Kenney’s caucus members urge him to quit or shift back to in-person UCP leadership vote

The ides of March may have been last week, but the knives are out as Premier Jason Kenney is being attacked by members of his own party.

Several MLAs and constituency association presidents have Kenney in their crosshairs as they’re upset over changes made to the leadership review process.

On Wednesday, CityNews reported the leadership review will be online due to a massive increase in memberships, while the voting will now be through a mail-in ballot instead of in-person.

“You can’t change the rules mid-way through a process, it is not democratic and it’s underhanded. It breeds confusion, distrust, and contempt,” said Rob Smith, Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills Constituency Association President.

“By changing the SGM rules in the dramatic way that they have, they have betrayed the rules and UCP members. Betrayal leads to distrust, and you have shaken Albertans’ trust in the UCP.”

Seven constituency assc. presidents were in attendance along with five UCP caucus members and two independents.

The collective group was demanding one of two things, either the review goes back to an in-person event in Red Deer on April 9 or the UCP executive board must resign.

It’s unclear what happens if neither demand is met.

“We’re asking by noon on Wednesday, that the executive board do one of two things. Restore the leadership review to Red Deer under the terms and conditions originally contemplated or resign. It truly is that simple,” said Patrick Malkin, Red Deer-South Constituency Association President.

Mount Royal University political scientist Lori Williams says the changes made to the leadership review process are having a negative effect on party members’ trust in the system.

“The memberships that were sold up until last Saturday were sold on the basis of a belief that the leadership vote would be held on April 9th in Red Deer and it’s changed twice since then. There are a lot of people who don’t trust the process, who don’t know if this will be the effective way of replacing Jason Kenney,” she told CityNews.

MLAs Peter Guthrie and Jason Stephan both attacked Kenney on social media, suggesting he needs to resign.

“This was a disaster and for the good of the province, for the good of the party, the gracious thing to do would be to step down and support a new leader,” Stephan said on Thursday.

Guthrie says Kenney misrepresented himself to become the leader of the UCP.

“Our premier has performed one of the greatest acting jobs in the course of Canadian history. He drove around in a blue truck, going town-to-town, acting like the everyman with his blue jeans on and his top button undone, and then once he got elected, the Ottawa elite came out of him,” he told reporters.

Meantime, the UCP provided more information when it comes to the new process.

CityNews obtained an e-mail from board president Cynthia Moore.

She says ballots will be mailed out sometime after April 9 and must be returned to the party by May 11.

That means the results of the vote won’t be public until May 18.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today