Alberta Politics

Former PC MLA files complaint against Jason Kenney’s leadership campaign

A former MLA has filed a complaint with the Progressive Conservative Party in response to an email sent by Jason Kenney’s leadership campaign to party members in a constituency northeast of Edmonton.

Jacquie Fenske MLA Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville
Jacquie Fenske

The complaint launched by Jacquie Fenske, who served as the MLA for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville from 2012 to 2015, alleges that an email sent from Mr. Kenney’s campaign misused the name of a prominent community member who is not supporting his campaign. The individual’s name was included in a list of pro-Kenney candidates standing in that constituency’s Delegate Selection Meeting on Nov. 17, 2016 in Bruderheim.

The individual’s name was used in Mr. Kenney’s campaign email even though she was not running to be a delegate in the PC leadership race and claims to have never met or spoken with Mr. Kenney. Both the individual and Ms. Fenske are supporting Vermilion-Lloydminster MLA Richard Starke’s leadership bid.

Jason Kenney
Jason Kenney

Ms. Fenske’s complaint, which was emailed to PC Party Edmonton vice-president Robert Parks on Nov. 19, 2016, is divided into two sections.

The first section reads: “I believe that what the campaign did was unethical and most likely illegal. They circulated an email within the constituency that contained false information and abused an individual’s name and  reputation.  I will leave the issue of protecting the privacy of her name to her to deal with. What I wish to complain about is the practice of purposely misleading the public by stating she was in support of Jason Kenny, which you can plainly see from her email she was not. Not only that she never registered to be a delegate. Knowingly circulating false information is wrong.”

The second section of the complaint alleges that because the name used in the email is the name she chooses to be called, which is different from the full name included in the local PC Party membership list, that Mr. Kenney’s campaign purposely included her chosen name in the email to increase the credibility of their slate of delegates.

Did they know it is wrong?  Of course.” Ms. Fenske wrote.

If this is happening here then I must ask ‘where else’? If we do not do something about this it drags not only the party into question but also the wonderful people and volunteers who truly do care about this party and about ensuring Albertans are well represented. This is unacceptable and has gone beyond a mere slap on the wrist or fine in my opinion,” Ms. Fenske wrote.

Ms. Fenske told the author of this blog that she does not expect the results of the DSM to be overturned but that she does expect the party to enforce privacy rules. She suggested that she may file a complaint with the provincial Information and Privacy Commissioner if the party does not address the misuse of a party member’s name.

Ten delegates supporting Mr. Kenney’s leadership bid were elected at the DSM held in Fort Saskatchewan-Vergreville on Nov. 16, 2016. A total of 15 delegates were elected.

Mr. Kenney’s campaign was fined $5,000 for rules infractions at the DSM in Edmonton-Ellerslie on Nov. 16, 2016 and another complaint is being filed against him for his actions at the Spruce Grove-St. Albert DSM on Nov. 17, 2016.

NDP MLA gets security protection

Facing online harassment and death threats, Calgary-North West MLA Sandra Jansen will now receive protection from the provincial government’s Executive Protection Unit.

Claiming she was harassed and intimidated by Mr. Kenney’s social conservative supporters at the party’s recent convention, Ms. Jansen abandoned her bid to lead the PC Party and crossed the floor from the PCs to join the NDP on Nov. 17, 2016. She spoke publicly yesterday about the threats and disgusting harassment she has been receiving because she is a women in elected office.

17 replies on “Former PC MLA files complaint against Jason Kenney’s leadership campaign”

I have no idea how the PC Alberta can even allow a candidate to run with a platform of destroying the party.
That is like hiring someone to work on your car when he is telling you that he is going to put sugar in the tank.
Just because something appears sweet can be very damaging..
Les R. Landry

Kenney’s team breaks the rules when they are going to win anyway. This tells me a lot about how he will act as PC leader and – god help us – premier of Alberta. If the people around him can’t follow pretty simple rules in the leadership race then how can we expect him to be an honest and fair premier?

The latest dirty trick by Kenney. It’s too bad it seems he doesn’t think he can win without resorting to a number of dirty tricks – that says something both about his character and perhaps his desperation to obtain political power.

There are many Albertan’s who fully support Mr. Kenney & his movement to unite the right. The PC’s were infiltrated by Liberals & NDP’s and over the last decade of power became so far removed from what the party started from. Many fiscal conservatives were left floundering & angry. This resulted in the vote splitting between PC & WR and we are now experiencing the worst governance imaginable. There isn’t a tax, a new law, or a union the NDP won’t giddily embrace. We need Mr. Kenney – he is a gift to the many suffering in this province under the NDP & with him, they will never govern again.

Thanks for the comment, Linda. The PCs were “infiltrated” by Liberals and New Democrats from 1971 until 2015. The key to the PC Party’s electoral success over 44 years was not being a strictly Conservative party but being a big tent party that attracted almost the entire political spectrum in Alberta. Can you imagine any other party where a right-wing market fundamentalist like Ted Morton could be followed as Finance Minister by a former union leader like Robin Campbell?

