Mass Wildrose migration to PCs a month in the making, says Premier Jim Prentice

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice says an emissary from the Wildrose approached his team a month ago to pitch a group floor crossing.

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jim Prentice says an emissary from the Wildrose approached his team a month ago to pitch a group floor crossing.

Prentice says he was surprised by the offer and let his whip handle negotiations until they progressed to the point for him to meet face-to-face with the Wildrose leader a week ago.

Danielle Smith and eight of her caucus mates bolted to the Prentice team on Wednesday, saying it makes no sense to fight a premier who shares the same ideology.

The move has gutted Alberta’s Official Opposition, leaving the Wildrose with just five seats compared with 72 for Prentice and his Progressive Conservatives.

The floor-crossers, particularly Smith, have been criticized in editorials and on social media for betraying the people who worked and voted for them.

Prentice says none of the floor crossers have been promised a post in his cabinet.

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