Often controversial Strathmore-Brooks MLA Derek Fildebrandt announced on July 20 the formation of the new Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta.
“The Freedom Conservative Party will be a champion for a positive vision of Alberta,” wrote Fildebrandt on his Facebook page.
Fildebrandt, who is serving as the party’s interim leader, made the announcement with in Calgary with Bob Lefurgey who is listed as the party’s President on the Elections Alberta website.
As interim leader, Fildebrandt said that he will be seeking recognition of the party in the Alberta Legislature.
He described the new party as, “unapologetically conservative and Alberta first.”
Fildebrandt said that the FCP is intended to be provide an alternative choice for conservative voters in Alberta.
“The Freedom Conservative Party will bring together grassroots conservatives, libertarians and Alberta patriots to give people an option not just to vote against the NDP, but to vote for a party that is unapologetically conservative and Alberta first,” said Fildebrandt of his new party.
The new party does not intend to run candidates in all 87 Alberta ridings in the next election.
“The most important thing in the next election is to defeat the NDP,” said Lefurgey.
“We will Only run candidates where the NDP have zero chance of winning, and we are willing to cooperate & work with other conservatives in the Legislature,” wrote Fildebrandt on Facebook.
The new party’s next move will be to hold the first FCP convention at an as yet undetermined future date.
The convention will see party members elect a leader as well as write the FCP policies and constitution.
“We are a party for the little guy where the grassroots are guaranteed to hold the pen on our policies, and the members will select their local candidates, not backroom party insiders” said Lefurgey.
Fildebrandt was first elected under the Wildrose party banner in the 2015 provincial election. He stepped down from the United Conservative Party (UCP) after a series of political and legal scandals and was barred by UCP leader Jason Kenney from running under the UCP banner.
Fildebrandt, has been sitting as an Independent MLA for the riding of Strathmore-Brooks since leaving the UCP.
The FCP is being created from the Alberta First Party.
“The Alberta First Party made application to the Chief Electoral Officer to change the party name to ‘Western Freedom Party of Alberta’, which was approved and made effective April 23, 2018.
“Following this change, the Western Freedom Party of Alberta made application to the Chief Electoral Officer to change the party name to ‘Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta’, which was approved and made effective June 22, 2018,” says a statement on the Elections Alberta website.