Derek Fildebrandt

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Derek Fildebrandt
Derek Fildebrandt-Headshot.png
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 36)
Kanata, Ontario, Canada
Political partyWildrose Independence (2020-present)
Other political
affiliations
Wildrose (2015–2016; 2016–2017)
United Conservative (2017)
Independent (2016; 2017–2018)
Freedom Conservative (2018–2020)
SpouseEmma Fildebrandt
Residence(s)Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Alma materCarleton University
OccupationPublisher, Western Standard & President of Wildrose Media Corp.

Derek Alexander Gerhard Fildebrandt (born October 18, 1985) is the publisher, president and chief executive officer of the Western Standard New Media Corp.[1] and a former member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.[2]

Canadian Taxpayers Federation[edit]

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.[3][4][5]

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.[6] He was a conservative critic of former PC Premier Jim Prentice, calling him a "tax and spend liberal."[7] 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.[8]

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.[9] His term as Alberta Director of the CTF ended in November 2014.[9][10]

Political career[edit]

On January 26, 2015, Fildebrandt announced that he would seek the Wildrose Party nomination in Strathmore-Brooks.[11] 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.[12] On May 5, 2015, he was elected as the MLA for Strathmore-Brooks.[13]

On May 11, 2015, Fildebrandt was appointed Shadow Finance Minister in the Wildrose Official Opposition Cabinet by Brian Jean.[14] he has advocated for healthcare and seniors care infrastructure in his constituency.[15][16] Fildebrandt has criticized the NDP for tax increases, deficit spending[17] and its relationship with public sector unions.[18]

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.[19] 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.[20]

Federal politics[edit]

Fildebrandt supported Maxime Bernier for the Conservative Party of Canada leadership in 2017.[21] 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.[22]

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.[23] Fildebrandt publicly mused about running in the UCP leadership election, but decided against it, announcing he would instead endorse a candidate other than Brian Jean.[24]

In 2017, Fildebrandt launched his PAC called United Liberty[25] 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 (see #Controversies).[26][27]

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."[28]

In February 2018 the leader of the UCP Jason Kenney announced that Fildebrandt was not welcome in the UCP Caucus.[29] 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."[30]

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.[31] In his speech Fildebrandt stated that the party was a true grassroots party that would not adhere to backroom political games.[32] Fildebrandt won the leadership for the party on October 20, 2018.[33]

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.[34]

On April 30, 2019, after failing to win any seats in the legislature, Fildebrandt announced his resignation as Freedom Conservative Party Leader.[35]

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.” [36]

Western Standard[edit]

On October 23, 2019 Fildebrandt bought and was relaunched the Western Standard online newspaper, a right wing publication that had ceased operations in 2007.[37]

In May of 2022, Fildebrandt announced that Western Standard New Media Corp. had acquired the Alberta Report and was relaunching it.

Controversies[edit]

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."[38] 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.[38] On Tuesday, May 31, he was reinstated into the Wildrose Caucus and as the Opposition Shadow Minister of Finance.[39]

Also in 2016, Fildebrandt was accused of hitting his neighbour's parked vehicle with his truck, causing an estimated $2000 in damage.[40] 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."[41] On December 4, 2017, Fildebrandt was found guilty leaving the scene and failing to notify the owner of a damaged vehicle.[42]

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.[43] He initially defended himself, calling the act "reasonable and a part of the modern sharing economy."[44] Later, Fildebrandt apologized and claimed that he returned the income made from the property.[45]

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.[46] Clark claimed that Fildebrandt was effectively "double-claiming" his meals, a practice Clark claimed was in violation of the Legislative Member Service Committee Order.[47] 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."[46]

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.[48][49]

Electoral history[edit]

2019 general election[edit]

