Derek Fildebrandt

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Derek Fildebrandt
Derek Fildebrandt speaking at Manning Centre Conference
Leader of the
Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta
In office
October 20, 2018[n 1] – April 30, 2019
Preceded byPosition established
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Strathmore-Brooks
In office
May 5, 2015 – April 16, 2019
Preceded byJason Hale
Succeeded byriding abolished
Personal details
Derek Alexander Gerhard Fildebrandt

(1985-10-18) October 18, 1985 (age 34)
Kanata, Ontario, Canada
Political partyFreedom Conservative (2018–present)
Other political
Wildrose (2015–2016; 2016–2017)
United Conservative (2017)
Independent (2016; 2017–2018)
Spouse(s)Emma Fildebrandt
ResidenceCalgary, Alberta, Canada
Alma materCarleton University
OccupationPublisher, Western Standard & President of Wildrose Media Corp.

Derek Alexander Gerhard Fildebrandt (born October 18, 1985) is the Publisher of the Western Standard and the President & CEO of Wildrose Media Corp.

He served as the Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Strathmore-Brooks from 2015 to 2019[1] and was the founder and Leader of the Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta.He was the Alberta Director and National Research Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation from 2009 to 2014.[2][3][4]

Canadian Taxpayers Federation[edit]

In 2009, Fildebrandt was hired as the National Research Director (NRD) of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. As NRD, he published studies on public sector and politician pension reform,[5] federal debt and expenditure reduction programs, and federal balanced budget plans.

In 2012, Fildebrandt moved to Calgary when he was promoted to the post of Alberta Director.[6] In that role, Fildebrandt became a vocal critic of former Alberta Premier Alison Redford's fiscal policies[7] and corruption.[8] He regularly used Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation to obtain and release documents that were damaging to the PC government.[9] On several occasions, Fildebrandt released sole-sourced contracts from the Progressive Conservative government to businesses closely related to the party as part of a campaign to reform public-sector procurement and accountability legislation.[10]

In December 2012, Fildebrandt released the expense claims of a majority of cabinet ministers,[11] resulting in the firing of one minister and an overhaul of expense policies. He helped the PC government draft new expense disclosure policies for MLAs and public sector employees, dubbing the new process the "gold-standard" for other jurisdictions to follow.[12]

Fildebrandt campaigned for a so-called 'sunshine list' that would disclose all government employee salaries, severance payments and pension eligibilities. Controversy ensued in October 2013 when the Redford government refused to disclose to the severance payment of $130,000 made to her former Chief of Staff, Stephen Carter in an FOI request made by him.[13] It was used by the CTF to successfully campaign for a government sunshine list months later.[14]

In February 2014, Fildebrandt released the CTF's balanced budget plan calling for $2.4 billion in spending cuts to business subsidies and the bureaucracy. In May 2014 he spoke out about buyout payments to political appointees.[15] He was a conservative critic of former PC Premier Jim Prentice, calling him a "tax and spend liberal."[16] During the Alberta PC leadership race, he filed Freedom of Information requests for Jim Prentice's federal expense records, releasing them in September 2014 which came after controversy about alleged irregularities in the destruction of the records.[17]

Fildebrandt was credited by the Calgary Sun with playing a significant role in the downfall of former Alberta Premier Alison Redford and former Alberta Finance Minister Doug Horner.[18] His term as Alberta Director of the CTF ended in November 2014.[18][19]

Political career[edit]

Following the defection of Danielle Smith to the Progressive Conservatives, Fildebrandt was named by the Calgary Sun as a potential candidate for the Wildrose Party leadership.[20] He considered seeking the leadership,[21] but opted instead to support Brian Jean.[22]

On January 26, 2015, Fildebrandt announced that he would seek the Wildrose Party nomination in Strathmore-Brooks.[23] He was named as the candidate on February 6, 2015. During the 2015 General Election, Fildebrandt played a prominent role in the Wildrose campaign. In response to PC challenges to the Wildrose's budget plan, Fildebrandt challenged Finance Minister Robin Campbell to a debate, which Campbell refused.[24] On May 5, 2015, he was elected as the MLA for Strathmore-Brooks by one of the largest margins for an opposition candidate in the province.[25]

