Alberta Party announces dates for upcoming leadership race

The Alberta Party has announced its timeline for electing a new leader, eyeing a vote to elect a new leader on Oct. 23. 

The party’s former leader Stephen Mandel stepped down in June 2019 after 15 months on the job after the Alberta Party failed to win a single seat in the previous provincial election.

Jacquie Fenske, former Progressive Conservative MLA, has served as acting leader since Mandel’s resignation.

She said although the party does not have anyone in the legislature at this time, the party did garner almost 10 per cent of the vote during the last election.

“We do want the best for Alberta, we don’t want it based on where it fits in the political spectrum of left to right,” Fenske said.

“Because like all Albertans, there are times when the decisions you make are based on the conservative principles of being fiscally responsible, and sometimes they’re based on more the social principles — because that’s what Albertans are.”

Nominations for the leadership will open May 25 and close August 31 prior to the vote on Oct. 23. 

United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney, left to right, Alberta Liberal Party leader David Khan, Alberta New Democrat Party leader and incumbent premier Rachel Notley and Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel posed before the start of the 2019 Alberta Leaders Debate. Khan and Mandel no longer lead their parties. (Codie McLachlan/The Canadian Press)

Fenske said potential candidates for the leadership will announce their candidacies in the future, though she herself will not be one of them.

The Alberta Liberals said they would appoint an interim leader early in 2021 after the resignation of leader David Khan in November 2020.

In December, an Angus Reid Institute poll suggested that the United Conservative Party held a four-point advantage over the Opposition NDP at 43 per cent to 39 per cent.

The Alberta Party saw support at 10 per cent, while eight per cent said they supported “other” parties.

The next provincial election will be held in 2023.

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