Sask. premier calls Jason Kenney's resignation a 'loss'

Saskatchewan’s premier says Jason Kenney’s resignation from his post in Alberta is a “loss.”

The Alberta premier announced he would be stepping down on Wednesday, after a slim majority of approval was revealed following his United Conservative Party (UCP) leadership review.

“Jason Kenney is a very, very strong leader. He’s achieved a number of things he set out to achieve in a very short period of time, on behalf of Albertans,” Premier Scott Moe said following Question Period Thursday.

“This is a loss of a good leader, and an individual that has been a very, very capable and competent politician for decades now, and I wouldn’t think that we’ve seen the last of Jason Kenney by any stretch.”

Kenney received 51.4 per cent approval from UCP members. Exactly 34,298 members voted in the review.

"While 51 per cent of the vote passes the constitutional threshold of a majority, it clearly is not adequate support to continue on as leader," Kenney said Wednesday.

"I'm sorry, but friends, I truly believe that we need to move forward united. We need to put the past behind us, and a large number of our members have asked for an opportunity to clear the air through a leadership election."

Moe and Kenney were two of five Canadian Conservative politicians featured on the cover of a 2018 issue of MacLean’s magazine titled “The Resistance” that focused on their fight against the Liberal government’s carbon tax plan.

The group also included Ontario Premier Doug Ford, former Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister and former Conservative Party of Canada Leader Andrew Scheer.

Moe said he does not expect significant changes to carbon tax policy in Alberta when the UCP elects a new leader.

“If there’s a change of leadership within the UCP party in Alberta, I don’t think that changes the policy with respect to carbon taxation, regulations around getting their product to market and most certainly I don’t think the policy changes at all,” Moe said.

Moe thanked his friend in a tweet on Wednesday, shortly after Kenney made his announcement.

Thank you to my friend Premier @jkenney for everything you have done to unite Alberta conservative voters into a new party, defeat a destructive NDP government and lead Alberta through a very challenging time.

— Scott Moe (@PremierScottMoe) May 19, 2022

With files from CTV News Edmonton