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Premier defends hiring ex-MLA for trade office in Houston

Last Updated Jul 9, 2020 at 6:16 am MDT

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney updates media on measures taken to help with COVID-19, in Edmonton on Friday, March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON – Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says hiring the former legislature member who gave up his constituency seat for Kenney was the right thing to do.

The premier dismissed a reporter’s question Wednesday on whether his appointment of Dave Rodney is political payback.

“He (Rodney) never asked for any kind of consideration in the future,” Kenney said.

“He’s been working in the private sector since that time. When we were looking for somebody to appoint to Houston, we had a shortlist and Dave just stood out to me as the kind of go-getter that we
need.”

Kenney said Rodney approached him in late 2016 about leaving his Calgary-Lougheed seat in the legislature. Rodney eventually stepped down in the fall of 2017, after Kenney had just won the leadership of the United Conservative party. That led to a byelection that Kenny won two months later.

Earlier this week, Kenney announced Rodney will be the new agent-general to Houston. He’ll be paid $250,000 a year to drum up business in the energy sector and other emerging fields.