UPDATED: Drumheller-Stettler MLA leaves UCP party

Sits as Independent

Drumheller – Stettler MLA Rick Strankman is leaving the UCP party and sitting as an Independent.

MLA Strankman slammed what he called the “hyper-partisan self-centred politics at play in Alberta” as a reason.

“Sitting as an independent removes me from the current undemocratic atmosphere that is being fostered,” he said in a release.

MLA Strankman was elected in 2012 and again in 2015 in the Drumheller-Stettler riding.

He said since the Wildrose and PC parties amalgamated “it is becoming increasingly clear to me that this is not including the grassroots principles of strong conservative Albertan values.”

Strankman, in a phone interview, said he will continue to work effectively.

“I want the constituents to know and be crystal clear their representation will stay absolutely the same and now I can focus directly on that without any party distractions.”

READ MORE: UCP riding candidates square off in Stettler. Three vying to be UCP candidate

After Strankman’s announcement, UCP Leader Jason Kenney tweeted that it was disappointing.

Jason Kenney

“We are potentially less than three weeks before an election call,” added Kenney. “Our focus remains the same: end the NDP’s job-killing policies, renew the Alberta Advantage to reignite our economy, and stand up to the Trudeau Liberals in Ottawa.”

Strankman said there are economic development opportunities in the riding that should be developed such as repairing roads towards the Saskatchewan border.

“They are in dismal need of repair. If (Alberta and Saskatchewan roads upgraded) there would be a marvellous economic opportunity between Saskatoon and Red Deer.”

The right has united under the UCP banner but MLA Strankman says “the even greater challenge is to stay together.”

READ MORE: UCP says Pawsey disqualified for joking about transgender people, sexual/sexist comments and calling Premier Notely a ‘queen beyotch

He added these are trying economic time for Albertans.

“There is a lot of frustration in the province right now with the economy and negativity over the lack of production of oil and shipping thereof to create wealth.”

In addition, MLA Strankman said he disagrees with UCP Leader Jason Kenney singularly developing the UCP platform.

“I think that should have been left to the members, the Albertans to bring forward.”

READ MORE: UCP Drumheller – Stettler candidate Todd Pawsey disqualified. UCP members say in-fighting is handing next election to the NDP

MLA Strankman said he hasn’t decided whether or not he will run as an Independent in the next provincial election in 2019.

“I haven’t given that any consideration at this time. I think it’s more important to put my focus on the constituency and my direct representation to the constituents will be no different than under the UCP banner. My office, my staff will stay the same in that regard.”

Last September MLA Strankman lost the UCP nomination in Drumheller-Stettler to Nate Horner.

Former Tory MLA Ian Donovan left his UCP board in January citing “corruption and backroom deals” as a reason.

Calgary-Greenway MLA Prab Gill left the UCP in December and sits as an Independent. He called the UCP’s nominations “crooked and racist.”



lisa.joy@stettlerindependent.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Albertans get an extra free order of COVID-19 masks

Packages will be available July 13 at fast food restaurants

COVID-19 scare sees Latvia-bound troops turn around, return to Canada

Those on board face another 14 days in isolation

2 dead, 8 hurt in South Carolina nightclub shooting

Police are searching for two suspects

Ponoka RCMP lay charges following home invasion

33-year-old man who arrived on bicycle is in custody

PODCAST: Black Lives Matter in central Alberta Part 2

More insight into the Black Lives Matter movement of central Alberta

PODCAST: The Expert tackles the return of sports

Cam Moon, Joe Whitbread, Byron Hackett and Todd Vaughan discuss how sports can come back

Sylvan Lake woman distressed after cat shot at with pellet gun, loses its eye

Warning: Photo may be disturbing to some. Evelina Cornell’s cat Ms Grey was shot in the face and hip

Ford revives Bronco brand, aims at Jeep’s big off-road sales

Two new off-road vehicles to be introduced

Trump-connected lobbyists reap windfall in federal virus aid

Many recipients were donors to Trump’s campaigns

Tories, NDP lay out demands as Liberals prepare to reveal state of economy

Conservatives wants auditor general to scrutinize COVID-19 response

‘You have to show up:’ NDP MP questions virtual attendance of Alberta Tories

NDP MP McPherson says she’s disappointed Tory MPs haven’t been participating in virtual meetings

Flood warning, mandatory evacuation for people in remote Alberta hamlet

A flood warning has been issued for the rain-swollen Smoky River near the Hamlet of Watino

Most Read