The Independence Party would like to address the communication we have been having with the Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta in regards to a merger. We believe in transparency and want to make sure there is no misunderstanding with our members on what has transpired over the past couple of months.
On April 21, 2022, Sharon Maclise, President and Vicky Bayford, Interim Leader had a meeting with Rick Northey, President, Floyd Langenhoff, Director and Vicky McGonigle, Member from the Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta in regards to opening up the conversation for merger talks. The meeting seemed to go very well. We were very clear on what The Independence Party required in order to move things forward. The three items that had to be addressed before talks would even be considered were as follows:
- The mergedparty will elect a new board,
- elect a new Leader,
- and incorporate the over-riding principle of a Referendum on Independence within one year of forming government in its founding constitution
At our monthly board meeting in May, a motion was passed to send a letter to invite WIPA into merger talks if they agreed to the above terms. The letter was sent on May 17.
On June 9, 2022 we received a positive response from the WIPA board members. We had assumed since we had been very firm that the 3 terms were non-negotiable to proceed that we would be setting up a merger committee and getting ready to hold an SGM for our members to vote on the merger. Unfortunately, at the meeting that followed between Sharon Maclise and Bill Jones on June 12, we were disappointed to find out that WIPA has no intention of guaranteeing referendum on independence for Albertans. They had not agreed to point 3 and we are not sure what motion they put forward to their board to say they wanted to move forward into merger talks with The Independence Party.
Since this last meeting there has been a few more back and forth emails and phone calls, but not any conversation that WIPA will agree to a guaranteed referendum on independence. The Independence Party provincial board and many of our members have expressed that they want a referendum. At this time we are done talking, unless the WIPA has a change of heart and will guarantee a referendum on independence to the people of Alberta. Albertans deserve to be asked the question. It is not up to a small room of people to be making choices for the membership. This is exactly the type of government we are fighting against. We are committed to being grassroots and listening to what our members want.
The Independence Party will move forward being the only party that is truly an independence minded party and will give Albertans a real choice and a real change. If you are a member of WIPA and you want to ensure you are given a referendum on independence, then please reach out to your CA boards and your provincial board and tell them that you want the choice. You have an AGM coming up in July; you can have it put in front of your members and see what the consensus within the WIPA party is. We do want to see a united front in the next election, but without a referendum on the table there is no real change for Alberta, so we will remain strong in our convictions and hold to our bylaws, founding principles and mission statement.