Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Jason Kenney, centre, reacts to his leadership win at the Alberta PC Party leadership convention in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, March 18, 2017.

Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

The new leader of Alberta's Progressive Conservatives will not push any members of his party to resign from the provincial legislature so he can run in a by-election.

Jason Kenney, speaking to reporters Sunday after securing the leadership of the party the night before, said he will instead focus on convincing PC members and Wildrose Party supporters to join together as one.

"I have no intentions of seeking a seat in the legislature in the immediate future," Mr. Kenney said in Calgary. "I don't want to displace any of our current members. I've got a lot of work to do outside the legislature."

Story continues below advertisement

Gary Mason: Is Kenney's win the beginning of the end of the Alberta PCs?

Mr. Kenney's leadership campaign focused on uniting Alberta's right-leaning voters. He garnered support from roughly 75 per cent of the convention's delegates but his decisive victory has rattled many in the party. Troy Wason, the executive director of the PC Association of Alberta, resigned Sunday morning, Mr. Kenney noted.

However, Katherine O'Neill, a failed PC candidate in the last election, will stay on as party president. Ric McIver, who served as interim leader, will continue to lead the PC caucus in the legislature, Mr. Kenney said. The new leader said that while he will not be in the legislature, he hopes to be consulted on major policy decisions.

Brian Jean, the leader of the Wildrose Party, and Mr. Kenney are meeting Monday in Edmonton. Mr. Jean is open to reuniting Alberta's conservatives and has said he will challenge Mr. Kenney for the leadership of a united front. But first, the broader PC membership, along with Wildrose supporters, must vote in favour of gluing themselves together. The pair, however, have competing timelines. Legal manoeuvring will also pose challenges. Under Alberta rules, for example, parties cannot simply vote to merge their organizations and bank accounts. Instead, they must surrender their assets.

Mr. Kenney wants to immediately appoint negotiators to discuss merger plans with the Wildrose. The process, he acknowledges, will be difficult and time-consuming. In the meantime, he urged PC and Wildrose MLAs to work together in the legislature.

Ms. O'Neill said Sunday's closed-door board meeting was positive, with folks rallying behind Mr. Kenney. "You can tell around the table today that people want to work with our leader," she said. "There are a lot of unanswered questions still, but people want to be at that table helping move us to next steps."

Mr. Kenney did not display any PC paraphernalia at his press conference. Instead, one of his leadership campaign signs decorated the podium. The new leader said he will stick with the party should unification negotiations fail. He has not fully fleshed out a policy platform beyond unification, but should he defeat the New Democratic Party in the 2019 election, he intends to eliminate Alberta's carbon taxes and reduce other taxes. The leader, however, favours the NDP's ban on corporate and union political donations.

Story continues below advertisement

"One of the reasons the PC Party lost the public's confidence is because it developed a reputation for being arrogant, for a leadership that told people what to think rather than listening to them," Mr. Kenney said. "It would be both arrogant and irresponsible for a leader at this stage to dictate a detailed policy agenda to a united party that does not yet exist – before the grassroots members can be consulted."

Mr. Kenney has proposed a big tent-style party in order to defeat the NDP. This strategy has both the most socially progressive PC members and most right-leaning Wildrose representatives nervous. Mr. Kenney defeated PC MLA Richard Starke and a third leadership hopeful, Byron Nelson, who in their final speeches over the weekend railed against Mr. Kenney's unification strategy. However, when the results of the race were announced, Mr. Nelson took the mic to nominate Mr. Kenney for the leadership and Mr. Starke served as the seconder.

The former federal politician kicked off his leadership campaign last summer, before the race officially started, and outorganized his competitors right down to the final details at the convention. Mr. Kenney, for example, arranged a press conference to coincide with his arrival at the convention, with volunteers holding supportive signs in the background. His competitors did not make similar politically polished efforts.

Scores of PC members, including former cabinet ministers, were displeased with the direction of the race. For example, Sandra Jansen, one of the most left-leaning PC members, dropped out last year and crossed the floor to join the NDP government. But Mr. Kenney is reaching out to progressive voices. Donna Kennedy-Glans, a centrist, also quit the race, but joined Mr. Kenney's transition team this weekend.

"I am a pluralist. And a bridge builder. I do not apologize for accepting a seat at the table to make sure that voice is heard," Ms. Kennedy-Glans wrote on Twitter following the appointment.

With files from Canadian Press

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
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 If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to

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 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 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

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies