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United Conservative Caucus recognized as the Official Opposition
Published Tuesday, July 25, 2017 3:00PM MDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 25, 2017 7:34PM MDT
The Official Opposition in Alberta is now the newly created United Conservative Caucus, after being recognized by the Speaker of the Legislature.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Speaker Robert Wanner said he has received written confirmation from 22 members of the Wildrose Caucus, and seven members of the Progressive Conservative Caucus, of their intent to sit as members of the United Conservative Caucus.
As a result, Wanner has recognized the new caucus as the new Official Opposition.
“The United Conservative Caucus has the largest number of opposition seats and therefore is recognized as the Official Opposition Caucus in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta,” Wanner said in a release. “Nathan Cooper, the MLA for Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills is recognized as the Leader of the Official Opposition.”
Wanner also sent a letter to Cooper confirming the recognition on Tuesday.
While the UCP has been recognized as the Official Opposition, it has not yet been recognized as a party by Elections Alberta. CTV News learned Monday that the papers to do so had been filed.
House Leadership for UCP selected
A day after he was named interim leader of the UCP, Nathan Cooper announced the interim caucus leadership team for the new party.
Working alongside Cooper: Deputy Leader Mike Ellis, MLA for Calgary-West, House Leader Richard Gotfried, MLA for Calgary-Fish Creek, Caucus whip Jason Nixon, MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre, and Caucus Chair Prasad Panda, MLA for Calgary-Foothills.
Officials said caucus leadership has agreed to not participate in any leadership campaign.