Former federal cabinet minister Jason Kenney has won the leadership of Alberta’s United Conservative Party.
— Kass Patterson (@kassonair) October 28, 2017
The former Calgary MP, who held high-ranking positions in the government of Stephen Harper, beat out former Wildrose leader Brian Jean and lawyer Doug Schweitzer on the first ballot.
Kenney was the central figure in a push to see the Alberta Progressive Conservatives and the Wildrose Party join forces on the right to fight the governing NDP.
He won the leadership of the PCs earlier this year after criss-crossing the province, beating the unity drum.
— Ian Campbell (@news_ian) October 28, 2017
When speaking to the members of the UCP, Kenney said that when the idea of the party was originally brought about it was never to “Unite the Right”.
“This has always been about uniting Albertans who understand the traditional values that have animated this province since it’s beginning. Those who understand that in order to be a compassionate and generous society you must be a generous one first,” said Kenney.
Members of both parties voted 95 per cent in favour of a merger and Kenney said for those who where sceptics or critics over the 16 month campaign of the merger of the two parties and the leadership race have been proven wrong.
“They didn’t understand that Alberta is the can do province, this is the province of fresh starts and new beginnings, this is the province that all through our history we overcome diversity by hard work, just like we have the past 16 months.”
Kenney now leads an opposition caucus of 27 members. He does not hold a seat in the legislature.