Fledgling Wildrose Party opposes Alberta royalty hikes
Delegatesat the first policy meetingof Alberta's newest political party called on the provincial government to halt any changes to energy royalties.
The Wildrose Party, which bills itself as a "common sense" alternative, drew about 100 delegates to an annual general meeting in Edmonton over the weekend. The party is trying to attract conservatives who feel the Alberta Progressive Conservative party has swung too far to the left.
Delegates took a stance against Tory Premier Ed Stelmach's recentdecision to raise energyroyalties by $1.4 billion, saying they should remain at present levels, and they also recommended setting up an Alberta pension plan.
The meeting rejected policy resolutions aimed at banning same-sex marriages and preventing abortions,countering critics who accuse the party of extreme right-wing views.
"Any new political party will attract some of the extreme views," said Rob James, president of the Wildrose Party. "But we saw on the weekend an obvious rejection of extreme views and a very moderate voice — but, as I say, a fiscally conservative voice."
Officials also acknowledged the party, created in June, is too new to fight a snap election if it is called in Alberta.
"If an election was called today, we would not be ready," James said. "However, we will continue the organization steps and as we go through that process, we will become more and more election-ready."