LICIA CORBELLA Al­berta’s provin­cial elec­tion hasn’t even been called and al­ready much can be said about it. Firstly, it’s go­ing to get nas­tier and, se­condly, the chances of it be­ing ear­lier than May is get­ting slim­mer by the day as more NDP MLAs are jump­ing the NDP gov­ern­ment’s sink­ing ship — two on Mon­day alone. First, we’ll deal with the nasty stuff. Bizarrely, Kyle Mor­row, an Ot­tawa lawyer and failed fed­eral Lib­eral can­di­date, posted the ad­dress of Ja­son Ken­ney’s frail, wid­owed mother on­line for the world to see and even sent out a tweet with the floor plan of the 80-year-old woman’s for­mer bun­ga­low, which he has since deleted. It ap­pears that Mor­row, 27, has been dig­ging for a long time into Ken­ney’s liv­ing ar­range­ments, say­ing that be­cause Ken­ney spent more time in Ot­tawa than he did in Cal­gary while he was a se­nior cab­i­net min­is­ter in Stephen Harper’s Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment, it was wrong for him to claim the par­lia­men­tary hous­ing al­lowance for his apart­ment in Ot­tawa. It’s an ab­surd state­ment, one that would un­fairly pe­nal­ize cab­i­net min­is­ters who by ne­ces­sity need to spend more time in Ot­tawa and trav­el­ling the coun­try and/or world than they can spend in their home rid­ing. It’s some­thing con­stituents and most rea­son­able Cana­di­ans ac­cept of an MP who gets a se­nior port­fo­lio, as Ken­ney had. Mor­row ques­tioned why Ken­ney’s ad­dress at one point was at his mother’s stand-alone bun­ga­low at a se­nior’s village. The an­swer? She had been wid­owed so he moved in with her to pro­vide sup­port and com­pan­ion­ship when he was in Cal­gary. The doc­u­ments posted by Mor­row show Ken­ney col­lected sec­ondary res­i­dence sub­si­dies for his ac­com­mo­da­tions in Ot­tawa be­tween 2012-15 of about $10,000 per year, while his mother’s stand-alone home in Cal­gary was listed as his ad­dress with Elec­tions Canada. The on­line snip­ing seems to in­di­cate that some twisted folk think an adult son help­ing his el­derly mother is wor­thy of de­ri­sion. It’s sick. “While some might mock,” said Ken­ney of the cesspool that is Twit­ter com­men­tary by anony­mous trolls, “I make no apolo­gies for help­ing my par­ents. I am not em­bar­rassed to say that my home was in the same dwelling, even if in a sep­a­rate suite. I owe ev­ery­thing to them.” Ken­ney’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Matt Wolf, pointed out in a tele­phone in­ter­view Mon­day that as an MP, “Ja­son was af­forded the same liv­ing al­lowance that all MPs get for ac­com­mo­da­tion in Ot­tawa. “At no point did any pub­lic money go to­ward Ja­son Ken­ney’s Cal­gary ac­com­mo­da­tions — whether owned or rented,” added Wolf. Mor­row — who said on Twit­ter that he has re­ceived death threats since tweet­ing out de­tails about Ken­ney’s mother’s res­i­dence, floor plans and ad­dress — did not re­turn Post­media’s emails or calls to his law firm. In his pro­file, Mor­row says that be­sides work­ing on var­i­ous po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns in sev­eral prov­inces he “also pre­vi­ously vol­un­teered in the Of­fice of the Leader of the Lib­eral Party of Canada,” Justin Trudeau. Ken­ney was the mem­ber of Par­lia­ment for Cal­gary South­east (now called Cal­gary Midnapore) from 1997 un­til 2016, when he took on the task of unit­ing the right in Al­berta, first by win­ning the Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive Party’s lead­er­ship, then help­ing to win a vote by both par­ties to unite the Wil­drose and the PCs and then by win­ning the lead­er­ship of the UCP party, all in about one year. In a rather lengthy Face­book post on this, Ken­ney wrote, “these al­le­ga­tions are false,” about Mor­row’s claim that Ken­ney was not a res­i­dent of Cal­gary while an MP. “I have been a proud res­i­dent of Al­berta for nearly three decades. Dur­ing that time, I have al­ways owned, co-owned, or rented my prin­ci­pal res­i­dence in Al­berta, first in Ed­mon­ton in the early 1990s, then Cal­gary. I paid my taxes in Al­berta. My driver’s li­cense and health card were from Al­berta. My doc­tor and den­tist were in Al­berta. My par­ish and vol­un­teer ac­tiv­i­ties were and are in Cal­gary. This of course all re­mains true to this day.” Mean­while, on Thurs­day em­bat­tled En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Shan­non Phillips — who rep­re­sents the rid­ing of Leth­bridge-West — said when it comes to the UCP, “white su­prem­a­cists make great cam­paign­ers, and racists make good can­di­dates.” It’s just more shame­ful be­hav­iour from this min­is­ter who claimed that the RCMP rec­om­mended that she can­cel pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion meet­ings with res­i­dents in the Bighorn area of Al­berta be­cause of safety con­cerns. The RCMP deny that any such ad­vice or con­sul­ta­tions on the is­sue took place. As for when the Al­berta elec­tion is go­ing to be called, it will un­doubt­edly be later rather than ear­lier, as some were pre­dict­ing. Al­berta’s In­fra­struc­ture Min­is­ter San­dra Jansen, the MLA for Cal­gary-North West, an­nounced Mon­day that she would not run in this spring’s elec­tion, cit­ing fam­ily rea­sons. Also, on Mon­day, Strath­cona-Sher­wood Park NDP MLA and gov­ern­ment whip Este­fa­nia Cortes-Var­gas an­nounced she would not seek re-elec­tion to “pur­sue fur­ther pro­fes­sional development op­por­tu­ni­ties.” That means that the NDP only has 42.5 per cent or 37 of the prov­ince’s 87 rid­ings filled with can­di­dates for the elec­tion that — un­der Al­berta’s set elec­tion date law that Pre­mier Rachel Not­ley says she will ad­here to — must be called be­tween March 1 and May 31. By con­trast, the UCP has 79 nom­i­nees cho­sen and the Al­berta Party has 54. Mount Royal Univer­sity po­lit­i­cal sci­ence pro­fes­sor Duane Bratt says Jansen’s an­nounce­ment comes as no sur­prise con­sid­er­ing the tough odds against her to win back the rid­ing she ini­tially won as a Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive, be­fore de­fect­ing to the NDP af­ter she says she was bul­lied in her bid to win the PC lead­er­ship. Pol­i­tics is rarely pretty but ex­pect it to reach even lower lows in the weeks ahead, as the des­per­a­tion of the NDP and its sup­port­ers grows ever more pro­found.

United Con­ser­va­tive Party Leader Ja­son Ken­ney makes no apolo­gies for help­ing his par­ents.

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