Jason Kenney was born in Oakville, Ontario to parents Lynne and Robert. At the age of 8, Jason moved with his family to Wilcox, Saskatchewan where his father was named president of Notre Dame College. Growing up in a small prairie village of about 225, Jason quickly learned the values of volunteerism and community service.
Upon graduating from Notre Dame College in Wilcox, Jason went on to study philosophy at the University of San Francisco.
In his early twenties, Jason returned to Alberta where his focus turned to politics. Jason began his career advocating for accountable government as President of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation in the early 90s. His advocacy in that role led to a number of significant changes at the Alberta Legislature including, most notably, the end of gold-plated pensions for Alberta MLAs.
By the time Jason decided to run for public office as a Member of Parliament for Calgary Southeast, he had established himself as one of Alberta’s strongest advocates. At the age of 29, Jason was elected to the House of Commons and was subsequently re-elected five times, most recently with 76% of the vote.
In Ottawa, Jason joined the opposition bench serving as Finance Critic and Deputy House Leader. After 9 years of standing up for Albertans against the federal Liberal government, voters elected the Conservative Party of Canada to government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Shortly after that election, Prime Minister Harper asked Jason to serve as his Parliamentary Secretary, and shortly after that, as Secretary of State for Multiculturalism.
During his time as Multiculturalism Minister, Jason began to establish relationships with hundreds of thousands of new Canadians and their families. Soon after, Jason was appointed Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, a role he served in for five years. During this time, Jason implemented comprehensive reforms to Canada’s immigration, refugee and citizenship programs, leading the National Post to call him “perhaps Canada’s best immigration minister ever.”
From 2013 to 2015 he served as Minister of Employment and Social Development where he led wide-ranging reforms to Canada’s job training programs, to help better prepare Canadians for the labour market. In February 2015, he was appointed Minister of National Defence, serving the men and women of Canada’s Armed Forces.
In July 2016, Jason launched his campaign to unite Alberta’s two conservative parties by announcing his candidacy for leadership of the Progressive Conservative party. In March of 2017, after a gruelling 8-month campaign, he won the PC leadership with more than 75% of the vote.
From there, he began negotiations with Wildrose leader Brian Jean, which ultimately resulted in an agreement to unite the Progressive Conservatives and the Wildrose, forming the United Conservative Party in July of 2017. An overwhelming 95% of Wildrose and PC members supported uniting the two parties.
Next, Jason set his sights on the leadership of the new party, campaigning on strong conservative values and a promise to renew the Alberta Advantage and reignite the province’s economy. He crisscrossed the province in his blue Dodge pickup and talked to countless numbers of Albertans about his plan to get our province back on track.
On October 28, 2017, Jason won the leadership of the United Conservative Party and less than two months later, on December 14, 2017, he was elected to represent the people of Calgary-Lougheed and became Leader of the Official Opposition.
Since taking his seat in the Legislature, Jason has fought for the interests of everyday Albertans, pushing the NDP to take action on market access, jobs, and the economy. More than once, the Notley NDP has taken Jason’s ideas and turned them into government policy. Like his call to turn off the taps of Alberta oil to BC if NDP Premier John Horgan insists on blocking the TransMountain pipeline. At the time, Premier Notley mocked and ridiculed Jason, yet just weeks later, she introduced legislation to do just what he suggested.
Jason has been relentless in his advocacy for pipelines, the energy industry, and the thousands of men and women who make their living off Alberta’s resources. He has not hesitated to call the NDP out for their close friendship with Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government in Ottawa, and demand this government stand up for our interests.
This election is about reigniting our economy and getting Albertans back into good, mortgage-paying jobs. Unemployment has skyrocketed under the NDP and life has become more unaffordable than ever. Jason is the leader that will renew the Alberta Advantage, stand up for our province and build an Alberta Strong and Free.