Alberta Politics

More turmoil in Kenney’s Caucus: UCP MLA Richard Gotfried resigns as chair of the Calgary Caucus and criticizes “hypocrisy” in government leadership

Calgary-Fish Creek MLA Richard Gotfried is the latest member of the United Conservative Party Caucus to publicly criticize his party’s leadership.

According to a statement and comments on Facebook, Gotfried resigned as chair of the UCP’s Calgary Caucus last Thursday so that he can have “even more latitude to speak unreservedly on matters of principle, ethics and government/caucus operations…”

“I call upon all elected representatives at all levels of government across our province to show leadership, to act responsibly and to avoid the hypocrisy that makes a mockery of the tough decisions we have to make and the sacrifices/responsible behaviour we have been asking of each and every Albertan for the past 15 months,” Gotfried wrote in a post on his MLA Facebook page.

Gotfried’s statement was written in a very respectful tone and didn’t name Premier Jason Kenney, Health Minister Tyler Shandro, Finance Minister Travis Toews or Environment & Parks Minister Jason Nixon, who were pictured in the photos of the boozy Sky Palace patio party that circulated on social media last week, but reading between the lines it was pretty clear who his message was directed to.

Richard Gotfried United Conservative Party MLA Calgary-Fish Creek
Richard Gotfried’s statement on Facebook

The timing of Gotfried’s statement follows the release of the final report of the Facility-based Continuing Care Review that Gotfried led, which was almost completely overshadowed by the boozy Sky Palace patio party and Kenney’s ill-timed lecture in defence of Sir John A Macdonald.

Boozy Sky Palace Patio Party Jason Kenney Tyler Shandro Travis Toews Jason Nixon
One of the now infamous boozy Sky Palace patio party photos.

Gotfried is the sponsor of Bill 70: COVID-19 Related Measures Act, a government bill designed to shield owners of long-term care centers from COVID-19 related lawsuits.

He was first elected as a Progressive Conservative MLA in 2015 and was re-elected in 2019 under the UCP banner. He endorsed Kenney in the 2017 PC Party leadership race.

Airdrie-East MLA Angela Pitt and Bonnyville-Cold Lake-Two Hills MLA David Hanson, and cabinet ministers Leela Aheer and Rajan Sawhney have publicly called on Kenney to apologize for violating the government’s own COVID-19 public health rules by hosting the boozy patio party on the 11th floor balcony of the Federal Building in Edmonton.

Kenney and his staff continue to deny he broke any rules.

Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes and Central Peace-Notley MLA Todd Loewen were ejected from the UCP Caucus three weeks ago after Loewen called on Kenney to resign as leader of the party.

Notley leads only united party left in AlbertaRachel Notley Alberta NDP leader

In a clear contrast to what is happening in the UCP Caucus, delegates to the Alberta NDP convention this past weekend gave Rachel Notley’s leadership a huge endorsement. When the ballots were counted, 98.2 per cent of NDP delegates endorsed Notley’s leadership in the mandatory leadership review vote held at every NDP convention.

The convention included the usual debate over policy positions and motions and a host of panels featuring Democratic strategists from Arizona and municipal politicians from rural Alberta.

5 replies on “More turmoil in Kenney’s Caucus: UCP MLA Richard Gotfried resigns as chair of the Calgary Caucus and criticizes “hypocrisy” in government leadership”

I think we need to convene a Advisory Board to answer a question. Why did ALL Albertans, except the UCP MLAs, clearly understand that Kenny would be the Premier if they formed the government??? With their lack of judgment should they be making policy for anybody? Maybe they should too apologize to Albertans for their ignorance! Holding a real job must be nightmarish after the taste of privilege!

The UCP rebellion seems to have flared up again, this time dangerously closer to the centre of the UCP for Kenney. This is no fringe rural MLA, upset about COVID restrictions.

I think it is becoming clear to even most UCP MLA’s that Kenney is not doing a good job of avoiding unnecessary controversy and he may be incapable of doing so. Dining on terrace was not a good idea – were the optics of that really thought through, or even thought about at all? Then, right after that Kenney makes incendiary remarks about cancel culture, which he could have easily avoided, as the Kamloops residential school was not in Alberta and the UCP was not in power when it happened.

There is the old saying about a person who only takes one foot out of his mouth only to put the other in. Kenney was never much loved by Albertans, but from his actions over the last year has become widely disliked and recent missteps are not helping improve his standing at all. I think even the UCP has figured out they would be better off without this sort of thing if they want a chance to stay in power.

Kenny has lost my vote for good. The way the handled the covet situation was despicable, allowing Alberta to become a police state. He turned many Albertans and particularly pastors into criminals. Kenny and Dr. Henshaw were the criminals. He bankrupted business’ and individuals that will never again open or recover. Oh right, he did it for our own good !!!!. He has done little to stand up against Trudeau’s dictatorship. The only way the UCP will ever get my vote, and thousands of others, is if Kenny is removed and someone replacing him that is going to stand up for all Albertans.

Alberta a police state? So you couldn’t get your hair done or knock out a few reps at the local gym for a few months – I suspect the folks in North Korea might wish to educate you on the meaning of the term police state.

As for standing up against Trudeau’s “dictatorship” – are you referring to his democratically elected term in office? That dictatorship? But sure, by all means, in the midst of a global pandemic – a premier picking a fight with the federal government would certainly help the situation wouldn’t it? Especially a fight with no purpose other than to direct the attention of the rubes away from his own miserable performance.

The UCP just has no clue how to run a province. It shows very much. It’s time the UCP are removed from their position of power.

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