Meet the Minister: Jason Kenney

Premier; Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

By albertaviews

BIOGRAPHY

Born: Oakville, Ontario, May 30, 1968

Raised: Wilcox, Saskatchewan

Education: Graduated high school from Athol Murray College of Notre Dame; studied philosophy at the University of San Francisco’s St. Ignatius Institute but didn’t graduate (first all-privately-educated Alberta premier in 84 years)

Youthful indiscretion: Ran unsuccessfully for VP of policy for the federal Liberals’ youth wing (1986)

Work experience: Aide to Ralph Goodale, then-leader of the Saskatchewan Liberal Party; head of the Alberta and national chapters of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Federal political experience:
MP, Calgary-Southeast, 1997–2015 (Reform/Alliance/Conservative);
MP Calgary-Midnapore, 2015–2016

Federal cabinet portfolios: Citizenship and Immigration; Employment and Social Development; National Defence

Elected as MLA: December 14, 2017

Riding: Calgary-Lougheed

Irony re riding: “I never, ever heard [Kenney] speak of my father with any degree of respect.” —Stephen Lougheed

Political rivals: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (“the political depth of a finger bowl”—Kenney); former Alberta deputy premier Thomas Lukaszuk (“a complete asshole”—Kenney); former PC leadership candidate Sandra Jansen; former UCP leadership candidate Brian Jean; opposition leader and former Premier Rachel Notley

Likes: Curry, rural votes, low taxes

Dislikes: David Suzuki, “red tape,” RCMP investigations into the UCP

 

MINISTRY PROFILE

Sworn in: April 30, 2019

Responsibilities: “Manage partnerships with other provinces and the fed. gov’t; coordinate participation in national/provincial forums; negotiate agreements with other provinces and the fed. gov’t”

Bills personally sponsored (to date): Bill 1: An Act to Repeal the Carbon Tax

Staff: Jamie Huckabay, chief of staff; Howard Anglin, principal secretary; David Knight Legg, principal advisor; Paul Bunner, speechwriter;
Christine Myatt, deputy director, communications and press secretary

Mailing address: Office of the Premier, 307 Legislature Building, 10800 97 Ave, Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2B6

Phone: 780 427 2251

Email: premier@gov.ab.ca

 

ON THE RECORD

“I thought very seriously since the last federal election about leaving public life.… But I ultimately saw how grave the situation is [here]. I didn’t see anybody else stepping up, offering a plan to bring together the free-enterprise coalition in Alberta, and I concluded I was pretty well qualified for that task.” (Maclean’s interview, Sep 28, 2016)

“The silent majority has spoken. Not the loud and angry voices on social media. But average Albertans who simply want their common-sense values reflected in their government, who want high quality health, education and public services, but who understand that we need a vibrant private sector economy to pay for them; who get that governments can’t redistribute wealth unless someone is creating it through their hard work in the first place; who know that we can’t tax and borrow our way to prosperity; who see businesses as job creators to be strengthened and encouraged, not as profiteers to be demonized, overregulated and overtaxed; who understand that the carbon tax is all economic pain and no environmental gain, and who want to scrap the carbon tax cash grab; who know that debt is a trap that… moves money from public services to bankers and bond holders; who believe in our tradition of school choice because parents know better than politicians what’s best for their kids.” (Election victory speech, April 17, 2019)

 

IN THE LEGISLATURE

Rachel Notley: “Last September the now premier met with Alberta’s Motor Dealers’ Association. The MDA then reported it had promised to raise $1.1-million to assist the UCP third-party advertising campaign… in exchange for the UCP pledging to roll back consumer and worker protections. Yesterday this government introduced legislation designed to roll back regulations. To the premier: Is his red tape reduction bill payback for a million dollars in PAC donations…?”

Jason Kenney: “Our red tape reduction action plan… is this government keeping our promise to Albertans to liberate our economy, to go from being the most overregulated economy in Canada to the freest and fastest moving. Why? So that we can liberate job creators to do what they do best, create employment, a critical part of our job-creation strategy. They left a jobs crisis behind. We’re going to cut red tape in order to create good jobs in Alberta.” (Hansard, May 30, 2019)

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