Students question PC representation on campus

By Natalie Sit

The Progressive Conservatives are currently being portrayed in the media as having a difficult year. Their troubles, it seems, are trickling down to the Progressive Conservative Youth Association-University of Calgary.

Janson Chan, a member of the PCA, wants to start a new PC club, the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada-U of C Club on campus. He believes the current PC club does not fulfill their mandate as written out in the PCA constitution.

"The problem is their mandate is to support federal and provincial [PC] parties," said Chan. "They failed to do the former. They are promoting our adversary’s stuff."

Robert Hawkes, Director of the Calgary West PC Association and former alumnus of the PCA finds the matter frustrating.

"They actively promote Reform," said Hawkes. "There are links to the Reform party, common executive members [between the Reform and PC club], links to the United Alternative. There are no links to the federal PC association in Ottawa."

Students’ Union Vice-president Operations & Finance Matt Lauzon believes the problem lies in miscommunication and that PCA president Jeff Henwood should not be blamed.

"Jeff [Henwood] wants to fill the mandate and represent the PCs provincially and federally," said Lauzon. "This is his goal. It’s not fair to punish him based on what happened last year."

Chan brought his application for a new club to the Aug. 21 meeting of the SU’s Club Committee. The committee reviewed the evidence Chan brought in to prove the PCA was not fulfilling their mandate. Student Academic Assembly Social Sciences Representative Michelle McCann explained the SU and the Clubs Committee decided to limit clubs that have the same mandate. Lauzon stated the PCPC provided enough
evidence but the PCA should be contacted to review their mandate with the committee. The committee decided to move the sanctioning of the PCPC to the next meeting.

At the second meeting on Sept. 7, the committee agreed to allow Henwood time to change the constitution and review the matter at a later date.

"We went to a meeting on Sept. 7 and dealt with [the application] and the application was denied," said Henwood.

Henwood is considering plans to meet with the PCA executive to change to a exclusively provincial mandate and hold an annual general meeting to inform the club.

Hawkes believes the presence of Clubs Committee Chair Jordan Bonner and former executive for the Reform Party on campus influenced the discussion and there was bias toward the PCA. According to Lauzon, Bonner did not participate in the PCA/PCPC section of the meeting.

"Jordan Bonner gave the chair to me for the meeting," said Lauzon. "Basically he removed himself."

Chan is willing to work with Henwood and expects Henwood to work with him.

"It’s important we have a balance [on campus]," said Chan. "All voices are heard but the federal PC voice is missing.

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