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Disgruntled Alberta Independent formally launches Freedom Conservative Party

EDMONTON — A one-time member of Alberta’s Opposition United Conservatives has formally launched his own party.

Independent Derek Fildebrandt says the best outcome after next spring’s election would be his new Freedom Conservative Party sharing power with Jason Kenney’s UCP.

Fildebrandt says his party will only run candidates in some constituencies, and he’d like to see the United Conservatives win a minority government and then join with him should he win any seats.

He says Kenney’s party has failed to deliver on its promises, and  voters in strong conservative ridings deserve a true choice.

Fildebrant says there has been too much top-down control in Kenney’s party and candidate nomination meetings are being manipulated.

The new party hopes to hold a founding convention in October and  run candidates in conservative strongholds, particularly in rural Alberta.

Fildebrandt quit the UCP caucus after he was found to have been subletting his taxpayer-subsidized accommodation and double-expensing some meals. He was also charged — and eventually found guilty — with hitting a neighbour’s vehicle and leaving the scene.

In February, Kenney announced that Fildebrandt could not return to  caucus nor would he be allowed to run for the United Conservatives in next year’s election.

The Canadian Press