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Wildrose Party peers praise Livingstone-Macleod MLA Pat Stier

pat stier

Livingstone-Macleod MLA Pat Stier was praised Friday by fellow Wildrose Party MLAs Derek Fildebrandt and Wayne Anderson.

Pat Stier earned praised Friday night for the leadership he provided to the Wildrose Party during a turbulent time.
Wildrose MLAs Derek Fildebrandt and Wayne Anderson both lauded the Livingstone-Macleod MLA for his work in the year following the defection of leader Danielle Smith and other MLAs.
“Pat stuck with Wildrose in its darkest hour,” Fildebrandt said. “The darkest hour that any political party in the history of this country has had to face. And we endured it better than any party possibly could.”
Fildebrandt, who is MLA for Strathmore-Brooks, and Wayne Anderson, MLA for Highwood, were at a party fund-raiser Friday at Claresholm.
About 50 people turned out at Putters Restaurant at the Claresholm Golf Club.
“Pat means a lot to me,” Fildebrandt said. “Pat is a truly great MLA.”
Stier was first elected Livingstone-Macleod MLA in 2012 when he defeated incumbent Progressive Conservative Evan Berger.
Stier won a second term in 2015, again defeating Berger along with New Democrat and Liberal candidates.
Fildebrandt recalled that on Dec. 19, 2014 he decided to attend a Wildrose Christmas party in the Highwood riding.
That was the day after Smith, the MLA for Highwood as well as the party leader, defected to the Progressive Conservative Party.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” Fildebrandt said. “I was shellshocked as all of you were. Those folks were really shellshocked . . . they lost their MLA, they lost their leader, and many of them lost their friend.”
People at the party were sad, angry and uncertain about their party’s future.
“There was a glimmer of hope,” Fildebrandt said. “We still had at least one member of caucus.”
Fildebrandt was referring to Stier, who attended that Christmas party and spoke to the Wildrose members.
Stier, who was one of only five Wildrose MLAs who didn’t cross the floor, told the Highwood audience that night he couldn’t predict the party’s future.
Stier did, however, provide some words of encouragement.
“The Wildrose has a future, and the future of conservatism will go on as long as we continue to fight,” Fildebrandt quoted Stier. “Pat gave me the courage to stand up that night too.”
Fildebrandt, who from 2009-’14 was Alberta director for the Canadian Taxpayers Association, won a seat in the last provincial election.
At present, Stier is the municipal affairs critic in the Wildrose Official Opposition.
As one of only three veteran Wildrose MLAs, Stier is credited with providing needed leadership as the party serves as Official Opposition to the New Democrat government.
“Pat provides a lot of wisdom to all the new caucus members,” Fildebrandt said, turning to the movie Star Wars for an analogy. “I sort of think of him (Stier), he’s Obi Wan to my Luke Skywalker.”
Anderson, who was a founding member of the Wildrose Party, echoed those comments.
“The Wildrose Party came back,” Anderson said. “Five brave people stood up to the treachery and deceit of the last regime, and one of them was my good friend Pat.”
Anderson said Stier found himself in a tough position when the defections occurred.
“He’s a man of principle,” Anderson said of Stier.
Stier said the party has been through a lot but it has survived because of grassroots support.
“To say it’s been a challenge would truly be an understatement,” Sier said. “I guess we in the Wildrose are warm of heart and we have very strong spirit.”
Stier said the party rebuilt itself, chose a strong leader in Brian Jean and has proven its status as Official Opposition.

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