Numerous polls suggest that Danielle Smith, Brian Jean and Travis Toews have emerged as front-runners in the race for leadership of Alberta’s United Conservative Party. The Western Standard hosted a debate featuring the three leadership favourites at The Rooftop YYC in Calgary on August 9. If you missed the debate, you can catch our live coverage here.

Compared to previous UCP and even federal Conservative debates, the event was competently executed, with Western Standard’s president Derek Fildebrandt serving as an effective debate moderator posing challenging questions and allowing the three candidates to engage and even exchange a few political jabs. Having three candidates rather than seven on the stage also afforded attendees a more in-depth look at the potential future leader, rather than the inevitable brief sound bites that can result with a crowded stage and strict time limits.

We spoke with Fildebrandt about the unique front-runner format of the debate. We were also joined by MLA and UCP leadership hopeful Todd Loewen, who was disappointed to not be participating in the debate but thought it still worthwhile to attend the event. John Carpay, president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, also joined us to discuss some of the key issues that he believes Albertans are concerned over.

During the media scrum, I asked Danielle Smith about her net-zero comments, pressed Travis Toews on his claim that he was unaware of Deena Hinshaw’s massive COVID-19 bonus, and asked Brian Jean why politicians in Alberta feel the need to apologize for our ethical oil. My colleague Selene Galas also asked Jean about what he plans to do to address the insertion of progressive gender ideology in schools.

To watch Rebel News’ exclusive interviews and extensive coverage of the UCP leadership race, be sure to check in regularly at

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