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Letter from UCP members reportedly calls for Kenney's resignation

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Is there a revolt brewing against the premier from among the United Conservative Party?

Postmedia recently obtained a letter circulating between UCP members demanding Jason Kenney’s resignation.

So far, the letter has about 90 signatures from board members of various constituency associations saying Kenney does not have the moral authority or trustworthiness to lead the party through to the next election.

So far, none of those signatures have come from elected MLAs.

Professor of policy studies at Mount Royal University Lori Williams said this is a situation all too familiar to Albertans.

“It seems to be the preferred way of changing premiers in the province. It’s happened much more often than changing premiers by election, quite frankly. It’s got to be something that the premier is concerned about. He knows about the fate of a number of other conservative premiers.”

RELATED: Possible leadership review for UCP, Kenney: reports

During the 44-year reign of the former PC Alberta party, two premiers, Ed Stelmach and Alison Redford, resigned following numerous controversies. Jim Prentice would lead the conservatives into the 2015 election before stepping down after the NDP swept to power, reducing the PCs to just 10 seats in the legislature.

Williams believes that, with many caucus members opposing COVID-19 restrictions and now this letter, Kenney is in an uncomfortable spot now.

“It’s not just around the pandemic, even though that’s the focus. It’s around coal mining, policy on parks, failing to follow his own rules and expecting Albertans to make sacrifices. With all of that put together, it has generated a feeling that may or may not dissipate sufficiently for him to win the next election.”

A spokesperson for the premier’s office responded to the letter saying Kenney isn’t going anywhere and downplayed the significance of the letter.

Williams isn’t surprised by that response, but says it doesn’t lessen the situation and internal conflict possibly going on inside the party.

“The premier can say he’s not going anywhere and certainly hope that down the road things will turn around but the kinds of feelings that we’re seeing are very intense feelings.”

This isn’t the first time this year that Kenney’s leadership has come under question.

In March, a report from the CBC showed that several associations discussed a leadership review with 80 per cent of the board of one of those groups expressing dissatisfaction.