PC Youth of Alberta emergency meeting called after suspended PCAA member named ‘honourary chair’

Majority sign letter in support of Alan Hallman as Honorary Chair of the PCYA board. Global News

The Progressive Conservative Youth of Alberta (PCYA) has appointed longtime PC operative Alan Hallman an honourary chair.

The group, which is described on the PCYA website as being the “youth wing” of the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta (PCAA), said in a statement they are honouring “Hallman’s 35-years of contribution to the party”  and for “welcoming hundreds of young Albertans into our party during the 2017 leadership race.”

The statement, released on Monday, came  just one day after Hallman was suspended from the PCAA for inappropriate behavior.

READ MORE: Jason Kenney reacts after former campaign member’s PC party membership pulled

In total, nine out of 15 members’ names appear on the letter stating Hallman is the new honorary chair.

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The letter from the PCYA goes on to defend their decision and call out the PCAA for his suspension.

“Though we are disappointed in decisions that disproportionately attack and discredit members of our party, the PC Youth of Alberta is committed to providing support and gratitude too respected Albertan’s like Mr. Hallman who not only have offered years of loyalty and service to our party and province, but continue to do so even when faced with adversity.”

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“The majority of voting members on my exec. thought it was an appropriate response to what we saw happen on last Saturday, our point is defending the good members of the PCAA, Alan Hallman who’s been a great friend and good mentor to all of us,” PCYA President Sonia Kont said.

READ MORE: Expelled Alberta PC organizer seeks reinstatement, says he was denied due process 

PCYA Vice President for Southern Alberta, Sierra Garner, is one of the names not one the list. She says she found out about the decision through social media.

“There was no vote, there was no meeting for this appointment,” Garner said. “This directly goes against what the party has decided, the party has come to a unanimous decision on suspending Mr. Hallman’s membership.”

She’s not the only one to voice frustrations, other members not on the letter took to twitter.

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Meanwhile, others went on to share their ongoing support for signing the letter, including the president:

Garner said this goes against the board’s constitution that says in part, “the executive committee shall appoint the honourary chair with advice from the PCYA executive … the honourary chair is a member of the progressive conservative association of Alberta in good standing.”

“He isn’t even a member or in good standing because his membership taken away,” Garner said.

The PCYA president calls it a grey area.

“If we think Alan Hallman is in good standing in the party, it gets passed I guess the only issue would be if the PCAA board doesn’t agree with our motion they could over ride our constitution … I’m not too sure where that is going to go. ”

An emergency PCYA meeting has been called for Wednesday night. PCAA board president and executive director has been asked to attend over a conference call.

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“I’m scared that the PCAA board is going to take it into their own hands and decide to dissolve the board,” Garner said.

Kont says she’s confident that won’t  happen and doesn’t regret the decision to appoint Hallman as honourary chair.

“Despite this whole situation which might look like a lot of division within my board, I have a very hard working board.  I think we have had issues (like these) before, but we always come together as a team to make the right choice,” Kont said.

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