Calgary – August 5, 2017 – Members of Alberta’s Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties recently voted to create a new hard-right conservative party called the United Conservative Party (UCP), and will now select a new leader in the fall.
Current Wildrose leader Brian Jean was first out of the gate in declaring his intent to run for leader of the UCP. His announcement was full of the same failed policies that we have been hearing and seeing from conservatives for years. For example, in the 2015 provincial election, one of the many things that led to the historic defeat of the PCs was the pain that Premier Jim Prentice was ready to inflict on Albertans by cutting vital public services and simultaneously lowering corporate taxes. Albertans rejected the idea that they would have to pay more and receive less service while wealthy corporations were getting another tax break. Brian Jean obviously hasn’t learned this lesson, as his first policy announcement was that he would cut $2.6 billion in spending on services people count on while at the same time giving a tax cut to massive corporations.
Meanwhile, potential UCP leadership candidate Derek Fildebrandt doesn’t think Jean goes far enough with his right-wing ideas. But unlike Jean, he admits that $2.6 billion in program and spending cuts would hurt Albertans.
Jean also plans to eliminate the carbon tax and the cap on oil sands emissions, and cut one-third of all government regulations. These cuts would include the newly enacted health and safety and compensation protections provided to agricultural workers under Bill 6.
The UCP is also not afraid to show their socially conservative side as well. Case in point: the party has picked MLA Nathan Cooper as their interim leader. Prior to becoming a MLA, Cooper worked as a spokesperson for Canada Family Action, which opposes the so-called “homosexual agenda.” Cooper has also in the past expressed support for an outright ban on abortions.
Evidently, the Wildrose and Progressive Conservatives may have merged to form the UCP, but their political stripes haven’t changed and their ultra conservative vision for Alberta would undoubtedly inflict pain and suffering on Albertans.