I’ve been a Wildrose supporter for a long time. I’ve given the party more money than I could afford to give them at times, and attended a number of party events, some of which had large price tags. I’ve promoted the party and tried to convince anyone I could find to join the party. Although I had a brief lapse of support after the leadership contest last year, watching the party in the legislature convinced me that they were the real deal and still deserved my support.
The decision to suspend Derek Fildebrandt puts an end to that – at least for now. This was a piss poor move and a showing of bad judgement on the part of party leadership. Derek is a good man. He is absolutely not a “homophobe”, and he has never given anyone any reason to believe that he is. Derek has been a champion for Albertans for years, first fighting against the overspending corrupt left wing PCAA, and then becoming one of Wildrose’s absolutely most effective MLA’s. There is no justification for his suspension whatsoever. How can I possibly put my faith in a party and a leader who would take such a drastic move over something that amounts to absolutely nothing?
When I first mused about potentially trying to run for nomination in Spruce Grove-St Albert in late 2014, Derek not only encouraged me to go for it, but he offered his full support and any help that he could give me. When my support waned following a nasty leadership race, it was Derek who welcomed me back into the party and convinced me that the new leadership was going to take the party to new heights. At last year’s AGM, it was Derek who gave me the time of day to have a full conversation on the current state of Alberta and why Wildrose will win in 2019. Outside of Drew Barnes (Who I supported for leader and has always been supportive of me), no other MLA bothered to give me more than a minute or two of their time. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Derek has grown this party and earned it a ton of support.
Until Derek Fildebrandt is given full reinstatement and an apology is issued to him by the party, I will no longer be attending Wildrose Party events, and the party will not receive a single penny in donations from me. This suspension is an insult to all party supporters and to all Albertans, for whom Derek has fought hard for since long before he became an MLA. The party must right this wrong as soon as possible.