The Green Party of Alberta has chosen Coral Bliss Taylor, not so long ago a candidate for city council in Calgary civic election, to serve as its interim leader while it figures out what to do after the sudden resignation of its last permanent leader in March.
Ms. Bliss Taylor, an engineer and urban planner, finished in a respectable second place in the race to represent Ward 1 in the city’s northwest in the fall 2017 municipal election.
Romy Tittle, who had been chosen to lead the Green Party of Alberta in November 2017, left suddenly and with no explanation. A note from her on the Green Party’s website on March 24 said only, “Effective immediately I have tendered my resignation from the role of leader of the Green Party of Alberta.”
Another post the same day from party President Marco Reid, who had also been a candidate for the leadership the previous November, didn’t cast much more illumination on her departure. “We … have no current comments that we are prepared to make on behalf of Romy Tittel, or her decision to resign as Leader,” it said in part.
Insiders have suggested “irreconcilable differences” as an explanation for the Calgary businesswoman’s departure as leader so soon after she was elected – that is, a small old guard satisfied with a membership in the low hundreds and a not very influential role who were strongly resistant to a perceived interloper.
Be that as it may, Ms. Bliss Taylor brings electoral experience and an impressive resume to the struggle to get the party on the province’s political radar, at least for the time being. While Mr. Reid confirmed her new role, it seems not to have been mentioned on the party website.
Mr. Reid described it as “more or less the plan” to elect a new permanent leader by September, and said he expects the process to be set out at a policy convention in the spring. He said he also expects Thana Boonlert, who was chosen as a deputy leader by Ms. Tittel, to seek the leadership. The party has no policy that would preclude Ms. Bliss Taylor from seeking the permanent position as well.
You could make an argument that this could be a great time to be a Green in Alberta. Environmental activism may not be the prevailing political stream in the province, but it is not without more significant support than the popular wisdom would have it – as the results of the 2012 Calgary Centre federal by-election showed.
While Conservative Joan Crockatt scraped out a narrow victory in that by-election, both the Green Party of Canada and the Liberal Party of Canada ran high-profile environmentalists, Chris Turner and Harvey Locke, who together captured almost 60 per cent of the vote.
So the Alberta Greens are not without hope of playing an influential role as the environmental conscience of the province if only they can find a leader capable of attracting new members and imposing a little discipline on the old ones.
Sad! Just sad …
The NDP & UCP bras shamefully colluded to remove me from the Public Accounts Committee today and refused to even allow a recorded vote on it. Sad. #ableg
— Derek Fildebrandt (@Dfildebrandt) April 19, 2018
How the mighty have fallen.
“The NDP & UCP bras (sic) shamefully colluded to remove me from the Public Accounts Committee today and refused to even allow a recorded vote on it,” disgraced former conservative political phenom Derek Fildebrandt Tweeted this afternoon. “Sad.”
Discussion, much of it not very kind, ensued about what the Independent MLA for Strathmore-Brooks had in mind when he mentioned “bras.” Notwithstanding some of the theories on Twitter, I personally think it was just a simple typo for “brass.”
Regardless, some of the few kind words came from CBC investigative reporter Charles Rusnell, who Tweeted, “I’ve covered public accounts and Fildebrandt has a keener grasp of finances than most other MLAs on PAC. He’s made mistakes but he could have served the public interest on that committee.” Before being kicked out of the United Conservative Party Caucus for a variety of political embarrassments, Mr. Fildebrandt served as both the Wildrose Party and UCP finance critic.
Mainstream media seems not to have yet covered the latest humiliation in the once influential Mr. Fildebrandt’s fall. Sad.