Acknowledging he faced an uphill battle during the previous Conservative convention, Alberta United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney Monday sought to rebuild the party, while claiming its outcome will allow it to present a united front at the next provincial election.
“We haven’t had this kind of unity in the party since we had split up the party after 1995,” Kenney said following the meeting. “Let’s not kid ourselves. The leadership thing is very divisive. We have a small tent party that has a small tent membership. But for that to happen, we have to be united…all three of us collectively have a job to do to put the party on the best possible platform in terms of government.
Kenney said both he and Brian Jean, the former Wildrose leader who joined the United Conservative Party as a candidate, had reached the point where enough “agreement had been reached” on issues such as social media policy, language and the party website in order to determine direction.
“We’ve come a long way, but we have a lot of work to do,” Kenney said. “I am more confident than I have been at any point in time since I’ve been leader of the United Conservative Party that we are on the best possible path.”
When asked if he would now be prepared to see former Wildrose MLA Derek Fildebrandt back in the party’s caucus, Kenney said his position hadn’t changed.
“It hasn’t been discussed internally. I’ve made it clear over the course of the last year – certainly since the memberships were filed in November – I would expect if you’re an MLA you have to be a member of the party,” Kenney said. “I’ve not made a decision about what I’m going to do with Michael Stone and I have not had those discussions with Brian Jean.”