Merger of parties ‘fanatastic’: Skeena MP Andy Burton

  • Oct. 20, 2003 8:00 p.m.

The proposed merger of the Alliance and the Conservative parties is a fantastic development which could lead the country’s right-wingers to victory in the next federal election, says Skeena MP Andy Burton.
“It’s a matter of bringing like-minded, like-thinking Canadians together,” Mr. Burton told the Observer from his office in Ottawa earlier on Monday. “We look at this as an exciting time. The name of the game here is to put the federal Liberals on the run.”
The merger, put forward by party leaders Stephen Harper and Peter MacKay, must be approved by the membership of both parties by Dec. 12. Mr. Burton, who discussed the union with other Alliance MPs on Sunday evening, said it’s difficult to imagine that it won’t go through.
“Our caucus is very supportive of it,” he said. “For the good of Canada, we have to look to the future.”
The new party will be known as the Conservative Party of Canada, he added.
The feeling in Ottawa is that an election may be called as soon as this April, Mr. Burton said. Paul Martin is set to take over as Liberal leader and Prime Minister next month, and although the Liberals will have two years left in their mandate, “everything points to this spring,” he said.
Mr. Burton said he will run again to represent the Skeena riding, and in fact has already received the nomination for the Canadian Alliance. If the merger goes through, he may have to seek the nomination again under the Conservative Party flag, and said he will definitely do so.
Members of the Alliance and Conservative parties who live on the islands will be receiving information packages in the mail telling them exactly how to vote for or against the proposed merger, Mr. Burton said. And if you’re not a member of the Alliance party, it’s not too late – you can join up today and have a say. To buy a membership, islanders can call Lorne Sexton in Terrace at 638-0808 or 635-7732.