Ralph Klein Accused Lobby Jason Kenney Led of Spreading Lies and ‘Robbing Seniors’
Kenney took a 36% cut out of membership fees when he worked for the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation
During United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney’s time as executive director of the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation, former Alberta premier Ralph Klein alleged he helped “rob” senior citizens.
The UCP leader regularly upholds the former Progressive Conservative premier as “the most remarkable leader,” as “that man with a twinkle in his eye,” and as the premier who “did the impossible.”
But back in 1993, when the Canadian Taxpayers Federation criticized the Klein government’s expenses, Klein had harsh words for Kenney. Then-premier Klein said the 37% commission the lobby gives agents for signing up members was dishonest money.
On April 23, 1993, the Edmonton Journal quoted Klein, telling Kenney:
I think 37 per cent commission to salespeople spreading not totally the truth about what government operations are all about is a little bit of robbery
The Calgary Herald, reported Klein told the future UCP leader:
quit robbing the old senior citizens of their money to generate this kind of fear.
On April 21 1993, The Herald reported Klein “retracted the robbery allegation after being
threatened with possible legal action in a verbal sparring match with Kenney in a legislature hallway.”
“Robbing was probably a strong use of words and I’ll retract that,” Klein reportedly told Kenney. “But I still think that what you’re doing is not entirely ethical.”
Klein’s damning comments against Kenney may come as a surprise, given that on the 25th anniversary of Klein’s election as premier of Alberta, Kenney claimed the Klein government led to an era of “unrivalled growth and prosperity for Albertans.”
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