CALGARY, Alberta, April 17, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — As expected, Jason Kenney and his United Conservative Party swept the left-wing New Democratic Party out of office in a landslide victory in Alberta’s general election Tuesday.
Well-known as a pro-life and pr0-family advocate during his almost two decades in federal politics, the Catholic Kenney has increasingly distanced himself from those positions, and did so strongly during the election campaign.
The UCP won 63 of Alberta’s 87 seats — a gain of 38 — while Rachel Notley’s NDP dropped from 52 to 24. No other party made a showing.
Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s national pro-life, pro-family political lobbying group, congratulated Kenney in a press release that blasted the NDP’s legacy.
During its four years in power, Notley’s NDP passed a “bubble zone” law banning pro-life witness outside abortion centers, sought to expand abortion access across the province, aggressively pushed the LGBTQ agenda in schools, and attacked homeschooling and faith-based schools.
“Under the Notley regime, parental rights, religious freedom and free speech were gravely curtailed,” said Campaign Life Coalition national president Jeff Gunnarson.
“We congratulate Jason on his big win, and urge him to restore the rights and freedoms that have been stripped away from parents and people of faith during these past four years of NDP tyranny. He should begin the moment he takes office as Premier.”
Kenney promised in his campaign to scrub the NDP’s Bill 24, which prohibits schools from telling parents when their child has joined a pro-homosexual “gay-straight alliance” (GSA).
He also vowed to put a “pause” on the NDP’s “ideological” overhaul of Alberta’s school curriculum.
However, Kenney disappointed the UCP’s social conservatives by overruling a resolution passed by a majority of delegates at the party’s first convention that schools must notify parents when their child joins a GSA.
He has also been adamant the UCP will not revisit abortion. Under his leadership, UCP MLAs walked out of the legislature when the bubble zone bill was being debated, to signal the law was political showmanship by the NDP.
And while relentlessly targeted by the NDP and critics as anti-LGBTQ, Kenney attended UCP Pride events the last two years, accepts “same-sex” marriage as settled law, and says he wants more homosexual candidates and a greater presence of LGBTory in his party.
As expected, Kenney won his seat in Calgary-Lougheed, and Notley, 54, in Edmonton-Strathcona, and as expected, Edmonton remains the province’s tiny NDP orange redoubt in a sea of Tory blue.
“What a great day for the province of Alberta,” Kenney, 50, told wildly cheering crowds at UCP campaign headquarters in Calgary election night.
“Help is on the way and hope is on the horizon.”
Kenney campaigned mainly on the economy, promising his government would do what it could to get more Albertans back to work and restore the province’s pining oil and gas industry.
The UCP will take Alberta from “being the slowest-moving and most over-regulated economy in Canada, to being one of the freest and fastest-moving economies in the world,” he said in his victory speech.
Commentators predict his victory spells trouble for Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, with Kenney vowing to oppose the federal carbon tax and push for pipelines.
“We’ve been selling our country’s greatest asset at firesale prices, losing billions of dollars of value that belongs to us,” Kenney said Tuesday.
“In Ottawa, we have a federal government that has made this bad situation… much worse, killing two pipelines, including Energy East,” Kenney said, only to be interrupted with roars: “Build that pipe! Build that pipe!” as reported in Global News.
For his part, Trudeau tweeted congratulations to Kenney and said he was “looking forward to working together to create jobs & tackle the issues that matter most to Albertans – and all Canadians.”
But Campaign Life says Alberta’s premier-elect must step up and do more for life and family.
“Kenney should waste no time in repealing the NDP’s unconstitutional Bill 9, which banned peaceful, pro-life expression on taxpayer-owned public sidewalks within 50 metres of abortion facilities,” said Jack Fonseca, political operations director for Campaign Life Coalition.
“The Charter right to freedom of expression is fundamental to a free and democratic society. Banning peaceful expression is an affront to democracy and the hallmark of a totalitarian police state,” Fonseca said in a press release.
“Since free speech is a core principle for conservatives, we hope he will agree.”
Moreover, Kenney should go beyond nixing Bill 24 and “make it mandatory” for schools to notify parents when their child joins a GSA, said Gunnarson.
“Parental rights over the moral education of children must be respected by the State,” he said.
“Additionally, the government has no right to trespass on the domain of the family with radical ideological agendas on sex and gender theory. Alberta’s new Premier-elect must set things right.”
Kenney’s quest for Alberta’s top elected office began in July 2016, when, after 19 years in Ottawa and managing several high-level portfolios in Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, he defied expectations he would run for leadership of the federal Conservatives and instead, returned to his home province to unite the right.
A year earlier, Notley’s NDP had taken power in a shocking landslide that reduced the once-mighty Progressive Conservatives to 10 seats from 61.
In short order, Kenney was elected leader of the Progressive Conservatives in March 2017, negotiated a merger of his party with the Wildrose Party in July to form the UCP, was elected UCP leader in October, and elected to his Calgary-Lougheed seat in December 2017.