Calgary

MP Rob Anders faces another challenge from riding

Long-serving Alberta member of Parliament Rob Anders is once again facing a challenge from within his own party in his Calgary West riding.
Calgary West MP Rob Anders called the riding board's push for a nomination meeting a distraction. ((CBC))

Long-serving Alberta member of Parliament Rob Anders is once again facing a challenge from within his own riding.

This time, Conservative Party members in Calgary West are pushing for an open nomination meeting, even though Anders has already been declared the Tory candidate in the next federal election.

The riding hasn't had an open contest for the role since 2004, said Dan Morrison, president of riding's board of directors.

"This board of directors wants to just open it [up]. It doesn't matter who wins a nomination, but there should be one always. It's for the health of democracy and it's for the health of the riding to have these democratic situations occurring," he said.

The Calgary West board will ask its members this spring if they want a nomination meeting held within 60 days.

Even if riding party members decide on a meeting, Morrison doubts it will make a difference.

"We have our member already going forward as our elected representative for the riding and I don't see that ever going to change," he said. "But it'll give national council something to think about."

The federal Conservative party is not commenting on the issue, but Anders described it as a distraction because he is already the party's declared candidate.

Last year, Anders successfully fought off a high-profile campaign to oust him. That came after the federal Conservative party decided that the only way incumbent MPs can be pushed out of their ridings is if two-thirds of constituency members vote to hold a nomination race. 

No riding hit that mark so all sitting Conservative MPs, including Anders, were declared candidates for the next election. But Anders' supporters lost control of the riding's board of directors, which oversees nominations.

Anders was first elected to Calgary West as a Reform MP in 1997.

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