Skip to main content

Alberta Alberta PC party president resigns weeks after Kenney wins leadership

Former member of parliament Jason Kenney is seen in Calgary on Dec. 21, 2016.

Todd Korol/The Globe and Mail

The president of the Alberta Progressive Conservatives resigned Friday only weeks after Jason Kenney won the party leadership on a platform of forming a new united conservative movement with the Wildrose.

Katherine O'Neill said she needs a break after two years of working to rebuild the PCs following the party's devastating defeat in the 2015 provincial election that swept the NDP into power.

O'Neill said she is leaving on good terms with Kenney and was not asked or pressured to step down.

Story continues below advertisement

"I have had a very good working relationship with Mr. Kenney since he won," she said in an interview.

"It has been a very respectful collaborative relationship and, for me, I just felt that this was that perfect time as we are just about to really kick up the unity discussions."

Kenney paid tribute to O'Neill in a post on social media, thanking her for years of hard work under challenging circumstances.

He praised her for helping to rebuild the party's 87 constituency organizations and raising money to help pay off part of its debt.

"Rather than walking away after the (2015) election defeat, she dug deep and with others brought leadership to the party at a time of real adversity," Kenney wrote.

"The PC party is in a better financial position, with a much larger membership and more active constituency organizations than a year ago thanks in part to Katherine's leadership and hard work."

Kenney said he will work with the PC executive in the coming weeks to choose her successor.

Story continues below advertisement

O'Neill, a mother of three young children, said she wants to spend more time with family.

"I'm not leaving for good," she said. "Just taking a breather and recharging my batteries."

On March 20 Kenney met with Wildrose Leader Brian Jean to discuss what steps the two conservative parties should take toward a potential merger.

They agreed that a team of members from both parties will try to come up with a draft unity agreement by the end of this month.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter