ALBERTA

Ron Liepert Vs. Rob Anders: Former Provincial Minister Takes On MP For Riding Nomination

01/16/2014 12:36 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST
CP

Former provincial Tory minister Ron Liepert has made official his intentions to dethrone controversial Calgary MP Rob Anders.

Liepert confirmed Thursday morning on his website his intentions to win the Conservative nomination for the Calgary Signal Hill riding and to replace long-serving Anders in southwest Calgary.

"When the next election takes place we will have had the same representative for 17 years and it’s time for change," states the site.

"Conservatives in our riding deserve better representation on the Prime Minister’s team.

"We had tremendous response to our initiative last week," adds Liepert in a release, referring to the launch of his timetodobetter.ca campaign. "They have all said that in Signal Hill we deserve better."

Liepert didn't offer any kind words for Anders but launched his campaign for the Calgary seat praising Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

"I believe strongly in fiscal accountability. Prime Minister Harper and Finance Minister Flaherty have successfully guided Canada through the past few years of economic uncertainty and I want to be part of continuing to build a strong Canadian economy," Liepert states on his website.

Anders has garnered a disproportionate amount of attention for a backbench MP, usually for controversial reasons.

He has drawn the ire of critics by calling Nelson Mandela a terrorist, falling asleep while on official duties, calling war vets liars and not towing the Conservative party line on abortion, among other things.

Story continues below slideshow

Rob Anders' Greatest Hits

But it's not just critics who have voiced disappointment over Anders' antics. His own riding association has seen its fair share of turmoil, with "Vote Out Anders" campaigns springing up several times over his tenure as MP.

One of those who unsuccessfully tried to unseat the MP was Alison Redford, the current Premier of Alberta.

When Liepert's timetodobetter.ca site was launched last week, Anders said it was nothing more than red Tories trying to sabotage the Conservative Party of Canada.

But it was Anders' own riding association who courted the idea of holding a nomination contest in 2010. Nineteen of the 32 riding board members quit en masse when the idea was shut down by the party. That brought the number of board members to quit the board in the riding of Calgary West over the period of a year to 24.

In 2007, the courts overturned Anders’s acclamation and ordered a new nomination meeting after a judge determined the Conservative party had violated its own rules.