News Provincial

UCP removes MLA Barnes & Loewen from Caucus

EDMONTON – The United Conservative MLAs voted today to remove MLAs Drew Barnes and Todd Loewen from the government caucus.

“Members recognize the need for government caucus to remain strong and united behind our leader, Premier Jason Kenney, as we continue to fight through what looks to be the final stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” said Caucus Whip Mike Ellis.

“There is simply no room in our caucus for those who continually seek to divide our party and undermine government leadership, especially at this critical juncture for our province.”

UCP caucus chief Todd Loewen resigned Thursday. He posted a letter thanking Kenney but asking him to resign.

“I know that many Albertans, including myself, no longer have confidence in your leadership,” the letter says. “I thank you for your service, but am asking that you resign so that we can begin to put the province back together again.”

Loewen also stepped aside as UCP caucus chair.

Last month 16 of the 63 UCP MLAs signed an open letter condemning another round of COVID-19 public health measures. Loewen was among those signatories. A few weeks later another letter was circulating among the UCP members to get signatures calling for Kenney to resign.

Early Thursday morning MLA David Hanson, who represents Bonnyville – Cold Lake – St. Paul, posted on Facebook that many have lost confidence in Kenney.