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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney resigns as UCP leader despite narrow leadership review win
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced his resignation as United Conservative Party leader Wednesday after receiving 51.4 per cent approval of his leadership from UCP members.
"The result is not what I hoped for or frankly what I expected," Kenney told a gathering of supporters and volunteers in Calgary after the results of the leadership review were announced.
"While 51 per cent of the vote passes the constitutional threshold of a majority, it clearly is not adequate support to continue on as leader."
Kenney had previously suggested he would accept a result of 50 per cent plus one.
Party members were asked to answer yes or no to the question "Do you approve of the current leader?" Of the 34,298 party members who mailed in ballots by the May 11 deadline, 17,638 said yes and 16,660 said no.
In his short address, Kenney said he advised party president Cynthia Moore of his intention to step down and asked that the party schedule a leadership election as soon as possible.
Kenney will remain party leader until a interim leader is chosen. It isn't known if he intends to continue as the MLA for Calgary-Lougheed.
"It's a great night for Alberta," said Rob Smith, president of the Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills UCP constituency association.
Smith had emerged as a critic of Kenney's leadership and how the UCP board handled calls for a review. He said a turning point for him was a virtual meeting between Kenney and the Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills constituency association in March 2021. Smith said Kenney became defensive when he was told he needed to spend more time talking to the party grassroots.
Following the leadership vote, Smith expressed surprised Kenney stepped down but said he did the right thing. Read the full story here.
In Ukraine's 'Hell's Kitchen', volunteers show they can take the heat
Edward Cooney, an Edmonton construction worker, arrived in Kharkiv on May 1 as Ukrainian forces were slowly but steadily pushing the Russian army back from the edge of the city. Now, he helps out in "Hell's Kitchen" — a volunteer-run operation in Kharkiv that prepares and delivers hot meals to front-line troops, first responders, medical staff and vulnerable civilians. Read more about the volunteers here.
The national chief of the Assembly of First Nations said late Wednesday the Queen must apologize for the Crown's "ongoing failure to fulfil its treaty agreements" with Indigenous peoples, and suggested there should be some "restitution" for harms perpetrated by the Canadian government in her name. RoseAnne Archibald met with Prince Charles Wednesday at a reception in Rideau Hall following his tour of Ottawa with his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. Archibald told reporters she brought up the subject of an apology with Charles. "I did it respectfully and I told him this wasn't a political request. I told him it would be something that would help people heal," Archibald said. "I let him know that this would be a healing path forward for us — to receive an apology. He did talk about the failures. I found him to be very empathetic." Read the full story here.
Health officials in Quebec are investigating more than a dozen cases of suspected monkeypox in Canada, after U.S. and European health officials confirmed rising cases of the rare infectious disease — suggesting a wider outbreak may be happening globally. Radio-Canada reported Wednesday that Montreal public health officials are investigating at least 13 cases flagged by doctors in the city, following diagnoses made in three clinics specializing in sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections. Laboratory confirmation of the cases are in progress and an announcement is expected in the coming days. Quebec's Ministry of Health and Social Services said in a statement to CBC News late Wednesday they were notified of a person with a confirmed case of monkeypox who travelled to the province. While the ministry said it cannot confirm any additional cases yet, it is investigating reports of about 10 people with genital lesions that may be associated with disease. The U.S. confirmed its first case of monkeypox in a man who recently travelled to Canada, after European health officials confirmed more than two dozen cases of the rare infectious disease this week. Read more on this story here
Much of the discussion about Canada's real estate market has been dominated by the meteoric rise in the cost of housing, but what's often missing from that conversation is the increase in real estate commissions. For example, a brokerage representing a buyer in 2005 in the Greater Toronto Area would have earned a commission of about $8,795 on the average single-family home — while in December 2021, the buyer's brokerage would earn about $36,230, or four times more on that same home, according to Dr. Panle Jia Barwick, a leading economist on the real estate industries commission structure. Meanwhile, the median household income increased by just 14 per cent between 2005 and 2019, after adjusting for inflation. That discrepancy is just one of several points laid out in a recent lawsuit, alleging price-fixing and anticompetitive behaviour in Canada's real estate market. The class-action case launched on behalf of Toronto resident Mark Sunderland on April 9, 2021, claims that some of the country's largest brokerages, including ReMax, Century 21, and IproRealty Ltd. among others, as well as the Canadian Real Estate Association and the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board, have "conspired, agreed or arranged with each other to fix, maintain, increase or control the price … for buyer brokerage services in the GTA." Read more here.
