Smith will step down in 2016 if not elected premier

  • Nov. 19, 2014 4:13 p.m.

Members of the Wildrose party gathered this past weekend at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Centre, for their annual general meeting where they also heard from party leader Danielle Smith.

Smith stated to party members that if she does not win the 2016 provincial election for premier, she will step down as party leader.

“My time as leader of the Official Opposition is coming to an end — one way or another — in about 500 days,” stated Smith during her speech to the near 500 party members present.

“We think we have about 500 days before the next election and we want to make sure we use every one of those days wisely.”

Smith’s announcement came after a particularly rough past few months for the party, after they were unable to take any of the four ridings away from the reigning Progressive Conservative party in last month’s by-elections.

“Before the by-elections I think we made the assumption that we were doing a lot of things right, but we didn’t make the kind of progress that we hoped we would,” said Smith during a question period at a press conference prior to her address to party members.

“I firmly believe that the ideas of our grassroots members are the ones that will direct us on the steps we need to take and tell us if we need minor tweaks or do we need to do something more significant.

“I think a leader has to be willing to be open-minded and willing to hear that feedback and I have been greatly encouraged by a number of members saying that, ‘We don’t think the problem is you but we do think there are problems’.”

Smith explained how she was looking forward to Saturday’s ‘reverse bear pit’ where she would open the floor to party members to ask them what they felt were the issues facing their party. She also fielded questions during the press conference regarding the Keystone XL pipeline, to which she answered, “We can always hope that we can get closer to the Keystone getting passed but I think it will require some changes in the White House first as the House of Representatives has passed endorsements for it a number of times, but I think we need to continue down the path of looking at ways for us to get our product to market through a variety of mechanisms and means.

“Right now we have rail which fills the gap for next few years but certainly by 2018 and definitely by 2020 seeing some progress on the Energy East pipeline, the Kinder-Morgan or the Gateway is going to be essential,” said Smith.

Smith finished the press conference by saying in the coming weeks she believes Albertans can expect to hear a lot of questions about the province’s fiscal situation.

“It does feel a bit like Groundhog Day to us, the fact that we had a recent by-election that kind of mirrored what we saw in the general election, we have seen lots of funding promises, lots of announcements for spending, all at the same time that the bottom of some of those revenue projections have fallen out,” said Smith.

“Last time I checked oil was at $75 a barrel, and that is going to have a big impact on the promises that the current premier has made and an impact on the budget they are going to put forward in the spring session.

“We’ve always been the kind of party that believes we need to truly live within our means, have an honest reflection of our dollars in and dollars out, be honest with Albertans about whether we are in surplus or deficit and I think that those issues are going to dominate the fall sessions.”

Just Posted

Two-vehicle collision involved stolen vehicle in Red Deer

One driver transported to hospital, one arrested

WATCH: Food Truck Fridays are back in full swing

Red Deerians enjoy a variety of different foods

RDC introduces Justice Studies diploma to fill community gap

Forty students will begin studies in Fall 2018

Seventh annual ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ set for June 7th

Red Deer fundraising event to take place at The Outreach Centre

WATCH: Alix holds 2nd annual Icebreaker Roughstock

Many come out to see some intense rodeo action

Vote points to abortion being legalized in Ireland

Voters asked whether to keep or repeal Eighth Amendment to Roman Catholic Ireland’s Constitution

Canadian soccer officials talk up World Cup bid at Champions League final

Current bid calls for 2026 World Cup games to be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Former B.C. premier says pot industry about to enter Wild West

Mike Harcourt says Canada is about to enter a new gold rush with many dreaming of striking it rich

Hunt continues for two suspects in Ontario restaurant explosion

The explosion left 15 people injured, but all victims have now been released from hospital

Alberta Party names candidate for upcoming byelection

The Alberta Party made the announcement May 24 at the lighthouse in Sylvan Lake

Military college students accused of violating Qur’an with bacon

Alleged acts by four cadets from the Royal Military College in Quebec caught on video

Most Read