Jason Kenney has resigned as the leader of the United Conservative Party, and as Premier of Alberta.
The resignation followed the outcome of the UCP’s leadership review vote. Kenney received 51.4 per cent yes versus 48.6 per cent no.
Speaking to members of his party, he said that this was sufficient to pass the threshold for majority, it was not sufficient to continue on as leader.
“And our members, a large number of our members, have asked for an opportunity to clear the air through a leadership election.”
Kenney has asked the UCP’s provincial board to schedule a leadership election.
He said that the last two years have been divisive for the province, blaming Covid-19.
“And disappointing as this result is for me, I am incredibly proud of the work that this team has done,” he said.
Kenney will stay on as leader and premier until a new leader is chosen. Also, there are no rules preventing Jason Kenney from running in the upcoming leadership campaign.
2023 election campaign begins this week
The former Premier praised his party, claiming that they met 90 per cent of their election commitments.
Kenney also didn’t miss an opportunity to take one last dig at the Prime Minister, stating that the province won a historic win against Trudeau in the courts over pipelines.
Cynthia Moore, president of the UCP, thanked the returning officers and Deloitte for handing the leadership vote.
“Whatever the results, we need to focus on being the United Conservative Party,” she said.
“Tomorrow is the start of the 2023 election campaign. We have a lot of work to do, and we need to do that together as a team.”
Former Premier Rachel Notley, and leader of Alberta’s NDP, took to social media to praise Kenney for his service in public office.
“There are obviously many things about which we don’t agree, but that doesn’t negate the time and sacrifice that goes into taking on the role of Premier,” she said.
The NDP has stated they will respond to Kenney’s resignation on Thursday.
Former Wildrose Party Leader, Danielle Smith also thanked Jason Kenney for his contributions to the conservative movement in Alberta.
“I would like to thank Premier Jason Kenney for his commitment to public service and for his historic contribution to uniting the right in Alberta,” she said.
“The result we have witnessed today is a truly grassroots resolution. The membership of the United Conservative Party is hungry for a leader that will be responsive and fight for the interests of Alberta.”
Smith said she would be holding a press conference on Thursday as a result of Kenney’s resignation.