as I visited every corner of our great province, I asked you -the members- for your advice.
The clear direction I got from a majority of you was that we should pursue unity, but only if we can do so in a way that maintains our principles and our grassroots way of doing things.
And it is your vision that I wish to pursue.
When I issued my challenge for conservatives to come together shortly after the last election, I said that we would need to put egos aside for the greater good — that personal self-interest must never come before Alberta.
I meant that.
And that’s why I am announcing today, that if our members approve a unity agreement with the PC party, I am prepared to stand down as leader of the Wildrose, and to seek the Leadership of our single, principled, conservative party in a race to be conducted this summer.
I want all Albertans to know I’m committed to them.
Let me be clear on this point. I plan to be Alberta’s next Premier. Before I was forced to say goodbye to my son, I promised him I would fix a system that failed him. And I won’t stop working until I fulfill that promise.
It is my vision and my plan to make Alberta a place of unparalleled greatness – leading the strongest period of job creation in our history.
Together we will win and defeat NDP MLAs in every region of Alberta.
And for us to do that, I need your support.
Together, we saved our party from the brink of destruction.
Together, we’ve built Wildrose to the strongest it’s ever been.
Together, we will walk down the path forward into a bold future.
If the PC members select a dance partner that we’ve been looking for, I believe we must move forward recognizing the following essential elements:
We must preserve Wildrose’s legal framework as the foundation for a single consolidated conservative party that is governed by the grassroots;
We must recognize that all the members, both Wildrose and PC must be treated and respected as equals; and
We must remember that the Members will decide the name for Alberta’s conservative movement.
And most importantly, time is of the essence.
And I’m asking you, our members, for feedback on this proposal to unite conservatives. It’s the most important decision you as members have been challenged with.
And while I am confident that Wildrose would defeat the NDP on our own in the next election, consolidating and uniting like-minded conservatives under a single banner is the best chance that we’ll be successful, not just for the next election, but the elections that future generations will face.
And our movement must serve future generations; it must have a greater purpose than just defeating the NDP.
We must be committed, firmly, to the principles and common-sense policies that have driven the Wildrose Party, and principled conservative parties in Alberta’s past.
Let’s start with a shared vision:
A conservative party dedicated to principles of individual freedom, fiscal responsibility, religious and civil liberty, equality of opportunity and the greatness of Alberta;
Welcoming to Albertans of all backgrounds;
Unafraid of taking principled stands; and
Uncompromising in its commitment to accountable and ethical government.
Our party must never be a home for cronies who want to use government and politics for their own personal gain. In the last election, Albertans soundly rejected those who put personal ambition ahead of principles.
We must always be committed to the bottom-up grassroots approach necessary to provide Albertans with the greatest degree of control over the political process.
Our party constitution empowers you – the members – to always be in the driver’s seat. This is a defining feature of our party, and I will always defend it.
Friends, it’s also very important that we be ready for an early election call. Rachel Notley could very well call such an election if she sees any vulnerability in Alberta’s conservative movement. Our party’s survival has been put at risk by that type of cynical and jaded politics in the past, and I’m not willing to take that chance with Alberta’s future.
The money that you donate to us is saved and spent very carefully; and I am committed to ensuring that every single dollar contributed by you, will be used to fight the NDP in the next election, whenever it may be held.
The timeline for these changes and the leadership selection of a consolidated conservative party needs to be sooner rather than later.
The mechanics of any plan to bring conservatives together will take time and do not be fooled into thinking it won’t. However, this effort is of critical importance and for it to be successful, it must begin without delay.
We cannot give Rachel Notley and the NDP a free pass. The Leader of a consolidated party must be in place and ready to oppose the NDP’s damaging legislative agenda, this fall.
Over the next few months, my Wildrose team and I will be hitting the road to engage in another series of town hall meetings to listen, and to seek a clear mandate from you. I encourage all of you to either meet with us in person or to contact us directly to provide us with your feedback.
Any decision, about what we do on the path forward as a party will be made by you, the members of Wildrose, for the benefit of all Albertans.
That also means that if you support the cause of uniting conservatives and you support the principles I’ve spoken of, but you don’t hold a current Wildrose membership, then it’s critical that you join us, so that you can have a direct say in this important decision.
I believe in my heart that this is the right thing to do.
I sincerely hope that you will join me on this bold and bright path forward.
Thank you for your continued support.
And God bless Alberta.