Central Albertans had a chance to meet with the leader of the federal Conservative Party this weekend.
Party leader Erin O’Toole was joined by Red Deer-Mountain View MP Earl Dreeshen, Battle River-Crowfoot MP Damien Kurek, Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MP and agriculture and agri-food shadow minister Lianne Rood, and Bow River MP Martin Shields for a meet and greet at Home Place Ranch between Linden and Three Hills Saturday.
“It was kind of nice we could find a spot where we could bring so many people from all three (surrounding) constituencies to be able to hear (O’Toole),” Dreeshen said the day following the meet and greet.
“I know there were people in my riding, from as far away as Cremona. There were people from west of Highway 2 and by Elnora and Delburne. Even a couple of folks from Red Deer and west of Red Deer.”
Dreeshen said O’Toole discussed some of the “major pillars” the Conservative Party is looking at, coming into the next election, including jobs, accountability, mental health and getting back to “some sort of national unity where everyone isn’t so divided.”
Another major point of discussion at Saturday’s meet and great was the needs and concerns of Western Canada, Dreeshen added.
Last Thursday, O’Toole positioned himself as a “true partner” for Alberta during a news conference in Calgary.
He said a Conservative-led country would restore fairness to Albertans who have paid more than their “fair share” to Canada. Instead of “bullying and lecturing” from the federal government, O’Toole pledged Conservatives would listen to Albertans and protect their autonomy.
Ending the “mistreatment to western Canadians” starts with reforming the fiscal stabilization program, said O’Toole.
The Conservatives would change the program as outlined in 2019 by premiers across the country when they called on the federal government to lift the per-capita cap and make it retroactive to 2015.
Dreeshen praised O’Toole following the meet and great, which was attended by more than 200 people.
“Erin took a lot of questions from people as well and never shied away from anything. I think that really shows his character as a man,” he said.
—With files from The Canadian Press