Jason Kenney is leaving the building. He is a political has been. I first noticed him in 2007 when he was a parliamentary secretary to prime minister Stephen Harper. Harper promoted him to secretary of state for multiculturalism and Canadian identity and then I paid attention.
What I soon realized was that he had found a much easier way to promote political involvement with ethnic groups than I had faced 30 years earlier. I had often thought you could do much more with money, position and staff.
While I made fun of Kenney—referring to him as one of the Bobbsey Twins—you had to admit that two fat and forty bachelors such as John Baird and Jason Kenney in a conservative cabinet—were something of an anomaly. Not that I gave a damn about their sexual orientation but it did not take long when Kenney went back to Alberta that there were complaints about him being a misogynist.
What concerned me most in the Harper years, was that Kenney was digging hard at a lot of votes that traditionally went to the liberals. I hardly wanted to see Harper in power any longer.
Kenney also fell into the category of politician I have come to despise. He is a career politician. I tend to have more respect for the person who builds a successful career in the private sector before turning their attention to politics.
All I knew when Harper was finally defeated in 2015 was that Kenney had lots of options. When he got the ten-gallon Stetson, the blue pick-up and the fat-boy jeans, I knew there was trouble in the offing for Alberta. I knew for sure that eventually, he would unite the right in Alberta against him.
And I knew Alberta was not the Calgary he knew. There is even a difference between the oil barons of Calgary and Edmonton. And there is a good reason why the University of Alberta in Edmonton is more respected than the University of Calgary. Calgary is the most Americanized city in Canada and the easterners who came west to work the oil and pipelines were another breed entirely. Kenney was defeated by a pandemic he did not understand and people, he came to dislike.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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