Schweitzer to seek leadership of United Conservative Party

Jun 07, 2017

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With a focus on getting Alberta back to work, Doug Schweitzer today announced his intention to seek the leadership of the proposed United Conservative Party (“UCP”).

Schweitzer, 38, is a restructuring lawyer who lives in Calgary with his wife Jen, a federal prosecutor, and their two daughters, Heidi, age 6, and Stella, age 4. 

As a restructuring lawyer, Schweitzer has had a first-hand view of the challenges facing Alberta businesses and the impacts on the people they employ. His work includes helping Alberta companies in financial distress develop plans to maximize value and turn things around. 

Schweitzer brings an inclusive, team building approach to politics that goes against the leader-centric partisan model from Ottawa. These skills were initially developed as a college baseball player and sharpened throughout his legal career and years of organizing and campaigning for conservative parties at all levels of government in Canada. 

Alberta conservatives deserve to know the policy ideas and platforms of their potential leader. Plans will include getting Alberta’s fiscal house in order, offering tax relief to attract jobs, and reducing the regulatory burden with the goal of restoring Alberta’s place as the most competitive business environment in Canada. Schweitzer will also propose conservative solutions to social issues and challenges facing Albertans. 

Today’s announcement acknowledges that the fate of the proposed UCP is in the hands of PC and Wildrose members.  Schweitzer and his campaign team support the unity agreement and will be encouraging Alberta conservatives to buy memberships and vote yes. The existence of the new party depends on members voting to ratify the unity agreement in July.  

Statement: 

“The creation of a united conservative party presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine what it means to be a conservative in Alberta. We have an opportunity to bring people together with a positive vision and get Albertans back to work.

I know of far too many families where one or both parents are out of work.  They are struggling to pay their mortgage and worrying about the future. We need a new approach that puts jobs first.

When I was a kid, my parents’ business went bankrupt during the era of the National Energy Program, 20% interest rates, and the collapse of investor confidence.  We lost our house and, for months at a time, lived in the basements of friends or relatives.  My parents did rebuild, but it was a very difficult time.  It breaks my heart to see this happening to Alberta families today.  That is why I am committed to doing everything possible to restore investor confidence and get Albertans working again. 

Some conservative politicians have taken the position that social issues aren’t a priority. I disagree.  If an Albertan is struggling, it matters to me and it should matter to all of us. It’s time that we start providing conservative solutions to all of the issues facing Albertans. 

We can’t allow Ottawa-style politics to infect our new party.  The NDP’s only chance of re-election is if we give in to anger, divisiveness and hyper-partisanship. We should be an inclusive party with a positive vision for the future.  

When Jen and I chose to pursue our careers and raise our family in Calgary, we did so knowing that in Alberta it didn’t matter where we came from or who our parents were. We knew that if we came to Alberta and worked hard, we could get ahead and build a life for ourselves.

Our daughters – and future generations - deserve the same opportunities we had.  That is why I’m running.”

- Doug Schweitzer, candidate for leadership of the United Conservative Party