Sunday, October 18, 2009

Behind the scenes.

A leadership convention is one of the biggest events for political parties, second only to a general election. Such was the case for the Wildrose Alliance Party this weekend in Edmonton, where we elected Danielle Smith as our new Leader. Much of the weekend events will be reported on by media and bloggers alike. What I would like to share with you is a peek behind the scenes of the most important component of the day; the ballot counting room.

My day begins at 7 AM, after having only a few hours sleep. I head down to the hotel restaurant to grab a coffee before meeting with the volunteers. As I go in I am met by Don Braid, he asks me to join him for breakfast. We have a good, albeit brief chat, he realizes I am still under the impartiality agreement and he doesn’t ask me any out-of-bound questions. I finish my coffee and head to the main convention hall to let the volunteers know where the counting room is located.

In the convention area Betty, a volunteer, has done a bang up job on the decorations and assigning duties to the volunteers. I touch base with Heather, our office administrator and as usual she is on top of everything. I leave to set up the counting room. By 7:45 the volunteers are arriving, included in these are scrutineers from each campaign and our returning officer, Bruce Childs a Chartered Accountant from Edmonton.

The role of scrutineers is to observe the process and question anything they deem irregular or unusual. The role of the returning officer is to oversee the process, hear the concerns of the scrutineers, make rulings on those concerns and make rulings on any questionable ballots. My role was that of liaison to the Leadership Committee to keep them apprised of our progress throughout the day. And also to insure the proper handling of the any correspondence and contribution cheques that were enclosed with the ballots.

By 8:15 we had 18 volunteers ready to go. Being a volunteer in the counting room is not easy, you are sequestered for the day and don’t get to partake in any of the convention activities. The room we used was purposely far removed from the convention floor. Any communication with the outside is not allowed. So cell phones are turned off and left in the room if you go to the washroom. Our lunch was brought in to us and the room was a tad too warm.

The first duty of the volunteers was to open over 6000 envelopes, remove ballots and pass along any cheques and correspondence.

From there they went onto the validation process.

This involved checking the control number against the list of valid and voided control numbers and then remove the control number tab from the ballot. With over 8000 ballots to verify, this was by far the longest procedure of the day.

Then the counting began, the ballots bundled into stacks of fifty and counted twice to insure accuracy. We tried to use a bill counter for the counting unfortunately the thickness of the ballots prevented it from working properly. At this point (roughly around 1 PM) we decided we needed more volunteers. I made a call to Heather and magically nine more people arrived, bringing our total to 27.

From 2 to 4 PM the Leadership Committee was checking in with us frequently. At 4 o’clock we reported to them we had all the Smith votes counted, the Dyrholm ones bundled and had a rough total of 8200 ballots. Also that it was clearly a Smith victory.

Left to be done was the exact count of Dyrholm bundles, count of the spoiled ballots and the reconciliation. The reconciliation involved tabulating the validation sheet totals to make sure it matched the total ballots counted. This would have taken about another 10-15 minutes.

Since we had a lot of members and media waiting, the committee advised they had enough to make the announcement and would do so immediately. At that point I asked (actually, I was pretty vocal about it) if it would be possible to release the volunteers from the room so they could at least see the most important and exciting part of the day. Between them the volunteers had put in nearly 200 hours of work and to miss the announcement would have been heartbreaking. The committee agreed and the volunteers were allowed to go to the convention floor in time to hear each Mark and Danielle speak. The returning officer stayed behind to finish the reconciliation.

About half way through Danielle’s speech the returning officer advised me the reconciliation was complete. I returned to the counting room, secured the ballots, packed up the last of the garbage to be shredded and moved all to a locked facility. At this point I could see people were dispersing from the convention floor, some leaving to the parking lot, others to the Smith hospitality suite.

After a long day in dress clothes and heels, in a stuffy boardroom I decided to go to my room and change; I wanted to be in comfortable jeans for the remainder of the evening. That’s when I got the call; “Hey Jane, do you have those numbers? Because we have a volunteer speaking to the media about it, perhaps that should come from you.” My response, “Um well, all I have on right now are my underwear. How about I post them on the blog and send a Tweet out?” So it was that the results were rather unceremoniously announced.

Today I see from some blogs and forums that there was some confusion as to whether or not we were going to release the numbers. There was never any doubt in my mind that the numbers would be released. The PC’s released theirs in 2006. The Liberals released theirs in 2007. The Wildrose Alliance strives to be open and accountable; we believe in transparency in government. In my opinion, it would have been very hypocritical of us not to release the actual count.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Leadership Vote - Results

I know everyone has eagerly been awaiting the numbers.

Total ballots sent out, just over 11,600.

Total ballots cast 8297; so roughly 71.5 % voter turnout.

Smith 6295

Dyrholm 1905

Spoiled ballots 97

Big thank you to the 20+ volunteers who put in a long day and were unable to take part in the events of the day.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Leadership Convention Agenda & Voting Information


Saturday, October 17th, 2009
Holiday Inn Convention Centre
4520 76TH AVE Edmonton
Hotel Front Desk: 1-780-468-5400

Registration open to members and nonmembers for $30,
by pre-registration or at venue. Accredited media ~ free.

8 a.m.
Registration opens

9 a.m.
Welcome by party President Jeff Callaway
Speeches by both candidates

10 a.m.
Concurrent sessions:
Campaigning – Richard Dur, campaign manager Calgary Glenmore (1 hr – members only)
Panel Discussion on constituency-building (1 hr – members only)
Social media – Ken Chapman, Cambridge Strategies Inc (2 hrs – members and nonmembers)

Leadership poll closes
Lunch served
Speech by outgoing Wildrose Alliance leader Paul Hinman, MLA Calgary Glenmore

1 p.m.
Health policy – Nadeem Esmail, Fraser Institute

Between 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Announcement of the vote
Concession speech
Acceptance speech
Closing comments, Jeff Callaway
Media scrum

We expect this event to be finished by 5 p.m. or before, depending on the time required to verify and count ballots.


Reminder if you have not yet returned your ballot you still have time with these options.

In Calgary you can drop them off at our office (address below). We will be open 9 AM to 9 PM on Thursday and from 9 AM to 5 PM on Friday.

In Edmonton you can drop them off at the front desk of the Holiday Inn Convention Centre (address above) until Friday. On Saturday they can be placed right in the ballot box at the convention.

If you are not close to either Edmonton or Calgary the Leadership Candidates have each organized volunteers across the province to act as drop off locations and they will deliver your ballot to the convention.

Here are the links to each of their sites.

Drop off locations organized by Danielle Smith campaign.

Drop off locations organized by Mark Dyrholm campaign.

For all ballot inquiries please email me.

Jane Morgan,
Executive Director

Wildrose Alliance Party
#3, 1303 - 44 Ave NE
Calgary, AB T2E 6L5

Toll free: 1-888-262-1888
Phone: (403) 769-0999
Fax: 1-866-620-4791

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Challenges of Explosive Growth

There has been some chatter on the blogs, forums and Twitter about our balloting process. I would like to take this opportunity to share the inside scoop.

Our constitution calls for individuals to be members 14 days prior to the Leadership vote to be eligible to cast a ballot. This avoids the situation that other parties have experienced with what is often referred to as “two-minute” members. Also we currently have a “one-member, one-vote” system; this too avoids issues we see in other parties with a delegate system, where they can be strong-armed by the powers that be. I favour both of these democratic practices we have in place, but they are not without their own challenges.

Early September we had 4000 some members that we knew of. The candidates also had their own lists on the go and were not required to share their numbers with us, though we did ask. Based on our projections, we ordered 10,000 ballots. The ballots went out in three batches to members as soon as we had their information.

The first was sent out directly from the printer in Edmonton, on September 24. These went to roughly one third (of what we now know are eligible) of the membership.

The second went out on October 1, again directly from the printers. This accounted for the second third of the membership.

It was not until September 28th that we knew for certain we would need more ballot packages, we ordered 5000 more; and normally they take 10 days to produce. We asked the printer to expedite the printing and compiling of the packages. We also asked the printer to send them to us as they were compiled so we could expedite getting them out. Thus we got some within 7 days of order.

The third mailing went out to everyone whose information we received between September 25 and October 2. It was sent out by our office as it was faster for us to affix labels than to have the printer do the additional task of tailoring envelops. With them coming to us from the printer in this fashion we were able to prioritize the order they were sent out.

Rural went first because those had the greatest distance to travel.
Edmonton next as city to city is a bit faster.
And lastly to Calgary as mail within the city is fastest.

All were taken directly to Canada Post’s main sorting depot and were quickly in distribution, they did not sit in a mail box for any length of time. The mail is being turned around very quickly. By Friday the 9th we already had ballots back that we mailed out on Monday and Tuesday.

