Bonnyville-Cold Lake MLA Scott Cyr is welcoming the merger of the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties, after an overwhelming 95 percent of voting members agreed to the move.
“With the vote of both the Wildrose Party and the Progressive Conservative Party coming in at a resounding 95% for amalgamation it sent a clear message to everyone in Alberta, a strong united conservative party is good for Alberta.,” said Cyr in a statement. “Saturday was a momentous day for all conservatives across our province, and I thank the grassroots for participating in the process.”
Cyr adds however, that the work is just beginning.
“My focus will be on empowering the grassroots in our constituency. Our new United Conservative Party will continue to hold the NDP government to account and continue to be the voice of everyday Albertans. It is time that we look our past differences and start showing that we are the best place to live in Canada.”
After over a year of talk, both parties held a vote to join forces on Saturday with both camps voting 95 percent in favour. Now begins the leadership race for the new United Conservative Party. Both former party leaders Jason Kenney and Brian Jean have announced leadership bids alongside former PC Doug Schweitzer. Wildrose Finance Critic Derek Fildebrandt has said he’s considering a run as well, but won’t make it official until more of the leadership rules are hashed out.
Not everybody is happy with the merger though. PC MLA for Vermillion-Lloydminster Richard Starke has taken to Facebook to announce that he will not support the new caucus.
“I have no way of knowing whether the leadership and policies of the new party will align with the values and principles I ran and was elected on,” he wrote explaining his decision. “Without certainty in that knowledge I cannot, in good conscience, sit as a member of that party.”
Starke ran for the leadership of the PC’s against Jason Kenney but was defeated.