Sources confirm MP Jason Kenney will seek Alberta PC leadership

by Douglas Stevenson Julio 10, 2016, 2:47

"I'm still on my own timeline for decision making and everything that happens until then (including people saying they are in or they are not in) will be in the mix", Raitt said in an e-mail.

Heading into this pre-campaign by Kenney, he's received criticism from individuals like Calgary MLA Sandra Jansen, or former Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk that he will alienate progressives in the party.

"Progressives" in the PC party aren't welcoming Kenney's entrance to the race.

"We must fight the ideological agenda of this accidental NDP government to limit the damage they do to our province now", said Kenny.

None of Kenney's campaign regalia - buttons, flags, stickers - had a PC logo on them. Kenney says he would put his name forward. Unite Alberta, he said, will raise money using the same rules that were in place for the last leadership race.

With a number of current and former conservative politicians, Kenney blasted the NDP for their economic and social policies. "It is about this province, her people, and their future". "That's a good thing".

"They don't want a hard-right alternative".

"The options are to go for it myself or back someone I really like", he told The Canadian Press on Wednesday.

"If I win the PC leadership with a clear mandate to pursue unity, that means the vast majority of members support it".

Other attempts to unite Alberta's conservatives under one political banner have largely failed. Smith claimed that the socially conservative fringes of her party didn't represent her vision. The PCs have changed the rules so that the victor is no longer chosen in a one-person-one-vote system where the general public could join the party to cast a ballot.

About half a dozen others are considering a run for the federal party leadership. He drew a sharp line between his plan, which he said he'd detail further on Thursday, and the Prentice-Smith debacle of 2014. He wants to do it "transparently and democratically".

Kenney faces criticism though for not stepping down immediately.

"It's going to be an uphill battle for him ... because of some of the positions that he has taken on conservative social issues in the past", said Smith, who is now a radio host.

- Electing a new leader for the PCs.

One can only speculate about the roles in a Tory Restoration Alberta Kenney might have in mind for the likes of Flanagan, Anders, Jaffer and Levant! "This guy is the whole package". "With Jason Kenney, that train was on the tracks". "I'm not hedging my bets", he said.

Nick Boots, another young supporter and vice-president of the Wildrose Shaw constituency association, was "amazed" by Kenney's speech.

The Official Opposition leader says Kenney's call to unite the right is all hypothetical right now.

Kenney's announcement in Calgary that he is seeking the Tory party's top job is not unexpected.

Kenney launched his leadership bid on Wednesday in Calgary, declaring his plan to unite the Alberta PCs with the Wildrose Party to solidify the right and defeat Alberta's NDP government. He said that would be challenging but similar to what he and his colleagues accomplished at the federal level in 2003 when the Canadian Alliance merged with the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.

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