Legislative assembly

Second UCP MP publicly denounces Jason Kenney’s leadership

A second UCP caucus member publicly questions the leadership of Prime Minister Jason Kenney.

Angela Pitt, MP for Airdrie-East, was questioned by a reporter at an independent press conference on Tuesday whether she had confidence in Kenney’s leadership of the United Conservative Party.

“The answer to that question is no, I don’t. And I don’t think my constituents do either,” she said.

“However, I think there is a place for the grassroots to take charge of this type of decision. And that’s where it will be for now.”

Pitt’s statement came a week after Chestermere-Strathmore MP Leela Aheer said Kenney would have to step down.

Kenney was successful in delaying a vote of no confidence in a closed-door caucus meeting on Wednesday. The beleaguered UCP leader agreed to hold a leadership review in the spring, months earlier than the promised fall 2022 review.

Although the UCP caucus voted to remove Central Peace-Notley MP Todd Loewen and Cypress-Medicine Hat MP Drew Barnes over allegations of disloyalty last spring, Pitt and Aheer are still in the caucus. of the UCP.

Question hijacked by other deputies

Pitt was one of five MPs who joined a press conference with Free Alberta, an organization that advocates for a sovereign Alberta within the Canadian federation.

The initiative is led by former Wildrose MP Rob Anderson. Pitt, Aheer, Barnes, Loewen and Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills MPs Nathan Cooper were all MPs for Wildrose before the party merged with the Progressive Conservatives in 2017 to form the UCP.

Free Alberta has released a strategy outlining how Alberta can achieve what it calls “provincial legislative sovereignty within Alberta”. He also advocates an end to equalization and an end to Albertans paying taxes to the federal government.

Pitt was joined at the virtual press conference by Barnes, Loewen, Cooper and Red Deer-South MPP Jason Stephan. Cooper is also the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.

Cooper did not respond to questions as Anderson said he was only there as an observer. Stephan deflected questions about his take on Kenney’s suitability as a leader.

“I admire and respect the Prime Minister and the things he has accomplished. I do not agree with everything the Prime Minister has said or done,” said Stephan.

“My particular opinion of the Prime Minister doesn’t really matter. There will be a leadership review and I will have a voice like everyone else in the party.”

Free Alberta Strategy

A key element of its strategy is the passage of an Alberta Sovereignty Act that would allow the province to “refuse to apply any federal law or court order that infringes upon the provincial rights of Alberta, or which unfairly attacks the interests of the people of Alberta ”.

Free Alberta said the province should have its own banking system, EI system and Alberta revenue agency, which would claw back “equalization and net transfers confiscated by the federal government by collecting a portion of all federal tax revenues at source “.

The group also wants Alberta to appoint its own superior court judges.

Several elements of the strategy were pointed out by the Fair Deal Panel, which reported to the Government of Alberta last year.

They include the creation of a provincial police force to replace the RCMP and an Alberta pension plan.

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