September 15, 2021
During a tense meeting of Alberta’s United Conservative Party (UCP) Caucus Tuesday, three MLAs told Premier Jason Kenney they had “no confidence” in his continued premiership of the province and leadership of the party, multiple sources told the Western Standard.
Sources inside of the caucus told the Western Standard the emergency meeting saw sharp polarization around the issues of putting the province under another lockdown, a potential mandatory vaccine passport, and firing healthcare workers who do not agree to be vaccinated.
According to the MLAs who attended the caucus meeting, three MLAs openly told Kenney they had “no confidence” in him, and that several others implied as much using softer language.
The sources all gave the same three names, but none of the three MLAs responded to request for comment or confirmation from the Western Standard.
One of the sources said many in the caucus were “beyond frustrated” with Kenney and Health Minister Tyler Shandro for the “complete mishandling” of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One MLA told the caucus: “It doesn’t matter what happens now, I’m finished politically because of this.”
Another MLA told the Western Standard the caucus does not have final say over a potential return to another round of lockdowns or the imposition of vaccine passports, but a decision on those matters is expected to be made public “very soon.”
The latest caucus uproar comes as Kenney went back on his promise that Alberta was “open for good” with the reimposition of several COVID-19 restrictions two weeks ago.
“We need to bring back measures we know have worked in the past,” said Shandro.
He said this includes forced masking in all indoor public and workplaces, and a prohibition on alcohol sales after 10 p.m.
The government also recommended employers delay the return of staff to the workplace, and that unvaccinated Albertans do not have indoor social gatherings.
The move comes as an about-face by Kenney and the UCP government, which pledged the lifting of restrictions on July 1 was permanent and would not return.