When you ask members of the United Conservative Party about this weekend founding annual general meeting, they’re excited about it.
“We have to put down a good grassroots party that is fiscally conservative and socially reasonable,” said Robert Carlson, from Innisfail.
“Social issues are important, but not that important that you should borrow money to pay for them.”
Sporting a red “Make Alberta Debt-Free Again” hat, Carlson has been a member of both the Progressive Conservative and Wildrose Parties of Alberta in the past.
The two formally merged in July 2017 and are in Red Deer this weekend at the Sheraton to set the direction of the party through debates and votes on policy resolutions. According to the party, more than 2,600 delegates have assembled for the convention.
Andrew Scheer, federal Conservative Party leader and Official Opposition leader, headlined the opened night on Friday with a speech.
Saturday and Sunday will be spent electing officers and directors for the party and lengthy governance and policy debates and votes. There are more than 300 governance and policy resolutions that will be voted on.
Cole Kander, from Red Deer and a candidate for the party’s Red Deer-North nominee, was at the AGM early Friday afternoon meeting up with colleagues and friends.
“I’m excited that we’re making history,” he said. “We’re founding a brand new party in a way that hasn’t been seen in a long time. The members have had a chance to vote on policies three times. We’ll have another chance this weekend.
“Every single thing from the policies to the people representing them, will be decided by the members.”
Saturday night is headlined by a speech from party leader Jason Kenney, with former Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall to speak before hand.