On May 11, 2015, Fildebrandt was appointed Shadow Finance Minister in the Wildrose Official Opposition Cabinet by Brian Jean.[26] he has advocated for healthcare and seniors care infrastructure in his constituency.[27][28] Fildebrandt has criticized the NDP for tax increases, deficit spending[29] and its relationship with public sector unions.[30]

He made several public statements throughout 2016, but most notoriously on December 14, 2016, when he broke ranks with Brian Jean and openly called for a merger of the Wildrose and PC Parties.[31] One month later, Jean released a statement in favour of uniting the parties on the same day that Fildebrandt held a fundraiser at the Calgary Petroleum Club calling for a single united party.[32]

Federal politics[edit]

Fildebrandt supported Maxime Bernier for the Conservative Party of Canada leadership in 2017.[33] Filderbrandt explained that he left the federal Conservative party after the 2009 auto bailout and Bernier's leadership run drew him back into the party.[34]

United Conservative Party[edit]

On May 18, 2017, Brian Jean and Jason Kenney signed an agreement in principle to create the United Conservative Party (UCP) of Alberta.[35] Fildebrandt publicly mused about running in the UCP leadership election, but ultimately decided against it, announcing he would merely endorse a candidate other than Brian Jean.[36]

In 2017, Fildebrandt launched his PAC called United Liberty[37] which is based on libertarian policies such as lower taxes, and less government control.

In August 2017, Fildebrandt left the UCP caucus after a series of incidents to sit as an independent.[38][39]

During the UCP leadership election, Jason Kenney implied that Mr. Fildebrandt could be welcomed back to the UCP caucus so long as his legal battles were eventually sorted out stating, "I don't see us dealing with any prospective admission … until all of that's been dealt with."[40]

In February 2018 the leader of the UCP Jason Kenney announced that Fildebrandt was not welcome in the UCP Caucus.[41] Kenney commented: "I can only conclude that Mr. Fildebrandt deliberately misled us in refusing to disclose this outstanding charge." Fildebrandt continued in his electoral riding as an independent. Fildebrandt claimed that he was given an ultimatum by Kenney who wanted to run female MLA Leela Aheer in the new combined riding of Chestermere-Strathmore. Fildebrandt said he was told by Mr. Kenney that "if I wanted to return... I couldn't run in my own constituency."[42]

Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta[edit]

On July 20, 2018, Derek Fildebrandt formed the Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta. "We in the FCP are conservatives, libertarians and Alberta patriots," said Fildebrandt.[43] In his speech Fildebrandt stated that the party was a true grassroots party that would not adhere to backroom political games.[44] Fildebrandt won the leadership for the party on October 20, 2018.[45]

His bid to remain in the Alberta Legislative Assembly failed, as he was defeated by Leela Aheer whilst running in Chestermere-Strathmore in the 2019 Alberta general election.

On April 30, 2019, Fildebrandt announced his resignation as Freedom Conservative Party Leader.[46]

After Politics:Western Standard[edit]

On October 23rd, 2019 Fildebrandt announced that he had bought and was relaunching the Western Standard, a major publication that had ceased operations in 2007.[47]


On May 27, 2016, Wildrose leader Brian Jean suspended Fildebrandt for an indefinite period of time after he wrote "Proud to have constituents like you!" in response to a comment referring to Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne as "Mr. Wynne, or whatever the hell she identifies as" which Jean called "unacceptable."[48] This came on the heels of an incident where Fildebrandt criticised Premier Wynne in the Alberta Legislature as Wynne sat in the gallery as a guest. Fildebrandt said he "entirely misread" the original comment.[48] On Tuesday, May 31, he was reinstated into the Wildrose Caucus and as the Opposition Shadow Minister of Finance.[49]

On August 9, 2017, the Edmonton Journal reported that Fildebrandt was sometimes renting out his Edmonton apartment while he was away, despite claiming an allowance from the Legislature of Alberta to pay for his housing in the city.[50]

