Kenney defends hiring ex-MLA for trade office who gave up seat for Kenney to run

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says hiring the former legislature member who gave up his constituency seat for Kenney was the right thing to do.

Kenney dismissed a reporter’s question on whether his appointment of Dave Rodney as Alberta’s agent general in Houston is political payback.

He says Rodney has critical political skills important for a job that will be as much about diplomacy as business.

Rodney will be paid $250,000 a year to drum up business in the energy sector and other emerging fields.

Kenney says Rodney approached him in late 2016 about leaving his seat in the legislature and never asked for any anything in return.

Rodney quit his seat in Calgary-Lougheed in October 2017, setting in motion a byelection won by Kenney.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 8, 2020.

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