Derek Fildebrandt was in Strathmore on Jan. 26 making his intentions known to run for the vacated Strathmore-Brooks Wildrose candidate position.
Jason Hale, who had been the Wildrose party representative, crossed the floor in December 2014 along with eight other Wildrose representatives, to join the PC party.
Fildebrandt, the former Alberta Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), made the announcement outside of Hale's constituency office in Strathmore.
"I knew Jason, I knew Danielle Smith and I felt very personally betrayed by what they had done," said Fildebrandt. "People are angry at the PCs, they feel betrayed by Jason, but we have to give them a reason to vote for us. They have a reason to vote against Jason, they have a reason to vote against the PCs, but we have to give them a reason to vote for me and for the Wildrose."
Wildrose values are Alberta values, said Fildebrandt. They are the values held by the people in Strathmore and Brooks.
"The people in Strathmore and Brooks, when they make a promise, they mean to keep it, they don't sell it out for personal gain," he said.
Fildebrandt comes from a rural background and said being in the country is where he belongs. He and his wife are looking for a home in Strathmore and he plans on being seen and working on rebuilding and earning the trust of the constituents from now up until the election.
"I stand for limited government, balanced budgets and I don't believe that Jim Prentice and the PCs have any right to ask Albertans to pay more taxes, to pay for their own mistakes. These guys couldn't balance the budget for the last seven years – most of those years during which we had record high revenues," said Fildebrandt. "We had higher revenues than any other province in the country by a country mile and they still couldn't balance the budget.
"They have no right now, now that they've wasted the sustainability fund, now that they've taken us deeper into debt, they have no right now to come back to taxpayers and ask working Alberta families to pay more to pay for their mistakes."
The next fixed election period isn't until 2016, but the Premier may be able to call for an early election. Fildebrandt says he, and the Wildrose Party, will be ready for the next election.