December 16, 2014 8:53 pm
Updated: December 16, 2014 9:08 pm

Former Wildrose president calls word of defections ‘disheartening’

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WATCH: Members of Alberta’s Wildrose Party may be about to abandon the group and reunite with the Progressive Conservatives. Reid Fiest reports the rumoured defection is being driven by two things: Alberta’s new premier and the collapse of oil prices.

EDMONTON – The former president of the Wildrose Party says he believes leader Danielle Smith will be one of the party members to defect to the Progressive Conservative caucus.

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Jeff Callaway, current vice-president of fundraising for the Wildrose, told radio show CHQR/Newstalk 770 (Kingkade and Breakenridge) Tuesday morning that it’s “disheartening” that Smith and MLA Rob Anderson could end up crossing the floor.

“She had a over 90 per cent approval rate at our AGM last year, and then to do this and walk away from it all for what seems to be a chance at getting into government, is pretty disheartening.”

When asked if Anderson “is going, one way or another,” Callaway responded: “sounds like it yeah… It sounds like there’s at least a handful of them.”

READ MORE: Wildrose-PC merger could be on Alberta’s horizon: sources 

Callaway says there at least several more who will be defecting.

“I got first word of this about 11:30 yesterday morning. It became clear with that offer letter that came out yesterday, and was presented to most – if not all – of caucus, that this was real and moving fast.”

In an article published late Monday night, Edmonton Sun reporter Rick Bell references a document from a Wildrose source called a Reunification Agreement which appears to outline the proposed “reunion” process between the Wildrose and the PCs.

Callaway also believes the PCs will call an election in spring.

With files from CHQR and Global News

© 2014 The Canadian Press

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