Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Separatists on parade, 9: Harper once supported separatist Erik Gregson

Returning to Erik Gregson, who will be Chair of the founding convention for the WBTA (thumb-nail to the right).

As we have seen, Gregson came out as a separatist on his radio show in 2005. By this point he had an impressive history within the Reform, Alliance, and now Conservative Party, according to the profile on his WBTA page:
    Erik got involved in the Reform Party in 1993 and has since sat on various boards for both the Reform Party and the Canadian Alliance …

    During his time in the Canadian Alliance, Erik has been a key planner, organizer and moderator of three Alberta Policy Conferences. …

    Over the past 15 years Erik has been involved in numerous political campaigns for other candidates. On April 16, 2003 Erik was the Chief Returning Officer for Stephen Harper's nomination.
Given his resumé, it is not particularly surprising that in 2004 (only a year before coming out as a separatist), his prospects within the party were good enough that he sought the nomination of the federal riding of Macleod. Nomination would have guaranteed his election, since Macleod is one of the safest Conservative seats in the country.

In the end, however, Gregson lost the nomination to Ted Menzies, Macleod's current MP. He made a race of it though, especially after he was endorsed by Stephen Harper (who was then campaigning for the leadership of the newly merged Conservative party). Below is the story from Ft. Macleod's local paper, the Western Wheel from Feb. 18, 2004.

A few points deserve special attention. Harper's endorsement was regarded as unusual at the time, and is explained by Gregson's earlier support for Harper and by the fact that he was Harper's personal friend.
Western-Wheel Harper Gregson
      The Western Wheel from Feb. 18, 2004 (vol. 29, no. 29, via

Other posts in this series: