Jason Kenney was first elected to the House of Commons in 1997 for the riding of Calgary Southeast. In 2015 he ran in the new riding of Calgary Midnapore, where he won 76 per cent of the vote. He has been named the Chair of the Shadow Cabinet Committee on Strategic Operations.
Prior to the election Kenney was the Minister of National Defence.
Kenney is well-known for his work promoting the Conservative Party amongst new immigrants and ethnic communities.
Before the 2015 cabinet shuffle, Kenney the Minister of Employment and Social Development. He also served as chair of the the Cabinet Committee on Operations, the Regional Minister for Southern Alberta, and sat on the Cabinet Committees for Social Affairs and Planning and Priorities.
In a Maclean’s survey Kenney was voted the best overall MP and hardest working MP by his colleagues. The magazine also named him one of Canada’s 100 leaders of the future.
In 2006 Kenney was named Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and in 2007 became Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity. In 2008 Kenney became the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, a position he held until 2013, making him the longest-standing minister to ever hold that position.
Kenney has also served as chair of the House subcommittee on international human rights. While in opposition he acted as critic for finance and the Deputy House Leader.
Prior to running for office Kenney was the President and CEO of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and the executive director of the Alberta Taxpayers Association. He studied philosophy from the University of San Francisco but left university to work for the Saskatchewan Liberal Party. In 1988 Kenney worked as the executive assistant to party leader Ralph Goodale.
Originally elected as a member of the Reform Party, Kenney worked as co-chair of the United Alternative Task Force when Reform became the Canadian Alliance. He later worked as national cochair of Stockwell Day’s leadership campaign and subsequently of the 2000 election campaign.