Politicians react to Jason Kenney’s plan to quit as UCP leader: ‘This job is never easy’

On Wednesday evening, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney shocked many when he announced his intention to step down as leader of the United Conservative Party.

The decision came after Kenney received 51.4% support in his leadership review vote. Although it is sufficient under party rules to remain in the lead, Kenney said it was not adequate support to continue leading the party.

“The outcome is not what I hoped for or frankly what I expected,” Kenney said Wednesday at Spruce Meadows Equestrian Center in front of a crowd that included several ministers.

“That’s why I informed the chairman of the party tonight of my intention to leave the leadership of the United Conservative Party.”

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney intends to step down as UCP leader after narrow leadership victory

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The political reaction to this decision was swift, from the prime minister, federal party leaders, as well as fellow and former prime ministers.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thanked Kenney for his contributions.

“Through the challenges of the past two years and decades of public service, you have been a voice for Alberta and Albertans, and I wish you all the best for the years to come,” he said on Twitter. .

“Obviously, I want to recognize that Jason Kenney has served his community, served his provinces, his country for many, many years. I wish him the best in all the next steps he takes,” Trudeau added Thursday morning in Ottawa.

Interim Federal Conservative Leader Candice Bergen thanked her friend for his many years of service to Canada and Alberta.

“Whether federally as a Minister of the Crown or as Premier of Alberta, you have inspired and engaged so many.

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UCP begins search for new leader with resignation of Jason Kenney

“Thank you to my friend Premier Jason Kenney for all you have done to unite Conservative voters in Alberta into a new party, defeat a destructive NDP government and lead Alberta through a very difficult time” said Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe.

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British Columbia Premier John Horgan wished Kenney well.

“This job is never easy and I want to thank him for his public service to Albertans and Canadians.”

“Jason Kenney, my friend, the people of this province owe you a debt of gratitude,” said former federal Conservative leader Rona Ambrose. “You have taken a province economically ravaged by the NDP and transformed it into a thriving place to live and work again. Thanks to you, fewer children will leave our home to work elsewhere. I’m so proud of you.”

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Jason Kenney announces his intention to leave the direction of the UCP

Jason Kenney announces his intention to leave the direction of the UCP

Tim Uppal, Conservative MP for Edmonton Mill Woods, said no one works harder than Kenney.

“Thank you for your unwavering commitment and service to Alberta and Canada. »

Former B.C. Premier Christy Clark said she was sad to see Kenney step down and thanked him for his work.

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“Under his leadership, Alberta found a way through dark times and is now better positioned to prosper than any other province,” she said. “You always tried to do the right thing, not just the popular one. Canada is a better country because of that.

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Jason Kenney led Alberta through the COVID-19 pandemic and oil crash

Kenney’s press secretary, Justin Brattinga, said Kenney should remain party leader until an interim leader is chosen. A caucus meeting is scheduled for Thursday.

Kenney said he asked the party to speed up a leadership vote.

— with files from The Canadian Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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