The ones that were sent out the latest (to Calgary) represent about 10% of our grand total and from what we can tell nearly 80% of those were already delivered by Friday to the members. The bulk of the remainder will in all likelihood be received by members on Tuesday, still allowing the time to get them back to us.

I anticipate voter turn out to be just over 70% or roughly 8100+ votes. With the member cutoff date being October 2nd, we knew we would not be getting most of late members ballots back until the week leading up to the convention.

We are at the midpoint of the voting timeframe and as of Friday the 9th we have received back nearly 3000 ballot envelops. We know from speaking to members, many of these contain 2 or more ballots. It is my estimation that we already have more than 50% of the ballots that will be cast.

I want to assure members that my staff and I have done everything within our power to accomplish this task. We have been working long hours and next week the office will be open late, to the public on Tuesday and Thursday. I am confident the majority of our members who desire to vote, will be able to do so.

The Leadership Committee is fully apprised of the situation and they will be updated daily; should they deem any other provisions need to be made the membership will be advised accordingly.

If you have a specific inquiry please email me, be sure to include your full name and address.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Important voting information and call for volunteers

The following email was sent out to members today.

Dear Members,

It has indeed been a very exciting and incredibly busy time in our Head Office. The ballots are starting to roll in and preparations for the Leadership Convention are being finalized.

As most of you are aware we are under a tight two-week turnaround time for voting in the Leadership race and with next Monday being a holiday it makes it even tighter.

If you have not yet voted, there are two deadlines to keep in mind.

Mailed in ballots need to reach our office by Friday, October 16, 2009.
Voting at the Convention will close at noon, Saturday, October 17, 2009.

If you live in the Calgary area:
You can drop off your ballot at our office next week.
Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM;
Wednesday and Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
#3, 1303 – 44 Ave. NE

If you live in the Edmonton area:
Even if you are not attending the event, you can drop off your ballot at the convention Saturday, October 17, 2009 between 9:00 AM and noon.
Holiday Inn Convention Centre, 4520 – 76 Ave. Edmonton

If you live in rural Alberta:
We suggest that you use Express or Priority post to ensure it reaches us in time.

On a final note we require a number of volunteers for the counting room and other duties at the convention. If this is something you are able to help with please email John Hilton-O’Brien.

Jane Morgan,
Executive Director
Wildrose Alliance Party
#3, 1303 - 44 Ave NE
Calgary, AB T2E 6L5

Toll free: 1-888-262-1888
Phone: (403) 769-0999
Fax: 1-866-620-4791

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wildrose Alliance Membership Zooms Past 11,000 as Leadership Vote Nears

I think this is a first; posting a press release that I am quoted in. Sort of like speaking of ones' self in the third person.

For Immediate Release

Calgary – October 4, 2009 – The Wildrose Alliance Party announced today its final membership numbers heading into the highly anticipated leadership convention in Edmonton later this month.

Wildrose Alliance Party Executive Director Jane Morgan says the party now has 11,670 paid memberships, a huge increase over the approximately 1,800 members at the time of the party’s annual general meeting in June of this year. For further comparison, the Wildrose Alliance Party membership at this time a year ago stood at approximately 1000.

"I am incredibly pleased with the influx of members, especially the number who want to become active and help us continue to grow," says Morgan. "If we can accomplish this amount of growth in just four months, imagine what we can do with 83 active constituencies and a full time leader touring the province."

Interest in the party has grown spectacularly since its formation in early 2008, not only because of the exciting leadership race between Mark Dyrholm and Danielle Smith, but also because of the party’s by-election victory in Calgary-Glenmore last month. In that race, interim Wildrose Alliance Party leader Paul Hinman defeated a longtime PC activist and Calgary Alderman to earn the party its first seat in the legislature, a seat held for four decades by the PC’s, who finished a distant third this time.

“It appears that Albertans by the thousands are hearing our message of common sense conservatism,” said Calgary-Glenmore MLA-elect Hinman, “And are lining up not only to help build our party but to send Ed Stelmach a message that it’s past time to rebuild the Alberta Advantage.” Hinman says he looks forward to working in partnership with our new leader to grow the party and continue to expand our membership across the province.

The Leadership Convention will be held on Saturday, October 17 at the Holiday Inn Convention Centre, 4520 - 76 Ave., Edmonton.

All Wildrose Alliance Party members in good standing by October 2, 2009 are eligible to vote in the leadership election, either at the convention itself or by mail-in ballots which are now being received by members all across Alberta.


For more information contact:
Jane Morgan,
Executive Director,
Wildrose Alliance Party

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cat's out of the bag....more ballots have been ordered.

Paul Hinman is obviously very excited these days; not only because of his incredible win in Calgary - Glenmore, but about our incredible growth. Looks like Paul has let some details on our numbers slip in this interview

We will be releasing the exact number of ballots mailed for our Leadership Race next week. This will reflect the total number of members as of midnight October 2nd.

I previously shared with you that at the beginning of September we ordered 10,000 ballots. They are being sent out in three batches. Approximately one third were mailed out Thursday, Sept. 24th; another third will go out this Friday, Oct. 2nd.

The last batch will go out Monday October 5th. This will include all memberships sold between September 25 and October 2nd. Based on the momentum we have going our initial estimate of 10K may have been a little shy; so this week we ordered another 5000 to insure we have enough to cover the demand.

Memberships continue to flood in via mail, fax, phone and of course online. Heather and I have been working long hours and as have the two new staff we hired this week. We have also had some great volunteers who are answering our phones, returning calls and completing data entry.  This weekend will be dedicated to the labeling of the final batch to get it mailed out by Monday.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

WAP Voting Procedures for Leadership Election

The following email will be sent to members tomorrow morning and posted on our website in due course.

Ballots have started to go out via mail to our members, for the Wildrose Alliance Party’s Leadership vote. They will continue to be mailed out to everyone who is a member by October 2, 2009. If you do not have your ballot by Friday October 9th please contact our office at 1.888.262.1888.

Originally we had three candidates and ballots were to be printed on a preferential template, that is to say members would indicate their first, second and third choice. Now that we have two candidates that is not necessary and a simple “X” beside the candidate of your choice is sufficient.

Since printing was already underway when the third candidate dropped out, we could not change the written instructions, as such an insert was added to the mailer to reflect the changes.

Acceptable ballots will include the following:

- Those marked with one “X” beside either candidate.
- Those marked with a “check mark” beside either candidate.
- Those marked with numbers (ie: 1 and 2) will be a valid ballot. The number “1” being equivalent to a “check mark” or an “X”.

A ballot that has an “X” beside one candidate and a “check mark” beside the other candidate will be considered a spoiled ballot.

Completed ballots can be returned via mail in the envelope provided or you can bring the ballot with you and vote in person at the October 17 Leadership Convention. Ballots must reach our office by close of business (5:00 PM) Friday October 16th.

Jane Morgan,
Executive Director

Toll free: 1-888-262-1888
Phone: (403) 769-0999

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Video of Calgary forum

Video of the leadership forum held in Calgary is now available on the party website. Just click on link to the right.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Do you want to VOTE? - You must be a member.

The last few weeks have been insanely busy and it is all, it's FANTASTIC !!!

With everyone getting caught up in the excitement I hope no one forgets to purchase their membership in order to be able to vote on October 17 for the next leader of our party. The deadline is just 14 days away.

Here is a great (funny) video to help you to remember do just that by October 2 nd.

Come the 17th Heather and I don't want to be having this conversation with you.

Thanks to CalgaryRants for the video idea. He and I don't see eye-to-eye politically on everything, but we both share a great sense of humor.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Help Wanted - Apply Here

We once again find ourselves in a position of needing more staff.

Our growth has been great with the Leadership race, however Paul Hinman's incredible win in Calgary-Glenmore has caused things to start busting at the seams.  For every phone call we take there are three messages waiting to be returned. Mailed in and online memberships sales are also exploding.

This would be a temporary, part-time position, but could be many hours between now and the Leadership Convention (October 17).

It requires quick and accurate excel skills.
Some telephone interaction.
Other duties will include collating mail outs.

Please send resume and cover letter to

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

We're bbaacckkkkk

By now most of you likely know Paul Hinman is the MLA elect for Calgary – Glenmore and will be heading back to serve in the Legislature. It was an exciting evening as we watched the results being posted on Elections Alberta’s website. And poll after poll Paul was ahead.

Today, reading some of the articles, I had to chuckle a little bit as they reported it as a “slim win” with Paul squeaking past the second place Liberal by 276 votes. Given Paul first won Cardston-Taber-Warner by 139 (2004), then lost it by 39 (2008); a spread of 276 is certainly more comfortable.

The Liberals did not really change their base in Glenmore; it has been in the mid-30’s (percentage) in 2004, 2008 & now 2009. The PC’s on the other hand have taken a huge hit, dropping from 50% down to 25%.

