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Former Brooks mayor Barry Morishita new leader of Alberta Party

Click to play video: 'New leader of Alberta Party aims to address political polarization' New leader of Alberta Party aims to address political polarization
Barry Morishita says he feels Albertans are ready for a new approach to provincial politics. Gord Steinke spoke to the new leader of the Alberta Party on Friday – Sep 3, 2021

The Alberta Party has a new leader.

Barry Morishita, the former president of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and mayor of Brooks, will lead the Alberta Party into the 2023 election, the political party announced in a news release Wednesday.

“As a compassionate leader and experienced community builder, I believe that a new, fresh approach to politics is what Albertans need right now and that the Alberta Party is the vehicle to drive that positive change,” Morishita said in a statement.

“Over the past four years, I have travelled across our province and have heard from countless Albertans who are looking for a new approach to politics. It is time for a renewed focus on collaborative, democratic leadership that works to better the lives of all Albertans.

“The Alberta Party is committed to solutions and changes that are practical, affordable and rooted in local communities. That is why I have chosen this path and why I will be working hard over the next few months to earn your support and your trust.”

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Morishita replaces acting leader Jacquie Fenske, who was appointed to the role after former leader Stephen Mandel stepped down in June 2019.

Read more: Stephen Mandel steps down as Alberta Party leader

Morishita’s transition team including former Morinville mayor and past AUMA president Lisa Holmes, as well as former MLA Doug Griffiths.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled about Barry’s leadership and team,” Alberta Party president Conrad Guay said.

“The Alberta Party is ready to fight for Albertans and end the partisan bickering they see in the legislature.”

The party does not have any elected MLAs.

The Alberta Party ran candidates in all 87 ridings during the 2019 Alberta provincial election, but was ultimately shut out from the legislature after securing just 9.1 per cent of the popular vote.

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