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Trans woman claims Alberta Liberals squelched her leadership bid


An Edmonton trans woman is calling out executives of the Alberta Liberal Party. 

The provincial party issued a news release recently stating it was ending its search for a party leader because no candidates had come forward, but Valerie Keefe disputes that claim saying she wanted to lead the party but was snubbed. 

“I believe the executive tailored rules that were designed to frustrate any campaign that wasn’t connected to insider money within the party,” said Valerie Keefe. “It makes me feel like they’re afraid of me and they’re afraid of the growing number of Albertans who understand that freedom is a Liberal value.” She also says Liberals “absolutely love marginalized people if the marginalized people agree with them and don’t criticize them at all.”

An August 15 news release stated, “The Alberta Liberal Party has officially closed nominations for Leadership Candidates. As no candidates have stepped forward, the Leadership race has concluded with no permanent Leader being selected. ”

The release went on to say:

Party President Helen McMenamin stated, “As we talked with Albertans from across the province in the lead-up to the leadership race, we were encouraged by the support we saw for the Alberta Liberal Party. People believe in our message, our values and our policies. There is genuine interest in building the party and continuing our good work.”

There were several interested candidates, but some could not make the commitment for personal reasons. Other young leaders in the party feel they need more time to learn and grow while building the party in other ways before they step into the Leadership role.

Keefe says by abandoning classic liberal values, party insiders are steering “more votes to (NDP Official Opposition Leader) Rachel Notley.”

“We need a very open process. We should have abolished entirely the notion that the executive gets to decide who runs. It’s supposed to be the membership who decides who runs.”

When asked if Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has reached out to show support, she said, “no he hasn’t stood for me. He hasn’t stood for any trans Canadians,” and Keefe called him “a narcissistic dilettante.”

For its part, the party says it hasn’t discriminated against Keefe’s leadership bid. A statement contained in part of series of e-mails says: 

Your allegation that the party has singled you out is unfounded. You have the same opportunity to fundraise and put your candidacy forward to the Greenlight Committee as any other party member. Sincerely, -The Leadership Co-chairs.

Rebel News has reached out to party officials for further comments. Keefe says she hasn’t given up her quest to lead the party and is seeking to build a team to help in her quest. The Alberta Liberals did not win a seat in the last provincial election in 2019. Currently, Alberta is governed by the United Conservative Party while the NDP is the Official Opposition.

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