Ric McIver not ruling out run for PC leadership

Interim Progressive Conservative leader Ric McIver isn’t ruling out running for the party’s top job, or taking a run at Jason Kenney’s federal seat when he steps down this fall to do the same.

Leadership contest kicks off Oct. 1

Interim PC leader Ric McIver isn't ruling out a run for the job permanently or running for MP Jason Kenney's seat when he steps down. (CBC)

Ric McIver, the Interim Progressive Conservative leader, isn't ruling out running for the party's top job, or taking a run at Jason Kenney's federal seat when he steps down this fall to do the same.

"I have not made that decision but that contest hasn't started yet," he told the Calgary Eyeopener on Monday.

Kenney announced last week he is running to be leader of the PC party and will step down from his seat as MP for Calgary-Midnapore when the race officially starts Oct. 1.

Rumours have swirled that McIver could also run for Kenney's federal seat, something he didn't rule out.

"I've heard that rumour too but when I say I haven't decided what I'm going to do, that's the fact," he said.

"My intentions right now are to complete the four-year term I was elected for as a Progressive Conservative MLA."

McIver said he wasn't discouraged by Stephen Harper's endorsement of Kenney at a Stampede event on the weekend hosted by the federal Conservatives.

"Everybody is entitled to their opinion, even if you're an MP who used to be prime minister, you're still entitled to your opinion," said McIver.

"It's one opinion and, if he buys a party membership, he can even vote."

Calgary-Midnapore MP Jason Kenney has announced he intends to run for leader of the Progressive Conservatives with the goal of uniting Alberta's political right. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Kenney has said his goal is to unite Alberta's political right under a single banner, something McIver wouldn't say whether he supports.

"I'm interested in returning to government," he said.

"I'm interested in removing the NDP, I believe their policies are very harmful for Alberta."

Premier Rachel Notley said Kenney could be in for a tough time during the race.

"I believe, quite frankly, that politicians who leave Alberta and then come back a decade and a half later run the risk of making some unfortunate assumptions about what Alberta is like and what Albertans care about," she said at a Stampede breakfast Monday.

"I believe they like to have their choices respected. And I believe that Albertans — being a young, diverse province — have a very different view on a number of key issues."