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Crowdfunding campaign for ousted Wildrose staffers nears $20,000 goal

A crowdfunding drive to help Wildrose staffers, many left out of a job after this week’s mass defection, has nearly reached its $20,000 goal in just two days.

Around 10 staffers laid off after MLAs cross to Tories

A crowdfunding drive to help Wildrose staffers, many left out of a job after this week’s mass floor crossing, has nearly reached its $20,000 goal in just two days.

The drive, titled “Wildrose for Wildrose,” was set up on fundraising site GoFundMe Thursday night. One day earlier, nine Wildrose MLAs — including former leader Danielle Smith —​ crossed the floor to the Tories, causing the opposition party to lay off around 10 staff members.

"This is something that goes beyond party, partisan and political lines,” said Matt Meier, a self-described “small-c conservative” who donated $1,000 to the fund.

Once the word got out, donations started to come in quickly. Jane Morgan, one of the donors and a supporter of the party, said funds came from some surprising sources like former NDP leader Brian Mason.

“Before we knew it all kinds of people were donating — all Albertans. People from every political stripe,” she said.

While the staffers will get some severance pay, Morgan said the defections were not something that staffers saw coming and were a shock to many working within the party.

“Some of them are young families. They're expecting children, some of them weeks, months. It's just heartbreaking,” she said.

“They're very appreciative of the love being shown by Albertans.”

A group of people within the party will decide how to divide up the money once the goal is reached.

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