Controversy continues to swirl in the Livingstone-Macleod riding in the wake of UCP Constituency Association board members quitting the Party because of their dislike of leader Jason Kenney.
One board member, Mark Hudson, says he left after being bullied and says the Party's Candidate in the riding, Roger Reid didn't do enough to stop the bullying.
Reid says he in no way supports bullying, but is also limited in what he can do.
"A complaint was made to the United Conservative Party. It was a board issue. And the board is really a separate entity from me as a candidate. And I simply concurred that because this complaint had been made to the party, we need to let it sit there before we dealt with it anymore at a board level. And you know, I guess some people thought that wasn't the way to set it straight."
Reid, says bullying is not welcome in the riding or in the Party.
"I don't think there's a place for it. I mean people will certainly get angry and passionate, but to make those personal attacks I don't think has a place anywhere in our society."
Hudson was the person who recorded conversations between party officials surrounding the alleged "kamikaze" campaign of former leadership candidate Jeff Callaway, which is what he says led to the bullying.
During a news conference Wednesday, March 13, UCP Leader Jason Kenney told reporters, he was told by Reid and others in the riding, the resignations were "sour grapes" over other candidates losing to Reid.
Reid says he never said that to Kenney or anyone else.
"And I've actually never had a conversation with Mr. Kenney or Mr. (Jason) Nixon about these issues down here. And at no point did anyone who resigned from the board ever express any sour grapes with me or the nomination contest or my selection as a nominee. In fact, Mark (Hudson) has written some letters that have certainly supported my winning of the nomination."
Reid says it's possible Kenney is confusing issues in both Livingstone-Macleod and the Highwood Riding which is going through it's challenges with claims of "sour grapes" against MLA Wayne Anderson and others who lost the nomination race to eventual winner, RJ Sigurdson.
Kenney says he also heard the same story from current Livingstone-Macleod MLA Pat Stier.
Stier wouldn't comment specifically on the issue.
He did issue a general release of support for both the party and Reid.
“As constituency associations (known as CAs) develop after their initial founding meetings, it is not uncommon for volunteers to come and go, especially with a new party, when such a huge area is involved and demands upon their time become extremely high during election preparation and the actual campaign period.
While I was not in attendance at the March board meeting, I was informed of the resignations the following day and was disappointed to learn of what had transpired.
However, despite this small setback, the UCP Livingstone Macleod Constituency Association is strongly supported by over 1800 members and has a board comprised of approximately 30.
As compared to previous CA membership rosters in the area, this represents a enormous increase in interest in our movement and provides for an excellent foundation of Party supporters who are working hard to elect Roger Reid in the upcoming 2019 provincial election.
I look forward to continuing with my role as the current MLA and assisting the campaign where I can. “
Send us your news tips, story ideas and comments at [email protected]