2019 Alberta general election: Chestermere-Strathmore
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
United Conservative Leela Sharon Aheer 15,612 68.48% 3.43%
New Democratic Melissa Langmaid 3,558 15.61% -2.63%
Freedom Conservative Derek Fildebrandt 1,683 7.38%
Alberta Party Jason Avramenko 1,460 6.40%
Liberal Sharon L. Howe 238 1.04%
Alberta Independence Roger Dean Walker 136 0.60%
Independent Terry Nicholls 112 0.49%
Total 22,799
Rejected, spoiled and declined 132 35 6
Eligible electors / turnout 35,595 64.4%
United Conservative pickup new district.
Source(s)
Source: "56 - Chestermere-Strathmore, 2019 Alberta general election". officialresults.elections.ab.ca. Elections Alberta. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
Alberta. Chief Electoral Officer (2019). 2019 General Election. A Report of the Chief Electoral Officer. Volume II (PDF) (Report). Vol. 2. Edmonton, Alta.: Elections Alberta. pp. 243–248. ISBN 978-1-988620-12-1. Retrieved 7 April 2021.

2015 general election[edit]

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 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 21 May 2020.

Notes[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Derek Fldebrandt page at the Western Standard". Archived from the original on 27 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Mr. Derek Fildebrandt (IC), MLA for Strathmore-Brooks". Alberta Legislative Assembly. Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  3. ^ "Canadian Taxpayers Federation | the Canadian Taxpayers Federation is a citizen's advocacy group dedicated to lower taxes, less waste & accountable government". Archived from the original on 26 February 2020. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  4. ^ "Former taxpayers watchdog announces bid for Wildrose nomination". Calgary Herald. 27 January 2015. Archived from the original on 7 November 2018. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Alberta Premier Alison Redford leaves mixed legacy behind". Calgary Sun. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  6. ^ Catherine Griwkowsky (May 5, 2014), "Canadian Taxpayers Federation probes pricey payouts" Archived 17 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Edmonton Sun
  7. ^ "Former taxpayers watchdog announces bid for Wildrose nomination". Calgary Herald. Archived from the original on 7 November 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Three thousand pages of Jim Prentice's expense records released after earlier reports they were destroyed". National Post.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "CTF Alberta director calls it quits" Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. News Talk 770 (CHQR) November 7, 2014
  11. ^ "Derek Fildebrandt seeks Wildrose nomination in Strathmore-Brooks". Calgary Sun. Archived from the original on 28 March 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  12. ^ "Alberta Election Week Three" (PDF). summa.ca. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 March 2016.
  13. ^ "Fildebrandt to be next Strathmore-Brooks MLA". Strathmore Standard. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  14. ^ "Alberta's official Opposition names its shadow cabinet". globalnews.ca. Archived from the original on 12 April 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  15. ^ Jody. "NDP promises Hospital upgrades". Strathmore Times. Archived from the original on 14 March 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  16. ^ "The Brooks Bulletin". Brooks Bulletin. Archived from the original on 8 April 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  17. ^ nurun.com. "Fildebrandt and Notley spar over carbon tax". Strathmore Standard. Archived from the original on 14 March 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  18. ^ "Alberta's adviser on public sector wages is former AUPE negotiator". CBC News. Archived from the original on 14 March 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  19. ^ Wood, James. "Wildrose rift: Party appears split over merger with PCs". Archived from the original on 8 November 2020. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  20. ^ Braid, Don. "Jean says he'll quit, but on Wildrose terms". Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  21. ^ @Dfildebrandt (27 February 2017). "I'm proud to support Mad @MaximeBernier for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada! #ableg #abpoli" (Tweet). Retrieved 25 April 2017 – via Twitter.
  22. ^ "How 'Mad Max' Bernier went from comic relief to Tory front-runner". Macleans. 6 April 2017. Archived from the original on 23 January 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  23. ^ "Agreement in principle on the establishment of the United Conservative Party" (PDF). 18 May 2017.
