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

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake author’s book becoming a TV movie

The film adaptation of Coming Home to You has been shooting in Newmarket, Ont. throughout August

Alberta Service Minister discusses registries, rural broadband in Lacombe

Minister Nate Glubish continues cross-Alberta tour

Body of 19-year-old drowning victim recovered from Sylvan Lake

RCMP say the body was recovered the evening of Aug. 22.

UPDATED: Search continues for possible drowning on Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake RCMP and Fire Department continue their search for 20-something adult male

Trial date set for Sylvan Lake doctor charged with child sex offences

Janke will stand trial next November in Edmonton

Trudeau vows to stand firm against ‘increasingly assertive’ China

China has accused Canada of meddling in its affairs

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Black bear ruins Alberta barber’s day

It’s not always a good idea to leave the door open

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Red Deer Rebels Training Camp begins Aug. 24

Rebels home opener will be on Sept. 21 against the Edmonton Oil Kings

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

Huawei executive’s defence team alleges Canadians were ‘agents’ of the FBI

eng’s arrest at Vancouver’s airport has sparked a diplomatic crisis between Canada and China

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

Most Read