A group of at least 10 Alberta Progressive Conservative MLAs gathered Sunday night, ahead of a caucus meeting, to express their dissatisfaction with Premier Alison Redford’s leadership and consider sitting as independents.
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“We didn’t have a vote, but I’ll tell you there were some significant concerns that were brought up,” Edmonton-Riverview MLA Steve Young said after the closed meeting, held at a down town office building.
The gathering came at the end of a tumultuous week for Redford in which one of her MLAs left caucus and a Tory riding association president publicly called for her resignation.
“We shouldn’t have to be surprised when we’re talking about the elephant in the room,” Young said. “And we had a bunch of MLAs talking about that: the elephant in the room.”
Other MLAs who attended the two-hour, closed-door meeting included Moe Amery, Neil Brown, Ken Lemke, Jacquie Fenske, Mary Anne Jablonski, Matt Jeneroux, Cathy Olesen, Janice Sarich and David Xiao.
Few fielded questions as they left. Jablonski said the group was “talking about policy.” Lemke merely referred to the event as a “potluck supper.”
None of those asked would say whether they still support Redford in her capacity as premier.
Young said the group discussed the controversies surrounding Redford, as well as her recent meeting with PC party executives in Calgary.
He said when the group dispersed, everyone was still a member of the Conservative caucus — but that quitting caucus to sit as independents was “certainly an option” for him and his colleagues.
Young also made no predictions as to what would happen at Monday morning’s caucus meeting.
“I don’t know. It will be interesting,” he said. “But I’m hoping that people will actually speak out and express their concerns.