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Alberta's right-centre party leaders meet following weekend PC convention

Last Updated Mar 20, 2017 at 5:09 am MDT

Jason Kenney delivers his victory speech at the Alberta PC Party leadership convention in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, March 18, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY – The new leader of Alberta’s Progressive Conservative party wants to begin negotiations as soon as possible with the opposition Wildrose with a goal of merging the two parties before the next provincial election.

Former federal Conservative cabinet minister Jason Kenney will meet with Wildrose leader Brian Jean Monday in Edmonton.

Kenney says there is a lot of work ahead but if all goes well he would like a new party ready to go within a year.

He says he had a positive first meeting with the PC executive on Sunday morning.

Kenney remains optimistic that any Progressive Conservatives opposed to a merger will change their minds once they see what the new political entity looks like.

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