POLITICS

Former Alberta PC party president resigns seat on board of directors

04/06/2015 08:24 EDT | Updated 06/06/2015 05:59 EDT
CALGARY - With a provincial election call widely rumoured to be set for Tuesday, signs of internal strife have suddenly intensified within the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta.

Association president Terri Beaupre, who was elected to that post last November, confirmed Monday that her predecessor, Jim McCormick, had resigned from the party's board of directors a couple of weeks ago.

Beaupre said in a statement that McCormick had been a valued member of the party and his work on behalf of the party and the province was appreciated.

Although he could not be reached for comment, McCormick took to social media Monday to address "rumours" about his resignation.

He cryptically said in a post that he would not "participate on a board where the Head has no respect for it, its role and its members.”

He also suggested there was no respect for the party's constitution, "thus exposing volunteers to personal liability," and said he had sought legal counsel. He offered no details.

McCormick served as the president of the association for two years until he was replaced by the 27-year-old Beaupre.

In recent weeks, the party had to deal with a couple of contentious nominations.

Naresh Bhardwaj, a former associate cabinet minister, withdrew his candidacy for the Tories after allegations of bribery and tampering were made in the Edmonton-Ellerslie constituency.

Bhardwaj denied the allegations and has filed a lawsuit against his accusers, while the NDP has asked the Edmonton police to look into the matter.

In Edmonton-Meadowlark, candidate Tom Choucair demanded an apology from the party after he was dropped from the nomination race a day before the vote, saying if the party had evidence of wrongdoing, it should show it to him and his lawyer.

Although he didn't name names, fellow candidate Steve Benson alleged he was offered money to drop out of the race. The third candidate, Katherine O'Neill, ended up winning the nomination.

-- with files from CFFR and CHED