Former premier Kenney joins law firm, will not lobby Alberta government

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks in response to the results of the United Conservative Party leadership review in Calgary on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley

Alberta’s former premier has a new job as a senior advisor to a Calgary-based law firm. Jason Kenney made the announcement on social media on Wednesday.

“Very happy to join the public policy group at Bennett Jones as a senior advisor,” he tweeted. “I look forward to working with a distinguished group of former elected officials and public servants.”

Chairman and CEO Hugh MacKinnon said Kenney will improve the public policy group of the century-old law firm with offices across the country and in the United States.

“He brings an extraordinary combination of leadership and public policy experience to the firm and our clients,” MacKinnon said in a statement.

Kenney said his joining the law firm was reviewed by the ethics commissioner and found to be in line with the Conflicts of Interest Act. He added he will only accept positions that fit relevant statutes and guidelines.

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“I will not be engaged in lobbying the Alberta government or its agencies,” Kenney wrote.

Kenney stepped down as MLA for Calgary-Lougheed in November 2022 in a statement that expressed concern “that our democratic life is veering away from ordinary prudential debate towards a polarization that undermines our bedrock institutions and principles.”

In May 2022, Kenney narrowly won a confidence vote of United Conservative Party members with 51.4 per cent. But that evening, he announced he would step down as leader.

Kenney’s resignation as MLA in late 2022 capped 25 years experience in elected government.

He was first elected to the House of Commons in 1997 as a 29-year-old member of the Opposition Reform Party.

From 2008 to 2015, he was minister for three portfolios and then left federal politics to become leader of the Progressive Conservatives in March 2017. In October 2017, Kenney was elected leader of the newly-formed UCP.

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After Kenney’s resignation, Danielle Smith won the UCP leadership vote on the sixth ballot and was sworn in as premier in October 2022.

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