COCHRANE— In an effort to align Cochranites with their mission of a sovereign Alberta, the Wildrose Independence Party hosted a meet and greet with party leader Paul Hinman at Frank Wills Memorial Hall on Wednesday (Aug. 11).
Hinman, who was recently-elected as party leader in July, gave a 20-minute presentation outlining the changes that need to occur for Alberta to separate from the rest of Canada and become its own self-governing body.
Hinman said like any “broken partnership,” the first thing that needs to be dealt with is the bank accounts, the second thing is the process of setting up Alberta’s own judicial system.
“There will be an Alberta Revenue Agency, we’re not going to send our money down there [to Ottawa], we’re going to collect it locally,” he said.
“It is also necessary to turn our back on the Supreme Court,” Hinman added. “We actually want to go back to what I call the justice system rather than a legal system— Where the perpetrator is to do everything possible to make whole the individual that was harmed, whether it’s property or whether it was a body ... These people need to actually pay back society.”
During a question period one person in attendance asked what might happen to Alberta’s existing judges, and Hinman persisted that the entire system needs to be reset.
Hinman is also urging for a police force that is accountable to an elected civilian oversight.
“If the police aren’t protecting us, we’ll get rid of them,” he said. “We’re actually living as a society now that’s more concerned about compliance than we are if somebody’s property is being stolen, whether they’re being abused or attacked— All of those things are slow response.”
But none of these fundamental changes will be possible without first growing their support throughout the province, and he said the hope of some “dark horse” stepping up to do all the work is just not going to happen.
“If we go door-to-door and talk to people, grow our membership, we can win riding after riding," he said. “There are a lot of exceptional people here that I’m hoping will be willing to step into politics in Alberta.”
Hinman added that he hopes to see four or five people nominated from the area before the end of the year, and aims to grow their membership to 500 individuals which he believes will secure them a win come election time.
“I realize that we’re working hard here, we’ve got our candidate nominated, we have more people out speaking to individuals and communities," he said. “Paul Hinman is not the Lone Ranger ... I’m happy to get to that front line, but I’ve often laughed when I got elected both times, as we rush to the finish line, I was the only survivor.”
Hinman served as former leader of the Wildrose Alliance and as MLA from 2004-2008, representing the electoral district of Cardston-Taber-Warner. He returned in 2009, winning the election for Calgary-Glenmore, but was not re-elected for a second term.
Deborah Murphy who is running for Cochrane Town Council was also in attendance for the town hall, and Nadine Wellwood, who emceed the event, announced publicly for the first time that she would be running again for the People’s Party of Canada as a candidate for the Banff-Airdrie riding.