September 18, 2021
The Western Standard has obtained an email from the vice-president (policy) of Alberta’s United Conservative Party (UCP) calling for an emergency meeting of the province-wide board of directors to discuss a leadership review of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.
Joel Mullan e-mailed the party’s board of directors at 8:33 pm MST September 17, under the subject line “Leadership review—request for meeting.”
“In light of events this past week, I believe we should meet and therefore request a meeting,” wrote Mullan.
“Specifically, I think we need to carefully consider the option of initiating a leadership review. I believe the future of our party may be at stake.”
The Western Standard spoke to a member of the party’s board of directors who received the e-mail who said—on condition of anonymity—a timely review of Kenney’s leadership has “become inevitable.”
As of publishing it’s not known if the request for an emergency meeting has been accepted by party president Ryan Becker or the board at large.
One day before, the Western Standard reported the UCP constituency association (CA) in Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills voted almost unanimously to trigger a prompt leadership review of Kenney.
The party currently has a review scheduled for late 2022, but that could be within six months of the next election, and for local CA president Robert Smith, that’s not good enough.
By a vote of 27-1, the CA’s board voted to send a letter to the party demanding a review before that as soon as possible, but before next March, said Smith.
“We would love for it to happen tomorrow,” Smith told the Western Standard.
“In talking to people, mainly rural people, it’s fair to say we have no confidence in the premier.”
While the letter was sent on the heels of controversial new COVID-19 lockdown restrictions introduced by Kenney—including the imposition of a vaccine passport—Smith stressed the letter wasn’t as a result of that, but had been brewing for months.
But he said those restrictions could help the momentum to reach the mark of 22 ridings needed to spark a leadership review.
Smith said he gets a sense in talking to other constituency association leaders “critical mass of 22 ridings could have been reached now.
“I feel confident in saying that target can now be met. I’m surprised it hasn’t been met before,” he said.
One of the biggest concerns for the board was when the now infamous pictures f Kenney holding an outdoor dinner on the balcony of the “Sky Palace”—in contravention of the government’s of laws, regulations, and guidelines—were published.
“The entitlement and the double standard incensed the board,” said Smith.
In April, a UCP MLA told the Western Standard they are “100% certain” Kenney will be the subject of an early party leadership review.
“Caucus is in total chaos,” said the MLA, who spoke with the Western Standard on the condition of anonymity.
The Western Standard reported earlier there are at least eight ridings now on board for a review.