Alberta NDP leadership convention to be held in Edmonton in October

Alberta’s New Democrats have selected the province’s capital as the site to pick their new leader this fall.

EDMONTON — Alberta’s New Democrats have selected the province’s capital as the site to pick their new leader this fall.

A convention is to be held in Edmonton on Oct. 18-19, Brian Stokes, the party’s executive director, said in an interview Friday.

Stokes said details and deadlines on the race have been delegated to a committee that is to report back in a month.

He also said it will be the party’s first one-person, one-vote leadership contest. Previous contests were decided by delegates.

“We’ve modernized our leadership process,” said Stokes. “We want to make it as accessible as possible.”

There will also be a block vote for union affiliates, depending how many are signed up at the time, to a maximum of 20 per cent of the total, he said.

The membership fee is as low as $1 but is open to whatever a member wants to pay. That will not change for the leadership race.

Stokes said the party is also looking at the feasibility of electronic voting.

“Our big issue that the committee is exploring is can we do online voting in a way that is cost effective but also very secure?” he said.

“But we also want to get as many people in person at the event as possible.”

Current leader Brian Mason announced Tuesday that he is stepping down from the top job once a new leader is picked.

Mason said a split between the Progressive Conservatives and the Wildrose party on the conservative side of the spectrum, coupled with organizational disarray for the Liberals, has opened a window of opportunity for his party.

But for the NDP to capture progressives “looking for a new home,” a fresh face is needed in the top job, he added.

No one has stepped forward yet.

House leader Rachel Notley said Friday she hasn’t made up her mind and wouldn’t even say if she’s considering a run.

“I’m not even thinking about it right now,” said Notley.

The NDP leadership race is one of two taking place this fall.

The Progressive Conservatives are to pick someone to choose former premier Alison Redford, who resigned in March ahead of a caucus revolt over lavish spending and her imperious manner.

The party announced this week members will have the option of voting online, by phone and in person on Sept. 6. A runoff ballot, if necessary, is slated for Sept. 20.

Party executive director Kelley Charlebois said it was time to go online.

“We’ve looked at it in previous leadership races and had some concerns about the security of it and the maturity of the process,” said Charlebois.

“When we looked at it this go-round, we saw there have been great changes, even in the last few months, in the security.”

Even the in-person polling stations will tabulate votes electronically for quick turnaround of results, he said.

Charlebois said it’s a diverse province and the electronic option is crucial for those who have trouble getting to polling stations.

“We want to enable (supporters) to participate.”

One candidate has officially declared for the race — former municipal affairs minister Ken Hughes.

Former Calgary MP and cabinet minister Jim Prentice has let it be known through intermediaries that he will run as well, but has not spoken publicly about his intentions.

A number of current cabinet ministers are mulling a run, including Doug Horner, Thomas Lukaszuk, Ric McIver, Diana McQueen and Jonathan Denis.

The Tories have set a $50,000 non-refundable entry fee. The race officially begins May 15 and candidates are to be introduced at an event in Edmonton on June 2.

Just Posted

WATCH: Setters Place grand opening in Red Deer

Red Deer’s Setters Place officially opened to the public Saturday afternoon.… Continue reading

Women’s marches underway in Canadian cities, a year after Trump inauguration

Women are gathering in dozens of communities across the country today to… Continue reading

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by government

Olds chicken barn burns to the ground, no livestock harmed

More than 100,000 chickens were saved as fire crews prevent the blaze from spreading

Bear video meant to promote conservation: zoo owner

Discovery Wildlife Park says it will look at other ways to promote its conservation message

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month