UCP leadership debate near Red Deer cancelled, organizers say candidates threatened with fines

A debate featuring United Conservative Party leadership candidates has been cancelled.

Meeting organizers said candidates were threatened with “significant fines” if they participated in the leadership debate.

The debate was scheduled for Saturday afternoon from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Springbrook Recreation Centre. However, an email Friday from one of the organizers said it had been cancelled.

“The United Conservative Party (UCP) has threatened to level significant fines to any candidate that participates in a leadership debate scheduled on Saturday in Springbrook, Alberta. Thus the debate in Springbrook is cancelled,” read the email.

Messages to the UCP were not immediately returned.

Members of the UCP will vote on a new leader on Oct. 28. The party was formed after the Wildrose Party and the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta merged in July.

Candidates for leadership include Jason Kenney, former MP and leader of the PC Party; Brian Jean, leader of the Wildrose Party’ Doug Schweitzer, a Calgary lawyer; and Jeff Callaway, a Calgary-based senior investment advisor.

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