Stephen Harper endorses Jason Kenney for Alberta PC leader

"This province is the beating heart of the Canadian conservative movement," Harper said of Alberta, while endorsing Jason Kenney's bid to lead the provincial PCs at a Conservative Party Stampede BBQ.

Alberta is 'the beating heart' of the Canadian conservative movement, Harper says

Former prime minister Stephan Harper, right, threw his support behind Jason Kenney after his longtime cabinet minister announced he was leaving federal politics to run for leadership of Alberta's Progressive Conservatives in a bid to unite the right. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

Former prime minister Stephen Harper has endorsed Jason Kenney as the next Alberta PC leader, saying the situation in the province must change, 

"This province is the beating heart of the Canadian conservative movement," Harper said while addressing a federal Conservative Party Stampede BBQ Saturday evening in Calgary.

He praised the MPs he's worked with, and commended Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose for the work she's done in recent months. He also touted his contribution to creating a united federal conservative movement.

"That unity has remained elusive here in Alberta," he said.

He added Kenney has proven himself a principled conservative "time and time" again.

Ambrose echoed the support, saying she's behind both the movement to unite the right in Alberta — and Kenney's bid.

'This province is the beating heart of the Canadian conservative movement,' Harper told a federal Conservative Party Stampede BBQ Saturday evening in Calgary. Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose also endorsed Kenney at the BBQ. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

"He is the right person to lead this movement forward for the PC Party, I know he is," Ambrose said. 

She said he's hard-working, principled and compassionate, and has the best interests of Albertans at heart.

The conservative movement in Canada is strong, "coast to coast to coast," Ambrose said.

It was widely speculated Harper would use Saturday's event to announce his resignation as MP, but he didn't address his future ambitions.

The former prime minister has kept a low profile since the federal election last October that saw Justin Trudeau's Liberals form a majority government.

Harper did not grant interviews following the loss and had not spoken publicly until the party's convention in Vancouver in May.

Kenney later thanked both Harper and Ambrose for standing behind his bid.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.