What I found odd last night is that we learned of the other candidates conceding defeat through rather odd means. First was Diane Colley-Urquhart (PC) who “Tweeted” congratulations to Paul; then we learned of Avalon Roberts (Lib) conceding defeat via a “Tweet” from the Calgary Herald. What happened to picking up the phone and making a call to the winning candidate?

Anyway, glad the campaigning is over; please see my previous post for election thank-you. Now we can start concentrating on our other upcoming activities.

Namely the Leadership forums;

September 16, 7:30pm, Calgary
Blackfoot Inn

5940 Blackfoot Trail SE

September 17, 7:30pm, Lethbridge
Balog Cow Palace

Just south of highway #4 on the east side of Lethbridge

Please arrive early to avoid disappointment; space is limited. Memberships will be sold at both, but it is not a requirement to attend.

Audio from the Edmonton forum is available on the party website; scroll down left column to “Listen: Leadership Forum”.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Calgary Glenmore By-election Night Celebration

The Calgary Glenmore by-election night celebration with Paul Hinman will be at:

Carriage House Inn
Victoria Room

9030 MacLeod Trail South

8:00 PM and onward

Sunday, September 13, 2009

By-election thank-yous and Leadership ballots

It seems the busy times in our office our never ending. Once again I find myself very thankful for the skills and dedication of Heather, our Office Administrator.

Events of the past week included two Leadership Candidate forums (Grande Prairie & Edmonton) and an all candidates debate in Calgary Glenmore. This coming week will bring two more Leadership Candidate forums (Calgary & Lethbridge) and of course tomorrow is voting day in Calgary Glenmore. With all this on the go Heather is still happily processing new memberships and putting the finishing touches on the Leadership ballot mail out. I will get back to this in a moment.

First I would like everyone to join me in congratulating Paul Hinman on his amazing dedication and his tireless work in Calgary Glenmore. He has covered a lot of turf and only missed one day of campaigning (to attend a funeral of a family member). I believe it will be a tight three-way race and it is incredibly difficult to make any predictions.

Special thanks to RD, Julie and Mick; they have been with Paul every step of the way. To the sign crew; Cory, Jamie, Derrick, Doug, Mike S, Chris and many others. To the office crew; Matt, Travis, Chantal and countless others who passed through the doors. To Blaine Maller who graciously let us use his office until we finally found space in the constituency. To all the financial contributors which allowed us to run an amazing campaign.

I am looking forward to Monday night’s results. I am quite confident Paul will have a very strong showing and am of course hopeful that he will once again take a seat in the Legislature.

Our office will be closed on Monday (September 14) to allow all staff to take part in Election Day events. After that we will be back, going full steam ahead towards the Leadership Convention. Late this week we will take delivery of the ballots. Based on our current membership numbers and projected sales between now and October 2nd we have ordered 10,000 ballot packages. (One ballot per package)

Ballots will be first mailed to members in our common database and lastly to members in the candidates' databases. If you have not yet joined I highly recommend you do it sooner rather than wait until the deadline of October 2nd to avoid potential mail delays and disappointment.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Invitation to all Bloggers

I would like to invite Bloggers and Tweets of all political stripes to attend the Wildrose Alliance Leadership Convention in Edmonton October 17 at the Holiday Inn Convention Centre.

For just $30.00 (same price members will pay) you can have lunch, mix, mingle and be there first hand when the results come in!!

You can register online here. Then drop me an email with your blogs URL and I will add a link to your blog on this blog. (Your real name will NOT be revealed.) I will also provide you with the discount code for accommodations at the centre.

Edited to correct: (Your real name will NOT be revealed.)

Not Worth the Paper It's Written on...

Press release from party;

For Immediate Release

The Stelmach PC’s, (Pick and Choose), have announced they are going to unilaterally break the contract they have with the teachers they signed just over a year ago. At the same time, they choose to deliver a golden parachute severance to one former Health Board Executive at the expense of an ailing health system. (Incidentally, the total cost of the severance pay is approximately equivalent to the cost to operate a laser prostate machine for 8 years.)

This is but another example of the PC’s picking and choosing winners and losers. They signed a contract with the Teachers. They broke that: losers. They had contracts with the energy industry. They broke those: losers. They promised to get spending under control every budget. They increased spending every budget. They campaigned on transparency and accountability. Then they gave themselves pay raises and golden parachutes: winners.

Paul Hinman commented “These are examples in the trail of bread crumbs towards the house of deception. When are they going to break the contracts of the nurses? Albertans believe in handshake deals and that someone’s word is their bond. It seems for Premier Stelmach and his government a contract doesn’t mean anything unless you are a PC, (politically connected). Albertans need the right to recall their MLA’s when they fail to work for the people they were elected to represent. It’s time to Send Ed a Message. Breaking contracts is not part of the Alberta Advantage.”

The Wildrose Alliance believes in respecting contract law. The Party believes in allowing voters the ability to recall their elected representatives when they start representing themselves rather than the people that elected them.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wildrose Alliance Confirms Candidates for Leadership Race

For Immediate Release

The Wildrose Alliance announces there are three Official Candidates for the Leadership of the Party: Mark Dyrholm, Danielle Smith, and Jeff Willerton. The Party is very pleased to have candidates of such high quality seek the leadership of the Party and looks forward to their contributions toward building the Party and bringing back the Alberta Advantage.

The Leadership Convention will be held in Edmonton. Attendees are encouraged to register early online at the Party website but can also register at the Convention.

Information and contact for their campaigns can be found at the following:

Mark Dyrholm:
Phone: 403-203-3456
Fax: 403-273-2940

Danielle Smith:
Phone: 403-256-0444

 Jeff Willerton:
Phone: 403-875-1619

A series of Leadership Forums are planned for the following dates:

September 8, 7:30pm, Grande Prairie
Grande Prairie Inn
11633 - 100 Street
Phone: 780-532-5221

September 10, 7:30pm, Edmonton
Four Points Sheraton
7230 Argyll Road
Phone: 780-465-7931

September 15, 7:30pm, Lethbridge
Balog Cow Palace
Just south of highway #4 on the east side of Lethbridge
Phone: 403-320-1980

September 16, 7:30pm, Calgary
Blackfoot Inn
5940 Blackfoot Trail SE
Phone: 1-800-661-1151

September 23, 7:30pm, Red Deer
Capri Hotel & Conference Centre
3310 - 50 Ave.
Phone: 403-346-2091

The Leadership Convention will be held in Edmonton on October 17. In order to vote, a person must become a member on or before October 3rd in order to vote for the Leadership. The vote will be a mail-in ballot but can also be cast at the Leadership Convention instead of mailed. Members will need to bring their mail-in ballot to the Convention to exchange for a Convention ballot.

October 17, starting at 9am,
Edmonton Holiday Inn & Convention Center
4520-76 Ave
Phone: 780-468-5400

Friday, August 28, 2009

Remember Guy Boutilier?

August 28, 2009

Remember Guy Boutilier?

For Immediate Release

Calgary-Glenmore residents need to remember what happened to the last PC MLA who tried to speak publically and passionately about the needs of their constituents.

Though Diane Colley-Urquhart’s musings about revisiting the question of health care premiums are surely well intentioned, would Premier Ed Stelmach tolerate such outspokenness from her in the legislature? Particularly when she speaks out against her own government’s policy?

Remember Guy Boutilier? Today Paul Hinman remarked; “Sometimes people at the doors tell me they really like Diane but can’t vote for her because she would get “Boutiliered” and it would send Ed the wrong message” Guy Boutilier is a long serving MLA representing Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo, a former cabinet Minister, and mayor of Fort McMurray and now a former Progressive Conservative MLA.

Guy was punted from the PC Caucus for calling out the Premier on a broken promise to build a long term care facility in the constituency of Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo. The Premier and Health Minister broke that promise and when confronted publically, the Premier disciplined his PC MLA for speaking up for his constituents.

Calgary-Glenmore constituents could understandably be suspicious whether another PC MLA (there's 70 already) would result in a different course of treatment, and with polls indicating a 12% drop in the likely PC vote, a Wildrose Alliance surge of support, and approximately 25% undecided voters, it seems Calgary Glenmore constituents indeed are gathering behind Paul Hinman and are ready to send Premier Stelmach a message.

Paul Hinman said, “This by-election isn’t about whether Diane Colley-Urquhart would make a good MLA or not, it’s about not wasting the opportunity to send Ed a message. Elected representatives have to be able to openly and publicly represent their constituents and that means they must be able to openly and publically speak out against bad government policy”

Paul Hinman, Wildrose Alliance Interim party leader and candidate in the Calgary-Glenmore by-Election.

For more info contact the Paul Hinman Campaign:
Phone: 403.252.5550
Fax: 403.984-3622

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wildrose Alliance Party has momentum in Calgary Glenmore by-election

Thursday August 27, 2009

For Immediate Release

In a Dycap Research poll commissioned by the Paul Hinman campaign, it has been found that voters in Calgary Glenmore are preparing to send Premier Ed Stelmach a message.

