Manitoba MLA and former federal cabinet minister Steven Fletcher is planning to take the reins of The Manitoba Party, after finding himself on bad terms with the federal and provincial Conservatives.

This comes just a few weeks after Quebec MP Maxime Bernier quit the Conservatives, saying he plans to start his own political party. Fletcher said he thought about joining Bernier’s new party, but now hopes The Manitoba Party will become its provincial sister instead.

Fletcher said he’s going to run a “serious” party that will include candidates from the 57 Manitoba ridings in the 2020 provincial election.

In past elections groups have used The Manitoba Party name, but Fletcher notes that no one previously involved in the party is still active.

Elections Manitoba confirmed a change of leadership in The Manitoba Party, but party board members said they were unaware of Fletcher’s plans.

- With files from The Canadian Press