POLITICS

Alberta Wildrose Leader Brian Jean holds first meeting with caucus

05/11/2015 04:45 EDT | Updated 05/11/2016 05:59 EDT
EDMONTON - Leader Brian Jean has told Wildrose members of the legislature it's going to be tough being the official Opposition against an NDP government.

Speaking at the party's first caucus meeting in Edmonton, Jean said it will be important to find common ground with premier-designate Rachel Notley's New Democrats.

He said the Wildrose will not stoop to fearmongering.

Jean instead urged his caucus to stand on the party's principles and ideals.

The Wildrose won 21 seats in last week's provincial election in which voters threw out the Progressive Conservatives after 44 years in power.

Jean's party had gone into the election with only five seats after 11 caucus members, including former leader Danielle Smith, crossed the floor to the governing Tories late last year.

"We have an ideological government on one side that is clearly far to the left and we are not that far. What we have to do is make sure that as a caucus of 21 we fight every single day very, very hard in this (legislature) to make sure that our ideas are heard and that Albertans' priorities are fought for," Jean said Monday.

"Those ideas can't be fought on the basis of fearmongering, can't be fought on the basis of throwing things at them and casting (aspersions) on them.

"It has to be done based on good logic, good argument, and that will get us the trust of Albertans in the future."

Jean also announced some members of the Opposition's shadow cabinet, including Drew Barnes for health, Rick Strankman for agriculture, Pat Stier for municipal affairs, Derek Fildebrandt for finance, Mark Smith for education and Leela Sharon Aheer for energy.

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