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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dissention in the Alberta PC ranks? Calgary MLA Kyle Fawcett on Stelmach's leadership review

While Adam Daifallah asks whether "the country's most conservative city [is] dumping the Tories," Alberta's ruling Progressive Conservative's have taken notice of the loss of the "safe" Calgary-Glenmore riding to the upstart centre-right Wildrose Alliance Party's "Send Ed a Message" campaign. An article in the Calgary Herald does a good job of capturing some of the reactions to the loss, but most interesting are Calgary-North Hill MLA Kyle Fawcett's thoughts about his party's leader, Premier Stelmach:

"He's done very little, I believe, to instill confidence in at least people in Calgary that he has the leadership capabilities to lead this province," said Kyle Fawcett, Conservative MLA for Calgary-North Hill, on Tuesday in the wake of Monday's byelection loss to the Wildrose Alliance.

"I don't know why that is, but I do know there's some challenges there."

The loss can be attributed to several factors, suggested some prominent Progressive Conservatives, including Calgary-Edmonton "tribal wars," anger over health-care reforms, the ongoing royalty divisions and failing to communicate the government's message.

But the results also indicate many voters don't believe Stelmach is the right leader for the province, they contend, and could pose a risk to the premier as prepares for a mandatory leadership review at the party's annual convention in November. [...]

But asked about the musings of political analysts that the byelection could spur some Tories to try to push Stelmach out as leader, Fawcett said: "There's a reason why we have a semi-annual review within the party for leadership."

He added, "Of course that will be a lot of the discussions leading up until the convention in early November in Red Deer."

Read the rest.

UPDATE: Fawcett has apologized to the Premier for "being critical" in his comments to the Herald.

Calgary North Hill MLA Kyle Fawcett has apologized to Premier Ed Stelmach for being critical of his leadership abilities.

Fawcett suggested Stelmach had done little to give confidence to Calgarians that he has the ability to lead the province.

The rookie Conservative MLA made the comment after the party finished third in a byelection in Calgary on Monday.

Stelmach and Fawcett met for a conversation on Thursday and Fawcett offered an apology for his comment, the premier said.

"He was remorseful, and he said, look, you know, I just got caught in the heat of the loss and certainly dejected, and I know what it feels like," said Stelmach.

"Many times, you get caught up in making a comment and then you walk away and … maybe I should have said things differently. But that's all in the past," he said.

Fawcett will remain in the PC caucus, said Stelmach. Fawcett doesn't have any senior responsibilities in government.

Earlier this year, Stelmach ousted the MLA for Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo, Guy Boutilier, from the government caucus. Boutilier was also critical of the government but he refused to apologize. He's now sits as an independent member of the legislature.

Posted by Kalim Kassam on September 16, 2009 in Canadian Provincial Politics | Permalink


Sinse Alberta is arguably the most conservative province in the country there seems an obvious reason for the shift. Our PC government isn't all that conservative and we're losing faith in them in droves. A Premier who Kow-Tows to Federal (socialist) powers is most definately "not" the man to lead Alberta and it would seem we are coming to that realization.
It is my hope that the WRA isn't a repeat of the Reformers who seemed to disband and blend into the PC mainstream after winning on a conservative platform,(eg: Harper)and then abandoning it.
What Alberta really needs is backbone and a willingness to oppose Federal (socialist) forays into provincial jurisdiction. In fact if we want a return to innovation and liberty we'll need to roll back most if not all Federal control.
Ottawa has no interest in preserving our rights, so we need someone in Edmonton who does. Bye Bye Ed.

Posted by: The original JC | 2009-09-17 5:53:34 AM

I guess the PC has forgotten about the not-too-long-ago split by the Conservatives. Looks like it might be time for them to separate again and this time for good.

Posted by: GeronL | 2009-09-17 9:07:26 AM

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