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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
Born
Derek Alexander Gerhard Fildebrandt

(1985-10-18) October 18, 1985 (age 35)
Kanata, Ontario, Canada
Political partyFreedom Conservative (2018–present)
Other political
affiliations
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 a former member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.[1] Currently he is the publisher of the Western Standard.

Canadian Taxpayers Federation

After working in Ottawa as a National Research Director, Fildebrandt moved to Alberta in 2012 when he was promoted to the post of Alberta Director.[2][3][4]

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.[5] He was a conservative critic of former PC Premier Jim Prentice, calling him a "tax and spend liberal."[6] 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.[7]

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.[8] His term as Alberta Director of the CTF ended in November 2014.[8][9]

Political career

On January 26, 2015, Fildebrandt announced that he would seek the Wildrose Party nomination in Strathmore-Brooks.[10] He was named as the candidate on February 6, 2015. In response to PC challenges to the Wildrose's budget plan, Fildebrandt challenged Finance Minister Robin Campbell to a debate, which Campbell refused.[11] On May 5, 2015, he was elected as the MLA for Strathmore-Brooks.[12]

On May 11, 2015, Fildebrandt was appointed Shadow Finance Minister in the Wildrose Official Opposition Cabinet by Brian Jean.[13] he has advocated for healthcare and seniors care infrastructure in his constituency.[14][15] Fildebrandt has criticized the NDP for tax increases, deficit spending[16] and its relationship with public sector unions.[17]

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.[18] 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.[19]

Federal politics

Fildebrandt supported Maxime Bernier for the Conservative Party of Canada leadership in 2017.[20] 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.[21]

United Conservative Party

On May 18, 2017, Brian Jean and Jason Kenney signed an agreement in principle to create the United Conservative Party (UCP) of Alberta.[22] 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.[23]

In 2017, Fildebrandt launched his PAC called United Liberty[24] 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.[25][26]

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."[27]

In February 2018 the leader of the UCP Jason Kenney announced that Fildebrandt was not welcome in the UCP Caucus.[28] 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."[29]

Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta

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.[30] In his speech Fildebrandt stated that the party was a true grassroots party that would not adhere to backroom political games.[31] Fildebrandt won the leadership for the party on October 20, 2018.[32]

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, garnering less than 10% of the vote.[33]

On April 30, 2019, after failing to win any seats in the legislature, Fildebrandt announced his resignation as Freedom Conservative Party Leader.[34]

After his loss, Fildebrandt told the media he was returning to private life to “get a real job, make some money. Honestly, I’m happy to be done with politics. I’m happy to have my family back, to have a sense of private life back.” [35]

After Politics:Western Standard

On October 23, 2019 Fildebrandt announced that he had bought and was relaunching the Western Standard, a right wing political publication that had ceased operations in 2007.[36]

Controversies

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."[37] 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.[37] On Tuesday, May 31, he was reinstated into the Wildrose Caucus and as the Opposition Shadow Minister of Finance.[38]

Also in 2016, Fildebrandt was accused of hitting his neighbour's parked vehicle with his truck, causing an estimated $2000 in damage.[39] He appeared in court to plea not guilty and denied it happened, saying "I would've left a note on the front windshield. It's the decent thing to do."[40] On December 4, 2017, Fildebrandt was found guilty leaving the scene and failing to notify the owner of a damaged vehicle.[41]

On August 9, 2017, it was reported that Fildebrandt was renting out his Edmonton apartment on Airbnb while claiming a housing allowance from the Legislature of Alberta to pay for the apartment.[42] He initially defended himself, calling the act "reasonable and a part of the modern sharing economy."[43] Later, Fildebrandt apologized and claimed that he returned the income made from the property.[44]

On August 14, 2017 Alberta Party leader Greg Clark revealed that Fildebrandt had been charging meals to his MLA expense account while simultaneously claiming his MLA per-diem for meals. The potential total of which was $192.60 over a period of two years and Fildebrandt stated that it was a result of administrative errors.[45] Clark claimed that Fildebrandt was effectively "double-claiming" his meals, a practice Clark claimed was in violation of the Legislative Member Service Committee Order.[46] Fildebrandt responded to the claims by saying "I should have been more careful in reviewing them before signing off. I will fully reimburse any discrepancy and take immediate action to ensure that errors like this do not happen again."[45]

On December 13, 2017, Fildebrandt was charged with trespassing onto private property and hunting a white-tailed deer in violation of the Wildlife Act. Fildebrandt apologized, claiming that he didn't know he was on private property and that he donated the deer to a food bank.[47][48]

Electoral history

2019 general election

2019 Alberta general election: Chestermere-Strathmore
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 8,652 52.55% -3.03%
Progressive Conservative Molly Douglass 4,452 27.04% -12.09%
New Democratic Lynn MacWilliam 2,463 14.96% 12.17%
Green Mike Worthington 322 1.96%
Alberta Party Einar B. Davison 304 1.85%
Liberal Ali Abdulbaki 200 1.21% -0.82%
Alberta First Glen Dundas 72 0.44%
Total 16,465
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined 36
Eligible electors / Turnout 33,215 49.68% -2.96%
Wildrose hold Swing 4.53%
Source(s)
Source: "83 - Strathmore-Brooks Official Results 2015 Alberta general election". officialresults.elections.ab.ca. Elections Alberta. Retrieved May 21, 2020.

