The unity vote between the Wildrose Party and the Progressive Conservative Party is set to take place in Red Deer this weekend.
Brian Jean, leader of the Wildrose Party, said he’s taking nothing for granted and is very optimistic in the possible unity of the two political parties.
The vote takes place July 22nd at the Radisson Hotel.
“I’ve listened to Albertans and I’ve seen it grow and grow as far as the desire to unify. I think most Albertans are common sense Conservatives. They want a hardworking, honest and upfront government. They want somebody that’s going to support their family and make sure we have strong families in Alberta and I do think that they’re looking forward to having a yes vote on this, and see both principle conservative ideas moving forward,” said Jean.
He added this would mean that Alberta would have one strong consolidating, conservative movement in Alberta politics, which will give people one option on the ballot box for a conservative leaning party.
He said challenges will of course come up in the process, and that some people are speaking out and against unity, but he said he’s found that many more Albertans are in favour of unity than those against it.
He said he believes the NDP and some left leaning respondents will continue to attempt to fear monger and label their party, but that’s the largest challenge they have.
“We just have to make sure that Albertans recognize that they don’t need to fear us. They need to embrace us and recognize as well that we will put forward their positive ideas for the future of the government based upon proper consultation and listening to Albertans.”
Jean said he believes the most important thing any government and any politician can do when they travel the province is to listen and to learn what Albertans want and what priorities they want, and believes that this new party, if voted on, will be focused on exactly that.
He said the feedback he’s heard from Albertans consistently is that they don’t want an NDP government in Alberta any longer, and that a lot of people fear for not just the economy, but some of the other things the NDP have done.
“They’ve changed a lot of the laws relating to workers and employment, and of course, after decades of labour peace, this is a situation that many employers are worried about, farmers are worried about, ranchers are worried about.”
He said the oil and gas industry is extremely worried because Saskatchewan is doing quite well comparatively to Alberta, and that Alberta is still spending 20% more than any other jurisdiction almost in Canada per capita than we should be.
“Take for instance British Columbia where we spend significantly more, about $8 to $10 billion dollars every year more than they do when we adjust for the same population, and we’re about $10 billion in debt each and every year and spending over our income, so obviously we need to get our spending under control, and most Albertans recognize that and want this one single consolidating voice to represent them going forward.”
Jean will be all across Alberta this week bringing the message of unity forward for Albertans and to answer questions for those people on the fence.
He said he looks forward to coming to Red Deer and having the opportunity to speak at around 4 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel July 22nd.