January 20th - Premier Jason Kenney: "Alberta - State of the Province"
Premier Jason Kenney was born in Oakville, Ontario. From a young age, he showed a distinct interest in politics, getting involved early in his youth and secondary school. Upon graduation, he would become an aide to Ralph Goodale, who at the time was the leader of the Liberal Party in Saskatchewan.
Kenney discovered conservatism whilst studying at the University of San Francisco (USF). In 1987, he began his studies with a focus on philosophy. Throughout his time spent at USF, he led the charge in various activism efforts. Through this, he would catch the attention of Kevin Avram, founder of the Association of Saskatchewan Taxpayers. This led to Kenney becoming the head of the Alberta chapter of a new, national organization titled the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF). Three years later, through a proven work ethic and success, he would obtain the title of President of the CTF at a national scale.
Kenney began his career in politics in 1997 when Reform Party leader, Preston Manning pushed his campaign manager to speak to Kenney about entering politics. He would accept the challenge and win a seat in Calgary’s Southeast Reform Party. Due to his experience in the CTF, he was appointed Revenue Critic. In 2003, the Alliance and Progressive Conservative parties would unite to create the Conservative Party. Kenney was a vital individual and an important voice amongst Albertans’ in bringing Stephen Harper to power in 2006.
Following the Conservative Party victory in 2006, Kenney was named Parliamentary Secretary. The following year he became Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity in which he continued his efforts to expand the Conservative Party base. In 2013, Kenney became the Minister of Employment and Social Development, whilst also maintaining his position as Minister of Multiculturalism. Rapidly gaining recognition from across the country, he became the Minister of National Defence in 2015. After the Conservative defeat in 2015, Kenney was reelected in his riding, which was renamed Calgary Midnapore. At this time, he was considered a serious contender as party leader. In 2017, he was elected Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta. Several months later, the party merged with the Wildrose Party to create the United Conservative Party (UCP). On April 30th, 2019, Kenney was sworn in as Premier of Alberta.