MORE KEN­NEY

Edmonton Journal - - FRONT PAGE - CLARE CLANCY cclancy@post­media.com Twit­ter.com/clare­clancy

United Con­ser­va­tive Party Leader Ja­son Ken­ney was sworn in as an of­fi­cial mem­ber of the Al­berta Leg­isla­tive Assem­bly Mon­day af­ter­noon.

Ken­ney was elected MLA of the Cal­gary-Lougheed rid­ing on Dec. 14, cap­tur­ing more than 70 per cent of 11,000 bal­lots cast.

The by­elec­tion marked the fourth ma­jor win for Ken­ney in the past sev­eral months — his vic­tory in the Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive leadership in March, a suc­cess­ful vote to unite the PC and Wil­drose par­ties last sum­mer, and his tri­umph in Oc­to­ber’s UCP leadership race.

“I and our cau­cus will raise the bar of ci­vil­ity and deco­rum in the leg­is­la­ture, and in the course of the next 16 months be­fore the next elec­tion,” Ken­ney said in a speech to sup­port­ers at the Ma­trix Ho­tel af­ter he was sworn in.

He also called Premier Rachel Not­ley a tal­ented, in­tel­li­gent and strong woman and de­nounced per­sonal attacks in pol­i­tics. He went on to crit­i­cize NDP rhetoric, adding Not­ley needs to “put an end to the anger ma­chine.”

Ken­ney praised the unity cam­paign that launched the UCP, call­ing on peo­ple to join a party he de­scribed as re­flec­tive of main­stream val­ues.

“If you are a union mem­ber that feels you’ve been mis­lead by the NDP — maybe they’re shut­ting down the coal mine where you’ve worked all your life — then please join us,” he told the 120-strong crowd. “That’s the move­ment of open­ness that we’ll be cre­at­ing in the next year.”

Lt.-Gov. Lois Mitchell presided over the cer­e­mony when Ken­ney

took his oath of of­fice at the leg­is­la­ture.

The of­fi­cial Op­po­si­tion leader spoke briefly and said he’s waited a long time to be able to call UCP cau­cus mem­bers “hon­ourable col­leagues.”

He thanked for­mer UCP MLA Dave Rod­ney, who stepped down to pave the way for the by­elec­tion, as well as his mother — both

If you are a union mem­ber that feels you’ve been mis­lead by the NDP … then please join us.

watched from the gallery as he of­fi­cially took up his new po­si­tion.

The Leg­isla­tive Assem­bly’s spring ses­sion is slated to start March 8, when Not­ley and Ken­ney will have the chance to de­bate head-to-head in ques­tion pe­riod.

The UCP has sched­uled its found­ing gen­eral meet­ing to dis­cuss party pol­icy from May 4-6.

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