Perhaps it was the sense of entitlement within’ the last decade. Truthfully, a voter has to investigate the candidates nowadays, as they seem to hang their hat wherever it benefits them the most politically. Redford was a Liberal, as witnessed by her spending of our tax dollars with no regard. The unions bought & paid for her. Case in point, Sandra Jensen running for leader of the PC party & realizes she has very little support & will not win. She courts the Alberta party, but wait, if she jumps to the NDP she will be in the governing party & a cabinet position will soon follow. She attempts to divert attention from her flagrant opportunism, by crying victim. Anyone, & I do mean anyone, who has been on social media has been bullied – it’s an equal opportunity sport, made by annonymous keyboard warriors. It’s not right, but it’s everywhere. I recall them burning effigies of Harper, have seen the vitriolic comments directed to Rona Ambrose & can pretty much guarantee not a politician has been spared. She had two choices, continue to run for the leadership & stand up with conviction, or get off social media if she couldn’t handle the troublemakers. Her choice never should have been to desert her constituents. It’s no wonder people despise politicians these days. I am all for a big tent approach of different ideas, but we seriously need to get the spending under control. We, the citizens, are doing everything we can to stay afloat, and our previous government & now the FAR worse NDP are guaranteeing my great grandchildren will still be digging out decades from now. For this reason, I will fully support a unite the right & hope that a blend of the parties can present a plan that works for the fiscal & the social issues facing our province. It’s likely the most important thing to get right next election (pun intended )

The PCs were deeply entitled, which is why I was pleased Albertans elected a new government on May 5, 2015. The NDPs time in government has not been easy, and they have made mistakes, but I am glad Albertans have a government that does not have a slash and burn reflex reaction to the drop in oil prices. Now is the time to invest in infrastructure and the social programs that Albertans, including many unemployed Albertans, need.

The NDP have not destroyed Alberta. That is a silly argument. 25 years of poor long term planning by previous Conservative governments has got Alberta into its current fiscal and economic situation. Rachel Notley’s NDP has been in office for 18 months and I’m willing to give them another 18 months to prove they can provide a better alternative.

Dave, perhaps that’s the problem with the PC party – the tent became so big, they were united by nothing more than wanting to be in government. I am glad that Sandra Jansen joined the NDP as that is where her heart appears to lie. I cannot think of any other Canadian jurisdiction where Ms Jansen would be a member of the conservative party. After many years of one-party rule by an increasingly meaningless and opportunistic coalition, it seems Alberta is finally drifting into a well-defined two party system like BC, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, with one party on the right and one on the left affording a clear choice to voters. That is why I support Jason Kenney’s Unite Alberta movement.

There is a Conservative Party in Alberta already, it is called Wildrose and it seems fairly united considering all the stuff going on around it. They didn’t win the last election in part because of what happened before between the Wildrose and PC’s and in part because Albertans are not so conservative.

Many have said Lougheed, who led the PC’s to power was similar in ideology to the current NDP on many issues, so perhaps he was one of the original infiltrators you refer to, but he was successful in winning elections and Albertans seemed comfortable with his centrist approach, as they were with several other PC leaders who were elected after.

Mr. Kenney may be a gift, but not in the way you think. His bitter, divisive and more ideological approach along with all his dirty tricks may help turn Albertans away from the right wing.

Look, I voted WR in the last 2 elections. This isn’t about right fighting. I have told many that that there is a very good chance that there will be another split on the right again if the 2 parties don’t unite. Ric McIver wouldnt dance…Kenney will. You have no idea where the votes will land with 2 parties – with one, we win. I like the WR & respect them a lot, but at the end of the day, I want to know the NDP won’t slither up the middle again. Alberta cannot withstand another 4 years & I’m by gambling when the stakes are so high.

With one you win if that one is down the middle on issues like previous PC governments have been. If that one party is a climate change denying, homophobic, sexist, alt-right version it may not win. Kenney is courting the hardliners. it might work but it will lose him some voters to the NDP. The question is how many will he lose? The harder right he goes the more he loses from the left flank. It’s also very obviously a power play, IE he wants to win at all costs even though the spectrum of views from PC to Wildrose cannot be reconciled.

Claiming that the PCs were infiltrated by Liberals is disingenuous at best. They are named the PROGRESSIVE Conservatives. That was supposed to mean socially progressive including on social programs while being fiscally conservative. Basically Libertarians that believed in social programs and Provincial ownership of resources. A lot of PC voters, including myself, cannot in good conscience vote for the Wildrose or a unified party. I’ll take a little bit of fiscal mismanagement (not that there actually is any so far) over that.

Things must be wonderful in your area of the province…let me take a guess – Edmonton. Travel around the province & see how badly the rural areas are getting hit by the NDP ideologies. Then there’s Calgary. It seems only Edmonton seems mostly immune to the damage. We are all entitled to our own opinions, but I can tell you that this government has hurt more people by their policies than any government previous. I’m glad you are happy with them; I would venture a guess that most aren’t.

Thanks for the response, Linda. I travel the province frequently so I understand that the economic downturn has impacted a lot of people and communities. We live in an economic that is on a constant boom-bust cycle and after many, many years of boom, it went bust. The drop in the international price of oil has had a big impact on Alberta. I just wish we would have had a government over the past 25 years that would have planned for the inevitable economic bust. It’s unfortunate for Albertans that we didn’t. I hope the current and future governments will take a more serious and mature attitude toward long term economic and fiscal planning.

I like the idea of having several small tent right wing parties in Alberta. One for the tax haters. One for the austerity cheerleaders and one for the women haters.

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