November 3, 2017 6:03 pm

Derek Fildebrandt pining to return to UCP benches

Derek Fildebrandt speaks in Strathmore, Alta., on Jan.26, 2015. Fildebrandt, a former member of Alberta's newest political party, is seeking a mistrial on traffic-related charges.


Derek Fildebrandt is hoping he will be able to make a return to the opposition benches of the United Conservative Party (UCP) once a traffic matter has been dealt with in court.

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The incident, which happened a year and a half ago and only gained media attention during the summer of this year, capped off what was a rough stretch for the Strathmore-Brooks MLA who faced scrutiny for renting his taxpayer-funded apartment on Airbnb and double-billing the province for his meal expenses.

In August, Fildebrandt took a leave from the UCP caucus to sit as an independent, saying he didn’t want to be a distraction to the fledgling unified conservative party which was embarking on its first leadership race.

LISTEN: Derek Fildebrandt talks to Derek Fildebrandt about his future in the Alberta legislature

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READ MORE: Alberta MLA Derek Fildebrandt steps down from United Conservative Party caucus

“There was a minor administrative traffic ticket that the media tried to blow into something it wasn’t,” Fildebrandt told talk show host Andrew Lawton on News Talk 770.

“Without getting into too many of the details of it, someone I think mistakenly thought I bumped into their bumper with my truck in Edmonton a year and a half ago while leaving street parking.”

“I know where I was at the time and it’s my expectation – we’ll see what happens – my expectation that’ll be thrown out.”

Fildebrandt said once court proceedings conclude in December, he hopes to begin a conversation with UCP leader Jason Kenney about returning to the party.

“You know, I faced the music, answered to my constituents, and they overwhelmingly want me to move forward and serve the people of Strathmore-Brooks,” Fildebrandt said.

READ MORE: New UCP leader Jason Kenney will seek legislature seat in Calgary by-election

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Kenney didn’t dismiss the idea of Fildebrandt returning to the UCP caucus.

“If at some point in the future Derek has resolved those issues and he contacts us to make an application to be considered for re-admission to the caucus, we would take that seriously at that time,” Kenney said.

“At this point, Derek hasn’t made that request and we’ll let that unfold in due course.”

Fildebrandt said his constituents have overwhelmingly supported the creation of the United Conservatives and his role in being part of the unity process.

“I don’t think they want to see their MLA on the sidelines.”

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