Former Alberta UCP leadership candidate Leela Aheer not seeking re-election

Click to play video: 'UCP candidates denounce proposed sovereignty act as ‘constitutional fairytale’'
UCP candidates denounce proposed sovereignty act as ‘constitutional fairytale’
WATCH (Sept. 8): Four candidates running for the leadership of the United Conservative Party joined forces Thursday morning, calling out the perceived front runner and fellow candidate Danielle Smith over her proposed sovereignty act. Travis Toews, Brian Jean, Leela Aheer and Rajan Sawhney held a joint news conference condemning the proposed bill. Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports – Sep 8, 2022

Chestermere-Strathmore MLA Leela Aheer will not be running for the United Conservative Party in next year’s provincial election.

In a Wednesday morning statement posted on Twitter, the politician said she is grateful for being able to serve Albertans but has decided to not run for the party.

This comes after Aheer was defeated in the first round of ballots in the UCP leadership race on Oct. 6. Aheer vocally opposed Premier Danielle Smith’s Alberta Sovereignty Act, calling it unconstitutional and equivalent to “starting a bar brawl in the middle of confederation.”

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Aheer was also demoted from her position as the minister of culture, multiculturalism and status of women after criticizing former premier Jason Kenney’s actions earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic. She was kicked out of cabinet last July.

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At the time, Kenney denied the demotion was a punishment for her remarks.

However, Aheer did not elaborate on her decision not to run again in her statement nor did she announce what is next for her.

“I chose to run for the UCP leadership to reflect my commitment and values and give back to the province that has given so much to my family and me… But the members have stated their wishes for leadership and a new direction for our party. I respect their decision,” Aheer’s statement read.

“Alberta’s advantage is Albertans. I am and always will be fueled by our strength and resilience.”

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Aheer said she is grateful for the opportunity to serve Chestermere-Strathmore and will continue to support the government. She also said she will continue to honour her commitment to the riding.

“I will support the government and honour my commitment to the Chestermere-Strathmore community constituency… Thank you to all Albertans for providing me the opportunity to serve,” the MLA said.

770 CHQR reached out to Aheer’s office with a request for comment.

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