EDMONTON – Donna Kennedy-Glans has become the second Calgary MLA, and first cabinet minister, in less than a week to resign membership in the Progressive Conservative Caucus.
Kennedy-Glans – who was elected as the MLA for Calgary-Varsity in 2012 – made the announcement Monday morning.
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“In 2012, I was very happy to carry the PC party’s banner to win back Calgary-Varsity. I was excited about the dream of government in Alberta we talked about in that election,” explained Kennedy-Glans.
The Calgary-Varsity MLA says part of her dream included working for a government willing to make difficult decisions for the long term prosperity of Alberta’s youth, a more transparent government, willing to hear all voices, and a government free of entitlement. A dream that has now vanquished.
“I am increasingly convinced that elements of this 43-year old government are simply unable to make the changes needed to achieve that dream of a better Alberta.”
Kennedy-Glans will now sit as an Independent. Read her full statement here.
“I believe, I can better serve my constituents this way,” said Kennedy-Glans.
In December 2013, Kennedy-Glans was sworn-in as Associate Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy.
Last week, MLA Len Webber announced he was leaving caucus because he could no longer work with Premier Alison Redford.
“I cannot work for an individual who treats people poorly, who treats our tax-payer dollars poorly,” said Webber.
READ MORE: Calgary MLA Len Webber quits Tory Caucus, slams Redford
(Watch: Tom Vernon reports on the PC Caucus)
Webber said he had personally endured bullying and was treated with disrespect by the premier, and had witnessed Redford in fits of rage and throwing temper tantrums.
“For me to leave the party right now, I feel sad,” added Webber.
“I feel sad at what our premier has done to this party, to this province basically.”
Redford has been facing public criticism during the past few weeks over extravagant travel expenses, such as a $45,000 trip to Africa for Nelson Mandela’s funeral.
Last week, the premier announced she had repaid the money.
During Question Period on Monday, NDP leader Brian Mason asked the premier how the recent Caucus departures could affect her ability to lead.
“Do you have enough support to keep governing?”
When Redford stood to reply, the PC MLAs stood and applauded, giving her a standing ovation.
“All I can do is thank the honourable member for his question,” said Redford.
“Nice show of unity there, Tories,” replied Mason, adding, “I didn’t get a count of the ones who stayed in their seats.”
At a media availability Monday morning, Municipal Affairs Minister Ken Hughes made his support for Redford clear.
“We have a lot of very talented people in this Caucus, and I’m very confident that we will find a way to ensure that we provide what Albertans want, which is good focused leadership.”
“I support the leader,” he said, before thanking reporters and ending the question portion of the event.
Opposition parties say they are waiting to see what happens to the PC Caucus.
“It’s very interesting indeed to be standing at the sidelines and watching what’s going on,” said Wildrose MLA Jeff Wilson.
“We’re interested to see what happens and whether or not there’s a bunch of new independents sitting in the house on Question Period starting today.”
“It’s a minimal legislative agenda,” he added. “We are basically done debating all the bills that they’ve put forward with the exception of the budget.”
“It’s pretty clear that this government is spinning its wheels and they really don’t have much of an agenda at all other than to stay in power.”
NDP MLA Rachel Notley is calling it the beginning of the end for Alberta’s PC party.
“We know what’s really going on here is the provincial conservative party is probably finally on its last days, and everyone is reacting in a kind of childish, hysterical sort of way,” said Notley.
“At the end of the day, we have work to do.”
WATCH: Donna Kennedy-Glans joins Global Calgary to discuss her decision her decision to resign membership in the Progressive Conservative Caucus