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Two Candidates Canceled at UCP Leadership Forum Co-Hosted by Pro-Alberta Independents

Former Finance Minister Travis Towes and Former Child Services Minister Rebecca Schultz attend the United Conservative Leadership Forum co-hosted by and withdrawn and cancelled. Independent group. 

Toews' campaign co-chair told CBC News on Friday that Toews' team was advocated by the Alberta Prosperity Project (APP) . The front page of its website says, "The road to freedom and prosperity is led by independence."

A spokeswoman for Schultz confirmed to CBC News that she also declined the debate after previously promising to attend. In Edmonton, it will host a leadership forum co-hosted by right-wing media group Rebel News.

Posters for a dinner and forum hosted by the Alberta Prosperity Project and Rebel News before Toews and Schulz announced their withdrawal. (Alberta Prosperity Project/Facebook)

Danielle Smith, Brian Jean and Todd Loewen are also claimed as participants. All three have confirmed that they will be attending the event on Friday. 

In a joint statement, Toews and Schulz said they were not participating in the fundraising event "to support third-party advocacy groups supporting an independent Alberta." Stated.

They also expressed concern about plans to establish a political party to compete with the constituency coalition, posted on his APP website.

"I hope other candidates will reconsider their positions in favor of separatism," she added Toews and Schulz.

In a statement, Dennis Modry, APP's chief executive, said Toews and Shulz 's decision not to participate meant that they would "remove all Alberta."

"Their unwillingness to participate in political dialogue is a sign that the thousands of APP members who follow our organization are not willing to engage in political dialogue." message to the people of Alberta," Modley wrote to CBC News.

“Political dialogue is a sign of a progressive society, and their non-engagement clearly shows that they do not care about all Albertans. Chris Warkentin, co-chair of

Toews' leadership bid, said APP was using the event to raise funds. Knowing that, he says his campaign was a disappointment. He sells dinner tickets for $150 each and VIP tickets for $350 for special access to candidates.

Information about the group's purpose and ticket prices had been posted on the group's website and social media since early August, but Toews organizers said it was only recently that they became aware of it. Warkentin says.

Warkentin is responsible.

posted on his Facebook page for the Alberta Prosperity Project on Friday. (Alberta Prosperity Project/Facebook)

"I didn't pay enough attention to this," said Campaign Co-Chair, Northwest Alberta said he was a Conservative MP.

Advocates vouched for the credibility of his APP, he says, Warkentin.

"I should have googled this group like any normal person would," said Warkentin.

Toews' decision to withdraw his fundraiser for the independent group came a day after CBC News inquired about his participation in . A few hours later, Schultz told CBC that she was also withdrawing from the debate.

"Why on earth would they alienate this group and its thousands of supporters by withdrawing from the forum? They would say Just a regular, hard working Albertan who is very frustrated with Ottawa. .

"I urge Travis to speak with these Albertans and if Alberta leads the way in ensuring compliance with the Provincial Constitution and the reassertion and protection of provincial rights, Canada will Explain to them how you are planning to do so.''

She said Toews would not be attending. added that he hopes to reconsider his decision to.

Stance on Independence

No one is a candidate, but some are taking positions that would change the state's relationship with Canada.

However, Prime Minister Smith said his priority on his first day as prime minister would be to initiate a bill called the Alberta Sovereignty Act. It would also be able to stop enforcing federal laws that unilaterally decide not to comply with or violate its jurisdiction.

Jean said he would broadly fight for "autonomy" in Alberta, but the other candidates, with the exception of Rowen, called Smith's play of "sovereignty" unconstitutional and chaotic.

APP is not a political party, but an organization launched in January. Its leaders toured the province holding talks and barbecues to further their vision of an independent republic in Alberta.

Toews' initial plan to attend an event co-sponsored by Rebel News wasoutgoing Prime Minister outgoing Ezra Levant's often inflammatory and activist Conflicted with Jason Kenny's past decision to separate from digital manipulation, said he took an "alt-right editorial policy" in 2017.

UCP ministers mostly avoid rebellion news, but Jean and Smith recently gave an interview.

``Not surprised''

Mount Lori Williams, who is an associate professor of policy studies at the Royal University, says she is not surprised that some candidates are withdrawing from the forum.

“No wonder some people are wondering if they want to attend this event. ' she said.

But this could have been an opportunity for moderate candidates to question Daniel Smith about the Alberta sovereignty law she proposed, she added. 96} "But it may just be playing too much with the fringe... and it may do more harm than good," said Williams.

"Frankly, I was surprised that any candidate other than Daniel Smith, Todd Lowen and Brian Jean was involved in this right place on the spectrum."