Stockwell Day to seek top Canadian Alliance job

Alberta's treasurer, Stockwell Day, is expected to announce plans today to challenge Preston Manning for the leadership of the Canadian Alliance party.

If Reformers vote to form the new party, there'll be a leadership contest in June in Calgary.

Reform Leader Preston Manning is already in the running, but many feel the new party will need a new leader.

During Day's tenure as Alberta treasurer, the provincial deficit has disappeared. He has also championed the flat tax, which will be implemented next year.

He's as comfortable on rollerblades as he is delivering his budget speech without notes. Day is 49, a former preacher and auctioneer.

Reform MP Jason Kenney will run Day's leadership campaign.

"He has national reach, as somebody who has lived and worked in every region in the country. He speaks both official languages, he's articulate and a principled 'small c' conservative who will appeal to Reformers and Tories alike," says Kenney.

Premier Ralph Klein is also backing Day.

But founding Reform member Mary Wiseman says Preston Manning should lead the new party.

"I don't think anyone can beat him, really, because he's the one who started the party and they're all his ideas," says Wiseman.