When asked on August 26th “If the upcoming provincial by-election in Calgary Glenmore were held today, which provincial party would you vote for?” 19 % of respondents selected the Wildrose Alliance party, a 7% increase from a poll commissioned in late June.

Conversely, Ed Stelmach’s Progressive Conservative Party dropped 12% in voter preference while the number of voters indicating “Undecided” grew from 18% to 23%.

The growth in support for the Wildrose Alliance Party has been most evident at the doors in Calgary Glenmore.

“Every day I am meeting people who were lifelong supporters of the PC party who are now embracing the Wildrose Alliance Party as the common sense alternative to the Stelmach government” said Paul Hinman. “A common message I am hearing while at the doors is people saying “I am not abandoning the PC party, the PC party with Ed at the helm has abandoned me.”.”

With weeks left in the campaign it is clear that voters are ready to Send Ed a Message on voting day Monday, September 14th.

For more info contact the Paul Hinman Campaign:

Phone: 403.252.5550
Fax: 403.984.3622

Notes from Paul Hinman Calgary Glenmore Campaign

I have recieved the following from Paul's volunteer coordinator.

We are pleased to announce that we have settled into our new campaign office at 208, 8408 Elbow Dr. SW; on the southeast corner of Elbow Drive and Heritage Drive. There is underground parking and additional parking across the street. Feel free to drop by for a visit.

Our literature drop last Saturday was a great success, so great in fact that we have decided to distribute another piece and do it all over again this Saturday, August 29th at the office starting at 10 AM.

The campaign has been going very well thanks to the great effort of many volunteers. I hope you will join our team and I look forward to you joining our team!

We have been very busy and could use additional volunteers for the following tasks:

- Outbound calling, various shifts from 1 PM to 9 PM

- Reception (incoming calls), evenings and Saturdays.

- Sign placement, best to have a vehicle for this task.

If you can help in any of these areas call me at 403-252-5550 or simply drop by the office.

On Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8 AM to 10 AM Paul will be in attendance. Let's put our best effort forward to "send Ed a message"!!!

~Julie Huston

Volunteer Coordinator

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Paul Hinman, Calgary Glenmore Kick-off a HUGE success.

It was a beautiful day in Calgary; perfect for the first large volunteer effort on Paul Hinmans campaign. We met at 10:00 AM and the workers were eager to go. We managed to snap this picture of the first 35 volunteers.

By 10:15 they had their packages and spread out like busy ants throughout the constituency. CTV stopped by to do a quick interview with Paul and then he was on his way too.

By 11:00 AM we had late arrivals signed in, along with another half dozen from each the Mark Dyrholm and Danielle Smith campaigns. Bringing our confirmed number to 55!!

With so many hands we covered all the targeted areas without having to over work any of your dedicated members. We reconvened at the Boston Pizza at Southland Drive and 24 St.SW.

The management welcomed us with great hospitality and the staff did an amazing job creating a vast selection of their finest pizzas. The food was delicious and was perfect for those who had worked up an appetite.

All in all, it was a great day, it went smoothly, we accomplished our goal; it was a HUGE success.

A big THANK YOU to everyone who came out.

In the coming days I will be posting an invite to visit at our campaign headquarters. For more information you can also visit Pauls website.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Calgary - Glenmore kick off and flyer drop

It has been a busy first week down at Paul Hinman's (temporary) campaign office. They have now located a location in the constituency for the duration of the campaign. I will keep you posted once everyone is settled in, then you can drop by to say HI.

Meanwhile I must say a huge thank you to the sign crew. These volunteers have been run off their feet this week. The sign requests have been coming in fast and furious since Monday, so much so that our six man crew called in extra recruits today. Today we also took delivery of another 400 lawn signs and more of other two sizes as well.

Tomorrow, Saturday the 22nd we will be having a kick off and doing flyer drop.

"Sending Ed Stelmach a message; one mailbox at a time."

We will be meeting on the south side of the Coop parking
lot on Southland Drive and 24 St. SW at 10:00 AM.

Just look for the campaign truck.

It looks like it will be a great sunny day to be out in the beautiful communities in Calgary - Glenmore. We will have water on hand to keep you refreshed and one of our leadership candidates has also confirmed they will attend.

Feel free to show up tomorrow or if you would like to help a later date, send an email to

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Paul Hinman Calgary-Glenmore by-election campaign

Just a quick note to list some contact info for Paul's campaign.

Campaign office phone # 403-252-5550


Fax: 403-252-7750

Mailing address:
Paul Hinman Campaign
Box 72129
Glenmore Landing, SW
Calgary, Alberta
T2V 5H9



To volunteer, contribute or to obtain a lawn sign, you can contact his team through the campaign website or contact us at head office.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Calgary - Glenmore by-election; Send Ed a Message

August 17, 2009

Send Ed A Message!

For Immediate Release

Interim Leader Paul Hinman of the Wildrose Alliance is running for the Calgary Glenmore bye-election set for September 14, 2009. The Party views this as a chance for Calgarians to Send Ed a Message that they are unhappy with Premier Stelmach's mismanagement of the Alberta economy, multi-billion dollar deficits, bungled centralization and delivery of health care, and muzzled MLA's who are not allowed to speak up for their constituents.

Paul Hinman commented, "I've been knocking on doors and attending events in Calgary Glenmore since the spring and it has been great connecting with old friends as this was where I grew up. What I'm hearing is a lot of discontent over economic mismanagement leading to multi-billion deficits. People are upset with the wait times for health care and the centralization of power and decision making with the Super Board. At the doors, constituents have expressed their concern with Ed's heavy hand threatening disciplinary action on health care workers and MLA's if they speak out about concerns to the public or media. There’s an appetite for change and I firmly believe the Wildrose Alliance can bring back the Alberta Advantage with our positive agenda!"

The Wildrose Alliance has been engaging Albertans to help shape the future of the Province. The party has held town halls and community meetings across the Province to hear what Albertans have to say, focused the policy base, and is currently engaged in a Leadership race to determine the new Leader of the Party. The party has gained several thousand new members this year and established numerous new Constituency Associations.


Paul Hinman
Interim Leader
Wildrose Alliance

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Red Deer added to list of forums.

A fifth and final Wildrose Leadership candidates forum has been added.

Capri Hotel & Conference Centre

3310 - 50 Ave.

Red Deer

September 23

7:30 PM start.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Leadership Candidates, Debates & Voting Procedure

This news release will be going out later today.

Wildrose Alliance Announces Leadership Candidate Jeff Willerton Joins Race and Leadership Debate Schedule

For Immediate Release

The Wildrose Alliance announces that Jeff Willerton is an Official Candidate for the Leadership of the Party. The Party is very pleased to have three candidates bring a diverse range of experience and talent to the race and look forward to their contributions toward building the Party and bringing back the Alberta Advantage.

Information and contact for their campaigns can be found at the following:

Mark Dyrholm:
Phone: 403-203-3456
Fax: 403-273-2940

Danielle Smith:
Phone: 403-256-0444

Jeff Willerton:
Phone: 403-875-1619

The deadline for fulfilling Leadership Candidacy requirements is September 1.

Debate Schedule:

There are four Leadership debates scheduled and follow up on the 12 Townhalls the Party held this spring to engage and listen to Albertan’s concerns.

September 8, 7:30pm,

Grande Prairie Inn,
11633 - 100 Street
Grande Prairie
Phone: 780-532-5221

September 10, 7:30pm,

Four Points Sheraton,
7230 Argyll Road
Phone: 780-465-7931

September 15, 7:30pm,

Balog Cow Palace,
Just south of highway #4 on the east side of Lethbridge
Phone: 403-320-1980

September 16, 7:30pm,

Blackfoot Inn,
5940 Blackfoot Trail SE
Phone: 1-800-661-1151

Leadership Convention:

October 17, beginning at 9:00 am,

Holiday Inn and Convention Center,
4520-76 Ave

Phone: 780-468-5400

Voting Procedure:

In order to vote, a person must be a member in good standing as of October 3rd, 2009. Members may vote either by attending the Leadership Convention in Edmonton on October 17th, or by mail-in ballot. The vote will be done as follows:

If there is no clear majority on the first ballot, the nominee with the lowest share of the vote will be dropped. The ballots of members attending the convention will be set aside, and they will be permitted to cast new ballots in each round. This will continue until a majority is achieved.

Members using mail-in ballots will be asked to rank the candidates in order of preference. Mail-in ballots first choice will be used in each ballot (1st, 2nd.etc) until their first choice candidate is eliminated, and the same with their 2nd choice, and so on, if necessary. This process will continue until a majority is achieved.

Members who attend the Convention must exchange their mail-in ballot for a convention ballot at the venue. Members whose mail-in ballot has been received for counting will NOT be permitted to vote at the convention.

