The time for the Progressive Conservative (PC) Party of Alberta to select a new leader is approaching.
A total of 15 delegates will be selected at a meeting held by the local constituency association on Thursday, January 19 at 7:00 p.m. at the Jurassic Inn. They will then attend a convention March 17 to 19 to vote for the new PC leader.
"We've been having some good discussions at our meetings (and) seeing where people's thoughts are," said Mark Nikota, President of the Drumheller-Stettler PC Constituency Association. "Everybody is definitely on the same page as far as we have to renew the province and gets things going again, it's just how to get there."
"The biggest one is whether they want to go the Jason Kenney way and break things up or the other three candidates seem to be more on the renewal track about 'we're in a good place on the political spectrum, let's renew the party and get going.' There are some new faces. Byron Nelson has been involved in the party for a long time and is new on the political scene from my perspective. Stephen Kahn (is) a very energetic younger guy, I like where he is going. Richard Starke has the experience and I like his rural touch. I like the three of them and what they are bringing to the table."
A person must be a member of the PC party for 14 days before the January 19 meeting to be eligible to be selected as a delegate along with making a commitment to attending the March convention. Anyone eligible to be a delegate should also be prepared to speak at the meeting.
They had previously selected their delegates back in September at the annual general meeting before PC Alberta declared that the selections had to be completed after the candidates had enough time to announce they were running for the leadership position.
Nikota adds good ideas have to come with practical implementation and timing, which in his opinion does not seem to be what the NDP government is demonstrating.
"Out in Hanna the coal plant was going to have 20-30 years of life left and that was a good timeline to wind it down and give everybody time to adjust. That timeline has been sped up, everybody is in a panic and there is no plan in place," said Nikota.