Jason Kenney and Randy Kerr not long ago, but in happier times (Photo: Facebook).

Another United Conservative Party candidate has been sent packing for being neither “forthright” nor “forthcoming” with party Leader Jason Kenney. Leastways, that’s the UCP’s story, and they’re stickin’ to it.

Randy Kerr, recently chosen as UCP candidate in the Calgary-Beddington riding and a prominent figure in the party’s rapidly metastasizing “Kamikaze Campaign” embarrassment, was given his walking papers on Wednesday.

Jeff Callaway, the man at the centre of the Kamikaze storm (Photo: Facebook).

A statement emailed to media that evening by UCP Executive Director Janice Harrington said that “in the last 48-hours, new information has come to our attention indicating Mr. Kerr was not forthright in responding to the Party’s inquiries regarding his financial contribution to the Jeff Callaway Leadership campaign.”

Mr. Callaway is alleged to have conducted a mysteriously funded UCP campaign in 2017 designed not to win, but to take down Mr. Kenney’s principal rival to lead the then-new party, former Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean, while allowing Mr. Kenney to keep his paws clean.

“To be clear,” Ms. Harrington’s statement continued, gingerly skirting dangerous ground for the UCP, “the Party is not making any allegations against Mr. Kerr regarding the legitimacy of his contribution to the Callaway Leadership, nor against Mr. Callaway or his Campaign. This is not the Party’s rule to judge, and the Party does not in any way oversee financial contributions to leadership campaigns.”

Former Wildrose leader Brian Jean (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

“However,” she said, “it is our conclusion that Mr. Kerr was not sufficiently forthcoming with the Party’s earlier inquiries, and for that, he has been removed as a candidate.” (Emphasis added.)

As my blogging colleague Dave Cournoyer, the first commentator to spot this story breaking Wednesday night, observed, it’s not entirely clear what the UCP had in mind when it said Mr. Kerr was insufficiently forthright, seeing as he reported his $4,000 donation ages ago to Elections Alberta as required by law.

Alberta Speaker Bob Wanner (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Lack of forthrightness, though, is a complaint that has proved useful to the UCP before Mr. Kerr’s troubles came to light. Derek Fildebrandt, once a rising star in the UCP and now leader of the Freedom Conservative Party, was similarly characterized after a series of politically embarrassing events led to his dismissal from the caucus.

Freedom Conservative Party Leader Derek Fildebrandt (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Meanwhile, House Speaker Bob Wanner gave the UCP a gentle tap on the wrist, telling the party that letting its staffers make surreptitious video recordings of dissident Independent Prab Gill was “unbecoming for those who work in the office of a Member and is not in keeping with the dignity of the institution.”

I’ll say!

As noted here yesterday, the UCP has now moved on to other ways of trying to get Mr. Gill to stop talking about the party’s electoral shenanigans, explicitly threatening to sue him for defamation for what he recently told the RCMP.

Political observers in Alberta are intensely interested in what Election Commissioner Lorne Gibson might have to say, and when, about his investigations into these developments.

So long Karen McPherson

Calgary-MacKay-Nose Hill MLA Karen McPherson (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Speaking of Calgary-Beddington, Karen McPherson, the Calgary-MacKay-Nose Hill New Democrat who quit the NDP Caucus in 2017, sat as an Independent for a spell, and then joined the Alberta Party, has changed her mind about seeking another term in that redrawn riding.

She had been nominated to run for the Alberta Party in Calgary-Beddington before she changed her mind.

Despite a lengthy statement published on Facebook, Ms. McPherson was not completely clear about the reasons for her change of heart. But it almost made one wonder if she wasn’t comfortable with the idea of abetting a vote split that would help the UCP end the progressive policies of her former colleagues in the NDP.

At any rate, Ms. McPherson’s valedictory message made reference to the fact Alberta “doesn’t need to be made great ‘again.’” Sounds like acknowledgement that Mr. Kenney’s planned program is worthy of Donald Trump.

Supply shrinks, prices rise. Who knew?

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. said yesterday Alberta’s supply management program for crude oil supplies is working so well it won’t be needed much longer.

“The Canadian oil market was very rocky in the fourth quarter with dysfunctional marketplace dynamics driving historically high differentials for both heavy and light oil in Canada,” Executive Vice-Chair Steve Laut said during a telephonic dog-and-pony show for the business press. “The first quarter of 2019 is a completely different story,” he continued. “With curtailments imposed by the Alberta government, market order has been established.”

