By Keith Wilson
Last week a rancher friend in southern Alberta—a client at my law firm—asked me what I knew about Jason Kenney. He wanted to know if I thought Jason understood property rights. This rancher friend, I’ll call him Jim, has been one of Alberta’s leaders on the property rights file for a lot of years.
I chuckled and said, “Jim, there isn’t a single thing about property rights that I know, or you know, that Jason doesn’t already know—and he completely agrees with us.”
I explained that I have known Jason for 25 years and that he and I have discussed a wide array of legislative and policy issues during that time, including property rights.
After I hung up the phone from speaking with Jim, I realized that there are probably a good many people throughout the province—rock solid Albertans like Jim—who want to make the best choice they can when it comes to picking a new leader for the UCP.
That’s when I realized that I needed to issue a public statement explaining exactly why I think Jason is the person that Alberta needs at this time. I am not particularly involved in politics these days. However, in my law practice I am very much involved in dealing with the legal consequences of what our politicians do.
I know what it’s like to sit across the table from MLAs and Cabinet Ministers to discuss laws they want to pass, only to realize that sometimes they don’t actually understand the consequences of what they’re doing. Over the years, again and again, I have learned that if the politicians we elect don’t actually understand an issue themselves, their fallback position is to just trust the bureaucracy.
One of the reasons I like Jason—and think you should too—is because he himself thoroughly understands how governments can impact people’s lives.
The “right thing to do,” if I can call it that, is already in his “gut” and in his character. And it doesn’t matter if you are talking about fiscal policy, legislation like Bill 6, or property rights.
Jason is not typical. From what I have seen in the many years I have known him is that he’s a reliable, rock-solid man who doesn’t chase political headlines the way farm dogs chase passing cars. He is someone who, as Premier, has the wherewithal within him to rattle the windows all the way to Ottawa and Montreal and Vancouver, which is exactly the kind of leadership Alberta needs right now and for our future.
I sincerely hope you will mark your ballot in Jason’s favour when you vote in the UCP leadership contest.