Jason Kenney to announce bid for Alberta PC leadership Wednesday
Former cabinet minister in Harper government to seek merger of PC Party and Wildrose
Conservative MP Jason Kenney will announce he is making a bid to run for the leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party in Calgary this Wednesday, CBC News has confirmed.
Sources also say he is looking to merge the right in his home province by calling on Progressive Conservatives and members of the Wildrose to come together to better fight the progressive forces of the current NDP government.
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Kenney recently renewed his provincial PC membership, and the job for leader of that party is currently open.
A merger of the two provincial parties will prove to be challenging, but Kenney has some experience in dealing with two parties coming together, given the wedding of the Canadian Alliance (previously Reform) and Progressive Conservative parties federally in 2003.
It is unclear at this stage whether Kenney will vacate his federal seat while attempting to be the next leader of a new conservative movement in Alberta.
The current head of the Progressive Conservatives in Ontario, Patrick Brown, stayed an MP while running to be leader.
The PC Party of Alberta has been without a leader since former Conservative MP and cabinet minister Jim Prentice stepped down in May 2015 after losing the provincial election.
Kenney's announcement would come just before the Calgary Stampede, a key cultural and political event in Alberta.
- An earlier version of this story referred to the merger of the federal Reform and Progressive Conservative parties in 2003. In fact, it was the Canadian Alliance that merged to form the present Conservative Party of Canada. The Reform Party was folded into the Canadian Alliance in 2000.Jul 05, 2016 7:57 AM ET
With files from Heather Spiller