Dave Rodney, the long-serving MLA for Calgary-Lougheed, has announced his retirement, a move that creates an opportunity for Jason Kenney, the newly selected leader of the United Conservative Party, to pursue the nomination as the party’s candidate in a future byelection.

“I thank the residents of Calgary-Lougheed for giving me the privilege of serving as their MLA for the past thirteen years,” said Rodney. “I’m confident that Jason will be an excellent representative for both the constituency and the province as a whole.”

"This is all about Mr. Kenney being the representative for Calgary-Lougheed and showing all Albertans what he can do as not just the official opposition leader but the premier-in-waiting."

Rodney says his resignation is effective Wednesday, November 1.

Kenney says he hopes and expects the byelection will be called before the end of 2017.  “I’m confident that (Premier Notley) will respect the longstanding Westminster Parliamentary Convention of calling a byelection without delay when there is a party leader seeking entry to the Legislature to be leader of the opposition.”

The UCP leader says he does not expect a provincial election to be called early.

“This NDP government knows that they’re living on borrowed time, that three-quarters of Albertans want this government to be replaced,” said Kenney. It seems to me that this is not a pragmatic government, this is an ideological government. They’re ideological true-believers and they value every single day they have to try to change the province, to try to recreate it in their own political image.”

“I’m concerned that the NDP would violate the fixed election date legislation and try to move the date into 2020.”