Former MLA Paul Hinman looking to enter UCP leadership race

Paul Hinman was elected as the MLA for MLA of Cardston-Taber-Warner in 2004.
Paul Hinman was elected as the MLA for MLA of Cardston-Taber-Warner in 2004. Courtesy: Paul Hinman

Former MLA Paul Hinman is the latest politician hoping to lead the new United Conservative Party of Alberta, announcing his intention to run Monday morning.

“I am very concerned about the future of Alberta, and about the future for my children and grandchildren.”

Hinman was the MLA for Cardston-Taber-Warner from 2004 to 2008 and the MLA for Calgary-Glenmore from 2009 to 2012. From 2005 to 2009, he was leader of the Alberta
Alliance and the Wildrose Alliance after the merger of the Alliance and Wildrose.

READ MORE: Alberta UCP unveils leadership election process; candidates to pay $75K entry fee

At one point, Hinman was the only member of his Alberta Alliance party in the legislature.

He wants Alberta politicians to be more accountable.

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“I believe you should have the ability to recall your MLA between elections. That is why Alberta citizens should have the right to initiate referendums on issues you care about. That is why the United Conservative Party needs a leader who will give free votes to MLAs.”

Hinman said he has to come up with about two-thirds of the entry fee by Tuesday night, but isn’t sure he can make it. He said the high fee is undemocratic and not consistent with a party that champions grassroots decision-making.

READ MORE: United Conservatives would win majority if Alberta election were held today: poll

Also in the race are former Wildrose leader Brian Jean, former PC leader Jason Kenney, former Wildrose President Jeff Callaway and Calgary political strategist Doug Schweitzer.

“I think that we need to have someone in there that has policy you can count on, and priorities that you can count on. Someone who has had the experience and has been around to see many of the problems of how government operates,” Hinman said.

Party members will vote for a new leader on Oct. 28 after voting to merge the PC and Wildrose parties in July.

– With a file from the Canadian Press