Updated: Mar 19, 2022
Former Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean won a byelection for the UCP this week on a platform to get Kenney ousted as party leader at a leadership vote on April 9. Shortly after, certain critics, including government house leader Jason Nixon, said Jean has struck an alliance with Notley.
Jean formerly said that he would have brought Notley into cabinet to remove partisan bickering and improve the response to the COVID-19 crisis. Notley added that it can be helpful to bring all sides together to some degree when fighting a crisis.
Both sides responded violently to the accusations. Rachel Notley called it one of the “most tortured attack lines” she has ever heard and she suggests Premier Jason Kenney's staff and supporters spreading the idea “really need to get a little bit more sleep.”
On Facebook, Jean posted the following: "NO, I WOULD NOT HAVE PUT NOTLEY IN CHARGE OF ANYTHING - THAT'S CRAZY. I CAME BACK TO POLITICS TO STOP HER FROM BEING IN CHARGE NEXT YEAR."
"But the last two years could have and should have been different. Sometimes something happens that is so serious that it is beyond left and right politics.
I will never forget all Albertans have been through. COVID killed people. But what was done by politicians in reaction to COVID also killed people.
It led to suicides and depression. It destroyed businesses. Wiped out savings. Ended careers and relationships. Hurt our economy. Ruined people’s livelihoods. Broke families apart. It took away childhoods.
Much of this could have been avoided if we had reduced the politicization of COVID. Having all hands-on-deck may have helped. We don’t know.
Sometimes people who see things differently, see things you overlook. And when you disagree, you don’t have to do everything or anything they suggest, but it gives you options to consider. Don't forget, even a broken clock is right twice a day.
The fact we are where we are today is because of a failure in leadership."