Strankman blasts defectors

Rick Strankman, the MLA for Drumheller-Stettler, said in a press release that when he first learned that his colleagues — including Wildrose leader Danielle Smith — “had decided to abandon their responsibilities and obligations as members of the Wildrose caucus, preferring the promise of political baubles from a (Progressive Conservative) government that is not yet three or four months old, I was incredulous.”

Rick Strankman, the MLA for Drumheller-Stettler, said in a press release that when he first learned that his colleagues — including Wildrose leader Danielle Smith — “had decided to abandon their responsibilities and obligations as members of the Wildrose caucus, preferring the promise of political baubles from a (Progressive Conservative) government that is not yet three or four months old, I was incredulous.”

Strankman had left the country, for an earlier planned vacation, the day before the Wildrose MLAs crossed the floor.

He returned to Alberta late Monday evening and issued a statement.

“Just weeks ago, at a caucus meeting in Calgary, Rob Anderson and Danielle Smith used their influence to cajole a statement of unanimous support from caucus members. Their objective was to avoid a leadership review. Now, only weeks later, the two of them led a revolt against their own party and against their own leadership, and in the process, persuaded seven of their colleagues to go along with their duplicitous act,” Strankman said in the release.

“Not one of the 87 Wildrose constituency associations, nor any of the party’s nearly 25,000 members, nor any of the men and women who serve on the party’s province-wide executive council, has perpetrated this act of betrayal. Their hands and their consciences are clean. The two people who did perpetrate the betrayal are Rob Anderson and Danielle Smith. The seven who decided to support them, placing the promise of personal political gain ahead of obligation and duty, are collaborators.”

“These nine individuals joined the (Progressive Conservative) Party. … they did so with the objective of destroying the party they were elected to represent and defend. They showed disdain for the men and women who made up their own constituency associations. They publicly scorned the army of volunteers who worked for them, and the donors who gave money on their behalf. The more than 400,000 Albertans who voted in favour of the Wildrose Party in the last provincial election certainly didn’t do so in anticipation of this kind of betrayal,” Strankman said.

“A betrayal by nine does not negate the wishes and aspirations of thousands. As one of the many thousands of Wildrose Party members who has stuck to principle, who has not betrayed the public trust, and who has not sold out in exchange for the promise of political baubles, I look forward to the rebirth of the Wildrose Party.”

The other seven MLAs who crossed included two Central Alberta MLAs — Rod Fox (Lacombe-Ponoka) and Bruce Rowe (Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills). Another Central Alberta Wildrose MLA, Kerry Towle (Sylvan Lake-Innisfail) crossed the floor about three weeks ago.

Heather Forsyth, MLA for Calgary-Fish Creek, has been named interim Wildrose leader.

On Tuesday, Speaker Gene Zwozdesky ruled that Wildrose would retain official Opposition status.

The party is now tied with the Liberals at five seats each.

Just Posted

Unemployment rate and EI beneficiaries down in Central Alberta

The unemployment rate for Red Deer region and the number of people… Continue reading

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

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

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

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

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