Former Wildrose members look to form Alberta Advantage Party

Former members of the Wildrose Party disgruntled by the merger with the Progressive Conservatives have taken the first step in resurrecting the now-defunct party.

'Our goal is to be ready before or at least at the same time as the UCP,' organizer says

A group of former Wildrose members has reserved the name "Alberta Advantage Party" in the hope of having the new party ready to run in 2019. (CBC)

Former members of the Wildrose Party disgruntled by the merger with the Progressive Conservatives have taken the first step in resurrecting the now-defunct party. 

On Wednesday, Elections Alberta approved the group's application to run as the Alberta Advantage Party, said Marilyn Burns, a founding member of the Wildrose spearheading the movement.
Marilyn Burns is hoping the new party will be up and running ahead of the United Conservative Party. (Supplied)

The group hopes to be fully established as a party in time for the 2019 election, Burns said.

The Alberta Advantage Party will maintain the same political ideals as the Wildrose Party, she said.

"We want to have a government that promotes compassionate and self-reliant citizens that advances the freedoms of all individuals," Burns said in an interview with CBC News on Thursday. 

"That's what the Wildrose really was about: advancing the policies and principles chosen by the members and not a handful of elite politicians," she said.

The move to create a new political entity comes after the Wildrose Party and the Progressive Conservatives voted to unite on July 22.

Burns, told CBC News weeks ago that she was in the process of forming a new party, in anticipation of the conservative merger. 

Not a party yet

Burns said about 50 people met in Nisku this past weekend, with the group deciding on the Alberta Advantage Party as its new name.

There are a few hurdles to jump through, however. The party is still not officially recognized in Alberta and are just reserving the party name. The party must legitimize itself in one of three ways:

  • The party has to collect 7,868 signatures, or one-third of one per cent of eligible voters in Alberta.
  • The party has to have three MLAs cross the floor and represent their new party.
  • The party has to endorse candidates in at least half the ridings in Alberta.

According to Burns, the group is working hard to be ready as soon as possible.

"Our goal is to be ready before or at least at the same time as the UCP," Burns said. "It's very doable."

With files from Nola Keeler