Candidates fighting to replace Jason Kenney to discuss Alberta sovereignty tonight

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EDMONTON—Those who’ve declared their intention to replace Jason Kenney as chief of the United Conservative Party — and premier — are to participate in a panel Thursday evening hosted by a bunch pushing for Alberta to develop into “a sovereign jurisdiction within Canada.”

It’s the primary time the official candidates — all vying to develop into social gathering chief on Oct. 6 — will likely be collectively debating the way forward for a province that’s been in political turmoil for greater than a yr, upheaval that led Kenney to announce he can be stepping down.

Three candidates lately stepped down as cupboard ministers so as to run: Travis Toews, Rebecca Schulz and Rajan Sawhney. Two former Wildrose social gathering leaders, Danielle Smith and Brian Jean, are additionally anticipated to attend, together with Independent MLA Todd Loewen, who was turfed from the UCP caucus after criticizing Kenney, and Leela Aheer, who was a minister earlier than being demoted to the UCP backbench after doing the identical.

“We are at a critical juncture in Alberta politics and it’s vitally important that Alberta’s next premier is ready to fight for Alberta’s interests and stand up to Ottawa,” the discover for the occasion says on the Free Alberta Strategy website.

The digital panel dialogue, hosted by former Alberta MLA Rob Anderson, will run for 2 hours starting at 7 p.m. native time.

Launched by the Alberta Institute, a think-tank, the Free Alberta Strategy trumpets coverage concepts similar to enacting laws that may enable the province to refuse to implement federal legal guidelines in the event that they “unfairly attack the interests of Alberta’s people.”

It additionally needs to see the province arrange a provincial police drive, finish equalization funds, and set up a provincial pension plan in addition to Alberta unemployment insurance coverage.

One candidate, Smith, has already stated she would usher in laws that may, in some way, enable Alberta to ignore federal legal guidelines which might be seen as “an attack on Alberta’s interests or our provincial rights.”

“I’m sure we can all agree, we need less Ottawa in our lives,” she stated in a news launch final week.

Smith has additionally pledged that if she have been premier, Alberta would “never lock down again,” an obvious reference to COVID-19 restrictions introduced in by Kenney.

Kenney confronted important criticism over his COVID response — each from those that thought his authorities had finished too little and from those that felt just like the restrictions had gone too far.

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