The announcement of an Alberta MLA to disown the Progressive Conservative caucus and sit as an independent member has prompted Premier Alison Redford to cancel her New West Partnership meetings on Thursday morning as she tends to deal with her ruptured caucus. Several sources claim that as many as 20 Progressive Conservative MLAs had threatened to leave the party, asking Redford to pay back the $45,000 cost of her trip to Nelson Mandela’s funeral in December, which she finally did on Wednesday afternoon.
However, the gesture did not satisfy Calgary-Foothills MLA, Len Webber, who announced to quit the caucus on Wednesday night and sit as an independent because Redford is a “bully” and “abusive.” Webber alleged that he hopes other MLAs will follow his lead. Furthermore, he explained that “what threw me off is the announcement yesterday about her paying back the $45,000, making it sound like it wasn’t her fault … It wasn’t sincere, it was forced.” Making the announcement on Thursday, he added that “she should have paid it back right away and she never did. That’s what threw me over. That was the final straw.”