Stephen Harper endorses Jason Kenney for Alberta PC leader
Alberta is 'the beating heart' of the Canadian conservative movement, Harper says
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.
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"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.
"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.
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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.
Delighted to receive strong endorsement of former Prime Minister <a href="https://twitter.com/stephenharper">@StephenHarper</a> for my campaign to become <a href="https://twitter.com/PC_Alberta">@PC_Alberta</a> Leader & <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UniteAlberta?src=hash">#UniteAlberta</a>—@jkenney