Alberta United Conservative Party chair resigns in protest

NDP Leader Rachel Notley says she is more confident in her leadership since it emerged the five members of the United Conservative Party’s board of directors resigned Friday in protest of new party leader Jason Kenney’s decisions on leadership candidates.

“It’s going to take time to identify where we can work together,” Notley said Saturday on CBC’s The House of Common. “But, no, I am more confident that together we can find success and that success is right in front of us.”

The resignations were announced Friday during a statement to the media, explaining that five board members made the decision “in light of the positions that they believe it will take to defeat Premier Notley and build the Alberta we want.”

According to the Calgary Herald, the resignations — which comprised three MLAs, four directors and a secretary of the party — all represent United Conservative Party members who voted in the April leadership vote.

‘It’s a ‘no brainer’

The positions were announced Friday morning at the party’s annual general meeting, which just wrapped up in Calgary.

“We’re very disappointed in the way that Jason Kenney and his new board of directors chose to run the party,” United Conservative Party MLA Drew Barnes told the Herald. “This morning was a very important moment for the party and they just took that away. They just put our party in an untenable position.”

Barnes also told the Herald “This is, frankly, a ‘no brainer.’ I don’t think there’s any question about it.”

The party released a statement on the resignation by the five directors Friday, noting, “the board believes that in order to protect the party from itself, it has the authority to pre-determine potential candidates who will run under the United Conservative Party banner.”

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