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Two of Alberta Premier’s caucus members urge him to quit to renew party

Pair of backbenchers break ranks, calling United Conservative Party leadership review a sham
Jason Kenney in Edmonton, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. Peter Guthrie and Jason Stephan, two of the premier’s backbenchers, have broken ranks, calling the United Conservative party’s revamped leadership review a sham and saying it’s time for the premier to resign. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Two of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s backbenchers have broken ranks, calling the United Conservative Party’s revamped leadership review a sham and saying it’s time for Premier Jason Kenney to resign.

Peter Guthrie and Jason Stephan say the party’s late changes were designed to ensure Kenney wins a vote he was destined to lose.

Guthrie, the member for Airdrie-Cochrane, says the decision “reeks of desperation” and that it’s time to call an immediate leadership race and find someone else to take the helm.

Stephan, the member for Red Deer-South, says the change shows Kenney leads through fear, division, and demonization and that the premier has lost the trust and respect of Albertans.

About 15,000 members were expected to meet up in Red Deer on April 9 to cast a thumbs-up or thumbs-down on Kenney’s leadership, with less than majority support for Kenney leading to a leadership race.

But the party cancelled the meeting this week and replaced it with a mail-in ballot, which critics say makes it easier for Kenney to win and increases the opportunity for vote rigging.

—The Canadian Press

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