Violent extremists in Canada have the "intent and capability" to commit acts of terrorism, but detecting attacks by lone actors or small groups before they happen is "difficult," says an internal threat assessment conducted for the federal government last year. The warning is found in a threat analysis prepared by the federal government's Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre (ITAC) in the lead-up to last year's muted Canada Day celebrations. At the time, the team — which works with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to advise the federal government on terrorist threats — was worried that ideologically or religiously motivated extremists could seize the occasion of the national holiday to make a violent statement. While no known attacks happened last July 1, the analysis shines a light on the things the secretive agency looks for in advance of special events and the challenges it faces detecting would-be attackers. Read the full story here.
When Canada banned Russian state television network RT, analysts said it was only a matter of time before Moscow retaliated with Canadian news outlets in the crosshairs. That the target was the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is not surprising, experts said, given how Moscow likely views the public broadcaster as a mouthpiece for the government, just as critics of RT accuse it of being a propaganda tool for the Russian state. "Their assumption is that any broadcaster connected to a state one way or another — and they do not differentiate between state media and public media — is fundamentally indistinguishable from RT," said Samuel Greene, director of the Russia Institute at King's College London. "The fact that Canada has the CBC or Britain has the BBC, is in fact, part of the justification for Russia having RT," Greene continued. "So it just makes sense that if Canada's not going to let RT operate in Canada, then Russia's not going to let the CBC operate in Russia." On Wednesday, Russian officials confirmed that CBC's Moscow bureau would be closed and the network's journalists expelled in response to Ottawa's move to ban broadcasting by the Russian channels, RT and RT France. Read more on this story here.
There were plenty of goals in the first playoff edition of the Battle of Alberta in 31 years. Last night in Calgary, the Flames beat the visiting Edmonton Oilers 9-6. Calgary's Matthew Tkachuk had a hat trick, while Blake Coleman added two goals. Zach Hyman netted twice for the Oilers. Connor McDavid had his fourth straight multi-point game in the playoffs with a goal and three assists. Edmonton starting goaltender Mike Smith was pulled in the first period after he allowed three Calgary goals on 10 shots. Mikko Koskinen came in and made 32 saves. Game 2 of the series goes Friday night in Calgary before moving north to Edmonton for Game 3 on Sunday and Game 4 on Tuesday. Read more from Game 1 of the series.
Now for some good news to start your Thursday: When nine-year-old Cecily Eklund of Westlock, Alta., was fighting cancer in 2020, she wasn't allowed to bring her beloved doll to treatments. That's because it had magnets in it and couldn't go into the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine with her. So Cecily and her mom, Cathy, are now making MRI-friendly dolls to help other kids feel safe. They donate some of the dolls and sell others to raise money for the Kids with Cancer Society in Edmonton. In 2021, they raised nearly $30,000.
Opinion: Safe return of 'unlawfully detained' star Griner is a win WNBA community deserves
The 26th season of the WNBA, which has created a blueprint for fighting anti-Black racism and has been vocal in supporting other marginalized communities, is playing without one of its greatest players: Phoenix Mercury's No. 42, Brittney Griner. Read the column here.
Front Burner: Jason Kenney resigns as UCP leader
He won a bare majority of his party's support in the United Conservative Party leadership review, but it wasn't enough for Jason Kenney to remain leader of the party he co-founded.
Kenney stepped down last night after the results were announced, despite winning 51.4 percent of the vote, saying, "It clearly is not adequate support to continue on as leader."
Today, CBC Calgary Opinion producer and analyst Jason Markusoff walks us through Kenney's spectacular fall from power and what this shocking result means for his party and the province of Alberta.
Today in history: May 19
1967: The Soviet Union ratifies a treaty with the United States and Britain, banning nuclear weapons from outer space.
1984: The Edmonton Oilers win their first of five Stanley Cups in seven years. They down the visiting New York Islanders 5-2 to win the NHL final in five games.
1997: For the first time in four years, fishermen drop their nets for cod off southern Newfoundland. A small commercial fishery re-opens off the south coast and in the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence. The fishery had been completely closed in 1993 due to declining stocks.
2005: Prime Minister Paul Martin's Liberal government survives after Liberal Speaker Peter Milliken breaks a tie on a confidence vote. It marked the first time in post-Confederation history that happened on a confidence vote, keeping the Liberals in government by a vote of 153-152.
With files from The Canadian Press, The Associated Press and Reuters