UCP leadership review of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney begins – Canada News

Review of Kenney begins

The Canadian Press – | Story: 365539

UPDATE: 12:30 p.m.

Premier Jason Kenney is urging United Conservative members to back him in the upcoming leadership review to avoid fracturing the party and handing Alberta to the Opposition NDP in the next election.

Kenney, in a speech in Red Deer on Saturday, reminded party members that he has never lost an election, and that he left federal politics to return to Alberta to unify rival conservative parties and defeat the NDP in 2019.

He says anger over difficult decisions he had to make to fight COVID-19 are splintering the party and that it’s time to look forward, not back.

Almost 60,000 party members will soon be receiving ballots in the mail to vote in a scheduled review of Kenney’s leadership.

If Kenney fails to get majority support, a leadership race must be called.

Kenney says he will step down if that is the case, but says if he wins he expects everyone, including dissidents, to rally behind him.

ORIGINAL: 7:30 am

The controversial party vote to determine the future of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney begins today.

Kenney is set to speak virtually to United Conservative Party members in the morning and mail-in ballots will be dispatched in the days to follow.

The votes must be in by May 11 and a decision will be announced May 18.

Almost 59,000 members are eligible to confirm their support for Kenney’s leadership.

If Kenney does not get at least majority support, a race must be held to pick a new leader.

It was supposed to be a one-day in-person vote today in Red Deer, but two weeks ago, the UCP board changed it to a provincewide mail-in contest.

The board said widespread interest – with 15,000 party members expected to make the trip to cast a ballot – made the one-day in-person option impossible.

Kenney has been openly feuding with some factions of his party who believe his policies and management style have alienated supporters to the point the party will lose the next election to Rachel Notley’s NDP.

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