  24. ^ "Brian Jean 'is not the best man to lead': Fildebrandt takes parting shot as he bows out of UCP race - CBC News". CBC News. Archived from the original on 14 August 2017. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  25. ^ "Derek Fildebrandt launches United Liberty group". CBC News. Archived from the original on 27 July 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  26. ^ "Derek Fildebrandt resigns from Alberta UCP caucus after series of missteps". Archived from the original on 20 March 2019. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  27. ^ "Rick Fraser, Calgary MLA, leaves United Conservative Party to sit as an independent". Edmonton Sun. 21 September 2017. Archived from the original on 24 July 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  28. ^ "Fildebrandt's return to UCP possible, but Kenney says legal issues need to be resolved". Calgary Herald. 21 December 2017. Archived from the original on 5 July 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  29. ^ "Alberta MLA Derek Fildebrandt can't rejoin UCP caucus after pleading guilty to illegal deer hunt". Globalnews.ca. Archived from the original on 25 June 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  30. ^ "Embattled MLA Fildebrandt says UCP party leader delivered ultimatum to him on running for re-election". Edmonton Journal. 8 February 2018. Archived from the original on 24 July 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  31. ^ "Braid: Fildebrandt's new party earns ferocious response from Kenney". Calgary Herald. 18 July 2018. Archived from the original on 19 July 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  32. ^ "Derek Fildebrandt says UCP too 'vanilla,' starts new Freedom Conservative Party". Edmonton Journal. 18 July 2018. Archived from the original on 18 July 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  33. ^ "Derek Fildebrandt acclaimed as leader of new Freedom Conservative Party". Archived from the original on 9 November 2020. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  34. ^ "Derek Fildebrandt resigns as leader of Alberta's Freedom Conservative Party". Archived from the original on 1 May 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  35. ^ "Freedom Conservative Party leader resigns". National Post. Canadian Press. 1 May 2019.
  36. ^ The Canadian Press (30 April 2019). "Derek Fildebrandt resigns as leader of Alberta's Freedom Conservative Party". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 1 May 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  37. ^ St, Western; ard (23 October 2019). "The Western Standard Is Back". westernstandardonline.com. Archived from the original on 24 October 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  38. ^ a b "Wildrose MLA Derek Fildebrandt suspended after 'unacceptable' comment on social media". CBC Calgary. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2017. After re-reading original comment posted on my page, I entirely misread it. 100% against my views.
  39. ^ "Wildrose lifts suspension of MLA Derek Fildebrandt". CBC Calgary. Archived from the original on 5 November 2020. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  40. ^ "Independent MLA Derek Fildebrandt hires lawyer to fight 2016 hit-and-run charge | CBC News". Archived from the original on 28 January 2021. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  41. ^ "Alberta politician Derek Fildebrandt denies hit and run on neighbour's van". 6 September 2017. Archived from the original on 25 February 2020. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  42. ^ "MLA Derek Fildebrandt found guilty in hit-and-run, fined $402". CBC News. Archived from the original on 12 April 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  43. ^ Graney, Emma (10 August 2017). "Finance critic Derek Fildebrandt rents downtown digs on Airbnb while claiming housing allowance". Edmonton Journal. Archived from the original on 15 July 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  44. ^ MacLeod, Meredith (11 August 2017). "Alberta MLA who rented out taxpayer-funded apartment takes leave as finance critic". CTV News. Archived from the original on 12 November 2020. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  45. ^ "Fildebrandt apologizes for Airbnb sublet income, takes leave from UCP finance critic role". CBC News. 10 August 2017. Archived from the original on 11 November 2020. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  46. ^ a b "Alberta MLA Fildebrandt says 'administrative errors' to blame for double dipping on meal expenses". CBC News. Archived from the original on 16 May 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  47. ^ "Clark calls on Fildebrandt to explain double-claimed meal expenses". abpartycaucus.ca. Archived from the original on 15 August 2017. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  48. ^ "Derek Fildebrandt charged with illegal deer kill on private land". CBC News. 13 December 2017. Archived from the original on 15 August 2020. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  49. ^ White, Ryan (13 December 2017). "MLA Derek Fildebrandt faces charges related to alleged unlawful hunting practices". CTV News. Archived from the original on 24 July 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2020.

External links[edit]