The UPC has yet to name an interim leader and acting Premier of Alberta
In May of 2021, United Conservatives Party (UPC) MLA Todd Loewen pend a scathing open letter to the leader of his party Premier Kenney calling for this resignation. Loewen and 18 senior backbenchers signalled they had lost confidence in Kenney’s leadership. UPC members have always had the opportunity to speak freely, but it is an unspoken rule to go against the leader of any party. That is why Loewen resigned as the UPC party Caucus Chair.
In a few excerpts from Loewen’s letter, he wrote, “We did not unite around blind loyalty to one man. And while you promoted unity, it is clear that unity is falling apart.”
“The caucus dysfunction we are presently experiencing is a direct result of your leadership.”
“Albertans perceive our government as out of touch and arrogant, and they expect our caucus to bring their issues of concern to the government.”
Loewen was frustrated with Kenney’s handling of the pandemic and feels he has been soft on his approach when dealing with the Trudeau administration. A year later, Kenney nearly won his leadership review, with 51.4% of UPC members supporting him at the helm.
Of the more than 34,000 eligible members who voted by mail-in ballots, the results were too close for Kenney to lead with the disapproval of half the party. After the results, Premier Kenney announced his resignation as a party leader and Premier of Alberta in a surprising announcement.
“The result is not what I hoped for, or frankly expected,” said Kenney. Even though he had won the leadership contest, stepping down was the correct thing for a deeply divided party.
The party has yet to name Alberta’s interim leader and acting premier, nor have they set a date for a formal leadership convention. It is still too early who will eventually be the leader of the UPC, the however early favourite to win the race is Brian Jean Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche.
Jean won his by-election in March of 2022 with 63.6 percent of the vote, which indicates his popularity among his voters.