Premier Redford reacts to PC party executive’s call for her resignation

CALGARY –The board of directors of the provincial Progressive Conservative party will meet in Calgary on Saturday to discuss the recent turmoil surrounding the leadership of Premier Alison Redford.

Sources tell Global News Redford is also expected to attend the meeting, which will be held at the Clarion Hotel in the city’s northeast.

The talks come as the president of a Progressive Conservative riding in northeast Edmonton calls on Redford to resign.

Steve Robson believes the premier should step down or the party will lose the next election. He says Redford is an arrogant leader who doesn’t listen to her caucus and has no regard for the Tory establishment.

Redford responded to Robson’s comments at the Telus Convention Centre in Calgary on Friday night.

“We don’t always agree in our party,” said Redford. “I respect that. (He’s) certainly entitled to express his opinion and we’ll move on from here.”

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Just two days ago, Calgary MLA Len Webber’s resignation from the PC caucus.

Webber cited a difficult working relationship with the premier as the reason for his departure.

READ MORE: MLA Len Webber quits Tory caucus, slams Redford

He also accused Premier Redford of being a bully, abusive to government employees and of throwing temper tantrums.

It’s been a difficult few days for Redford. Earlier this week, she apologized for the price of her trip to Nelson Mandela’s funeral last year, and agreed to pay back the $45,000 travel bill in an attempt to put an end to the ongoing controversy.

READ MORE: Redford to pay back South Africa trip expenses

Some political analysts say if the board of directors chooses to act on the controversy, Saturday’s meeting could mean more trouble for Redford’s leadership.

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“Are they looking for a reason to remove her from power?” says Duane Bratt, a policy analyst at Mount Royal University. “Is this the excuse? Because they don’t have the constitutional power within the party. They don’t have the ability through a non-confidence vote or calling an election. Is this the avenue they are going to pursue?”

If the board of directors decides to impose some type of discipline on the premier, it isn’t entirely clear what sanctions, if any, the Tories can take against Redford or how they may impact her political future.

In November, Redford won a 77 per cent approval rating at the Alberta PC convention in Red Deer.

In 2012, Redford and the Tories earned a majority, winning 61 of 87 seats in her first provincial election as PC leader.

With files from Gary Bobrovitz, and The Canadian Press. 

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