Drew Barnes announces he won't run under UCP banner in spring election

MLA Drew Barnes is speaking out after being booted out of the UCP caucus. Plus, hear from Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Kim Smith has the details.

Drew Barnes, member of the legislative assembly for Cypress-Medicine Hat, said Wednesday he will not seek UCP nomination in the spring.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to represent the families and communities of this region for more than a decade, and I will continue to put their thoughts and concerns first inside and outside of the Legislature,” said Barnes in a letter to constituents posted on social media.

Barnes, three-term MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat, wrote that he will “continue representing his constituents as an Independent.” Barnes had been elected as a UCP candidate, but has been sitting as an independent since 2021.

Phone calls and emails to Barnes’ constituency office to confirm whether he will be running as an Independent were not answered at the time of this writing.

Barnes ruffled the feathers of the Opposition in 2021 when he made comments questioning the validity of COVID-19 tests and the need for masking, as was being required by the federal and provincial governments.

The NDP called on then-premier Jason Kenney to have Barnes removed from caucus. Barnes was kicked out of caucus in May 2021, along with Todd Loewen, the UCP representative for Central Peace-Notley, after both representatives challenged Kenney’s leadership.

 

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