Tory MP Jason Kenney announced his bid to lead the Alberta Progressive Conservative party on Wednesday in Calgary, but eagle-eyed viewers might have been a little surprised by one of the faces that joined him on stage.
Plenty of current and former conservative politicians attended Kenney's event, including MPs Deepak Obhrai, Michelle Rempel and Ron Liepert, and defeated MPs Joan Crockatt and Devinder Shory.
Behind Kenney on stage, however, was a young political activist who made headlines in 2014 for a scathing video critiquing the PCs.
Caitlyn Madlener, a political science student, filmed a parody of singer Lorde's song "Royals" titled "We Don't Wanna Have (Alberta) PCs" as the provincial government faced a series of spending scandals.
"The PC party's like, 'in the black, no-debt,' dippin' in the trust fund, sky palace, forty years, palm springs in the sun. They don't care, they won't live within their means," Madlener sings in the music video.
"We need a new government. They don't care — why should we pay for their airfare."
Madlener also waded into politics later the same year, launching a petition to recall Danielle Smith, the former leader of Alberta's Wildrose, after she crossed the floor to join former Alberta premier Jim Prentice's PCs.
Political activist Caitlyn Madlener applauds as Jason Kenney announces his bid to lead the Alberta Progressive Conservatives. (Photo: Jeff McIntosh/CP)
However, Madlener's presence might not be as incongruous as it seems.
Kenney told an audience at his Calgary event Wednesday that he hopes to avoid the "events of December 2014," when party members on both sides were surprised as Wildrose members crossed the floor.
The Ontario-born politician, who is running under the intention of uniting both parties, said he hopes to do so openly.
“There were some good people involved in that and I’m sure many good intentions. But we must ensure that unity is pursued and achieved openly and transparently, not through secret back-room deals," Kenney said.
The PCs are set to elect a new leader in early 2017.
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