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One party under PC banner?

A legal review of Alberta law suggests there is no reason why the Progressive Conservative and Wildrose parties cannot legally join to form a new political entity before the next provincial election.

The report from five lawyers comes as newly elected PC Leader Jason Kenney and Wildrose Leader Brian Jean hold their first meeting to discuss a possible merger.

The review was not commissioned by either political party.

Kenney said Sunday he wants to begin talks as soon as possible with the Opposition Wildrose to try to merge before the next vote in 2019.

Alberta election rules forbid two parties from merging and dictates that they fold up and surrender their assets.

The legal review suggests a corporate merger — although complicated — would avoid any rules or restrictions under Alberta law.

The report's authors found no election or finance legislation prohibiting the merger of two non-profit organizations that happen to be registered political parties.

The review suggests the new party would have two valid registrations and could decide to terminate or suspend one of them.

The report, written by a group calling themselves the Alberta Conservative Consolidation Legal Review and Strategy Committee, has been forwarded to both political parties.

Kenney has said he remains optimistic that any Progressive Conservatives opposed to a merger will change their minds once they see what a new political entity would look like.

He said he has no intention of moving the PCs any further to the right side of the political spectrum and wants the new party to be open to people of all political stripes.



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