Former Alberta finance minister Travis Toews calls for unity at campaign launch for UCP leadership

Alberta’s former finance minister Travis Toews delivers the 2021-22 budget in Edmonton on Feb. 25, 2021. Toews is running to replace Jason Kenney as leader of the UCP.JASON FRANSON/The Canadian Press

Alberta’s former finance minister officially launched his campaign to succeed Premier Jason Kenney as leader of the United Conservative Party on Saturday by stressing the need for unity and warning against the dangers of division.

Travis Toews, who resigned from cabinet Tuesday to run for his party’s top job, told an audience of supporters that he was extending a call home to those who felt “wrongly categorized” and “disregarded.”

Kenney announced he would step down as UCP leader as soon as a new one is chosen after he received lukewarm support of 51.4 per cent in a leadership review last month.

He has blamed his demise on a faction of extremists unhappy with his decisions to bring in restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Toews noted the pandemic caused feelings of lingering grief and frustration, which he said has crept into communities, businesses and even families, and that healing is needed within the province’s conservative movement.

The party is working out the logistics of a vote and has not announced a date or any other details.

“There has not been a time in this generation when healing and reunification have been so necessary, not only across our society but within the conservative movement of Alberta as well,” Toews said in front of a stone fireplace…

Read more…