Brian Jean Calling for Kenney to Resign Indicates UCP MLAs want Kenney Gone Too

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on June 8, 2021

Brian Jean coming out yesterday and demanding that Alberta Premier Jason Kenney resign was likely not just an indication of Jean’s personal feelings towards Kenney’s leadership, handling of the lockdown situation, and lack of Conservative principles, and probably points to an already established movement to oust him.

Jean as a long-time political actor in Canada, both federally and provincially means he is not the sort of man to put his neck out to see if he can get momentum going to get something as significant as the resignation of a premier.

Jean starting to speak out so far into the public’s growing dissatisfaction with Kenney indicates a very well-planned pressure campaign from outside and inside of the United Conservative Party to get rid of Kenney, and potentially launch Jean into a position to become the UCP leader.

Although MLA Todd Loewen, the former UCP caucus chair before resigning and being removed from caucus alongside MLA Drew Barnes, had also called on Kenney to resign in the open letter, it lacked a clear idea of who would replace Kenney if he were to resign. On the other hand with Brian Jean the public can identify a way forward, simply because he was a former UCP leadership contender and the Wildrose Party leader before its merger with the Alberta PC Party in 2017. 


Not only would Loewen and Barnes be allies of Jean, but it would make sense for more UCP caucus members and staffers to want to see Jean prevail over Kenney.

Right now the UCP is losing to the NDP in polling and the Wildrose Independence Party (WIP) is quickly consolidating the disaffected Conservative voting base in the province, already managing to poll at 17% in some cases despite being little more than a year old, and only recently active in a very public way. 

Rural UCP MLAs will be the most benefited in removing Kenney, as keeping him as Premier may see them losing to a Wildrose candidate next election unless they cross the floor to the Wildrose Independence Party themselves.

Screen Shot 2021-06-08 at 2.22.08 PM.png

Premier Kenney seems to understand that there is a real threat to his position, as he likely would not have made such a public apology over the dining at the Sky Palace with several other MLAs, including Health Minister Tyler Shandro, which he previously denied was wrong for him to have done.

Rumours have been circling around for the past couple of years that one of Kenney’s motives for having not governed as strongly Conservative as he had insisted that he would, was that he planned on making the leap back into federal politics to try and take over the role of Conservative Party leader, which he assumed his softer red-tory premiership would help with. Ironically, it may be his lack of strength that shuts down that opportunity.

Everyone should keep an eye not only on what Brian Jean does next, but what other UCP MLAs and staffers say and do not say. A distinct lack of support for the premier may be present in the coming weeks.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

Comments are closed.