So when supplies shrink, it turns out that prices rise! Who knew?

Thank you, Premier Rachel Notley, for this teaching moment.

Same stuff; different domain

SecondStreet.org CEO Troy Lanigan, late of the CTF (Photo: Troy Lanigan).

That new “think tank” founded by a group of Canadian Taxpayers Federation staffers and officers has gone live.

Looking as if it’s generously financed by someone, the SecondStreet.org website appears to be devoted entirely to attacks on Canada’s public health care system and paeans to the wonderful work done by private, for-profit clinics.

At a glance, at least four of the new organization’s six directors are former or current CTF directors, two of whom remain on the CTF board.

The four staff members listed are former CTF president Troy Lanigan, former CTF Alberta director Colin Craig, former Fraser Institute spin doctor Mark Milke, and Melanie Harvie, who also remains that CTF’s executive VP.

Well, the CTF can hardly deny it’s part of the right-wing coalition against Canadian public health care, something to think about when you read CTF claims on any topic regurgitated as authoritative by mainstream media.

Join the Conversation


  1. So Mr. Kerr has not been “sufficiently forthcoming”, what exactly does that mean? He lied, he ommitted or forgot to tell someone something? Who was he not forthcoming too? What didn’t he tell them? Why didn’t he tell them and of course why has this become an issue now?

    Seems like Mr. Kerr is not the only one not being very “forthcoming” here, the UCP statement is about as vague as it possibly can be. Reading between the lines of UCPspeak, I get something like “We’d really, really rather not talk about this at all, but it may be about to be revealed anyways so we better say something now because if we don’t it it could be even more damaging and embarassing very soon”. This sort of Nixonian stonewalling makes Trudeau’s recent performances seem like a cascade of candor.

    Maybe the UCP will get lucky and they will be able to intimidate or silence whoever they think is about to talk, maybe temporarily say until after May, or maybe longer. However I get the sense even they think this may not work. By not being sufficiently forthcoming themselves they can play it both ways – if what they don’t want to come out does tumble out of their closet of secrets, they can claim to have dealt with it. If it does not they can just say nothing further and forget about it. I get the sense they feel something big is potentially ready to come out and it could seriously damage the UCP and it is related to some of the allegations already made about their leadership campaign.

  2. After the flak that followed the expulsion of Derek Fildebrandt, Lance Coulter (of Soldiers of Odin fame), and especially Prab Gill, you would think by now the UCP would have learned that candidate expulsion is not the end of the story.

    Personally, I wonder if they have learned the lesson, and the real reason for the expulsion is even more embarrassing for the party.

  3. ‘“With curtailments imposed by the Alberta government, market order has been established.”

    So when supplies shrink, it turns out that prices rise! Who knew?’ …and just maybe the Venezuela Coup that Canada has it’s greasy paws on has something to do with it? Venezuela oil competes directly with tarsands oil at the Gulf Koch oil refineries. But hey, it could just be coincidence.

  4. It’s nice to see that Jason Kenney’s scandal-plagued Alberta political career is off to such a good start.

    Just like Kenney, those ‘blessed with a firm grasp of the obvious’ will see the Callaway kamikaze debacle for what it is — a shameless lust for power by Alberta’s new political Grifter-in-Chief. Jason Kenney’s unbridled megalomania is slowing choking the political life out of his own party. Pretty soon they’re going to run out of buses to throw people under. If Kenney’s name was Brian Jean, he would have been removed weeks ago as leader.

  5. Oh those pretty choppers! Are Jason and his buddies shilling for high gloss implants or ultra white store teeth?

  6. So after all this steam rolling, we still have a contest? I’d say focus on stupidity. You want stupid, vain and borderline criminal manipulation of governance? Elect the UCP! One vote? Hey, as far as I can tell the UCP is pandering to the gerrymandered rural vote. You want them deciding on your fate? Likely not! During the entire NDP mandate, they’ve refused to punish the rural. Why? Because they, unlike the UCP and Jason, believe that you’re people too! You want Kansas? Oh just vote stupid! Vote UCP!

  7. With all of the ethical problems that keep surfacing before the PROVINCIAL election has been called, how is the UCP going to even conduct a winning election campaign let alone manage the province if they scrape out a win?

    Can the Herald and Journal slant their coverage enough to fool most of the people once more?

    Seventy years of right wing parties forming government in relatively good times is no proof that they perform an economic turnaround in tough times especially with their policy being oriented toward austerity.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.