After losing his Edmonton-Castle Downs seat to the NDP in the last provincial election, former deputy premier Thomas Lukaszuk wants nothing to do with the new leader and direction of the PC Alberta party.
As such, Lukaszuk has given the remaining political donations he received from supporters to charity, rather than Jason Kenny.
“When you have a situation where you have an individual infiltrating a political party with hundreds of federal Conservative party supporters and hundreds of Wildrose supporters, the odds of a candidate or candidates who are purely running on support from the PC party prevailing is next to none,” explained Lukaszuk.
LISTEN: Thomas Lukaszuk on decision to leave Alberta PC party
He said you could feel the change in the wind as he spoke with former premier Ed Stelmach at the party’s weekend convention in Calgary.
“And I said, do you recognize half of the people here on the convention floor and his answer was exactly the same as mine was, no.”
Lukaszuk said he had not missed a convention in thirty-one years, and he did not like the way the wind was blowing.
“People always have known that I was very much pro social issues, and LGBTQ issues, and immigration issues, and low income benefit issues and the list goes on and on. Simply, it’s abundantly obvious that the new reincarnation of the PC party will not be that.”
Lukaszuk said the board of the PC Association of Edmonton-Castle Downs agreed with his decision to give the money to charity, along with some of his larger donors.
“The message was loud and clear, no I don’t support this new reincarnation. And frankly, some of them said if I wanted to donate money to the Wildrose I would have. I didn’t. I gave it to you Thomas, because I believed in what your party and you stood for at that time.”
Lukaszuk said he cleared it with Elections Alberta, and the remaining $27,000 he had in campaign donations has gone to four different Edmonton charities, including the Stollery Children’s Hospital.
“And I frankly would suggest that a majority of Alberta Progressive Conservative constituency associations should, at least, give this a consideration.”
Lukaszuk added he believes most Albertans are somewhere in the middle of the political spectrum between the NDP and “Jason Kenny with his new Conservative party of Alberta.”
“Parties should not be winning elections by simply destroying other parties and by limiting the options to the electorate. I believe that a third option must be given to Albertans that is neither NDP nor the Jason Kenny Conservatives; and that is something that I will be focusing on moving forward.”