Former Alberta Premier Jason Kenny announced Tuesday night that he has stepped down from his role as a member of Congress.
Kenny submitted a letter of resignation on social media shortly after Lieutenant. Salma Lakhani delivered a speech from the throne to open the 4th session of the 30th Parliament.
In the letter, he thanked the Calgary Ride voters who have served since 2017 and added that he was proud to have served as leader of the Alberta government.
“By sharing some of what I have learned on various issues, I hope to continue contributing to our democratic lives,” his letter reads.
He also referred to the start of a government led by Prime Minister Daniel Smith and elections next spring, writing, “Now is the perfect time for me to step down.”
Kenny’s resignation is effective immediately after serving 25 years in federal and state government.
His letter concludes with some reflections on democracy, parliamentary government, and the political situation in Canada.
“I am concerned that our democratic life is veering from normal healthy debate to a polarization that undermines the institutions and principles upon which we are based,” he wrote. .
He continues to attack the “extreme left,” calling it an “effort to undo our history,” dividing society along lines of identity. He also criticized what he called the Far Right for its “vengeful fury and poisonous cynicism”.
He concludes by expressing optimism that both of these forces will wane over time.
“It is my hope that we will overcome this era of polarization and together renew our common life in this wondrous land of endless possibilities.”
Kenny served as Alberta’s 18th Prime Minister from April 2019 to October of this year.
He announced he would step down this past May after receiving 51.4% support in a leadership review from members of the United Conservative Party.
When he united Alberta’s political right through the merger of the Progressive Conservative Party and the Wild Rose Party, he brought a stunning end to the leadership of the party he helped found.
He emerged on the Alberta political scene in 2016 as a high-profile former federal minister under Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
He became prime minister after his party won a resounding victory in the 2019 elections, winning 63 of the 87 seats.
Fiscal prudence and his legislative agenda to confront Ottawa were quickly sidetracked by the COVID-19 pandemic that emerged in early 2020.
As the pandemic progressed, he found himself caught in a dilemma between party members who believed public health measures were going too far and those who believed not enough.
In early 2021, 16 UCP MLAs, largely representing rural equestrians, signed an open letter against further restrictions, even as coronavirus cases continue to surge.
These forces eventually pushed him to commit to an early leadership review that would eventually oust him as head of government.
— with files by Lisa Johnson and Ashley Joannou
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