Jason Kenney is publicly opposing a policy vote from his own party months after signing a “grassroots guarantee.”
The leader of the new United Conservative Party (UCP) is already promising not to act on a resolution passed over the weekend at the UCP’s first policy convention.
Members voted in favour of parents being notified when their child joins an after-school club, including a gay-straight alliance. But Kenney quickly poured cold water on the idea.
Kenney said the resolution was poorly worded and parental consent for extra-curricular clubs will not be part of his platform.
“Let me be absolutely stone-cold clear: a United Conservative government will not be changing law or policy to require notification of parents when kids join GSAs,” Kenney said.
“We will not do that.”
The position appears to be a diversion from Kenney’s pledge last summer during the UCP leadership campaign to take his direction on policy from the party membership.
“I think that our new United Conservative Party should ensure that you, the grassroots members, are in charge, that you develop the policies of this new party and give the leadership its marching orders,” Kenney said in a leadership campaign video.
“One of the reasons we had this division in the Alberta conservative movement in recent years was because of an arrogant style of top-down leadership where leaders were telling people what to think rather than listening to them.”
During the campaign, Kenney said he would continue to express his opinions on a number of issues but nothing would be written in stone.
“I want to repeal the carbon tax, we need to reduce the tax burden to restart our economy, we need to balance our budget, we need to fight for school choice. My convictions have been clear. I will continue to speak about them but I will not say to members that this will be the policy imposed by me.”
WATCH: LGBTory is an advocacy group for LGBT supporters of conservative political parties in Canada. Harrison Fleming is the Alberta Coordinator. He joined Global News at Noon Edmonton to talk about the gay-straight alliance motion passed at the United Convervative Party policy convention this past weekend.
In the wake of Sunday’s UCP vote on parental notification, Kenney said that as leader, it’s his job to develop an election platform that represents not just his party, but all four million people who live in Alberta.
“I will take the resolutions adopted today as important input but I hold the pen on the platform.”
While in Ottawa on Monday, Kenney also addressed questions about his his website with its references to a grassroots guarantee disappearing.
He said a technical issue is to blame, telling reporters in Ottawa that his personal site went down last week because he’s changing vendors.
— With files from The Canadian Press
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