01/12/2015 02:57 EST | Updated 03/14/2015 05:59 EDT

Alberta Tories Offer Free Memberships To Wildrose Opponents

EDMONTON - Members of Alberta's Opposition Wildrose party are being invited to join the governing Progressive Conservatives free of charge.

PC party president Terri Beaupre says in a letter that any Wildrose members can get a free Tory party membership by turning in their Wildrose cards.

Nine members of the Wildrose caucus, including former leader Danielle Smith, crossed the floor to join the PCs in December.

Smith has urged her former party to join the Tories, but the Wildrose executive has rejected that idea.

The PCs have also announced that anyone who has a 2014 Tory party membership is automatically a member for free this year.

There is speculation that the moves will clear the way for an election in 2015, although Premier Jim Prentice has said for now he's focused on the economy.

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