The Drumheller-Steller PC Constituency Association president is happy with the recent PC leadership forum on Friday Night in Stettler.

Mark Nikota said the turnout at the Legion wasn't bad overall.Mark Nikota 2

"Just about 75 people came out there to hear what the candidates had to say, so we're really pleased with it," he exclaimed.

The event saw three of the four leadership candidates show up, answering a variety of questions from the public. Jason Kenney, widely considered the leading leadership contender, what not able to make citing a scheduling conflict.

Nikota says the carbon tax and the unite the right movement were hot topics at the forum.

"Those issues came up and I think they're going to be coming up at every forum and every time those guys talk," he said.

Nikota believes the PC's will take a hard look at getting rid of the carbon tax in its current form, while watching what Ottawa's plans may be.

The unite the right movement is being touted by Kenney as the best solution for the province, but Nikota is a little more cautious about the idea.   

"Right now I'm in the camp where I want to see what things look like," noted Nikota. It can't be just about a power grab because I think people are smarter than that and see right through that and what I've said is I want to see, before I jump in to some kind of united right party, I want to see what it looks like before I give up my PC principles."

Earlier this week Jason Kenney's campaign team was fined $5,000 for breaking party rules after setting up a hospitality suite beside a delegates meeting in Edmonton. Kenney and his team cited clarity of party rules as the problem.

"I'm going to disagree with that stance they're coming out with," said Nikota."There's maybe some leeway on the rules or maybe they haven't outlined exactly everything, but there's the spirit of the rules and three candidates managed to figure that out and one candidate didn't and I'm on board with the fine he got. It's good PCAA is on top of that."

He stated there is no leading candidate for the Drumheller-Stettler constituency as yet and expects to know more after the leadership convention.

The Alberta Tories will select their new leader in March 2017.

 (Photo: Mark Nikota. Photo submitted)

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