We are once again on location at the Grey Eagle Resort in Calgary, Alberta for the United Conservative Party's Annual General Meeting.
Fifteen hundred people registered to attend the event, which is a significant number considering that organizers were unsure if the AGM would take place in person or remotely mere weeks ago. While policies and governance matters will be on the table, the real story for the weekend revolves around Jason Kenney’s hold over the leadership of the party.
Despite rumors (which Kenney has denied) that the premier has involved PACs in paying registration fees for folks in order to skew votes in his favour, his efforts to increase the thresholds required for a leadership review to be triggered failed on Friday night, increasing the likelihood of his leadership coming to an end sooner rather than later.
Jason Kenney addressed the UCP membership in a keynote speech that covered economic successes and campaign promises kept. He also delved into the division within the UCP that has largely been driven by his wavering position on issues surrounding COVID-19, nominally vaccine passports and health guidelines and restrictions. Kenney went on to explore Alberta’s negation of a fair deal for Alberta, and to discuss establishing an independent Albertan police force to replace the RCMP in Alberta.
You can check out some highlights of his speech for yourself here.
We spoke with prospective leadership challenger Brian Jean about his perspective on some of the shortcomings of Jason Kenney’s leadership. We were also joined by Minister of Justice Kaycee Madu for an update on the plans for a provincial police force in Alberta.
Minster of Infrastructure Prasad Panda spoke with us about the divide within the UCP and the hopeful horizon that he sees for Alberta conservatives moving forward. We also spoke with Member of Legislative Assembly Dan Williams about the successful policy resolution in defence of healthcare practitioners' conscience rights.
I won’t get into details about all of the thirty policy resolutions that were voted on at the AGM, but I will mention a few that were noteworthy, for better or for worse.
Among the good, a resolution was passed that sought to protect freedom of speech, worship and assembly from government or corporate censorship. On the other side of the spectrum, a resolution that was aimed at protecting students from being ejected or punished by schools based on their politics or beliefs. Shocking, this motion was defeated
Another strong conservative resolution that passed was a move to defend health practitioners’ conscience rights. This vote did come down to a close count, but wound up being supported by over 60 per cent of attendees. Beyond this, there were numerous other less controversial motions surrounding energy industries and transportation corridors for industry that you can view for yourself at UCPAGM.ca.
When round two of policy began, there were several issues ranging from nuclear and hydro policies to pension reform, all of which can once again be viewed at UCPAGM.ca.
Among the more interesting debates was an approved resolution enshrining people’s right to continue working without being forced to be in a union, particularly a union that does not ideologically represent them.
A motion calling for merit-based pay for publicly funded schoolteachers, in an effort to increase accountability and performance, was defeated.
Another motion which followed in the footsteps of the morning healthcare workers' conscience rights resolution sought to further enshrine healthcare practitioners' conscious rights by protecting them from being forced to refer patients to services that they find ethically objectionable. The policy did not pass, though it came down a count.
In a rather shocking, somewhat confusing and hauntingly Orwellian turn of events, a policy resolution that sought to counteract woke-temperament and cancel culture historical revisionism was apparently cancelled.
Details weren’t at all clear, but rumours seem to suggest that the policy resolution didn’t make it through the process entirely above board, and that the MLA, the board and the AGM folks apparently agreed unanimously to skip this item. Whatever the truth may be, cancelling a cancel culture resolution is not a great look.
We will be on location again for the UCP AGM on Sunday for the final day of the event.
The only reason we are able to attend this event this year to bring you exclusive interviews, speeches, and policy updates is because of the support of generous viewers just like you.
We don’t get a cent from the government, and because of this we are able to tell the other side of the story without being beholden to Trudeau and company.
If you support independent media and want to see us at even more events, consider chipping in at RealReporters.ca.