SGM Meeting Sees Kenney Urge UCP To Vote for Him or Lose to NDP
Premier Jason Kenney, in this weekend's SGM, began with a cheer.
“I’m 12-0!” Kenney said Saturday in a speech before cheering, applauding, whooping, placard-waving supporters in Red Deer. “I know a thing or two about winning elections.”
The speech to the party then proceeded to reference the intraparty fight to determine whether Kenney should remain in charge of the United Conservatives.
“If the members decide they want to have a leadership election, I will step aside,” he said.
“But if the members decide that they want to choose the path of unity and stability, then I, and I believe all of our members, will expect every member of our caucus and our team also to respect the decision.”
The results will be announced as of May 18. If Kenney gets less then 50 per cent plus one of the votes, a leadership race must be called.
Kenney labelled his opponents as bigots bent on dismantling his big-tent conservative coalition. However, he did apologize for certain decisions he had to make during COVID-19, particularly restrictions on personal freedoms, which stirred up resentment against him.
“I ask for your forgiveness if there were decisions that we made which you think were wrong or which offended you,” he said.
In response, Notley noted Kenney’s speech didn’t mention families of the 4,104 Albertans who died of COVID-19, health-care workers, teachers or small business owners who have struggled during the pandemic.
“Instead, he talked about himself and a little bit about me,” she said. “But you know what? I don’t think that’s what Albertans want to hear.
“Weirdly, I guess I should be honoured that I’m the only Albertan outside of the UCP that they’re talking about.”
Kenney also spoke about his 2019 campaign as a mission to stop “left wing ideologues who want to turn Alberta into some kind of socialist lab experiment."
“I decided something had to be done,” said Kenney. “I knew if (the NDP) got a second consecutive term they would fundamentally change this province forever.
“They would drive their toxic ideas into our schools, they would regulate and unionize everything that moves, they’d crush businesses with their class warfare politics of resentment, and they’d turn Alberta into a vassal state for (Prime Minister) Justin Trudeau’s Ottawa.”