The current president of Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock Progressive Conservative (PC) Constituency Association says he is uncertain of how the upcoming leadership race will impact their upcoming AGM on Friday, Feb. 25.
President John Tiemstra said they traditionally have 100-plus people for their AGM, which will be hosted at the Barrhead Neighbourhood Inn this year.
While premier Ed Stelmach’s resignation might drive up local interest in politics, Tiemstra noted that the actual leadership election doesn’t occur until this fall, and things don’t really start heating up until four to five weeks beforehand.
“With the political climate in Alberta, we could see more people out there,” he said, noting that the question-and-answer period that occurs during the AGM should prove interesting.
This year, MLA Ken Kowalski will be joined by Alberta Health Minister Gene Zwozdesky. His presentation should be interesting, Tiemstra noted.
“If anyone knows the pulse of what’s going on, it’ll be him,” he added.
Tiemstra confirmed that during the last leadership race, the association did see a spike in people taking out memberships. That was true of all the constituency associations throughout Alberta, he added.
Tiemstra said he expected the same to happen during the upcoming leadership race, as people want to have a say in who will be the next party leader and, by proxy, the next premier.
Buying memberships to become involved in selecting a leader is not a bad thing, he indicated, as the PC party is very open and democratic. If people take out memberships, then they should be involved.
While several candidates have stepped forward to run for leadership of the PC party, Tiemstra said he doesn’t think “we’re finished yet.”
“I suspect strongly there will be more people (stepping forward),” he said.
At the AGM, dinner will start at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling 780-674-6604.