Brian Jean's command of Alberta's Wildrose Party might soon be under scrutiny after a constituency association called for a leadership review.
The Wildrose board in Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills passed a resolution on Tuesday calling for annual leadership reviews and a review at the party's annual general meeting in October, CBC News reported.
Controversies in the media
It has been a rough few weeks for the Wildrose Party.
MLA Derek Fildebrandt was briefly suspended from the party after responding to a constituent's homophobic comment towards Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne's sexuality in late May. He has since apologized.
On Monday, nine Wildrose MLAs apologized for comparing the NDP government's carbon tax to a genocidal famine that killed millions of Ukrainians in the 1930s.
Some party members say the controversies show trouble brewing for the party.
Ronda Klemmensen, president of the Strathmore-Brooks Wildrose constituency, told the Brooks Bulletin that Fildebrandt still has support despite being briefly suspended by his party.
"This was a massive overreaction or at worst a backroom political power play to get rid of Derek. Obviously Derek has massive support in our constituency as well as right across Alberta,” she said.
Another insider suggested discontent with party leadership has been simmering for awhile.
“There’s been some issues in the news that maybe haven’t put Wildrose in a positive light,” Carl Christensen, president of the Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills constituency association, told The Calgary Herald after Tuesday's meeting.
Wildrose member Dave Hanson is MLA for the Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills riding
Jean has been a popular figure within the party since his election as party leader in March 2015.
At the party's annual general meeting last year he received a 78 per cent approval rating from delegates, reported iPolitics.
Jean issued a statement Wednesday in response to the request for a review.
"I'm not surprised there are some members who are uncomfortable with setting a bold new vision for Wildrose," Jean wrote, "but I have travelled every corner of Alberta and am confident the vast majority of members and conservaitves across the province want to see Wildrose broaden our tent and consolidate conservatives heading into the next election."
CORRECTION - June 10, 2016: An earlier version of this story stated Derek Fildebrandt's social media comment poked fun at Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. The story has been corrected to note that he was responding to a constituent's inappropriate post, and has since apologized.
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