Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel Garner speaks out about CPC leadership race

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Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel Garner is speaking publicly for the first time since she announced online that she will not be running in the UCP leadership race. Before she made that decision, she resigned as Patrick Brown's national campaign co-chair for his CPC leadership bid. Now that Brown has been disqualified from the leadership race, more questions are being raised. Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports. – Jul 9, 2022

Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel Garner is speaking publicly for the first time since she announced online that she will not be running in the leadership race for Alberta’s United Conservative Party.

On June 15, Rempel Garner announced on social media that she was considering running for Premier Jason Kenney’s job as leader of the UCP.

The Conservative Party of Canada MP had been serving as campaign co-chair for Patrick Brown in his efforts to become leader of the federal Conservatives.

Read more: Rempel Garner says she’s considering bid to become leader of UCP in Alberta

A week later. Rempel Garner announced she was not running for the conservative leader job in Alberta.

In a long social media post, she said campaign logistics were part of the problem. She also raised concerns about internal conflict within the UCP.

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“I was surprised that Premier Kenney received the results that he did,” Rempel Garner said of the results of his leadership review vote this spring, which prompted him to announce he would be leaving his post.

READ MORE: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney intends to step down as UCP leader after narrow leadership win

“I think that the decision to jump into a leadership race really does require a lot of thought and diligence. I put a lot of thought and diligence into it.”

Read more: Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner not running for UCP leadership

Rempel Garner has long been seen as a star within the CPC, but she has not spoken publicly since her decision to not run for the UCP leadership.

In an interview at a Stampede breakfast in Calgary on Saturday, the politician avoided any questions about her thoughts on Brown being disqualified from the CPC leadership campaign for allegations of wrongdoing.

Read more: Whistleblower says Patrick Brown approved third-party payment amid Conservative campaign

However, she denied any knowledge of the alleged issues when she walked away from helping Brown’s campaign.

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“I’m very excited to see the leadership race attract nearly 700,000 members, and I think that’s a sign of a strong party and our capacity to form government in the next election,”  Rempel Garner said.

Mount Royal University political science professor Duane Bratt said there are many questions that have not been answered.

“Michelle Rempel Garner hasn’t spoken publicly about Patrick Brown,” he noted. “Did she have suspicions? Did she think this was coming when she pulled out of the campaign? What is the linkage between what was going on in the Patrick Brown campaign versus her decision not to run for the UCP? There’s a lot of questions that simply haven’t been answered one way or the other.

“You would think that a campaign chair would have some understanding of how the campaign was operating.”

As far as who she supports in the UCP leadership race now, Rempel Garner is keeping mum about that.

“I think it is early days in that race,” she said.

“I’ve had conversations with several of the leadership candidates. Many of them are longtime friends of mine.”

Brown has maintained he was not provided with details by the party about the accusations levelled against him.


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