Jason Kenney the leader of the United Conservative Party, and Alberta Premier announced a shocking resignation after the results of the long-awaited leadership review Wednesday night.
"The result is not what I hoped for, or frankly what I expected," Kenney stated. "I've been clear since day one that I would respect the decision of the membership."
Then the bombshell that took a nation back was uttered by the Conservative Premier, "Friends, while 51 per cent of the vote passes the constitutional threshold of a majority, it clearly is not adequate support to continue on as leader.
"That is why tonight I have informed the President of the United Conservative Party that I intend to step down as leader of the United Conservative Party," Kenney added.
The crowd at Spruce Meadows was in shock at the announcement with a loud moan being heard during the live stream.
Kenney said that the party needs to put the past behind them, "this is the only way forward."
The final results were 17,683 votes for Kenney's leadership, while 16,660 votes against his leadership.
Reaction from Party Leaders
Jordan Wilkie the Leader of the Green Party of Alberta, said in an exclusive one-on-one interview with the Cross Border Interviews that one thing came to mind when the Premier made his announcement, "Interesting.
"I wasn't expecting him to step down, but with it being so narrow how could you not," He added. "I see this as the right thing to do. I want to wish him well." Jordan added that he started looking into politics when Jason Kenney became leader of the UCP in 2018, "(Back Then) I noticed the hyper-partisan politics that got us into the mess we are in today."
Wilkie continued and didn't hold back saying, "I don't have a lot of sympathies, I'm not going to be fake like (Rachel Notley) was, I'm going to see this as an opportunity to reinforce what we all know - that people are looking for something else."
The Green Leader says that the departure of Kenney, and the pending UCP leadership race, is a slap in the face to the province, "(He) got us into this mess and now (the UCP) want to pull a card which will let them get out quick." Wilkie added that the race will turn the attention away from issues that are important to Albertans, "The health care is need of a serious rescue, and I dont want to say this is a get out of jail free card for the UCP, but (in a leadership race) the party can start fresh - in their minds - and rebuild towards the election."
While the UCP leadership race is happening, Wilkie says that he will continue meeting with Albertans on his leadership tour, "What I hear is that people are tired of the political games, and even the oppositional politics. So when the greens are at the doorsteps we are hearing that people are looking for another option."
In a statement to the Cross Border Interviews, Barry Morishita the leader of the Alberta Party said that the resignation of Jason Kenney gives a fresh breath of air into the future of the province, "The future for Alberta feels wide open with opportunity again.
"With less than a year until the next election is called, Albertans will be looking leaders with track records. For leaders they can trust to protect their interests and get the job done," Morishita stated.
He added that he and the Party are ready to lead and ready to get to work, " The Alberta Party is engaging and listening to community members throughout the province, learning from the actions of current and previous governments, and is ready to lead Alberta forward."
Morishita thanked the Kenney for his service to the public, "Regardless of our differences, I’d like to thank Jason Kenney for his public service to Albertans."
The Alberta Party Leader added that as the party looks for a new leader the Alberta Party will be there to offer an alternative, "As the UCP begin their search for a new Leader, I and the rest of the Alberta Party are honing in on our vision for the province and what we can offer in service. "
Morishita ended by saying, "I am ready. The Alberta Party is ready."
In a Tweet Leader of the Opposition, Rachel Notley said, " I want to thank Jason Kenney for his public service. There are obviously many things about which we don’t agree, but that doesn’t negate the time and sacrifice that goes into taking on the role of Premier."