(File photo)

(File photo)

MLA Ron Orr on ousting of two UCP members

MLAs Drew Barnes and Todd Loewen were voted out on May 13, 2021

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr stated he’s sorry to see the two UCP party members go, after they were voted out of the caucus on May 13, and expressed his support for Premier Jason Kenney.

“I am sorry to see two members of caucus voted out but I will not work for, or support, efforts to destroy the party or the leader from within,” said Orr in a statement on his Facebook page on May 14.

“I will speak to party policy but will not divide what we worked so hard to unite.”

The 62-member caucus met for several hours on Thursday afternoon, with the results of the vote being released at 7:30 p.m.

“Today, United Conservative MLAs voted to remove, from the government caucus,” stated a press release from UCP Caucus Whip Mike Ellis.

“Members recognize the need for government caucus to remain strong and united behind out leader, Premier Jason Kenney, as we continue to fight through what looks to be the final stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.”

Loewen, a senior backbencher, called for Kenney’s resignation early in the morning on May 13, making his discontent with the party’s leader known in a letter posted on Facebook.

READ MORE: ‘We did not unite around blind loyalty to one man’:Kenney faces internal call to quit

Barnes UCP MP for Cypress-Medicine Hat, joined a national coalition pushing against lockdowns back in February.

“There is simply no room in our caucus for those who continually seek to divide our party and undermine government leadership, especially at this critical juncture for our province,” said Ellis.

“We look forward to moving ahead as a stronger, more united team.”

“I personally believe the premier has been more than fair and transparent with caucus. I also believe he is the leader God raised up for these times even though I don’t like these times any more than you do,” Orr continued in his statement.

“I grieve for, and will continue to try and help, those who suffer under COVID and those who suffer under restrictions. Where I can help, I will,” he said.

“The costs are high whether from COVID or restrictions. We need to help each other rather than destroy each other.”

– With files from the Canadian Press