Alberta Independence Party

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Alberta Independence Party
LeaderDave Bjorkman
FoundedJanuary 2001 (first), 2018 (second)
Dissolved2001 (first)
IdeologyAlberta separatism
Greater autonomy for Alberta
Fiscal policyConservative
Website
albertaindependence.ca

The Alberta Independence Party, sometimes abbreviated as AIP, is a Alberta provincial political party founded first in the early 2000s, then revived in 2017.

It was originally dedicated to increasing the autonomy of Alberta within Canadian Confederation, in part as a response to the failure of the Canadian Alliance to make major gains outside of Western Canada in the 2000 Canadian election. It put forward an explicitly separatist political platform for the 2019 Alberta general election.[1]

The party's founding convention in January, 2001, garnered much media attention when several prominent figures from the Canadian Alliance attended as observers, including MPs Myron Thompson and Darrel Stinson, and Alberta 'senators-in-waiting' Ted Morton and Bert Brown.[citation needed] At the convention, Cory Morgan, a 29-year-old geological surveyor, was elected leader.

One of the party's first challenges was to gather enough signatures to qualify as an official party in Alberta, which it failed to do. As a result, in the 2001 Alberta general election, its fourteen candidates were forced to stand as independents.

2001 and 2019 elections results[edit]

The party's candidates garnered a total of 7,521 votes. Below is a list of their candidates, votes, and percentages.[2]

  1. Bradley R. Lang (Calgary-Egmont) 399 (2.90%)
  2. Tom Humble (Airdrie-Rocky View) 683 (4.10%)
  3. Cory Morgan (Banff-Cochrane) 538 (4.00%)
  4. Darren Popik (Calgary Shaw) 151 (0.60%)
  5. Douglas R. Chitwood (Lacombe-Stettler) 554 (4.70%)
  6. Eileen Walker (Drumheller-Chinook) 819 (8.90%)
  7. Ron (Earl) Miller (Dunvegan,) 248 (2.80%)
  8. Dennis Young (Grande Prairie-Smoky) 380 (4.10%)
  9. Jon Koch (Little Bow) 885 (8.30%)
  10. Charles Park (Ponoka-Rimbey) 764 (8.10%)
  11. Ryan Lamarche (Red Deer-South) 203 (1.60%)
  12. Christopher Sutherland (Strathmore-Brooks) 511 (4.50%)
  13. Jeff Newland (Wainwright) 868 (8.00%)
  14. Ben Lussier** (Wetaskiwin-Camrose) 382 (3.00%)

(**Lussier began his candidacy with an AIP endorsement which was withdrawn during the course of the campaign)

The AIP disbanded sometime in 2001, before reforming in 2017 and fielding candidates in the 2019 general election.[3]

Official results[edit]

Election Leader Candidates Votes % Seats +/- Place Position
2001 Cory Morgan
0 / 83
7,521 ???
0 / 83
Steady ??? Steady ??? No seats
2019 Dave Bjorkman
63 / 87
13,481 0.72%
0 / 87
Steady 0 Increase 5th No seats

2017–19 Alberta Independence Party Revival[edit]

In 2018, the Alberta Independence Party is experiencing a revival and strives to run candidates in the 2019 provincial election and form party status. Dave Bjorkman, a welder and businessman, became the interim leader early in 2018 and will remain so until the first Annual General Meeting.[4]

Recent history[edit]

A press release at 4:00pm shows 46 candidates assembled across Alberta, Canada. Edmonton Legislature steps, Red Deer City Hall and Calgary City Hall all host a press release covered by CTV, Global News and several rural papers. Included in the press release is First Nations Self Government. By Thursday March 21 the Alberta Independence Party fields 51 candidates.[5]

Thursday March 21, 2019 at 6pm, CTV Calgary holds a poll including the Alberta Independence Party among "Fringe parties". The results are 24% of 1,187 Calgarians who participated voted Fringe Party.[6][unreliable source]

The results of all other (Alberta Advantage Party, Freedom Conservative Party and the Communist Party) is 3.4%.

In September 11, 2007 Bjorkman was instrumental in the Canada Construction Workers' protest in Sherwood Park's Petro Canada Refinery Row located just east of Edmonton, which resulted in hundreds of construction workers staging a legal walk out due to Alberta's perceived unfair labour laws. Bjorkman stated "We are not asking for a lot. We just want equal rights that everyone else should have. And we don't get them."[7]

In November, 2017, Bjorkman opposed to Alberta's proposed Bill 24. Bjorkman noted fears pertaining to Alberta's Bill 24 legislation that would encourage secrets and a lack of parental involvement.[8] Bjorkman also stated that he supports rights of parental involvement in the Alberta school system and supports the LGBT+ community.[9] "It's not about being gay or not gay, or transgender; it's about the fact that all parents should be fully aware of any extracurricular activity their children are in," Bjorkman said in a Grandin interview. Bjorkman's daughter is high-functioning autistic student attending Father Michael Troy Catholic Junior High School in Edmonton.

Similar Parties[edit]

The Alberta Independence Party's 2019 election platform[10] shares several major planks with other conservative political parties in Alberta, such as the Freedom Conservative Party and the United Conservative Party - including opposition to carbon taxes, lowering business and income taxes, and disenfranchisement with federal equalization payments.

However, unlike the FCP, which promotes autonomism, and the UCP, whose leadership continues to support federalism,[11] the AIP promotes a referendum and full independence for Alberta as the primary solution to what it perceives as ills for the province. In this way, it shares more similarities to older Western separatist parties, such as the Western Canada Concept or the Western Independence Party, than it does with contemporary parties.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "What We Believe". Alberta Independence Party. April 13, 2019.
  2. ^ "2001 General Election". Elections Alberta. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  3. ^ "New Alberta separatist party raises questions about splintering of conservative voters". Toronto Star. March 4, 2019.
  4. ^ "MEET THE ALBERTA INDEPENDENCE PARTY'S OFFICERS TEAM". albertaindependenceparty.net. Archived from the original on 2018-08-03.
  5. ^ "Alberta Election 2019 – Alberta Politics". daveberta.ca.
  6. ^ "CTV Calgary - Poll Results". calgary.ctvnews.ca.
  7. ^ "Alberta Carpenters Plumbers Electricians Wildcat Rally". Youtube. 11 September 2007.
  8. ^ "Alberta legislature passes contentious Bill 24 strengthening gay-straight alliances | Globalnews.ca". globalnews.ca. 15 November 2017.
  9. ^ "Bill 24: Parents, trustees, superintendents fear harm to parent-school relationships". Grandin Media. 13 November 2017.
  10. ^ "What We Believe". Alberta Independence Party. April 13, 2019.
  11. ^ "Jason Kenney outlines 'fair deal' and warns Ottawa of Alberta separatist sentiment". Toronto Star. March 23, 2019.