Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel Garner is passing on a bid for the leadership of the United Conservative Party, and ultimately the next Premier of Alberta.
Rempel Garner wrote a post on her substack page but summed up her decisions with, "I’m not going to offer in this UCP leadership race."
She stated that the UCP has done good work over the last three years, but internal squabbles both in the UCP and the federal conservatives have casued some contention in the leadership races, "In both parties there have also been squabbles that have erupted in the pages of national media, public meltdowns, nearly missed physical fights, coups, smear jobs, leaked recordings and confidential emails, lack of consensus on critical issues, caucus turfings, people harassed to the point where they resign roles, and hours long meetings where members have been subjected to hours of public castigation.
"It’s natural for passions to run hot, for egos to swell and for intrigue to happen in politics. Anyone entering politics needs to be prepared to handle that. Trust me, I’m capable of taking a lot of heat. But the stuff I listed above that happens in both the provincial and federal parties crosses a line. It should never happen in a functional place of business, political or otherwise," She wrote.
In her announcement, the Calgary MP stated that problems like the ones the UCP and federal conservatives will not go away with a new leader or if they win the next election, "These problems don’t magically evaporate after a party wins a general election or has been in government for a while, either. They accumulate. They might simmer down, but from what I've seen in my time in office, they tend to come back in some form because they’ve never really gone away."
She pointed to the job of the next UCP leader, and how they will need to bring together a party to win not only against the NDP but the federal Liberals as well, "The new leader needs to restore trust in the team and the team needs to be willing to allow it to happen. The same should be said for implementing a policy that governs workplace behaviour between elected officials (this is non-existent in the House of Commons as well).
"The public needs the infighting to stop to keep confidence in us (and before you get too excited Alberta NDP or federal Liberals, you have challenges in your workplaces too)," she stated.
Remple Garner was expected to be a frontrunner in the UCP leadership, but now leaves the race a bit wide open.
There are currently 8 candidates running for the leadership of the UCP including UCP Caucus Members Travis Toews, Brian Jean, Rebecca Schulz, Rajan Sawhney, and Leela Aheer, Independent MLA Todd Loewen, Mayor Bill Rock, and Former Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith.
The UCP will elect their new leader in October.