RECAP: Which Conservative leadership candidates won Albertans over during Stampede?

The Western Standard hosted CPC leadership candidates last week in Calgary, but only three showed up. Rebel News was there to listen, question and see how this crowd of Albertans would respond.

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The Calgary Stampede is the perfect time of year for local and provincial politicians to meet with their constituents, and provides a great opportunity for media to catch them in public.

From flipping pancakes to flipping on their word, Rebel News has dominated the breakfasts and the Stampede grounds.

But in time for a leadership election in the Conservative Party, candidates wouldn't dare miss an opportunity to speak to the thousands of Albertans — which majority lean to the right.

On Friday July 8, the Western Standard hosted a series of fireside talks with leadership hopefuls after readjusting a debate format due to candidates pulling out — or flat out being disqualified from the race.

Pierre Poilievre, being across the street at a fundraiser and Leslyn Lewis already having locked in for another event, left just Jean Charest, Roman Baber and Scott Aitchison in the crosshairs of Derek Fildebrandt, publisher at Western Standard.

Jean Charest surprised everyone in the room. The former premier of Quebec was applauded for his plans to amend equalization — a smothering federal policy on the Albertan economy.

Roman Baber, known for being removed from Doug Ford's Ontario Progressive Conservative caucus because of his principled stance on lockdowns and mandates, really left a mark on the Albertans in the room as the draconian measures arguably led to the resignation of premier Jason Kenney.

While Mr. Aitchison, not being the most exciting candidate, of the race and of the night — stood out most on what he will do on gun control, Alberta having the highest number of firearm licences in the country.

After the fireside chats ended, the candidates took part in a media pool. Rebel News fielded a five person team — including Ezra Levant asking questions.

Mr. Baber stepped up next in the free for all.

As for Mr. Aitchison, he didn't stay for the questioning period, which had to have been no longer than 15 minutes.

All in all, it was anti-climactic — and although Mr. Charest was the clear winner of the night's fight to claim the hearts of Albertan Conservatives, which candidate will do right by the West?

If you liked this coverage, please consider helping out at While it's exciting, it isn't free for us to chase around politicians. Your support is appreciated and it helps keep our leaders honest — sometimes.

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