POLICY CONVENTION - Members of the Alberta Progressive Conservatives met in Red Deer this past weekend for the 2016 Policy Convention & Special General meeting which was held at the Sheraton. A leadership forum was held Saturday night as well which attracted abotu 1

Provincial conservatives talk policy at weekend convention

Hundreds attend the convention held at the Sheraton in Red Deer

  • Nov. 9, 2016 5:42 p.m.

Provincial Progressive Conservatives met in Red Deer this past weekend for the 2016 Policy Convention & Special General meeting.

“After the election loss, we did a total 360 about where the party was and what we needed to do,” explained Katherine O’Neill, PC Alberta president. “We didn’t even have a policy book. Because we were in government so long, what was being passed in the legislature was considered basically our policy book.

“But the party members didn’t have policy book that they worked on.”

O’Neill said last weekend was the culmination in ways of the work that has gone towards developing party policy since then. “They held regional policy meetings across the province and talked about what is important to Albertans – the economy, the environment, education and health care – and they talked about what also would be good policy areas that we should be working on.”

From there, the policy was essentially pushed up to last weekend’s meeting where the delegates voted on it.

“It’s really exciting, because the last time we met was 2013 for a policy conference, and 300 people went to it,” she said. This time around, 850 were in attendance. There were also a number of workshops on topics including fiscal responsibility, health care, education and rural issues among others.

“For me, being the party president, that tells me that we are on the right track, that we are listening to people, that people want to be engaged and that when we give them a place to come, they come,” she said, adding on top of that, the ongoing leadership race is also helping to bolster momentum as well. The leadership election is set for March 18th, 2017 in Calgary. A leadership forum was held last Saturday evening which attracted 1,200 people as well.

“They talked about everything from the carbon tax to Bill 6,” she said, adding that concept of unifying the right also surfaced.

“I’m on the record having said that it’s up to our membership to make these decisions,” she said.

Meanwhile, O’Neill said some people had asked why the policy convention was happening prior to the leadership selection.

“We made the very conscious decision that no – the leader won’t define the party like it has been in the past,” she explained. “We want to be at the table making the decisions.”

That way, following the leadership convention it will be very clear where the party is heading, she said, adding with changes that have made to the process, every single riding will have equal say on who the party selects as its next leader.

“We needed to make sure there were more people at the table making these decisions,” she said.

“We also have some of our strongest ridings in Central Alberta, and I think that this policy conference will be able to show Albertans that we aren’t just waiting for a leader. We are hard at work and we want people to join us and to help us do this work,” she added.

“The issues are so significant. I think people are very stressed out about the economy and where the province is heading. If they are really worried, there is a place to come and do the work and help us.

“Before, I think that a lot of the time we let the MLAs do all the work. But now the membership – the grassroots — are saying, ‘We want to help’.

mark.weber@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Johnny 2 Fingers and the Deformities play The Vat April 27th

Moose Jaw band is on a 39-day national tour from Quebec City to Vancouver

Council highlights

Council to fund Rimbey Boys and Girls Club for $15,000

WATCH: Second annual Our Best To You Craft Sale on now

Red Deerians can expect over 150 artisans, makers and designers

Red Deer RCMP look for James Holley on warrants

Holley is believed to be in possession of firearms

‘Battle of the Badges’ charity hockey game raises funds for Humboldt Broncos

Red Deer Emergency Services and RCMP will play hockey for a good cause

WATCH: ‘Battle of the Badges’ event raises money for Humboldt Broncos

Red Deerians get together at charity hockey tournament April 20th at Servus Arena

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

Speed Skating Canada fires coach Michael Crowe after investigation

Crowe was a coach on the American team from 1983 to 1991 and again from 1999 to 2006

5 things to know about the ongoing influx of asylum seekers in Canada

Number of illegal border crossings are up this year – as RCMP, military, politicians try to combat

Producer, DJ Avicii found dead at 28

Swedish-born artist Tim Bergling, was found in Muscat, Oman

Most Read