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UCP leader calls for provincial election next spring

Jason Kenney

The leader of the United Conservative Party said last week Albertans are ready for a provincial election.
Jason Kenney urged the premier to call an election for the first week of March, when he predicts there would be a change in government.
“This is a government that has lost massively the support of Albertans,” Kenney said. “It would be a huge mistake for them to try to foist on Albertans as a lame duck government a budget when their entire fiscal plan is in tatters.”
“Albertans desperately want a government that is focused on reigniting our economy and fighting for this province. They don’t want to wait until May or June so I am calling on the premier to call that election as soon as possible.”
Kenney made the comments Thursday during a news conference to mark the end of the session in the Alberta Legislature.
Kenney opened by praising the work of his own MLAs.
“I think our Conservative team has performed strongly,” Kenney told reporters in a news conference on Thursday.
Kenney said his party took a respectful, professional approach to business in the Legislature, and made a difference for Albertans.
Examples included a call for legislation to pull licences from doctors who are determined to be predators and found guilty of sexual assault.
The NDP government called forth that legislation and accepted amendments proposed by the UCP.
The UCP also proposed a reduction in oil output, an idea on which the government followed through.
“That is evidence of how we can work together across partisan lines,” Kenney said.
Kenney called the NDP legislative agenda for the past session “remarkably light and uninspired” and said Rachel Notley’s party “is clearly running out of gas.”
“It’s a government that has been stumbling through the most important issues facing Albertans,” Kenney added. “It’s clear that she has been unable to get anything out of her special relationship with the federal Liberal government.”
Kenney said Notley erred at the beginning of her term as premier by writing a “blank political cheque” to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The Alberta NDP gave the federal Liberals the “crushing” carbon tax they wanted, Kenney said.
The NDP also agreed to the federal veto of the Northern Gateway project, and made excuses for the Liberals when they killed Energy East.
Kenney said the New Democrats also surrendered to the U.S. veto of Keystone XL and have been part of the “bumbling” of TransMountain pipeline.
“Now we see a growing interprovincial coalition standing up for taxpayers against carbon taxes,” Kenney said.
The UCP has supported the Saskatchewan government’s challenge of the constitutionality of the federal carbon tax.
“Shockingly, Prime Minister Trudeau has instructed government lawyers to oppose the UCP’s application to speak on behalf of the majority of the two-thirds of Albertans who oppose the carbon tax while he is supporting the intervenor applications from foreign funded special interest groups that are seeking to shut down our energy industry,” Kenney said.
Further evidence that Notley sold out Albertans through her allegiance with Trudeau include legislation that would prevent new pipelines from being built or oil tankers on the west coast.
“I think when the premier meets around the first premiers’ table this week, she doesn’t speak with the kind of voice that Alberta should have, with strength and clarity,” Kenney said. “We should be forming alliances with provincial governments that support the priorities of Albertans.”