AGM for Wildrose Party results in some questions about new board

There could be a new slate of directors at the helm of the Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre riding after an explosive annual general

There could be a new slate of directors at the helm of the Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre riding after an explosive annual general meeting held Oct. 15, but the validity of the newly elected board is still in question.

The fact that the election was, in fact, carried out while the AGM was still in progress remains questionable due to conflicting reports as to when the meeting was adjourned.

Edwin Erickson, president of the newly elected board said chairman Ted Bach tried to adjourn the meeting, but was not successful.

The meeting just went on and the assembly voted in a new chair for the meeting,” he said.

“It went on at length to nominate people for the board exactly as outlined in the bylaws and then their names were put on the ballot,” said Erickson. “Three names which were duly nominated and left out were also included.”

Before the meeting ended, a motion to have a full investigation and audit of the former board and all the proceedings leading up to the nomination of Jason Nixon was passed with 38 in favor and one opposed.

However, Paul McLauchlin, who is a member of the board, which is now officially in place, said there was a motion to adjourn the meeting made by Marcus Ross. The motion was seconded by Jennaye Bartholow.

“A motion to adjourn and a seconder is all you need to adjourn a meeting,” he said.

But MLA Joe Anglin was not at the meeting, but claims he heard a tape recording that proves the motion to adjourn was “soundly defeated.”

He said he wants to remain at “arm’s length” of the controversy.

“Hopefully they can iron out their discrepancies right away and cooler heads will prevail. There’s always room to move forward.”

In order for the meeting to be valid and the vote constitutionally sound, he said due notice needs to be given and the motion to adjourn defeated.

Earl Giebelhaus from Rimbey, a member of the newly elected board, said a significant number of events happened at the meeting.

“People weren’t following the bylaws, but rumours that the meeting got violent are false. There was nothing close to violence there, although voices were raised.”

Wildrose president David Yager said a formal request for a review of the meeting as set out in the party constitution has been received.

“An independent committee has been struck to review the meeting. We’re hoping to have this resolved soon.”

Erickson said a list of the new board members has been sent to Elections Alberta.

“We are waiting for the executive committee to verify these changes,” he said.

A press release issued by the newly elected board states the first board meeting was held Oct. 19.

The press release states the new board has been made aware of several misstatements and rumors that attempt to challenge the credibility of both the Alberta Wildrose party and the constituency association board of directors. The misstatements of facts, rumors and misreporting of the proceedings at the annual general meeting are regarded by the board as sufficiently serious that the board has retained Toronto lawyer, Dr. Donald Bur, PhD to represent them.

Dr Bur has represented numerous rural landowners in Alberta and is currently involved in a series of hearings and appeal proceedings related to Alberta landowner rights.

The press release also states the constituency association board is confident that Dr. Bur will be of great assistance to both the Alberta Wildrose party and the board in assuring a thorough and impartial review of very troubling matters that strike at the precious and unique grassroots governance of the Party.