'You're not conservative enough': PC board member resigns over 'labels' from Kenney supporters

A former regional director with the Progressive Conservative party says she resigned from the board because she was tired of the negativity and criticism being levelled at some party members by supporters of Jason Kenney.

Lorna Wolodko says PC Leader Jason Kenney doesn't acknowledge divisions within party

Jason Kenney won the PC leadership on March 18. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

A former regional director with the Progressive Conservative party says she resigned from the board because she was tired of the negativity and criticism being levelled at existing party members by some Jason Kenney supporters. 

"People are so quick to label," said Lorna Wolodko, the former regional director for St. Albert. "You're not conservative enough. You're not a true conservative or you're too progressive.

"[The labels are] used as weapons and methods of bullying and intimidation."

Wolodko tendered her resignation on Thursday. She is the seventh person to resign from the PC board of directors since Kenney became leader on March 18, after running on a platform to create a new united conservative party. 

Lorna Wolodko resigned Thursday after five years as a member of the Progressive Conservative board of directors. (Twitter)
Connor Turner, Kim Krushell, Stephanie Shostak, Bud James, Jordan Lien and former president Katherine O'Neill have also stepped down. 

Shostak and former PCAA executive director Troy Wason, who resigned the day after Kenney became leader, have joined the Alberta Party.

Kenney dismissed the resignations as nothing out of the ordinary.

"After every leadership election there's always going to be some people who choose to leave," he said.

Kenney said he earned the mandate to move forward with talks aimed at unifying his party with the Wildrose when he won the leadership with 75 per cent of the vote. He said members will decide whether to unite or not.

'He doesn't see it'

But Wolodko blames the people who joined the party to vote for Kenney for the negativity that pushed her to step down.

She said his campaign and supporters have helped create a divide that Kenney must address as leader.

Wolodko said her attempt to broach the divide in the party with Kenney went nowhere.

"I just wanted him to acknowledge that and have a discussion on what we could do to help mend that. His answer to me was he doesn't see it.

"I didn't feel there was a receptive response to my concerns. And it's not just my concern."

Wolodko wasn't surprised to hear that Kenney seemed unconcerned by the board resignations.

"He does seem to be quite dismissive of any concerns that come from someone who wasn't originally in his camp," she said.

"I don't know if he is downplaying it or what, but I would think as a leader ... I think he would be a little more interested in some of the reasoning and why it's happening."

Wolodko said other board members may leave if they feel unappreciated or believe their concerns are not being heard. 

While Wolodko has left the board, she is still a member of the PC party. She is taking a wait-and-see attitude on any unification agreement that results from talks between the Wildrose and PC parties.