File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS Jason Kenney speaks to the media at his first convention as leader of the United Conservative Party in Red Deer.

United Conservatives’ Kenney pitches fixed vote date, fundraising rule changes

EDMONTON — Alberta Opposition Leader Jason Kenney says if he wins the upcoming provincial election he will launch democratic reforms on everything from floor-crossing to desk-thumping.

Kenney also says he would bring in a fixed election date and pass a law mandating a referendum before any future government tries to impose a carbon tax.

“Albertans sent a clear message in the last provincial election: they want to clean up our politics and they wanted real accountability,” Kenney said Thursday.

He said Premier Rachel Notley’s NDP took some steps on that path, such as banning corporate and union political donations, but didn’t go far enough.

A United Conservative government would bring in a law to allow voters to recall their legislature member and hold a byelection if 40 per cent or more sign a petition to do so, he said.

On floor crossing, Kenney said it’s unclear if a government could pass a law banning an MLA from quitting and joining another party between elections.

Instead, his government would put forward a motion to have all members vote on whether an MLA who wants to cross the floor should first resign and run in a byelection.

In late 2014, almost the entire Opposition Wildrose party crossed the floor to join the governing Progressive Conservatives.

About six months later, both parties were defeated by Notley’s NDP. The Wildrose and PCs have since joined forces under the new UCP banner.

“The United Conservative caucus would not accept a floor-crosser from a different party unless that person resigned and held a byelection,” said Kenney.

Thursday was a day of duelling news conferences by the two major parties.

NDP Government House Leader Brian Mason announced that his party has launched a website detailing what they say is key information on Kenney’s statements and actions toward minority groups like LGBTQ, on women’s rights and abortion, and enriching himself at public expense as a former MP.

“It doesn’t tell a pretty story and it could make for some tough reading for some people,” Mason said.

“Because past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour, it is important that the truth about Mr. Kenney’s record is widely known.”

Back at his news conference, Kenney repeated a promise to repeal Alberta’s carbon tax and said he would mandate a referendum before a government could bring it back.

The UCP would also bring in a fixed election date. Currently by law, a party must hold an election within a three-month window every four years, beginning in March and ending in May.

The party has said Notley’s government is abusing that flexibility by effectively campaigning now on public dollars even though Notley has not dropped the writ to formally start the 28-day countdown to voting day.

The UCP is further promising to allow MLAs more latitude to vote their preference on legislation and on matters of conscience.

Just Posted

Good-bye ice and snow, hello potholes on Red Deer roads

City workers will be spending 20 hours a day on various road repairs

Fog advisory in effect for Red Deer, central Alberta

Heavy fog is affecting visibility for central Alberta drivers Saturday morning. A… Continue reading

Climate change’s impact on outdoor hockey discussed in Red Deer

Red Deer River Watershed Alliance held a forum Friday at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

Collision between Red Deer transit bus and truck investigated by RCMP

No one on bus was hurt, truck driver had minor injuries

Eckville man facing about 80 child sexual exploitation charges in court

More than half a million photos and videos found on electronic devices

WATCH: Fashion show highlights Cree designers

The fashion show was part of a Samson Cree Nation conference on MMIW

Montreal priest stabbed during mass leaves hospital; suspect to be charged

MONTREAL — A Catholic priest who was stabbed as he was celebrating… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $35.7 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $35.7 million jackpot… Continue reading

New report details impact of proposed NS spaceport in event of explosion or fire

HALIFAX — The head of a company proposing to open Canada’s only… Continue reading

Quebec man convicted in Mafia-linked conspiracy deported to Italy

MONTREAL — Michele Torre, a Quebec man convicted in 1996 for his… Continue reading

Republican Karl Rove says conservatives need more than simplistic slogans

OTTAWA — Legendary Republican campaign strategist Karl Rove, known for his no-holds-barred… Continue reading

B.C. hospital’s use as shelter ‘clarion call’ about housing crisis, says mayor

The 10-bed regional hospital that serves the medical needs of 5,000 people… Continue reading

Puddle splashing: A rite of spring

Is there anything more fun than driving through water-filled potholes in the… Continue reading

Special evaluations can help seniors cope with cancer care

Before she could start breast cancer treatment, Nancy Simpson had to walk… Continue reading

Most Read