Jason Kenney - March 18th, 2017. 5:30 PM
Thank you very much.
Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen.
Thank you, friends. Thank you, Katherine. Thank you, Richard, and Byron. Thanks to all of you for sending a message that this party has decided to work with all Albertans to take our province back. Today we have chosen the future. Today we have chosen hope. Today we have chosen unity.
Today it's spring time in Alberta.
This sends a message to our fellow Albertans who are struggling to those 200,000 Albertans looking for work. We are going to ensure that there is a government on your side. Today this great party has acted with courage and vision to in the words of Ralph Klein to stop arguing about history and instead to make history.
You have sent a clear message: today is the beginning of the end of this disastrous socialist government. You have decided, we have decided to ensure the defeat of this tax-hiking, job-killing, debt-loving mean spirited, incompetent NDP government. We Albertans are going to unite to take our province back.
So, our message to the people who are struggling again is one of hope to investors and businesses. Don't give up on Alberta because we'll be back.
By the way. We're sending a message to the fellow who's been in our corner fighting for Alberta. Premier Wall, keep up the fight for two more years and we'll be in your corner, standing up for the West.
And today, we are sending a message to the NDP. We will not let you win by default. You will be facing a strong united opposition. When you do sensible things, we will support you. But when you plan to double your carbon tax, when you try to rewrite our school curriculum in secret, when you chase away were businesses by rigging our labour laws, when you adopt Ontario's disastrous power policies, we will fight you every step of the way.
And hear me. I think most importantly when you try to mortgage the future of this province by doubling its debt, we will stand in your way.
We will stand up for future generations. And today we have decided to send a message to Albertans that we will have a government that will introduce a bill number one in the next legislature of the next government.
“The Carbon Tax Repeal Act.”
And more than that.
In the summer of 2019, I plan to call it the summer of repeal. We're going to shut down the air conditioners in the Legislature to focus people's attention and reduce our carbon footprint and we are going to work hard to repeal each element of the disastrous NDP legislative and regulatory record.
We will restore fiscal sanity. We will get our tax rates back down and we will fight for Alberta's energy industry.
We will do all of those things. We’ll do all of those things precisely because we want to help the least fortunate in our society to succeed and to achieve our potential.
We will do these things because we understand the creative power of a free economy and we know that a generous society must be a prosperous society and we will focus on recreating in Alberta of opportunity and wealth so that we can be a compassionate, caring and generous society.
I want to say a special word to many of you, to all of you, who voted for other candidates today. First of all allow me to express my great esteemed for Richard Starkey and Byron Nelson and indeed for Donna Kennedy-Glans. All fine Albertans dedicated to this province who have contributed so much to this party and I hope will continue to.
I understand that the decision taken today is not one that is a vision shared by every member of this party. And so for those of you who have anxieties about the prospects of unity I want to sit down and hear you, listen to you, offer you a voice in the months to come. I ask you to give us your input on what you think a united party should look like and what it should stand for and how we ensure your participation, so that all Progressive Conservatives, all of us who may have different views on certain issues unite in common cause. So please ensure that today we begin uniting the Progressive Conservative Party so that we can reunite the broader Alberta conservative movement.
We need all of you.
We need everyone to participate in this and we need to ensure that everybody has a voice. Let me send a message as well to our friends and fellow travelers in the Wildrose Party. We understand that over the past several years many of you left your traditional support for the Progressive Conservative Party and we hear you. We thank you for your contribution to public service. But today Progressive Conservatives have said let us reunite the family.
Let us bury the hatchet.
Let us come together.
Let’s focus on what unites us, not what divides us!
All we ask is that we negotiate a unity agreement in good faith and the only precondition that we will recognize is that the members get to decide whether or not to accept it at the end of the day.
Friends, let me close with a few words of thank you.
First of all thank you to the Progressive Conservative Association Leadership Election Committee, for the patience and endurance by our fantastic President Katherine O'Neill all volunteers.
Please thank the dozens, the hundreds of volunteers who helped to ensure the success of this convention through Cynthia Williams and Krysta Balsmom the chairs and all of those who have contributed to making this a fantastic exercise in democracy.
Please give them all a hand. Thank you all. Each one of you.
Thank you to the Leadership Election Organizing Committee chaired by Katherine and to Ali. To Former Premier Hancock and all of those who contributed hundreds, thousands of hours as volunteers to ensuring that the membership got to speak, to give them all a hand. Thank you to the other candidates for ensuring a vigorous debate around ideas and our future. Thank you. Donna Kennedy-Glans thank you to Byron Nelson and thank you Dr. Richard Starkie. All great Albertans. Give them a huge hand please.
Thank you to their teams.
You know, I think sometimes - well some of our friends in the media perhaps - get a little cynical about politics, but in campaigns like this you have in each one of these campaigns dozens and hundreds of people who give up time, treasure and talent away, time away from their families and their jobs, because they love this province.
And so to the volunteers who worked on all of those campaigns please give them a round of applause to acknowledge our appreciation.
And last but certainly not least let me thank the team that worked on our remarkable unite Alberta campaign since last July. I have never been more honored to work with such a group of passionate distinguished people who have made many sacrifices to bring us to this day.
So for all of those on our team led by John Weissenberger, all of the staff and volunteers and most importantly, most importantly, to the Albertans, first let me say to the long time members of this party, who made the courageous decision to support this unity campaign.
I see Marvin Moore is here. He was elected in 1971 give Marv a hand. Elected in 1971, served in Peter cabinets Chaired all of Ralph Klein's provincial election campaigns like many progressive conservatives became disenchanted with the direction and in recent years. But he is in this room and cast a vote I say to Marv, to you and all of your former colleagues who had the courage to support this unity message. Thank you.
Thank you very much.
But, for me my favorite and most important “Thank you” goes to the thousands upon thousands of Albertans who had never before been involved in the political process many of whom took for granted our stability and prosperity as a province, but who understood how high the stakes are with this NDP government and who became involved. Like one of the delegates here who drove four hours from High level to have breakfast with me in Peace River.
Like people who flew back here to be delegates from overseas business trips. To people who are unemployed and yet found the $150 to pay the registration fee to come here.
To all of you, I say thank you.
And to all of you I invite you to hold me accountable hold me as your leader as your voice, accountable to the vision that we have laid out for a brighter Alberta. There is much work yet to be done. But we Albertans are always up for some hard work.
We are always willing to overcome obstacles.
And we will, we will renew this province with this sort of energy and tenacity of the pioneers who founded this province of the First Nations people who created communities out of a rugged environment, of those pioneers who ploughed virgin soil, of those first ranchers who often lost their first herds of the incredibly innovative geologists and engineers and roughnecks in the oil patch who overcome remarkable odds every single day. Theirs is the spirit of Alberta. That must be the spirit that animates this party and this movement
So friends, thank you for choosing the path of unity, of the future. Thank you for putting Alberta first, And with- you know Winston Churchill said during the Blitz of the Second World War I offer you nothing but blood, toils, sweat and tears.
Well this isn’t quite as dramatic, but as your newly elected leader, I offer you a couple of years of hard work.
Are you up to it?
Are you ready for it?
Are you going to help us get this province back on track?
Are we going to renew the Alberta Advantage?
Thank you and God bless you all!