Jason Kenney can inspire a new conservative movement across the country

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(This column originally appeared in the Calgary Sun)

By: Candice Malcolm

It’s a tough time to be a conservative in Canada.

After a decade of strong and (mostly) principled leadership under Stephen Harper, the Conservative Party of Canada has had trouble moving on. 

Thus far, they’ve been unable to articulate a clear conservative alternative to the reckless Liberal government. 

New party leader Andrew Scheer has yet to find his voice or take a firm conservative stance on an issue, be it on the environment, immigration, or even freedom of speech.

When it comes to the provinces, the void for common sense is even more apparent.

As bad as the Ontario Liberals have been — and it’s bad, $312 billion in debt bad — the populist socialist surge in Western Canada is even more concerning. 

The NDP’s hostility towards development, their disregard for market freedoms and private property, threatens our natural advantages and our heritage of freedom in Canada. 

While Brad Wall was once the torchbearer for free enterprise – standing up for everyday Canadians and for the responsible development of our natural resources – his retirement leaves working Canadians across the country without a champion. 

Now more than ever, Canada needs a strong conservative alternative. 

We need conservatives who can remind us of the problems with spending money we don’t have, and of the severe and long-term consequences that government debt has on future generations. 

We need voices reminding politicians of the devastating impact of tax hikes – both on families and on the broader economy. 

Canada needs someone who can promote the importance of freedom and stand up for families.

We need someone who understands that a central government can’t solve all our problems through more intervention; that empowering local organizations – churches, charities and community organizations – is almost always a better way to solving problems than government bureaucracy. 

Canada desperately needs a principled conservative leader who understands our traditions and advantages and can champion our values.

And our best hope comes from a familiar place. 

For years, Alberta was the freest and more prosperous jurisdiction in North America – number one on the Heritage Foundation’s economic freedom index – thanks to years of conservative leadership under the late, great Ralph Klein.

For decades, Albertans have led Canada when it comes to common sense politics and smart governance. 

Today, Albertans have a chance to rescue Canada’s conservative movement once again by electing Jason Kenney, the most principled conservative representative in Canada, as the next leader of Alberta’s United Conservative Party.

I’ve known Kenney for years. He hired me to be his press secretary in Ottawa, introduced me to my now-husband and even spoke at my wedding. 

Some may say my opinion of him is biased, and yes, in many ways it is. But the reasons I support him now are the same reasons that led me to leave a secure job in Calgary and move across the country to join his team back in 2011. 

When you meet him, you know he's in politics for all the right reasons. More than any politician I’ve ever met, Kenney is a man of principle. He is brilliant and inspiring, and he cares deeply about the people he represents. 

Canadians need an advocate – someone to stand up to the Trudeaus and Notleys of this world trying to rob us blind.

Alberta conservatives would...(READ MORE)