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Tory MP Michelle Rempel Garner is not running for UCP leadership

Calgary Nose Hill MLA Michelle Rempel Garner has said she will not run for the leadership of the United Conservative Party of Alberta.

In a lengthy Substack article published on Thursday, Rempel Garner said campaign logistics were in place, but she raised concerns about infighting within the UCP.

She compared the UCP caucus to the federal Conservative Party, saying the two parties had “squabbles” where members were subjected to hours of public scrutiny. The new UCP leader must restore faith in the party and the caucus must be prepared to allow that to happen, she said.

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“Anyone who enters politics has to be prepared to deal with this… But the things I listed above that happen in both provincial and federal parties cross a line. This should never happen in a functional place of business, political or otherwise,” Rempel Garner wrote.

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“With the UCP caucus, as I am outside of it, I don’t know where all the pain points of the events of the last two years are. But from what many people have confided in me in all privacy, there seem to be a lot of them and they seem pretty cool.

“And, frankly speaking, I worry about what would happen if I stepped in as leader within the current dynamics of the UCP’s inner caucus, especially since we would need to govern everything preparing for a general election which is just around the corner.”

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Rempel Garner also compared Prime Minister Jason Kenney’s tenure to that of former Conservative Party leaders Andrew Scheer and Erin O’Toole, saying she is aware of the problematic work environment that took root long before their positions.

“The knives were openly out for both of them from day one. Even though they had significant successes and missteps were made (who doesn’t make mistakes), they ultimately couldn’t lead people who didn’t want to be led by them,” Rempel Garner said. .

“And so the environment deteriorated.”

The announcement comes after it was previously reported that Rempel Garner is considering becoming Alberta’s UCP leader.

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It also comes after Patrick Brown’s campaign manager Sean Schnell left to help Rempel Garner with his potential bid. Rempel announced last week that she was stepping down as Brown’s national co-chair.

Rempel Garner said she was grateful for the position she currently holds and said she loves what she does on Parliament Hill, saying she intends to run again as MP for Calgary Nose Hill.

“I love what I do – despite the party’s internal ups and downs in recent years and whatever else might happen in the future,” she said.

“I will serve as long as I continue to earn the trust of my community, and to be very clear, I am not going anywhere and intend to re-offer as an MP.”

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