2015 general election

Notes

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

References

  1. ^ "Mr. Derek Fildebrandt (IC), MLA for Strathmore-Brooks". Alberta Legislative Assembly.
  2. ^ https://www.taxpayer.com/news-releases/change-in-alberta-media-contact
  3. ^ "Former taxpayers watchdog announces bid for Wildrose nomination". Calgary Herald. January 27, 2015.
  4. ^ "Alberta Premier Alison Redford leaves mixed legacy behind". Calgary Sun. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  5. ^ Catherine Griwkowsky (May 5, 2014), "Canadian Taxpayers Federation probes pricey payouts". Edmonton Sun
  6. ^ "Former taxpayers watchdog announces bid for Wildrose nomination". Calgary Herald. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  7. ^ "Three thousand pages of Jim Prentice's expense records released after earlier reports they were destroyed". National Post.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "CTF Alberta director calls it quits". News Talk 770 (CHQR) November 7, 2014
  10. ^ "Derek Fildebrandt seeks Wildrose nomination in Strathmore-Brooks". Calgary Sun. Calgary Sun.
  11. ^ "Alberta Election Week Three" (PDF). summa.ca.
  12. ^ "Fildebrandt to be next Strathmore-Brooks MLA". Strathmore Standard. Retrieved May 8, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ "Alberta's official Opposition names its shadow cabinet". globalnews.ca.
  14. ^ Jody. "NDP promises Hospital upgrades". Strathmore Times. Archived from the original on March 14, 2016. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  15. ^ "The Brooks Bulletin". Brooks Bulletin. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  16. ^ nurun.com. "Fildebrandt and Notley spar over carbon tax". Strathmore Standard. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  17. ^ "Alberta's adviser on public sector wages is former AUPE negotiator". CBC News. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  18. ^ Wood, James. "Wildrose rift: Party appears split over merger with PCs".
  19. ^ Braid, Don. "Jean says he'll quit, but on Wildrose terms".
  20. ^ @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.
  21. ^ "How 'Mad Max' Bernier went from comic relief to Tory front-runner". Macleans. April 6, 2017. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  22. ^ "Agreement in principle on the establishment of the United Conservative Party" (PDF). May 18, 2017.
  23. ^ "Brian Jean 'is not the best man to lead': Fildebrandt takes parting shot as he bows out of UCP race - CBC News". CBC News.
  24. ^ "Derek Fildebrandt launches United Liberty group". CBC News. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  25. ^ "Derek Fildebrandt resigns from Alberta UCP caucus after series of missteps". Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  26. ^ "Rick Fraser, Calgary MLA, leaves United Conservative Party to sit as an independent". Edmonton Sun. September 21, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  27. ^ "Fildebrandt's return to UCP possible, but Kenney says legal issues need to be resolved". Calgary Herald. December 21, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  28. ^ "Alberta MLA Derek Fildebrandt can't rejoin UCP caucus after pleading guilty to illegal deer hunt". Globalnews.ca.
  29. ^ "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.
  30. ^ "Braid: Fildebrandt's new party earns ferocious response from Kenney". Calgary Herald. July 18, 2018.
  31. ^ "Derek Fildebrandt says UCP too 'vanilla,' starts new Freedom Conservative Party". Edmonton Journal. July 18, 2018. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  32. ^ "Derek Fildebrandt acclaimed as leader of new Freedom Conservative Party".
  33. ^ https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/alberta/article-derek-fildebrandt-resigns-as-leader-of-albertas-freedom-conservative
  34. ^ "Freedom Conservative Party leader resigns". National Post. Canadian Press. May 1, 2019.
  35. ^ https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/alberta/article-derek-fildebrandt-resigns-as-leader-of-albertas-freedom-conservative/
  36. ^ St, Western; ard. "The Western Standard Is Back". westernstandardonline.com. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  37. ^ 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.
  38. ^ "Wildrose lifts suspension of MLA Derek Fildebrandt". CBC Calgary.
  39. ^ https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/derek-fildebrandt-hit-and-run-court-1.4250688
  40. ^ https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/alberta-politician-derek-fildebrandt-denies-hit-and-run-on-neighbour-s-van-1.3577533
  41. ^ "MLA Derek Fildebrandt found guilty in hit-and-run, fined $402". CBC News. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  42. ^ Graney, Emma (August 10, 2017). "Finance critic Derek Fildebrandt rents downtown digs on Airbnb while claiming housing allowance". Edmonton Journal.
  43. ^ MacLeod, Meredith (August 11, 2017). "Alberta MLA who rented out taxpayer-funded apartment takes leave as finance critic". CTV News. Retrieved August 3, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  44. ^ "Fildebrandt apologizes for Airbnb sublet income, takes leave from UCP finance critic role". CBC News. August 10, 2017. Retrieved August 3, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  45. ^ a b "Alberta MLA Fildebrandt says 'administrative errors' to blame for double dipping on meal expenses". CBC News. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  46. ^ "Clark calls on Fildebrandt to explain double-claimed meal expenses". abpartycaucus.ca.
  47. ^ "Derek Fildebrandt charged with illegal deer kill on private land". CBC News. December 13, 2017. Retrieved August 3, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  48. ^ White, Ryan (December 13, 2017). "MLA Derek Fildebrandt faces charges related to alleged unlawful hunting practices". CTV News. Retrieved August 3, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links