The former executive director of the Progressive Conservative party has joined up with the Alberta Party — and he expects other Tories will also jump ship to the dark horse party.
Troy Wason, who resigned as the party's top staffer the day after Jason Kenney won the PC leadership in March, confirmed Monday he has signed a contract with the Alberta Party to review its operations and make recommendations for improvement by the end of June.
"I looked at this organization. Philosophically it's very similar to where I'm at," he said in an interview.
"There were things I thought they could do to build so I put a proposal in to the board."
Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark, the MLA for Calgary-Elbow, holds the party's single seat in the legislature. The party raised only $13,050 in the first quarter of 2017, has no paid staff and Elections Alberta lists only 40 constituency associations in the province's 87 ridings.
On Twitter, Clark welcomed Wason aboard.
"Look forward to your help building a strong centrist party we can be proud of," he tweeted.
Great to have you on the team! Look forward to your help building a strong centrist party we can be proud of #ableg https://t.co/nAe5lRJCmk— Greg Clark (@GregClark4AB) May 1, 2017
Wason, a member of the PC party for 32 years, stepped down as executive director of the party on March 18 after Kenney won the leadership on a platform of uniting the Tories with the Wildrose.
Related: Jason Kenney to kick off unite-the-right plan after winning PC leadership
He said Monday that he was not comfortable with the direction Kenney was taking the party and a recent controversy over gay-straight alliances cemented his decision to leave the Tories.
"There are a lot of people looking for a new home," said Wason, adding that many Tories who helped keep the PC party alive after its 2015 election loss are interested in the Alberta Party.
"A lot of those volunteers are going to come over."
Clark recently took part in a meeting organized by former Edmonton mayor and PC cabinet minister Stephen Mandel about forming a broader centrist alternative in the province.
A spokesman for Kenney declined to comment. Discussions between the PCs and Wildrose on a unity agreement continue.