After dropping out of the PC leadership race, Donna Kennedy-Glans said money and support was not the issue.
Kennedy-Glans, the MLA for Calgary-Varsity, and Sandra Jansen, PC MLA for Calgary-North West, were the only two women running for leader of the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta (PCAA), but dropped out almost simultaneously late Tuesday afternoon. Kennedy-Glans cited polarizing politics and limited opportunity for centrists for her departure from the race while Jansen said harassment was her reason.
“I’m very, very sorry for the experience that Sandra had,” said Kennedy-Glans.
“Politics is tough. You’re exposing your values all the time and you have to have a really strong sense of yourself and be aware and be strong.”
When it comes to herself, Kennedy-Glans said she is a really strong candidate.
“I have no doubt about that nor does my team. We have 800 signatures from across the province. I’ve been across this province for the last year and I’ve always been able to raise money.”
“I have a whole fundraising team behind me. I’ve raised a lot of money in the past, no question I could raise a lot of money in the future.”
One of the major issues Kennedy-Glans addressed in her campaign was the carbon tax. She said there was a conflict of how those talks should proceed within the PCAA.
“Instead of having a response of ‘Well, let’s talk about what carbon tax can look like in Alberta. How can it be competitive? How can it be effective and in actually reducing GHGs? How can we do it in the middle of a recession?’ because that’s actually the conversation my team wants to have. The response instead is ‘No carbon tax’.”
In a statement released Tuesday night, PCAA President Katherine O’Neill said the party takes issues of harassment and intimidation seriously.
“I am disappointed that at least one candidate has withdrawn from the race under these circumstances. Open, respectful, and civil dialogue is paramount to the integrity of democracy and of this race,” said O’Neill.
“As the chair of the Leadership Election Committee, I am deeply concerned and I will be referring this matter and allegations of harassment to the committee to be reviewed. We are committed to a fair, open and transparent race. Leadership contests by their nature are divisive, but we expect candidates and their supporters to conduct themselves in a respectful manner.”