Video

Danielle Smith apologizes for anger caused by defection

Former Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith has apologized for "angering" many of her former supporters in crossing the floor to the governing Progressive Conservatives, but says she intends to seek the PC nomination in the next election.

Former opposition leader confirms she intends to run as Progressive Conservative in next Alberta election

Former head of the Wildrose Party apologizes for anger caused by defection 1:48

Former Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith has apologized for "angering" many of her former supporters by crossing the floor to join the governing Progressive Conservatives, a move she describes as "a process to unify conservatives under the leadership of Premier Jim Prentice."

In a statement on her Facebook page, Smith acknowledged her defection — along with eight fellow Wildrose MLAs — had not gone as expected.

"First, I am sorry to Wildrose members and supporters that I was unable to make the Wildrose a viable, governing alternative," she said in the statement. Smith says it became clear to her at the party's Annual General Meeting in November that the members were more interested in protest than in governing.

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice and former Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith after a joint news conference in Edmonton in December. (The Canadian Press)

Smith also expressed regret for not consulting more widely within the party before making her decision to leave.

"In hindsight, it is clear that there needed to be more engagement and discussion to prepare Albertans for this change," she wrote.

Nonetheless, Smith says she does not regret her decision to join the Prentice government.

"We fought hard against two administrations that were leading Alberta in the wrong direction, and we won," she wrote. 

"We now have a Premier who is committed to the same common-sense ideas that we have been fighting so hard for."

Smith says she intends to contest the next election as a Progressive Conservative candidate and will seek the nomination in her riding of Highwood

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.