Former Alberta PC Party leadership candidate Donna Kennedy-Glans said she’s sorry if Sandra Jansen dealt with bullying or harassment during her campaign, but it wasn’t something she faced.
“It wasn’t my experience; it hasn’t been my experience,” Kennedy-Glans told Global News Wednesday.
“The fact that it exists at all is intolerable. Whether or not it’s pervasive is another question. The fact that it exists at all is wrong.”
Calgary MLA Sandra Jansen announced her withdrawal from the 2016 Progressive Conservative leadership race Tuesday, citing unprecedented harassment related to her stance on issues including women’s reproductive rights and an alleged a “hostile takeover” on the part of the PC party.
The president of the party has said she’s deeply concerned and will refer the complaints to the leadership election committee for review.
But Kennedy-Glans, the only other female candidate who’d been in the race, said her withdrawal had to do with the “conservative movement within the party.”
“I have a team of people who are fiscal conservatives and social progressives and we all felt there wasn’t a lot of room for that kind of thinking in the PC Party at this point in time,” she said.
“The conservative movement within the party is determined and it’s organized and it has an awful lot of resources and that was very, very clear to us.”
Watch below from Nov. 8: News Talk 770’s Danielle Smith reacts to Sandra Jansen and Donna Kennedy-Glans’ withdrawal from the Alberta PC leadership race
Jansen, who was unavailable for an interview Wednesday, alleged a PC candidate was using “bullying tactics” and left her supporters with this advice in an email sent Tuesday:
“Work for a candidate who opposes the Trump-style politics imported to Alberta from Ottawa.”
An email attributed to Kenney said he was “disappointed” the two women were withdrawing and extended his “best wishes” Tuesday night.
“I hope that the thresholds for entering the PC leadership race, including $50,000 and 500 nomination signatures from across the province, are not a hindrance to the entry of candidates,” said the statement on Kenney’s behalf.
But Kennedy-Glans said signatures and money weren’t factors in her decision.
“We have 800 signatures and we only need 500 and we’ve got a great fundraising base—I’m not worried about that,” she said. “My worry was taking a team of people who wanted to participate in centrist politics into a room that is fully occupied by a farther-right conservative movement.”
© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.