Former Premier Jason Kenney resigns from his seat in the Alberta legislature

Jason Kenney, the former leader of the UCP who served as Alberta’s 18th premier until last month, has announced he is stepping down as Calgary-Lougheed MP effective immediately.

“A different government is in place and the next election will be in a few months,” Kenney wrote in a statement posted on Twitter.

« So after much thought and consultation, I have concluded that now is the best time for me to step down as an MP. »

Kenney said he was proud to have led a government that delivered on the majority of its campaign commitments, but said the time had come for him to step down from public office after 25 years in elected politics, including as a federal deputy.

He also wrote to the Speaker of the Legislature to inform him of his decision.

In his public statement, Kenney said he believes Canada and Alberta are, in many ways, the envy of the world. But he also expressed distrust of the current state of politics.

“I am concerned that our democratic life is moving away from ordinary prudential debate towards a polarization that undermines our institutions and fundamental principles,” he wrote.

« From the far left, we see efforts to undo our history, delegitimize our institutions and our customs rooted in history, and dangerously divide society according to identity criteria.

« And from the far right, we see a vengeful anger and a toxic cynicism that often seeks to tear things down, rather than build and improve our flawed institutions. »

Kenney, 54, served as premier of Alberta and leader of the UCP from 2019 to 2022. In May he announced his resignation as premier after narrowly winning a leadership exam by 51.4 %.

In October, UCP voters called on Danielle Smith to succeed her.

Prior to leading the UCP, Kenney was the last leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta which merged with the Wildrose Party to form the UCP.

Before becoming a figure in Alberta provincial politics, Kenney served as a Member of Parliament and cabinet minister when Stephen Harper was Prime Minister.

He was first elected to the House of Commons in 1997 for the Reform Party.

Time of resignation

Kenney’s decision to step down came the day Premier Danielle Smith’s government laid down Alberta sovereignty under a United Canada Act.

A political observer said Kenney’s announcement appears to underscore his disapproval of the current prime minister’s decisions and the direction in which politics is heading.

« He could have given that resignation at any time, the fact that he did it immediately after the Sovereignty Act was unveiled, I don’t think it’s a coincidence, » said political scientist Lori Williams of the ‘Mount Royal University.

« He didn’t want to be associated with the impression that he wanted to endorse all of this…clearly, he didn’t support Danielle Smith. »


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