MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY, ALTA - Tim Hoven says a decision last week by United Conservative Party (UCP) officials to reaffirm an earlier party decision prohibiting him from seeking the nomination in the Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre constituency is unreasonable.
“I’m very disappointed and I know that there are hundreds and hundreds of people who are disappointed within this constituency,” Hoven told the Albertan. “I’m still getting messages and phone calls every day from people expressing their support for what I did, but also their disappointment that they are not going to have their voices heard.”
Hoven was seeking the UCP nomination in the constituency currently held by UCP MLA Jason Nixon, who is also the minister of Alberta Environment and Parks in the Jason Kenney government.
The nomination votes in the riding was scheduled for March 23-24. Nixon and Hoven were the only two people seeking the nomination.
On March 10 the party informed Hoven, an Eckville-area farmer, that he was being prohibited from seeking the nomination because he had followed a website platform linked to white nationalists in the U.S. and that he allegedly disparaged the RCMP at the Coutt’s border protests, he said.
“I was branded a white nationalist. I am not a white nationalist,” said Hoven. “At no time did I claim the RCMP engaged in a conspiracy to lie about the violence at the Coutts boarder crossing. I have never actually disparaged the institution of law enforcement or law enforcement officials.”
Hoven appealed the prohibition to the party’s board of directors.
On March 15 Hoven received a brief email from the committee denying his appeal. The email states, in part: “After discussion and examination of the materials relied upon by the PCSC (the committee) as well as your written submissions, no member of the board put forward a motion to overturn the decision of the PCSC. The rejection of your application is now final and binding.”
In his appeal, Hoven asked a number of questions and requests, including the names of members of the committee that reviewed his case and the names of the members of the committee who did not hear the case.
He also asked for the rules used by the committee, and a copy of the rules used by the board of the UCP when it sits as an appeal body for the committee.
Hoven said he is very disappointed that his questions and requests were not answered.
“In the appeal letter we had a list of questions so we could understand the process better and we got no response to any of those,” he said. “It doesn’t appear to be a very transparent procedure because all we had asked for are ‘what are the rules?’ and ‘what is the process?’ and ‘were the people who made the earlier decision involved in the appeal?’
“You should not be appealing to the people who made the original decision. There were a lot of questions we asked and we got no response to any of those.”
He reiterated his claim that the prohibition of him seeking the nomination is unjust.
“I have heard a few rumours of how there was active campaigning on my opponent’s side to the provincial board to reject my appeal,” he said. “Is that true? I don’t know; it’s a rumour. But I know that after Mr. Kenney allowed Mr. Jean to go through with his nomination it put him (Kenney) in a very awkward position.”
Asked if he will seek a nomination with another party or maybe as an independent, Hoven said, “That is a decision I’m going to have to make in the fall, to see if there is support for a different type of run. I’ve gotten that question from a lot of people and a lot of people would support that decision.”
Meanwhile, Hoven says he plans to attend the upcoming leadership review of Jason Kenney.
Asked if he is against Kenney’s leadership of the UCP, he said, “One of the reasons I ran for that nomination challenge is that I firmly believe that if Mr. Kenney is leading the party, it will be Premier Rachel Notley (NDP leader) in May of 2023.
“I think Mr. Kenney has shown that with what he’s done with his words and the lies he has spoken, I think he is unelectable. From the campaigning I did with the people here in Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre that feeling was only reinforced.”
MLA Jason Nixon did not immediately respond to several requests seeking comment.