June 14, 2022
A new United Conservative Party leader will be elected on Oct. 6, the party’s leadership election committee has determined.
According to the new leadership election rules published Tuesday, voting will begin on Sept. 2 and can be done in person or by mail. Ballots sent by mail must be received by Oct. 3 in order to be counted, and only five locations will be open for in-person voting. These polling stations will be determined by the leadership election committee later this month.
Members must join or renew by Aug. 12 to be eligible to vote in the upcoming leadership election. The deadline for candidates to enter the leadership race is July 29.
In mid-May, Premier Jason Kenney announced his intentions to step down as UCP leader after narrowly winning his leadership review.
According to Kenney, the 51.4 per cent support he received was not enough to stay on.
Kenney was criticized by party and caucus members for limiting personal freedoms at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which he said ignited anger against him and led to the underwhelming support in the leadership review.
After a lengthy caucus meeting the next day, it was decided Kenney would stay on as leader until a new leader is chosen.
So far, seven people are in the running to replace Kenney. Former Finance Minister Travis Toews, UCP backbencher Brian Jean, former Wildrose party leader Danielle Smith, Independent MLA Todd Loewen, Amisk Mayor Bill Rock, UCP backbencher Leela Aheer and former Transportation Minister Rajan Sawhney have all announced their intentions to run in the UCP leadership race.
Calgary-Shaw MLA Rebecca Shulz said she will make an announcement Tuesday afternoon on her plans to enter the UCP leadership race.