The Wildrose Party is making another appearance in Alberta politics following a vote to merge by the Freedom Conservative Party (FCP) and Wexit Alberta (WA).
The two voted overwhelmingly at the end of June to joined together as the Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta. In total, 97.5 per cent of FCP members and 96.1 percent of WA members voted in favour of the merger.
FCP president Rick Northey, of Airdrie, had predicted before the vote that 90 per cent of members would indeed vote in favour of merging, which only required a simple majority to be approved.
Northey ran for the FCP in the 2019 provincial election in the Airdrie-East riding, finishing in fourth place in the six-person race which was won by Angela Pitt of the UCP. He also ran for Airdrie city council in 2017.
He says the first act of the new party will be to pick an interim leader. Northey says that may prove to be tricky as they will need to find someone that both sides can accept.
The leadership campaign might be postponed to next year due to COVID-19 rules.
The merger took place only days after former Conservative MP Jay Hill was announced as the new leader of Wexit Canada, something Northey says is good news because Hill has serious political clout.
Several people on social media are calling for former Wildrose leader Brian Jean to run for the leadership. Northey says Jean remains tremendously popular in the province and that he will try to speak with him.
In a column written in March for the Edmonton Journal, Jean said, "Canada is broken; Albertans want to fix it. We are tired of being treated like a colony in our own country. We are frustrated by Canada enjoying the more than $20 billion we contribute to equalization annually while they simultaneously seek to prevent our future prosperity.”