The Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta (WIPA)
The Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta is the result of the merger between the Freedom Conservative Party (formerly Alberta First and the Separation Party) and the unregistered Wexit - Alberta party. The FCP was originally an autonomist party, not explicitly separatist, but shifted their position after the 2019 election, whereas Wexit is part of a political movement advocating for Western Canada to separate from the rest of the country. However, the party's origins go back decades, and it has existed in several forms since the turn of the century. In 1999, Randy Thorsteinson founded the Alberta First Party after quitting as leader of the Social Credit Party with the goal of creating a more socially conservative competitor to the governing Progressive Conservatives. Thorsteinson's involvement with the party was limited, and after he left the party expanded to include more radical policies like the privatization of healthcare under the leadership of John Riel. The party failed to win seats in its first election in 2001, and in 2004, the party was briefly de-registered. At the same time, the Separation Party had just failed to get the signatures necessary to register as an official party, and so instead infiltrated the remains of the Alberta First Party and re-registered the party, changing the name to the Separation Party of Alberta. As the name would suggest, the Separation Party was a separatist party, and follows in the footsteps of similar historical parties like the Western Canada Concept.
Despite the change, the party didn't see any more success than Alberta First, frequently only getting double digit vote counts. Despite poor turnouts, the Separation Party never missed an election, even though Glen Dundas was frequently their only candidate. In 2013, the party re-named itself Alberta First, and in 2018 it renamed itself twice - first to the Western Freedom Party, and then to the current Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta when former Wildrose and UCP MLA Derek Fildebrandt took over the party leadership. After taking over the party, Fildebrandt claimed that the party is more of an autonomist and libertarian one, and less separatist, but has issued statements indicating that Alberta may need to consider separation if pipeline construction continues to be blocked. In 2019, after the party was shut out of the Legislature, Fildebrandt stepped down as leader and was replaced by David White. Party leadership changed again in 2020, when the party merged with Wexit (a then-unregistered party) to form the Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta, and former Alberta/Wildrose Alliance MLA and leader Paul Hinman took over the leadership as interim leader.
A Brief FCP Party History
For a full history of the WIPA in Alberta, click the "History" button below!
For a list of all WIPA MLAs, please click the "MLAs" button below!
For information on the WIPA's policies, click the "Policies" button below!
To see who's running for the WIPA in 2019, click the "Election" button below!