In December 2017, he was charged with illegally killing a deer, after Fildebrandt shot and killed a deer on private property without the landowner's permission.[51] He stated that his GPS was not working and was unaware that he was on private property and took responsibility for his actions upon realizing his mistake. "I was deer hunting in an area that I did not know well and mistakenly thought that I was on crown lease land," said Fildebrandt. "I shot a deer and immediately tagged it. I found out soon afterwards that the land was private and immediately apologized to the owner." However at first he and his hunting partner when confronted by the land owner attempted to claim they had the landowners permission to hunt on the land. Later, after he was caught by the actual owner and charged by Fish and Wildlife, the story changed to he thought he was on crown land. "I donated the deer to the local food bank afterward. I took full responsibility in my conversation with the owner and Fish and Wildlife Officer and am deeply sorry for the accident."[52] On December 4, 2017, Fildebrandt was found guilty of a hit and run on his neighbor's parked vehicle.[53]

Electoral history[edit]

2019 general election[edit]

2019 Alberta general election: Chestermere-Strathmore
The 2019 general election will be held on April 16.
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
United Conservative Leela Aheer 15,612 68.5% -3.41%
New Democratic Melissa Langmaid 3,558 15.6% -3.08%
Freedom Conservative Derek Fildebrandt 1,683 7.4% --
Alberta Party Jason Avramenko 1,460 6.4% +4.3%
Liberal Sharon Howe 238 1% -0.2%
  Independence Roger Dean Walker
Independent Terry Nicholls 112 0.5%
Total valid votes 22,799
Rejected, spoiled, and declined 173
Registered electors 35,595
Turnout 64.4%
2015 Alberta general election: Strathmore-Brooks
Party Candidate Votes %
Wildrose Derek Fildebrandt 8,657 52.6%
Progressive Conservative Molly Douglass 4,449 27.0%
New Democratic Lynn MacWilliam 2,463 15.0%
Green Mike Worthington 321 1.9%
Alberta Party Einar Davison 307 1.9%
Liberal Ali Abdulbaki 200 1.2%
Alberta First Glen Dundas 72 0.4%

2015 general election[edit]


  1. ^ Fildebrandt served as Interim Leader from July 20, 2018 to October 20, 2018.