For further information, please contact:
John Hilton-O’Brien
Leadership Committee, Chair

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Executive Impartiality Policy

It is not often that I am unable to answer questions I receive via email or on the phone, but when it comes to this one; "What is your opinion of the leadership candidates?" I do not have a comment.

Myself, along with about seven other people are subject to the "Executive Impartiality Policy". This policy was passed by the board and is available here, on the Party website.

As the race itself goes though, I will say it has been exciting so far. We seem to be garnering more attention than the Liberals did with their recent leadership run and it is still relatively early.

Cut off for nomination is September 1st. The leadership committee is just pounding out the details of Leadership Forums and we anticipate sharing more info on that early next week.

Friday, July 10, 2009

“How are things going with the Wildrose?”

I get this question or a variation of it several times a week and I never know where to begin.

Things are going well on so many fronts.

Our leadership candidates are out there promoting us; Paul Hinman is pounding the pavement in Calgary – Glenmore, constituency associations are being formed almost weekly now, our membership has quadrupled since the beginning of the year, we are getting very positive press, our bank account is healthy and so on.

Last weekend we successfully and smoothly moved our website to a new server. This was done as we needed increased capacity. Earlier this week we added a new phone number to accommodate the increase in calls. The new number is 403-769-0999; the old one will still work too. The toll free line remains the same 1-888-262-1888. Later this month we will be welcoming an Office Administrator (this is a new position).

The growth pains have been minimal, despite our President Jeff Callaway, saying I gripe about it; the reality is I absolutely love the increased activity and attention we are receiving.

So, yes, thing are going VERY well.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Increasing our capacity

Today we are installing additional phone and fax lines. The phone and our email access will be down for a period of time as we build workstations and reconfigure the wiring.

We will return calls and emails in the order received.

Thank you for your patience.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The only Stability is Instability for the Stelmach PCs

For Immediate Release

The Stelmach government continues to fiddle with investment rules and a Global Investment Survey revealed Alberta to be an uncompetitive place to do business. This ranking encompasses the reasons behind the lower levels of economic activity, building permits, and employment rates. Meanwhile, his MLA’s and Ministers that should be primarily responsible for reversing these trends seem focused on ill-advised parenting advice and bikini car washes.

A Global Petroleum Survey yesterday announced Alberta ranks 92 out of 143 jurisdictions and dead last of the Provinces in Canada. Premier Stelmach announced an extension of a royalty incentive plan for one year, previously announced in the spring. Unfortunately, the original proposal hasn’t helped drilling rates as evidenced by the historically low drilling levels that continue. In fact, less than 10% of rigs available are working in Alberta right now which is a multi-year low. Further, land sales in the Province total just over $100 million this year versus the almost $3.5 billion in 2006 and $178 million just last week in BC. Land acquisition is the ultimate leading indicator of future activity for without the land to drill upon, there is no drilling. With no drilling, the impact of these incentives is small. The NRF also takes away alot of the cash flow from current wells that would have been able to finance future drilling.

Interim Leader Paul Hinman commented “For the first time in memory Alberta is losing people to Saskatchewan, a province that under Premier Brad Wall is experiencing economic surplus while Alberta under Premier Ed Stelmach is experiencing economic deficits. This isn't market failure. This is government failure!”

“This is another revision of their New Royalty Framework and I don’t think I have enough fingers to count the number of revisions.” Mr. Hinman continued, “Albertans and industry need some form of certainty in planning their future and the Stelmach PC’s only provide instability. I’m looking forward to the bye-election campaign in Calgary Glenmore where Albertans will have the chance to send Ed a message!”

The Wildrose Alliance calls for the cancellation of the NRF and to bring back the former Royalty Framework that led to over-flowing government coffers rather than empty cupboards. The old system provided healthy employment levels where anyone who wanted a job could get a job. The stability of the former Royalty Framework brought billions of dollars of investment into the Province. Alberta truly had an advantage with low taxes, fully funded health care and education, a strong economy, and cared for its’ seniors.

Paul Hinman
Interim Leader
Wildrose Alliance
Phone: 403 479-6000

Thursday, June 25, 2009

"Send Ed a Message"

For Immediate Release

It was officially announced that Paul Hinman will represent the Wildrose Alliance Party in the upcoming Calgary Glenmore by-election, at a packed house rally in the Haysboro community hall last night.

"The turn out exceeded expectations, with almost 100 people in attendance", said constituency president Mike Miles. "The main topics discussed were Alberta's mismanaged health care system and its economy".

Paul Hinman championed those concerns, by stating "for the first time in memory, Alberta is losing people to Saskatchewan, a province that under Premier Brad Wall is experiencing record economic surplus while Alberta, under Ed Stelmach, is experiencing economic deficits. This isn't market failure. This is government failure. And it's Alberta's government, with Ed Stelmach at the helm, that has failed us".

He also went on to say that, "although, it took Ed 25 million dollars to get rid of Alberta's slogan 'the Alberta Advantage', in reality, it's Ed's 4.5 BILLION dollars of deficit spending, and his deteriorating health care management that has eliminated the Alberta advantage, and it will take the support of the Wildrose Alliance to get it back".

The party believes that Paul Hinman's prior experience as an MLA, and the benefit of growing up in the community of Haysboro he will definitely provide the people of Calgary-Glenmore a strong voice in the Legislature, and the opportunity to "Send Ed a Message".

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wildrose Alliance Officially Welcomes Candidates to Leadership Race.

The Wildrose Alliance announces today two Official Candidates for the Leadership of the Party: Mark Dyrholm and Danielle Smith. The Party is very pleased to have candidates of such high quality express their interest and looks forward to their contributions toward building the Party and bringing back the Alberta Advantage.

Information and contact for their campaigns can be found at the following:

Mark Dyrholm:
Phone: 403-203-3456
Fax: 403-273-2940

Danielle Smith:
Phone: 403-256-0444

The Party continues to receive interest in the Leadership of the Party with other individuals investigating a potential candidacy. The deadline for fulfilling Leadership Candidacy requirements is September 1.

A series of Leadership Townhalls is being planned for September and early October across the Province following up on the 12 Townhalls the Party held this spring to engage Albertans and listen to their concerns.

The Leadership Convention will be held in Edmonton on October 17, 2009. In order to vote, a person must be a member two weeks prior to the vote. The vote will be a mail-in ballot but can also be cast at the Leadership Convention.

For further information, please contact:
John Hilton-O’Brien
Leadership Committee, Chair

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Updated policies now on the website.

For those of you who were unable to attend the AGM, you will be pleased to see our website has now been updated with the policies that were adopted.

As you may recall we had quite a bloated set before. Thanks to the efforts of a rather large group of members, they were able to bring it down to a more concise and manageable size document.

You can see for yourself click here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Here we grow again…WAP now hiring!!!

We are in search of another energetic team member to join us in our head office as an Office Administrator.

Do you have what it takes to get on board with the most exciting and fastest growing political party in Alberta?

Pertinent skill set would include being proficient in the latest MS Office Suite (Excel, Word, Outlook and PowerPoint). As an essential member of the team you must be able to multi-task, yet stay organized. A key component of the position is the ability to quickly and accurately enter data into various programs. You should enjoy meeting and interacting with new people, on the phone and in person on a frequent basis.

Additional skills that would be a bonus include experience with CiviCRM, ACT! or Simply Accounting.

Send resume and cover letter in confidence, directly to

The Wildrose Alliance has been a registered party in Alberta since June 2002; as our party continues to enjoy strong growth, this position also has the potential to grow in responsibility.

Our office is located in the McCall Industrial area, just off of 12 St. south of McKnight; we have free parking and Calgary Transit bus route #32 stops across the street.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

2009 - 2010 Board of Directors

I am very pleased to announce our new Provincial Board of Directors. Quite a few familiar faces; with a sprinkling of new energetic representatives.

President, Jeff Callaway (returning)

VP Membership, Sandra Terry

VP Policy, John Hilton-O'Brien (HOB) (previously VP Membership)

VP Fundraising, Blaine Maller (returning)

VP Communications, Jim Bray (returning)

Treasurer, Darren Hopkins (returning, but very recent addition)

Secretary, Link Byfield (previously Northern Director and VP Policy)

Northern Directors:

Barry Croucher (returning)
Todd Loewen (returning)
Justin Page

Southern Directors:

Gordon Butler
Jody Fireman
Cory Morgan
(previously VP Policy)

As you can see we have all new Southern Directors and I am very happy with the addition of Gord Butler. He is a rancher in the eastern portion of the province and will provide us excellent balance in our rural communities.

Outgoing Southern directors are Lindsay Mather and Said Abdulbaki; both of whom I am confident will remain very active in their respective constituencies. Thank you for all your work over the past year.

