NEWS

Wildrose floor-crossing goes to vote by Alberta Tories

12/17/2014 01:09 EST | Updated 02/16/2015 05:59 EST
The Alberta Progressive Conservatives are meeting this morning to vote on accepting as many as seven members of the Wildrose Party, including its leader Danielle Smith.

As Premier Jim Prentice walked into Government House, he would only tell reporters the day was "a good day to be Albertan."

Other caucus members called it an exciting day, with Justice Minister Jonathon Denis saying he is willing to put away past grievances.

Sources have told CBC News that at least six Wildrose MLAs are planning to cross the floor to the governing Tories.

The list includes:

-    Party leader Danielle Smith (Highwood).

-    House leader Rob Anderson (Airdrie).

-    Jeff Wilson (Calgary-Shaw).

-    Gary Bikman (Cardston-Taber-Warner).

-    Blake Pederson (Medicine Hat).

-    Jason Hale.(Strathmore-Brooks).

Wildrose Party president Dave Yager told CBC News this morning the party will soldier on.

“This is a merger between the PC caucus and the politically ambitious,” he said. “As you may or may not know, when you're elected to public office your IQ quadruples — ordinary people become experts in a great number of things — so I guess for some it's incredibly important that they be in government.

“I guess they figure this is the only way to do it.”

Yager said he first heard of the idea a week ago, but hasn't talked with Smith in the last few days.

So far, MLAs Shayne Saskiw, Drew Barnes and Rick Strankman said on social media that they were planning to stick with the Wildrose, which is the Official Opposition.

Currently, the PCs have 63 seats, the Liberals hold five, the NDP have four, and there is one Independent MLA.

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