CALGARY, Alberta, March 20, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Alberta’s Progressive Conservative (PC) party has found a new leader who just might have the teeth needed to take on and defeat the province’s New Democratic Party (NDP) in the 2019 election. Former MP Jason Kenney won a decisive first ballot victory on Saturday, gathering 75 percent of the vote.
Kenney, who as a Conservative MP had what Campaign Life Coalition called a “perfect voting record” on life and family issues, campaigned on the promise to unite the PC and Wild Rose parties into a coalition to beat the NDP.
“Today is the beginning of the end of this disastrous socialist government,” Kenney said in his victory speech. “Today we have chosen unity. Today, it’s springtime in Alberta!”
“Today is the beginning of the end of this disastrous socialist government!” pic.twitter.com/Lq5KkOMtaa
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) March 18, 2017
Since coming into power in May 2015 the NDP government has assaulted parental rights and bullied Christian schools with its pro-LGBT agenda.
The NDP has forced Christian schools to set up “gay-straight alliance” clubs. It has forced them to comply with its controversial transgender guidelines for forming school policy. And it has defunded the province’s largest Christian home-schooling association, effectively shutting it down. It has also begun a massive overhaul of the province's K-12 curriculum with one of the goals being to normalize homosexuality, transgenderism, and gender fluidity.
Parents battling the NDP government’s pro-LGBTQ policies in schools will likely see Kenney as their knight in shining armor because of his strong defense of parents’ rights.
Last September Kenney blasted the NDP government’s education minister for suggesting that he would pull the funding from Christian schools if they refused to permit gay-straight alliances and provide all-gender washrooms.
When launching his bid for leadership in July, Kenney decried what he called the “ideological agenda” of the NDP, saying that the Notley government is “planning ‘radical changes to the school curriculum’.”
“You know what that means for these ideologues,” he said at that time: “It doesn’t mean better measurable school outcomes. It means social engineering and pedagogical fads in our schools.”
Although Kenney has a proven pro-life-and-family track record, he did not campaign on this, but on his promise to “unite the right” and bring about a merger of parties, a move that many social conservatives believe is the only way to defeat the social NDP government of Premier Rachel Notley.
Critics suspect that under Kenney’s leadership, the party will “tack right on social issues and rights of minorities similar to the Wildrose.” Immediately after Kenney’s big win, the NDP, Liberals, and Alberta Party took to social media to urge PC supporters not happy with their new boss to come over to their side, reported The Star.
In an apparent last-minute attempt to wedge support away from Kenney, the pro-abortion group Alberta Pro-Choice Coalition (APCC) complained loudly when it said he had failed to answer their questionnaire on where he stood on abortion.
Alberta social conservative Paul Bunner, a former staffer to Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, told LifeSiteNews that the APCC was likely attempting to “isolate Jason” at the last minute by alienating social “progressives” among the delegates to Saturday’s leadership convention. If this was the strategy, it backfired.
This is not the first time Kenney has weathered attacks on his pro-life position.
Last July Kenney was attacked for his strong pro-life views after declaring his bid for leadership. While he did not back down from his pro-life convictions, pro-life advocates said they were “disappointed” to hear him say at that time that these convictions did not have a place on his platform.
Kenney told the CBC at that time: “I believe in the value of human life and I apply it to capital punishment and all bioethical questions, but in my 20 years in Parliament I haven’t given a speech about this, let alone proposed a motion or a bill.”
Kenney noted in the same interview how as federal MP, he supported the Harper Conservatives’ policy not to introduce legislation regulating abortion.
He said in the same interview that if elected leader of the PC Party he would “allow for freedom of conscience for [MLAs] to represent their constituents on ethical issues, and to do so when those matters come up as votes, but as a government we wouldn’t be taking initiatives on those issues.”
According to Cameron Wilson of the Wilberforce Project, a number of Alberta pro-lifers joined the PCs to support Kenney’s candidacy. The organization, formerly Alberta Pro Life, vigorously encouraged its members and supporters to join the party and participate in local riding processes to select convention delegates.
“We sold quite a few party memberships,” Wilson said.
“There were a lot of tight races to select delegates. Three or four pro-life votes made a difference,” he added.