Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Livingstone-Macleod MLA Pat Stier announces he is not crossing the floor

Still Wildrose - MLA Pat Stier
T. Lucas file photo

Chris Davis

Updated December 17, 2014

Some initial media reports to the contrary, Livingstone-Macleod MLA Pat Stier has announced that he will not be crossing the floor from the Wildrose Part to the Progressive Conservative caucus. On December 12 he tweeted a link to the Pincher Creek Voice story MLA Pat Stier is Wildrose all the way, and today, December 16, in response to my inquiry via Twitter as to his current intentions he forwarded a link to his statement on the subject, posted on his website, which reads in full as follows:

Please be advised that, based upon information provided on the weekend, and then again at a special Wildrose Caucus meeting held here earlier today in Edmonton, I shall NOT be joining several of my colleagues who have decided to suddenly join the Progressive Conservative Caucus.

Instead, I intend to remain in the seat that the electorate placed me, as a Wildrose MLA. 

Albertans follow a recognized and fair democratic process for elections in good faith and they expect their elected officials to follow that decision. 

When a time for change becomes necessary for elected officials, in my opinion they should then follow a procedure that includes their electorate in the new process, prior to making such a change.

Unfortunately, the procedure that has been pursued by some of my Wildrose Caucus members would appear not to have provided the electorate such an opportunity, therefore I cannot support it. 

Despite the above circumstances, I wish all of my colleagues every success in their new venture as I know their solid intentions are for a better government in Alberta.

Livingstone-Macleod Constituency

In a telephone interview on the evening of December 17 Stier reiterated his position, saying he was "appalled" at the way the defection of a now confirmed nine members of the party went down.  Stier said the remaining 5 Wildrose members would continue to be Wildrose members in the legislature, and would still be the official opposition going forward, with an obvious need for restructuring in the near future.  He firmly denied that he would sit as an independent.  He said he too was approached to join the Progressive Conservatives,  but felt it was a matter of principle that he not consider doing so without consulting his constituents via the process of an election.

In a press release today, December 17, Premier Jim Prentice and Danielle Smith announced "the unification of Alberta's conservatives as nine members of the Wildrose caucus unite with the Progressive Conservative caucus, which will continue to welcome further Wildrose MLAs".   Those former Wildrose MLAs include former leader Danielle Smith (Highwood), Rob Anderson (Airdrie), Gary Bikman (Cardston-Taber-Warner), Rod Fox (Lacombe-Ponoka), Jason Hale (Strathmore-Brooks),  Bruce McAllister (Chestermere- Rocky View), Blake Pedersen (Medicine Hat), Bruce Rowe (Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills), and Jeff Wilson (Calgary-Shaw).  Smith resigned as Wildrose leader this morning.  Her statement in the press release reads "When I became Wildrose leader more than five years ago, I did so with one singular objective in mind: to return to government the conservative values and principles that I had spent my life defending. Under Premier Prentice's strong leadership, I believe we can work together to lead Alberta with a renewed focus on the values and principles that we share." 
"Throughout my public and political life, I have always believed conservatives should be united in bringing our common principles and combined energy to public service. Today, we once again represent the full diversity of voices and regions from across Alberta ­ north, south, urban and rural," said Premier Prentice.

The press release included a lengthy list of "aligned values and principles" with a mission statement that appears to be directly related to the dropping oil prices that so affect Alberta's economy, which reads  "In this time of economic uncertainty, it is imperative we come together to make the necessary decisions to chart us through these challenges and make our province stronger than ever."

On the Wildrose website is a statement dated today December 17 which states in part "The Wildrose Party Executive Committee unanimously reaffirmed last evening our continued commitment to Albertans and Wildrose Party Members to continue moving Alberta forward.  We have begun the process to select the next leader of our party and the next Premier of Alberta.  We remain fully committed to Albertans and to our membership." 

As of this writing the Wildrose caucus currently includes Pat Stier (Livingstone-Macleod), Heather Forsyth (Calgary-Fish Creek), Drew Barnes (Cypress-Medicine Hat),  Rick Strankman (Drumheller-Stettler) and Shayne Saskiw (Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills).

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