CALGARY- The former Alberta cabinet minister who defeated Calgary MP Rob Anders for the Conservative nomination in Calgary Signal Hill, says he’s ready to put his dispute with federal cabinet minister Jason Kenney behind him.
Shortly after Ron Liepert won the nomination on Saturday night, he criticized Kenney for endorsing Anders.
“Quite frankly I think Minister Kenney should mind his own business,” said Liepert. “He should go into his own riding and try and get re-elected in his own riding and quit monkeying around at other nominations…anywhere in this province.”
On Monday, Liepert took a conciliatory approach.
“Constituents don’t like to be told how to vote,” Liepert said during an interview on Global Calgary’s Morning News. “That being said, Minister Kenney has sent a note of congratulations saying he’s prepared to work together.”
“I feel the same way, so as far as I’m concerned it’s over and done with; we’re moving on.”
Liepert said the results of Saturday’s vote show there was a real desire for change and that it was unfortunate the campaign got personal.
“I mean the phone calls, that was just improper,” Liepert said. “And it was justified by the actions the party took.”
Liepert was referring to calls made to constituents during the nomination campaign that gave the impression they were from his opponent’s camp. The Conservative party stepped in to tell Anders the calls had to stop because they were misleading.
Anders maintained he did nothing wrong.
More than 3,200 memberships were sold in Calgary Signal Hill which takes in part of Calgary West, the riding Anders has held since he was first elected in 1997 as a Reform party member. Party officials said 2,400 votes were cast Saturday.
Until the next federal election in 2015, Liepert says he has to go back to making a living.
“I don’t have a pension, I don’t have an income, so I’m back to being ‘Citizen Ron’.
-with files from Canadian Press