Danielle Smith’s Campaign Hired A Serial NDP/Liberal Candidate And Trudeau Supporter

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on August 28, 2022

Former Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith is currently pursuing a run for the leadership of the United Conservative Party of Alberta with a campaign primarily focused on pushing a populist pro-sovereignty agenda. 

Although Smith is portraying herself as one of the more conservative candidates in the UCP leadership race, it is not exactly an accurate portrayal.

Smith has always been on the left of most social issues (especially when it comes to abortion) and even said at a recent candidates debate, hosted by the Alberta Prosperity Project and Rebel News, that she would allow biological men to compete in women’s sports in some instances.

Even on fiscal issues, Smith tends to be fairly middle-of-the-road compared to her opponents, who either know the issues better than her or are more hawkish when it comes to making cuts and reallocating government spending. 

One aspect of Smith’s campaign that seems to confirm that her conservative principles are not as solid as she tries to make them appear, is the hiring of Mike Butler onto her campaign. 

Butler, according to his business cards, is Smith’s deputy campaign manager for northern Alberta, but before this political gig, Butler was an NDP and Liberal Party candidate, both provincially and federally.

(Photo sent to The National Telegraph of Mike Butler’s business card for Danielle Smith’s campaign)

In order his candidacy history has been:

  1. Provincial NDP (2008)

  2. Federal NDP (2008)

  3. Federal Liberals (2011)

  4. Provincial Liberals (2012)

He was even serving as the Alberta Liberals Vice President up until 2014 when he announced he was leaving to join the Alberta Party, which is effectively the continuation of the provincial Liberals after that party started to quickly decline after 2012. 

In 2019, Butler, still very much on board with the premiership of Rachel Notey, campaigned for NDP MLA Sarah Hoffman, who was the current Alberta Minister of Health.

(Mike Butler campaigning for Sarah Hoffman)

Even though it’s been around 10 years since Butler ran for one of those left-wing Canadian parties, he has still remained a supporter of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and other Liberal MPs, even during the period of draconian lockdowns and other public health restrictions.

In a Facebook post made in February of 2021, Mike Butler praised the performance of the British Columbia NDP while stating that he is still a “strong federal Liberal.”

Butler stated:

I want to thank the BC NDP for handling this pandemic responsibility with positive effects for everyday people. I am obviously a strong federal Liberal and proud of the hard work our Prime Minister and government [that] has really been there for our family.

(All photos found on Mike Butler’s Facebook profile)

This article is not meant to go after Mr. Butler but rather get a better insight on how Danielle Smith’s campaign operates and the sort of people she surrounds herself with while she is leading a political campaign. 

I got the opportunity to asked Danielle Smith about the presence of Mike Butler on her campaign while at a Pierre Poilievre rally in Calgary. During a walking interview she seemed to feign having no knowledge of who Butler is, and said that her overall campaign manager, Matt Altheim does all the hiring, and declared “we are trying to build a big tent here” when told about Butler’s political background. 

(Correction in the video: Butler is wrongly referred to as being a candidate for the Alberta Party at one point when he only joined the Alberta Party in 2014)

It is implausible that Smith does not know who Mike Butler is, seeing as he is one of her deputy campaign managers (a prominent role on any campaign), and he was seen with her at the Alberta Prosperity Project / Rebel News debate that took place in Edmonton a few days ago. 

The National Telegraph had an attendee at that event confirm that they saw Butler at that event, who stated:

Mike Butler attended the APP and Rebel News leadership forum on Thursday evening. He introduced himself as a Smith campaign volunteer. He carried a notebook and asked event attendees to write down ideas of things they’d like to hear Smith talk about.

Frankly, Butler would not be a controversial presence if he was a deputy campaign manager for Leela Aheer, or Rajan Sawhney, but seeing as he is on Danielle Smith’s campaign, who is trying to cast herself as a true blue Alberta patriot, it makes it come across as odd at first glance.

But to go back to the point made at the start of this article, it is likely that Butler is not out of place on Smith’s campaign, based on the socially left-wing positions and not particularly ambitious fiscal platform Danielle Smith is running on. 

Right now, it seems like Smith’s strategy for the leadership race is to hide her centre-left views from UCP voters by focusing primarily on Alberta autonomy issues, before pivoting leftward once she becomes premier. She already indicated that someone like Butler is part of the “big tent party” she wants to lead, which should make UCP members question what the party will look like if someone who is “obviously a strong federal Liberal” will be perfectly comfortable inside a United Conservative Party led by Smith.

(Photo from the CBC)

Mike Butler, and other rumored centre-left campaign staff, are merely reflective of the fact that Danielle Smith is still not a particularly conservative person. She can use her skills as a talk radio show host to keep people on the dial long enough to potentially become the next premier of Alberta, but the tough no-nonsense conservative attitude she is putting on is unlikely to carry forward past the leadership race, just like it didn’t when she was the leader of the Wildrose Party.

On a personal note, I think it is the perfect encapsulation of Smith’s on-the-surface populist campaign that she is using funds she is raising from United Conservative Party members to pay a career left-wing party organizer and candidate. Absolutely priceless.


Since this article was released, photos have surfaced showing that Mike Butler was working for the very pro-vaccine mandate British Columbia NDP in July of 2022. This is in spite of Butler claiming in an op-ed, as well as other members of the Smith campaign, that he had become a conservative in 2021, due to being unvaccinated.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

5 responses to “Danielle Smith’s Campaign Hired A Serial NDP/Liberal Candidate And Trudeau Supporter”

  1. Brian Szabo says:

    I will never vote again….provincially or federal they all lie can’t be trusted to do what’s right

  2. Doug Thomas says:

    What a candidate does or says during a campaign is all window dressing and B.S. to get elected and has little bearing on what they will actually do after being elected. Now, to get elected you hire the best people you can to do the job and their personal views do not matter or have any bearing. The object is to get the candidate elected so you use whatever people and B.S. will get the job done.

  3. Elna says:

    My next question: How is it that the rest of the “conservative” candidates don’t know about Mike Butler and hold Daniel Smith accountable?
    God alone can save this land, “glorious and free”!

  4. Tammy Durham says:

    For all of you that speak of Danielle’s campaign manager he has not been with the liberal party since 2014. Your lies and deceptions do not deter the people who actually do their own research. 2014 is when Trudeau came to power. Hello? Anyone in their right mind would have left them seeing that party went to hell in a hand basket. People can grow and change their minds. You close minded people are that of the Rino party in the USA! Wake up! Have you never changed? Have you never did a 180 and saw where you went wrong?!

  5. Jim Durnin says:

    Everyone should exercise their right to vote. Do research and select the best candidate based on your own values!! Well written article with additional FUD thrown towards Danielle Smith. I will have to check the above information out as my wife and I decide who to vote for to become head of the party. Travis Toews is a politician with a reasonable background. Some of us are fed up with the little progress that has made in the almost 40 years since the NEP of Pierre Trudeau. It is time to move forward and allow Alberta and Albertans to realize our maximum potential while being treated fairly by Ottawa, which has not been the case in the 42 years that I have lived in Alberta.