Greg Clark’s Statement Regarding Cooperation with the Alberta Liberals
Posted on February 02, 2015 by Katherine Taylor
On behalf of the Alberta Party team I would like to offer my congratulations to Dr. David Swann on becoming interim leader of the Alberta Liberals. Dr. Swann has been a steadfast public servant in Alberta for years.
With regard to the proposal from Laurie Blakeman about how our two parties could cooperate in the upcoming provincial election and beyond, I have always been open to this discussion. There are many good people in the Alberta Liberal party who share our values and I was prepared to take any specific proposal forward to the Alberta Party board and membership. In light of Sunday’s vote, any Liberal supporter who is disappointed by their board rejecting this cooperation proposal is absolutely welcome in the Alberta Party.
I have the utmost respect for Laurie, her courage and her vision. She fought tirelessly against the PC's and their regressive Bill 10, and she has in many ways been a beacon of hope for the Liberals during a very difficult period of time for the party.
It is not uncommon for once-competing organizations to come together. In the case of the Alberta Party and the Alberta Liberals, I believe each brings our own strength. We bring new energy, an open, innovative policy development process, good people and an ability to connect with younger voters. The Alberta Liberals bring party infrastructure, a strong policy book, good people and a long history.
A unified Alberta Party and Alberta Liberal team would have offered Albertans a centrist alternative that aligns with Albertan values. We believe in strong fiscal discipline and in building strong communities. We believe in inclusive social policies, we support public healthcare and public education and we believe Alberta needs to be a leader in environmental protection while continuing the responsible development of our natural resources.
Given the very short timeline before an expected provincial election –an unnecessary election that breaks Alberta’s fixed election date law– the Alberta Party is busy putting together an impressive slate of candidates including past supporters of the Liberals, moderate Wildrose supporters and many who have never been involved in politics before. All are attracted to the Alberta Party's inclusive environment and vision for the future.
Alberta is facing difficult economic times, but we believe massive cutbacks to public services is not the way to address the shortfall created by PC mismanagement. Mismanagement that has once again reared its head by their recent announcement that the promised Calgary Cancer Centre is delayed, critical infrastructure projects are on hold and many of the oft-promised schools are unlikely to be built.
We have not closed the door to future cooperation between parties but at the same time we need to get ready for the upcoming election. The Alberta Party officially opened our nominations on February 1st and we are committed to giving Albertans the opportunity to elect Alberta Party MLAs this spring.