Alberta's PC party has named Prabhdeep Gill as their candidate for the upcoming byelection in Calgary-Greenway.
Premier Rachel Notley announced on Tuesday that the byelection for the seat previously held by PC MLA Manmeet Bhullar would take place on March 22.
Bhullar, 35, was killed in a highway collision in November.
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The constituency association in the riding of Calgary-Greenway moved up its decision on a candidate from Saturday to Tuesday evening following Notley's announcement that the byelection would take place next month.
"It's really important to carry on Manmeet's legacy," PC leader Ric McIver told the Calgary Eyeopener.
"Although no one can fill his shoes, we're going to work very hard to get a candidate elected in Calgary-Greenway because the folks in Greenway chose a PC candidate in the general election."
Notley has been accused of being insensitive to the loss of Bhullar in calling the election 92 days after his death.
Other PC candidates not pleased
She said she believes the date is within the realm of "reasonable timing."
"She didn't address the fact that she knew that the PC Party, the Wildrose and the Liberals all had dates within a week or two to have their candidates selected and she went ahead anyway," McIver said.
The NDP has already selected their candidate, Roop Rai. The Wildrose now plans to hold its nomination on Friday, rescheduled from an original meeting date of March 5, and the Liberals moved their candidate selection up to Wednesday. The Green Party has already selected its candidate, Thana Boonlert.
"We are just preparing for it," McIver said. "We've done what we had to do after the snap election was called and we're doing what we have to do."
But the appointment isn't sitting well with some of the other candidates approved by the PC party to contest the Greenway nomination. Dan Sidhu, Jamie Lall and Tushar Yadav had also been in the running prior to Tuesday's decision.
Honouring a legacy
The PCs had deliberately dragged their feet in selecting a candidate to replace Bhullar, McIver said.
"We were trying to be sensitive to Manmeet's family and give them as much time to grieve before they witnessed a contest to replace, at least, the position that Manmeet held," he said.
McIver said his party is focused on winning the seat in Calgary-Greenway out of respect for Bhullar's legacy.
"We really think it's important for us to win the seat for nothing else out of respect for Manmeet's memory, but let's be clear, also for political purposes," McIver said.
"It's always better to win an election than it is to lose one and there's never a guarantee."