It’s a move political watchers knew was coming and one critics have said is long overdue. On Tuesday afternoon, Calgary Midnapore MP Jason Kenney tweeted that he has submitted his letter of resignation to the Speaker of the House of Commons and that Friday would be his last day on Parliament Hill.
“Just handed this resignation letter to Mr. Speaker,” Kenney tweeted. “No going back now. #UniteAlberta”
Kenney is campaigning to become the new leader of Alberta’s Progressive Conservative party.
Ric McIver is serving as the party’s interim leader but the permanent job has been left vacant ever since former Alberta premier Jim Prentice resigned after leading the party to a disastrous electoral loss in 2015.
Kenney’s “UniteAlberta” hashtag was a clear reference for his controversial goal of merging the PCs with the more conservative Wildrose party, which currently forms the opposition at the Alberta Legislature.
Kenney tweeted a photo of his resignation letter to the Speaker.
“It has been the greatest privilege of my life to represent my constituents in Parliament,” the letter says in part. “I leave the House with the same profound esteem for the institution of Parliament with which I first arrived in June 1997.”
Voters first sent Kenney to Ottawa when he was with the right-wing Reform Party, which later changed names before merging with the federal Progressive Conservative party to become the Conservative Party of Canada.
Kenney was given a number of high-profile cabinet portfolios when he was part of Stephen Harper’s Conservative government.