For the Northern Directors we could not have asked for a more balanced outcome. With the addition of Justin Page (Lloydminster), along with Todd (Valleyview)and Barry (Edmonton) we have all our bases covered. Along with the support of the entire board they have Link Byfield right in all of their backyards.

I am really looking forward to working with Sandra Terry. She, like me, is a "country girl" in the city. We have already been chatting about doing a summer tour of rodeos and small town fairs. Stay tuned. Or if you want us to visit your event let us know!

In case you missed it Paul Hinman did step down as Leader, but he has been appointed Interim Leader.

Qualifying Leadership candidates made an appearance at the AGM, specifically Mark Dyrholm and Danielle Smith. It should be noted to qualify to speak at the AGM they needed to complete the candidate questionnaire and provide the $10,000.00 entry fee. This is only a portion of the process to be declared "official candidates". Other steps include obtaining 100 member signatures and a vetting process with the Leadership Committee.

For more coverage of the AGM see the "WAP member blogs" on the right-hand side of this page.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Great kick off.

Tonight was a great kick off to our AGM. The speakers were amazing.

Nadeem Esmail gave us great insight into just how poorly our healthcare compares on the national and even global scene.

John Carpay very eloquently laid out how our freedom of speech is infringed upon and the relevance of protecting it.

Dave Yager had us in stitches; despite the grim picture he portrayed for the future of the O & G industry. Most of the laughs though were at the expense of the PC's. Well, not all of them, but I think you can figure out the one or two he may have named for the brunt of his jokes.

It feels a bit like Christmas Eve for me. There has been months of preparation, good food and drink will be consumed. Old friends will get reacquainted and new friendships will be forged. Most exciting though, is that there will a number of things finally "unwrapped". It will take some pressure off me as I will be able to freely discuss the things that I have had to keep hush, hush.

Other things might not be so obvious; but if you are there and looking for might just put an interesting puzzle together.

That's all for now, I have to put the finishing touches on my two speeches for tomorrow.

OH and Happy Birthday to my sister Irene!!! I know I will not get a chance to call you tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

AGM finishing touches.......

We are packing a lot of activity into this week as we complete the final preparations for the AGM this weekend.

Over 200 member packages and approximately 30 media packages are being compiled bringing us very close to full capacity.

The agenda and nominee list has been updated. Most notable being the list of guest speakers.


Nadeem Esmail: Director, Health System Performance Studies, The Fraser Institute.
John Carpay: Executive Director, Canadian Constitution Foundation.
Dave Yager: CEO, HSE Integrated & Columnist for Oilweek & Calgary


Lunch with guest speaker, Danielle Smith. Former Director of Provincial Affairs, Canadian Federation of Independent Business. (CFIB)

Evening Keynote Speaker: Tom Flanagan, Professor at the U of C, Senior Fellow of the Fraser Institute, National Campaign Manager for the Canadian Alliance & Conservative Parties.

Also time previously set aside for the Leadership Review will now be available for brief speeches from any qualified Leadership candidates!!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Calgary Glenmore WAP Nomination

The Calgary Glenmore Constituency Association has advised their nomination date has been set for Tuesday June 23 rd.

If you would like more information contact us at the office during business hours and we will put you in touch with the appropriate constituency contact.

Have a great weekend everyone !!

I am off to walk my daughter down the aisle!!

Toll free: 1-888-262-1888
Phone: (403) 769-0992
Fax: 1-866-620-4791

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wildrose Alliance Party Leadership Race 2009

At this very moment the following letter is being stuffed and mailed out to members.

On April 21 of this year, our leader Paul Hinman announced his intention to step down as party leader at our upcoming AGM on June 5th and 6th. A leadership convention and vote has been scheduled for October 17, 2009 in Edmonton. The venue will be announced at a later date.

Our party has a one member one vote system for selecting our leader. To be a member you must be a resident of Alberta, be at least 16 years of age and pay the appropriate fee.

In order to vote in the leadership race, you must be a member in good standing by October 2nd, 2009. Mail-in ballots will be sent to all members. You may return your ballot via mail or attend the convention in person to vote.

The following is from Paul Hinmans’ announcement of April 21st: "I am accountable to Albertans and our party members and I believe this is the best decision for our party and ultimately for our Province. I extend the greatest appreciation to those who have supported our party and myself in the past. Be assured I will continue to work with the Wildrose Alliance and Albertans in whatever capacity I can to make the greatest possible contribution to restore the Alberta Advantage and prosperity to the people of Alberta."

This is an exciting time of growth and change for our party. We look forward to a competitive leadership race with some dynamic candidates vying for the role of leading our party into the next general election. Watch our website for future leadership events as the campaign unfolds.

Leadership Committee

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hope you like being cozy....

Stewie our dog is quite happy the road trips are done for now. Not sure which he dislikes more; sitting in the car while we are at meetings or being left at home alone.

All in all, they were a success. Great turnouts in the urban areas; smaller in the rural, but met some really great people. Like Rick, he owns a gas station and pub on a secondary highway. He has a sign outside begging for Ralph to come back. When I went inside to chat with him, he explained what we really need is the Wildrose Alliance. I wish I had a picture of the look on his face when I told him who I was. The man was beside himself that I actually stopped in. I left him with a number of brochures and my card; I suspect the pub will be "a buzz" for awhile.

Now, back to the topic at hand...being cozy. The AGM registrations are coming in hard and heavy.

It wasn't that long ago that we deliberated the venue. You want to book enough room, but keep costs in line with anticipated turn out. We have a venue that can comfortably fit 150 and up to 200 if needed. Well, if this week is any indication we will be closer to the latter figure and it is too late in the game to find a bigger venue. (Especially during the grad/wedding season)

So it will be an excellent opportunity to snug-up and make new friends.... and there will be a number of new faces in the crowd. Including as I understand it, a couple of leadership "hopefuls".

Some additional speakers have been confirmed.

Friday night line up includes:

Nadeam Esmail,
Wilf Gobert,
John Carpay.

Saturday lunch: Danielle Smith.
Saturday dinner: Tom Flanagan.

All these great speakers, plus three meals, well worth the registration fee.

Monday, May 11, 2009

More venues confirmed....

Next week's circuit of Taber, Brooks and Strathmore now have confirmed venues, as follows:

May 19 – Tuesday – Taber
Heritage Inn,
4830 - 46 Avenue, HWY #3
7:00 PM

May 20 – Wednesday – Brooks
Heritage Inn,
1217 - 2 Street West
7:00 PM

May 21 – Thursday – Strathmore
Nightingale Community Hall
Nightingale (5 minutes north of Strathmore)
7:00 PM

... Don't forget this week we will be in Medicine Hat and Lethbridge;

May 13 – Wednesday – Medicine Hat
Medicine Hat Lodge
1051 Ross Glen Drive, SE
7:00 PM

May 14 – Thursday – Lethbridge
Lethbridge Lodge
320 Scenic Drive South
7:00 PM

Thursday, May 7, 2009

We're heading your way - Southern Alberta

Last night in Calgary we had a very successful townhall meeting. Over 50 people attended, predominantly new faces coming out to learn about us, which is very exciting. In a previous post I mentioned we have had three individuals express an interest in obtaining more information on the leadership race when it becomes available. Two of those three were in attendance last night; they are both very excited and chomping at the bit.

To say we have been very busy the last two weeks would be a drastic understatement. One of the things keeping me busy is the training of our newest full-time employee, Daniela. Luckily she is a quick study and eager to help out any way she can; including processing membership inquiries, contributions and of course AGM registrations.

Her joining us now was perfectly timed as we have been churning out 30 to 50 new or renewing members per day this week. Also Daniela will be very capable at “holding down the fort” as Paul and I hit the road again over the next two weeks.

Here is what we have lined up:

May 13 – Wednesday

Medicine Hat Lodge
1051 Ross Glen Drive, SE
7:00 PM

May 14 – Thursday

Lethbridge Lodge
320 Scenic Drive South
7:00 PM

After the May long weekend we will be stopping in the smaller towns.

May 19 – Tuesday – Taber
May 20 – Wednesday – Brooks
May 21 – Thursday – Strathmore

Locations are being finalized and all will start at 7:00 PM. Keep an eye on our web
calendar for updates.

Please pass along to friends and family that you may have in these areas.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Reminder to members and friends,

Wednesday, May 6 we will be holding a Town Hall meeting in Calgary at the Inn on Crowchild. (5353 Crowchild Trail, NW) starting at 7:00 PM. Paul Hinman will be speaking. Feel free to bring family and friends; it is open to the public. Ads will be run for three days on QR77.

May 14 we will be in Lethbridge at the “Lethbridge Lodge”, again a 7 PM start.
May 19 – 21 we have a number of other southern town halls at the planning stage; stay tuned for details.

AGM is on June 5 & 6 (Friday & Saturday)
Bearspaw Lifestyle Centre
253220 Bearspaw Road, NW
Calgary, AB

Registration for the AGM is available online or by calling the office. You must be a member by May 22nd and if you register before that date it is only $60.00. After May 22 registration fee goes up to $100.00.

