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Jason Nixon steps in as Alberta’s acting minister of finance

Government house leader and Environment Minister Jason Nixon. The Canadian Press / Todd Korol

Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon is taking on an additional portfolio in an acting capacity.

Earlier this week, Travis Toews announced his resignation from as Finance minister. He is now in the running to be the next leader of the United Conservative Party.

Read more: Travis Toews steps down as finance minister, throws hat into UCP leadership race

On Thursday morning, Premier Jason Kenney posted on social media to say Nixon will take over as acting Finance minister. He will also keep his duties as minister of Environment and Parks.

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After receiving Toews’ resignation, Kenney said he would fill the cabinet position with an interim leader until he had a better idea if any other ministers would also throw their hats into the UCP leadership race.

“I anticipate there may be some other additional departures from executive council for people who will offer their names for the leadership of my party. And so my current thinking is perhaps to have interim ministers acting in those capacities until I know what the complete lay of the land is in terms of executive council going into the leadership race, so I can make a small cabinet shuffle,” Kenney said Tuesday.

“At this point I’m looking at more interim positions until I know how many ministers may be stepping out.”

Click to play video: 'Travis Toews throws hat into UCP leadership race' Travis Toews throws hat into UCP leadership race
Travis Toews throws hat into UCP leadership race – May 31, 2022

The UCP is working on the logistics of the race, but a date for the vote has not been selected.

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Nearly two weeks ago, Kenney announced his intention to step down as UCP leader after receiving 51.4 per cent support in his leadership review vote.

While it was enough under party rules to remain at the helm, Kenney said that was not adequate support to continue on as party leader.

After a lengthy caucus meeting the next day, it was decided that Kenney would stay on in his current role until a new leader is chosen.

Read more: Alberta MLA booted from UCP caucus now running to become party’s leader

There are currently four people in the race to become the next leader of the UCP: Toews, UCP backbencher Brian Jean, former Wildrose party Leader Danielle Smith and Independent MLA Todd Loewen.

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