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Rempel Garner bows out of running for Alberta UCP leadership, citing caucus divisions

Rempel Garner says not running “has been the hardest decision I have ever had to make.
Conservative member of Parliament Michelle Rempel Garner holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, to discuss her Private MemberÕs Bill, Bill C-249, the Encouraging Growth of the Cryptoasset Sector Act. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA — Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner says she will not run for leadership of Alberta’s United Conservative Party.

She announced her decision today in a lengthy social media post.

In it, the longtime MP from Calgary says as she was doing the final preparation to launch her campaign on Wednesday, she realized she had concerns about the UCP caucus.

Rempel Garner says she’s heard “there is a significant level of hurt and uncertainty” in that team, currently being led by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, who announced last month he is stepping down after narrowly surviving a leadership review.

The MP says there are divisions within that caucus and questioned how she would be able to lead it as an outsider.

Rempel Garner says not running “has been the hardest decision I have ever had to make.”

Her announcement comes after she stepped away from Patrick Brown’s federal Conservative leadership campaign, and Brown’s campaign manager also left to help Rempel Garner with her possible bid to helm the UCP.