Lastly the Leadership vote date has been set for October 17, 2009. Details of the entry fee, rules, etc will be available May 26, 2009. So far we have had three serious inquiries for Leadership Packages once they are available.

It is truly an exciting time to be involved with the Wildrose Alliance! ! !

Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hitting the road.

I am off to Edmonton for tonight's town hall and will be in Red Deer tomorrow. My assistant will be fielding calls at the office and if you absolutely must reach me my cell is 403-680-8683.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Clarification of my remarks

Some media outlets today are reporting on the resignation of Paul Hinman. They are taking remarks that I made in respect to feedback from a segment of our members and making it appear as though I shared those thoughts.

They are using phrases like; “despite criticism from the Alliance's executive director” or “... the party's executive director publicly questioned whether Hinman had the "charisma" to attract ....”

I would like to make it clear, I (personally) have never questioned Paul’s ability as a leader nor criticized him. My comments were strictly giving an answer to “What are you hearing from members" and were taken out of context.

I support Paul as our leader and have a great deal of respect for him personally. I look forward to joining Paul on the road this week in Edmonton and Red Deer at our scheduled Town Halls.

Paul Hinman's Leadership Sets Stage for Wildrose Alliance's Growth

Paul Hinman's Leadership
Sets Stage for Wildrose Alliance's Growth

For Immediate Release

Wildrose Alliance Party leader Paul Hinman has advised the party executive of his intention to step down as leader at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled for June 5 and 6, 2009, in Calgary.

"Mr. Hinman has been a driving force in creating a new political alternative for Albertans," says Wildrose Party President Jeff Callaway. "His tireless determination to create a voice for Albertans who question the policies of the Stelmach PC party has sparked growing interest in the Wildrose Alliance."

Paul Hinman’s commitment to providing Alberta with a new political option that is attractive to the majority of Albertans involves more than policy and merely criticizing the government. It includes leadership with vision and communication, and to help ensure the continued growth of the Party, Mr Hinman wants to ensure that the Wildrose Alliance is led by the most capable, energetic, and qualified person possible. "To demonstrate his commitment," says Callaway, "Paul will step down at the AGM and open up the leadership of the Party to what we hope will be a robust race."

Paul Hinman says of his decision " Our Party's strong growth in the past year tells me now is the time to further that growth with a leadership race. This will help the Wildrose Alliance harness this remarkable groundswell and give the most people possible the opportunity to participate." Hinman encourages other interested parties to enter the Leadership race and "Together we will build the Party. The interest in the Wildrose Alliance as a viable political alternative to the existing government has been growing fast and has come from a diverse group of people from different regions and economic segments of Alberta who want to get involved."
"I am accountable to Albertans and our party members and I believe this is the best decision for our party and ultimately for our province," Hinman says. "I extend the greatest appreciation to those who have supported our party and myself in the past. Be assured I will continue to work with the Wildrose Alliance and Albertans in whatever capacity I can to make the greatest possible contribution to restore the Alberta Advantage and prosperity to the people of Alberta."

Commenting on the future of Alberta, Paul Hinman continued "The government must rein in its spending and bureaucratic growth while stimulating the economy through the reduction of taxes and red tape. It needs to be accountable and display the type of integrity that will restore the confidence of investors and businesses. Protecting the freedom of choice and competition balanced with a regulated free market economy encourages the creative and entrepreneurial people and businesses of Alberta." Regarding our health care and educational systems and Senior Citizens, Hinman says "The focus should be on service, not on management as it currently is. While concentrating on all of the above near-term, the long-term future must be protected through proper stewardship of the environment and our natural resources."

"Paul Hinman has demonstrated his commitment and service to the people of Alberta and the Wildrose Alliance," President Jeff Callaway stated, "And I know he remains committed to each going forward. I view his decision as the act of a selfless Leader and he deserves the thanks and respect of the Party. In whatever leadership role Paul assumes with the Party, the Wildrose Alliance will benefit from his experience and guidance. The Board, Executive Director and myself look forward to working with Paul as together we build the Party."

Monday, April 20, 2009

AGM Registration

Online registration for the June AGM is now available. Just go to the home screen and it is in the lower left panel. It is just $60.00 to attend if you register before May 22 nd.

After that date a $ 40.00 late surcharge will apply bringing the cost to $100.00.

If you would like to vote on any of the proposed policies you will need to be a member by May 22nd. (14 days prior to AGM)

If you prefer to register over the phone or have any questions you can reach me at 1-888-262-1888; or 403-769-0992 in Calgary.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Reminder of this week's Town Halls

Monday, April 20 7:00 PM
Memorial Hall
4432 – 52 Ave.

Tuesday, April 21 7:00 PM
Grande Prairie,
Quality Inn
11201 - 100 Avenue

Wednesday, April 22 7:00 PM
Four Points Sheraton
7230 Argyll Road.

Thursday, April 23 7:00 PM
Red Deer,
Capri Hotel
3310 – 50 Ave.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Due to a scheduling conflict; the next Calgary meeting has been switched from the 7 to the 6th of May.

May 6
Inn on Crowchild
5353 Crowchild Trail, NW

Where does the time go?

Seems like it was just yesterday that I last posted; but alas so much has happened since then.

Our town hall in Calgary (April 9) at the Blackfoot Inn drew approximately 75 people. The speeches were followed by a great question and answer session. We registered a good batch of new members, got a couple more constituencies on the go and some nice contributions. CBC also covered it on their late news broadcast.

All round another success, especially considering it was a Thursday evening before a long weekend.

On Tuesday (Apr. 14) we held an invite only event at the Calgary Petroleum Club. The well over 200 people who attended heard great speeches by Paul Hinman, David Yager and closing remarks from Jeff Callaway. Everyone enjoyed some free drink and food; then most stayed on to meet and mingle with speakers and other board members.

Again we were honored with many new members, generous contributions and new friends who share a common goal; the betterment of our province for ALL Albertans.

I would like to thank my official volunteers for the evening; Travis Chase, Chris Maitland and Cory Morgan; and my unofficial one recruited that night as the need arose, Derrick Jacobson. Your help is greatly appreciated and certainly made my tasks for the evening go much smoother. THANK YOU!!

This event was recorded by the Daily Oil Bulletin and covered by the Calgary Herald, their article is here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wildrose Alliance Meetings

All meetings have a 7:00 PM start time.


Thursday, April 9 (tomorrow)
Blackfoot Inn – Heritage Room
5940 Blackfoot Trail

April 14
Calgary Petroleum Club; nearly filled to capacity.
Email for details.

April 20
Memorial Hall
4432 – 52 Ave.

April 21
Grande Prairie,
Quality Inn
11201 - 100 Avenue

April 22
Four Points Sheraton
7230 Argyll Road.

April 23
Red Deer,
Capri Hotel
3310 – 50 Ave.


May 6
Inn on Crowchild
5353 Crowchild Trail, NW

May 14
location TBA.

May 21
Medicine Hat,
location TBA.

I will be post venues as the details are confirmed.

What a difference a year makes.

Ed Stelmach, February 23rd, 2008 (During the election campaign)

“A Progressive Conservative government will never put Alberta back into a deficit position,” said Stelmach. “We have a plan that provides the services and infrastructure to Albertans, while keeping more money in the pockets of Albertans. Our plan is realistic and achievable. It works for Albertans.”

Then the 2008 budget:


OOPS, we thought it was the right plan for tomorrow.

Do I dare ask, what strength would that be?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Meetings, meetings and more meetings....

We have many exciting things on the go and I want to share with you some of the upcoming events.

April 9, 2009 we have a public Town Hall meeting planned in Calgary. It will be at 7:00 PM at the Blackfoot Inn (5940 Blackfoot Trail). Come out to meet our leader Paul Hinman and other members of the executive. Feel free to bring a friend or even pass this along to others. Listen for our advertising on both 660 News and QR77 this week.

On April 14th we are hosting an event at the Calgary Petroleum Club which is nearly filled. If you would like more information on attending this, send me an email.

Since our last meeting in Edmonton was successful we will be there again on April 22nd at the Four Points Sheraton (7230 Argyll Rd.)

May 14th we will be in Lethbridge and May 21st in Medicine Hat. Both of these are at the planning stage and we will let you know once we have the venues confirmed.

We are also planning Town Halls in Red Deer and Grande Prairie, details will be available soon. If you are interested in assisting with planning or would like one in your area, please get in touch with us.

All town halls have a 7:00 PM start time.

The weekend of June 5th and 6th will be our AGM and Policy Assembly in Calgary at the Bearspaw Lifestyle Centre (253220 Bearspaw Road NW). The package for the AGM was mailed this past Saturday to all current members.

