April 9, 2022
“Alberta is back” after emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, says Premier Jason Kenney.
The United Conservative Party (UCP) leader was making his final bid to members on Saturday, as they began voting on his leadership.
Unity was a key theme of Kenney’s speech, as he seeks to hold onto power and keep conservatives together to keep the NDP out of government, as he did in 2019, when he merged the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties.
Kenney referred back to that merger, saying he stepped-up with a vision to unite the parties, despite critics saying it couldn’t be done.
“I take it as encouragement,” he said. “Never tell an Albertan what cannot be done because that just encourages us.”
The premier also took aim at the Rachel Notley’s NDP government, which he defeated in 2019, saying they “raised taxes on everything that moved” and led to the “worst economy” in Alberta’s history.
The UCP board announced the leadership review last year, after more than 22 riding associations passed motions to force a review of Kenney’s leadership.
Last month, the board moved the vote to mail-in ballots, after unprecedented numbers of members registered to vote. The vote was originally supposed to be held in Red Deer on Saturday.