  1. ^ "Mr. Derek Fildebrandt (IC), MLA for Strathmore-Brooks". Alberta Legislative Assembly.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 18, 2015. Retrieved May 6, 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "From left, Derek Fildebrandt of Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Rob Anderson, Wildrose MLA, and Kent Hehr, Liberal MLA, sign pledges to scrap the government's opaque budget reporting model, in front of the CTF's debt clock in Calgary.". Stuart Gradon, Calgary Herald July 13, 2014
  4. ^ Fildebr, Derek; t; MLA; Strathmore-Brooks. "Fildebrandt: Alberta NDP budget takes us from bad to worse". Calgary Sun. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  5. ^ "Ex-MPs have hands out to collect fat pensions". By Daniel Proussalidis, Toronto Sun.
  6. ^ "Former taxpayers watchdog announces bid for Wildrose nomination". Calgary Herald. January 27, 2015.
  7. ^ "Speech to Premier's Economic Summit |". Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  8. ^ "Alberta Premier Alison Redford leaves mixed legacy behind". Calgary Sun. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  9. ^ "Beware politicians who want to restrict the flow of information". Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  10. ^ "Fallout continues over cost of interim gym". CTV News Calgary. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  11. ^ "Canadian Taxpayers Federation calls out Alberta MLAs in 'naughty list' for lavish spending". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  12. ^ "AB: CTF Applauds Launch of Expense Disclosure Website". Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  13. ^ Kornik, Caley Ramsay and Slav. "Former Redford Chief of Staff admits to six-figure severance for six months work". Global News. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  14. ^ Fildebrandt, Derek. "Fildebrandt: Sunshine list is long overdue for Alberta taxpayers". Calgary Herald. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  15. ^ Catherine Griwkowsky (May 5, 2014), "Canadian Taxpayers Federation probes pricey payouts". Edmonton Sun
  16. ^ "Former taxpayers watchdog announces bid for Wildrose nomination". Calgary Herald. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  17. ^ "Three thousand pages of Jim Prentice's expense records released after earlier reports they were destroyed". National Post.
  18. ^ a b Patrone, Marc. "Derek Fildebrandt takes his leave from Canadian Taxpayers Federation with pride, few regrets" Archived 2014-11-25 at the Wayback Machine. Sun News.
  19. ^ "CTF Alberta director calls it quits". News Talk 770 (CHQR) November 7, 2014
  20. ^ Patrone, Marc (December 22, 2014). "Reporter". Sun News Network. Archived from the original on December 23, 2014. Retrieved December 25, 2014.
  21. ^ "Calgary Sun".
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 18, 2015. Retrieved May 8, 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ "Derek Fildebrandt seeks Wildrose nomination in Strathmore-Brooks". Calgary Sun. Calgary Sun.
  24. ^ "Alberta Election Week Three" (PDF).
  25. ^ "Fildebrandt to be next Strathmore-Brooks MLA". Strathmore Standard. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
  26. ^ "Alberta's official Opposition names its shadow cabinet".
  27. ^ Jody. "NDP promises Hospital upgrades". Strathmore Times. Archived from the original on March 14, 2016. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  28. ^ "The Brooks Bulletin". Brooks Bulletin. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  29. ^ "Fildebrandt and Notley spar over carbon tax". Strathmore Standard. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  30. ^ "Alberta's adviser on public sector wages is former AUPE negotiator". CBC News. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  31. ^ Wood, James. "Wildrose rift: Party appears split over merger with PCs".
  32. ^ Braid, Don. "Jean says he'll quit, but on Wildrose terms".
  33. ^ @Dfildebrandt (February 27, 2017). "I'm proud to support Mad @MaximeBernier for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada! #ableg #abpoli" (Tweet). Retrieved April 25, 2017 – via Twitter.
  34. ^ "How 'Mad Max' Bernier went from comic relief to Tory front-runner". Macleans. April 6, 2017. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  35. ^ "Agreement in principle on the establishment of the United Conservative Party" (PDF). May 18, 2017.
  36. ^ "Brian Jean 'is not the best man to lead': Fildebrandt takes parting shot as he bows out of UCP race - CBC News". CBC News.
  37. ^ "Derek Fildebrandt launches United Liberty group". CBC News. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  38. ^ "Derek Fildebrandt resigns from Alberta UCP caucus after series of missteps". Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  39. ^ "Rick Fraser, Calgary MLA, leaves United Conservative Party to sit as an independent". Edmonton Sun. September 21, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  40. ^ "Fildebrandt's return to UCP possible, but Kenney says legal issues need to be resolved". Calgary Herald. December 21, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  41. ^ "Alberta MLA Derek Fildebrandt can't rejoin UCP caucus after pleading guilty to illegal deer hunt".
  42. ^ "Embattled MLA Fildebrandt says UCP party leader delivered ultimatum to him on running for re-election". Edmonton Journal. February 8, 2018. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  43. ^ "Braid: Fildebrandt's new party earns ferocious response from Kenney". Calgary Herald. July 18, 2018.
  44. ^ "Derek Fildebrandt says UCP too 'vanilla,' starts new Freedom Conservative Party". Edmonton Journal. July 18, 2018. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  45. ^ "Derek Fildebrandt acclaimed as leader of new Freedom Conservative Party".
  46. ^ "Freedom Conservative Party leader resigns". National Post. Canadian Press. May 1, 2019.
  47. ^ St, Western; ard. "The Western Standard Is Back". Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  48. ^ a b "Wildrose MLA Derek Fildebrandt suspended after 'unacceptable' comment on social media". CBC Calgary. After re-reading original comment posted on my page, I entirely misread it. 100% against my views.
  49. ^ "Wildrose lifts suspension of MLA Derek Fildebrandt". CBC Calgary.
  50. ^ Graney, Emma (August 10, 2017). "Finance critic Derek Fildebrandt rents downtown digs on Airbnb while claiming housing allowance". Edmonton Journal.
  51. ^ "Derek Fildebrandt charged with illegal deer kill on private land". CBC News. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  52. ^ "MLA Derek Fildebrandt faces charges related to alleged unlawful hunting practices". CTV News Calgary. December 13, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  53. ^ "MLA Derek Fildebrandt found guilty in hit-and-run, fined $402". CBC News. Retrieved April 12, 2019.

External links[edit]