Remember in order to vote at the AGM you must be a member by May 22, 2009. If you are not sure when yours expires, give us a call and we will check for you.

AGM registration opens on Monday April 6th. Both the agenda and registration will be available online. If you have any questions or prefer to register over the phone, by all means call us at the office.

Registration prior up to May 21st is only $60.00; from May 22nd on the late registration fee of $100.00 will apply.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What a Mess

Today's letter is from Derrick Jacobson. He was one of the key people behind the Oilworks rally on the steps of the Alberta Legislature in October 2007.

Yet another fine example of someone caring, acting and motivating others.

March 27, 2009

Fellow Albertans,

With the state of the economy and the massive job losses, I think it is prudent to speak up and voice my concern.

In 2007 Stelmach’s Conservative Government came up with a brainstorm and came to the conclusion that they could get their “Fair Share” for Albertan’s from the Energy Sector. An ‘expert’ panel was formed with the mandate to review the economics of the royalty structure. The ‘expert’ panel conducting the review did not consult nor have any experience in the industry which did not help the outcome. The panel published their findings and the Stelmach Regime acted quickly to make small changes creating the New Royalty Framework (NRF). More recently we have been told that a review will be done to review the competitiveness of our royalties. Why would the government of Alberta have not done this before implementing the NRF and convincing Albertans that ‘he got it right’?

Industry was outraged at the idea of raising taxes on a depleting reserve making it uneconomical, vowing to take their money elsewhere. The asinine comments our Government made were that “Big Oil” was greedy and “where else could they go”, this pitted industry and Albertans against each other. Almost immediately after the decision was made to implement the new royalty framework the investment money moved east and west. For the first time ever land sales plummeted in Alberta, while flourishing in B.C. and Saskatchewan. To date this trend has continued, with B.C. posting a new record in land sales as of late. Stelmach’s’ Government was warned of the repercussions of his decision that would take the form of thousands of job losses, these concerns fell on deaf ears. This leaves me wondering if the government of Alberta run by Premier Stelmach is that inept, these job losses are the unintended consequences of their decision? Is this an intentional repercussion?

Since the NRF was unveiled the PC Govt. has made changes to it multiple times, while the most recent incentives may seem well enough, the confidence in our province is gone. When the government of Alberta made the announcement on March 4th, 2009 that they would offer a new one year three pronged approach to royalty incentives they again demonstrated how inept they truly are. By making the date effectiveness April 1st, 2009 they shut down any activity for the month of March which is the end of the drilling season, causing unnecessary early layoffs. It is hypocritical and irresponsible to enjoy the lifestyle that the free enterprise of the Oil and Gas industry has provided for every Albertan only to take it away with greed. I call on the Stelmach regime to carry on with the announced incentives, but also to cut the red tape, and come up with a trustworthy, flat rate royalty plan which our economy can build on and give confidence back to the investors. If this cannot be done I call on fellow Albertan’s to vote wisely at the next election time.

At a time when we as Albertans are losing our jobs, our homes, and our investments the Government has rewarded themselves with ridiculous wage increases last May of 34%. If it is any consolation to the unemployed, they mentioned they will not take one this year due to the economy. Unfortunately we will pay out 40 Million this year in performance bonus to senior government bureaucrats. We will also be losing our natural gas rebate. It sure doesn’t feel that we have received our ‘Fair Share’, but maybe it was to be interpreted as the Government official’s fair share.

I have personally had many meetings with this government's Ministers as well as MLA’s in which I believe they cannot speak their mind without fear of repercussions. The only way to get change is to get political and hold them accountable at the next election, which I for one will do, and would urge you to do the same!!

Derrick Jacobson

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Message to all Concerned Albertans

Today's letter is from Blaine Maller. This one I think has certainly travelled the farthest. Not only have I received feedback from all over Alberta, but also from other provinces, the United States and even Dubai.

It is an excellent example of why people should never think they can't make a difference; you can. You just need to step up to the plate.

February 9, 2009

To all Concerned Albertans,

I have made every effort to reach out to the Premier and the Energy Minister as well as my MLA and the PC Party and have come to the realization that the Premier is no friend of the oil and gas industry. Now many of you have already come to that conclusion but in my mind I wanted to do my homework and give him the benefit of the doubt and directly have him respond to the concerns that many of you have for the future of Alberta’s energy industry. It was unfathomable that the progressive conservative Premier would jeopardize the health of the energy industry. To me that would be irresponsible. Why would any Premier of Alberta put into question the viability of its major revenue stream?

Unfortunately I received a dose of politicking and re-learned a valuable lesson. Common sense has nothing to do with the PC party politics. My research has exposed what I believe is an anti-industry hidden agenda which began with the election of Mr. Stelmach as leader followed by the announcement of a royalty review, the appointment of the “Expert“ Royalty Review Panel and the presentation of their recommendations to the Premier. This was followed by the release of the NRF (New Royalty Framework) in October 2007 and implementation of the NRF in January 2009.

The recent announcement by Minister Knight of a new advisory panel comprised of Energy and Finance officials and CAPP and SEPAC is the result of the pressure that industry continues to put on the Premier and Minister as well as pressure from rural MLA’s whose towns and small cities and hamlets are feeling the brunt of the industry downturn. The Premier’s recent announcement of some form of relief for small and mid-cap oil and gas companies and tax incentives adds more confusion to the mix and short of the complete scrapping of the NRF, will have no effect short or long term on industry activity.

The unintended consequences have multiplied and the failure of the government to properly review, consult and forecast the effects of the NRF has come back to haunt them. Minister Knight told me that the royalty review panel experts would not be welcomed back to the new panel and that this government/industry review should have been done before the royalties were increased. This was recommended by many in the industry long before the royalty review panel was appointed. The government ignored these requests from industry.

The oil and gas industry was initially cautious and slow to respond publically to the announcement of the NRF, preferring to prepare submissions for the panel and appear before the panel and meet in private with the Energy Minister and Premier in an effort to convey the potential damage to the junior oil and gas sector and major oilsands projects. All this fell on deaf ears and the result is where we find ourselves today.

The industry was surprised and caught off guard by the magnitude of the royalty increases and the Premier dug in. And he remains dug in. He would not back down or back off. He was a man of his word and he promised the public their fair share. He embarked on a campaign that would discount and discredit the industry’s warnings and foretold consequences. “Big Oil” can afford it and that meant us all; start-ups, juniors mid-size and major oil and gas producers. Lost in all of this is the fact that the junior and mid-cap oil and gas sector accounts for +/- 70 % of the conventional oil and gas drilling activity in the Province.

These smaller companies are both public and private but rely solely on cash flow, occasional share issues and bank lines of credit to finance the exploration and development of their lands. These companies acquire leases and seismic, shoot seismic and interpret data, choose a location, acquire the surface rights of access, survey the wellsite and access road, license a well, drill it, complete it, tie it in and equip the well for production. The risk of success or failure is borne solely by the oil and gas companies and their shareholders; by and large Albertans but also includes investors from other provinces and countries.

Many senior energy executives have met privately with the Minister and Premier. The Premier and Energy Minister, while willing to listen, were unwilling to accept the representations of the industry and unwilling or unable to relate to our deep concerns for the health of the energy sector as a whole but more importantly the effects that all Albertans would realize if the NRF was not amended, cancelled or otherwise repealed, etc. It exposed the Premier as being an adversary to the industry as a whole. Everyone was “Big Oil” in his mind and he was going to call the shots. This despite what he says in public.

The special circumstances of the junior and mid-cap oil and gas companies and the role they play in the development of the remaining conventional oil and gas reserves in the Province was dismissed and ignored. The ever increasing costs of development in combination with diminishing production capability in a mature basin were dismissed. The material cost increases in regulatory compliance, delays in standard every day approvals, compliance with new regulations and environmental reviews and public consultations was also dismissed. No credit is given to companies for these sunk costs. They are the costs of doing business we were told. And the cost of doing business in Alberta had not so suddenly gone too far.

The removal of all drilling incentives including deep drilling incentives was dismissed as was the removal of the ARTC (Alberta Royalty Tax Credit) which allowed the deduction of Crown Royalties paid by the oil and gas companies from the corporation’s taxable income. This was implemented in the 70’s to counter a move by the federal government to eliminate tax deductions for royalties paid by oil and gas companies. The ARTC was used by small oil and gas companies as collateral for bank loans and accounted for 15-20% of their cash flow.

Every incentive to drill in Alberta has been taken away. And the assigned percentage of reserves that all oil companies held on Crown lands and that they held on their books prior to the NRF was drastically reduced when the NRF came into effect.

How does this affect the oil and gas companies?

Continue reading.

It is no secret that Blaine's letter has resulted in a boost to the Party, he said as much in his CBC interview a few weeks ago. It has prompted other Albertans to write similiar letters and to speak their mind. We must never be afraid of getting the facts out and helping other Albertans understand our current situation.