Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Two Women Candidates Quit Alberta Progressive Conservative Leadership Race

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Two Women Candidates Quit Alberta Progressive Conservative Leadership Race

Article excerpt

Two women candidates quit Alberta PC race

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EDMONTON - The only two female candidates in the Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership contest quit the race Tuesday.

One of them, Sandra Jansen, said she had been harassed and intimidated and accused fellow leadership candidate Jason Kenney of bringing "Trump-style politics" to Alberta.

Jansen, a Calgary member of the legislature, resigned from the race in a letter to her supporters.

"This past weekend in Red Deer (at the party's policy convention) has left me quite shaken," Jansen wrote.

She said after more than 30 years in the Progressive Conservatives, "I have never before experienced harassment like that which occurred up to and including this past weekend.

"Insults were scrawled on my nomination forms. Volunteers from another campaign chased me up and down the hall, attacking me for protecting women's reproductive rights, and my team was jeered for supporting children's rights to a safe school environment."

She said the weekend was "the final straw" in a campaign of intimidation. She said that in recent months "my social media has been filled with filth (and) my domain name purchased to direct people to smear pieces on me."

Jansen was one of two women in the race to become the next leader of the PCs.

The other, former PC MLA Donna Kennedy-Glans, also announced in a news release she was departing the race.

Kennedy-Glans, in her letter, said she was a fiscal conservative and a social progressive, but wrote, "Right now, politics in Alberta is polarizing and there is limited opportunity for centrist voices to be heard."

Both Kennedy-Glans and Jansen have criticized Kenney for busing in youth delegates at last weekend's convention to vote for members of the youth executive. The youth wing has been given a number of votes for the delegated leadership convention, which takes place next March 18 in Calgary.

The youth delegates arrived by bus, met former prime minister Stephen Harper and Kenney in a closed-door event at the convention site and voted. Kenney told reporters he had been engaging with youth groups during the campaign and lauded the influx of youth as a heartening example of democracy in action. …

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