The centrist Alberta Party is reaching out to Progressive Conservatives and Wildrose Party supporters who aren’t on board with Jason Kenney’s vision of a united right.
At Saturday’s PC leadership convention, Jason Kenney won an overwhelming majority, securing 75 per cent of delegate votes.
But Alberta Party leader Greg Clark says there are still people deeply concerned about the direction PCAA has taken, and that they’re welcome in his party.
Tonight I’m thinking about the people who no longer feel at home in a party they joined to make their province a better place #ableg
— Greg Clark (@GregClark4AB) March 19, 2017
In an interview Sunday morning, Clark said he understands the frustrations of those not in favor of a merger.
Clark also noted that memberships for the Alberta Party have gone up in the last few months.
“We’ve seen our membership numbers certainly go up, not just in the last day, but certainly over the course of the last couple of months” said Clark. “A lot of people do really want to join a party that they can be proud of. A party that understands that we can defend minority rights and balance a budget.”
Kenney has been met with some backlash on social media after his win, specifically from the LGBTQ community.
— Marni Panas (@marnipanas) March 19, 2017
— Amy Graves (@GPDOTS) March 19, 2017
— Kyle Morrow (@kylemmorrow) March 19, 2017
Can’t help but feel like we took a few steps back tonight. If you support LGTBQ and women’s rights, we got a fight ahead of us. I’m ready.
— Mike Morrison (@mikesbloggity) March 19, 2017
Clark said there have been some views expressed in the past by the right which has the community worried about minority rights.
“There are certain viewpoints that are not welcome in the Alberta Party. If you want to roll back LGBTQ rights, if you want to roll back women’s reproductive rights, you’re not welcome in the Alberta Party. You’re entitled to those views, you’re entitled to have them somewhere else” he said.
Clark pointed to controversial supporters like former Conservative MP Rob Anders as a sign that Kenney has “aligned himself with social conservatives.”
“Jason Kenney at the very, very least will tolerate those views,” said Clark, “and I think there is real, clear evidence that he will embrace people who want to roll back minority rights. That is not my Alberta, that is not twenty-first century Alberta and that’s why he’s seeing that reaction.”
As for Kenney, he was slated to meet with the PC party’s board of directors on Sunday, and hold his first news conference at 1:30 p.m. (ms, News Talk 770)