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Premier Kenney says province ready to work with progressive municipal councils

Premier Jason Kenney denied on Tuesday that the election of progressive councils in Edmonton and Calgary have any reflection on the United Conservative Party.

Speaking to the press during the regular Tuesday Covid-19 update to the province, the premier said that municipal elections are about issues not ideologies.

“I think it is, but elections are generally on very practical issues and they’re very local,” he said.

The premier also denied that conservative candidates in either city had connections to, or were backed by, members of the government. He said that it was important for the government to avoid turning municipal politics into a “partisan exercise.”

Kenney also pointed out that despite the election of two Liberal and two NDP members of parliament earlier this year, that the federal Conservative party won an overwhelming majority of Alberta’s seats in parliament.

Party politics co-mingles with municipal elections

Responding to a question during Tuesday’s media availability, he said that the question asked about UCP involvement in municipal races was incorrect.

“Well you’re just factually inaccurate there, so I’d ask you to go back and not report something that is untrue or the United Conservative Party was not involved in supporting candidates.”

A Facebook post from Minister of Justice Kacee Madu made on Sunday, Oct. 17, said that Madu agreed with the endorsement of Edmonton council candidates Kim Krushnell, Cheryl Watson, and Michael Oshry by former mayor Bill Smith.

The Facebook post, as archived by CTV’s Kevin Nimmock, called on voters to reject what Madu called “Trudeau’s agents in Edmonton’s City Hall.”

Madu congratulated both Amarjeet Sohi, a former Liberal MP and federal minister under the Trudeau government, and Jyoti Gondek on Facebook after their respective electoral wins.

CTV Edmonton previously reported that some NDP MLAs had also given personal endorsements to municipal candidates.

Back to work, in one direction

Calgary mayor-elect Jyoti Gondek she’s been pro-Calgary during the campaign, despite often being critical of the province’s work.

“When our citizens deserved better, I wasn’t afraid to ask for that,” Gondek said.

“I am looking forward to speaking with the province to find out what their plans are. And where we have a role to play.”

Kenney said that his government is ready to work with all of the councils, including Calgary’s and Edmonton’s, that were elected.

“Our government will work with all of the mayors and councillors elected to try to move in the same direction in addressing the COVID crisis and in economic growth and recovery emerging from it,” he said.

He said that he had calls with both mayor-elects from Calgary and Edmonton Tuesday.

“I hope that we can find a collaborative and positive working relationship,” he said.

“Let’s row together in the same direction towards job creation and economic growth.”