Parliamentarians of the Year (hardest working): Jason Kenney

Jason Kenney is best known for his efforts with Canada’s immigrant communities

Peter Bregg/Maclean's

Jason Kenney works frenetically and snatches rest when he can. For the Calgary MP, sleep is less something that happens in blocks than in patches. On planes, between events, any free moment can become a catnap for the Conservative heavyweight. “I can sleep anywhere,” he says—which is good, because anywhere, other than his bed, is where he spends a good 20 hours most days.

“He seems to be everywhere at once,” Paul Wells wrote of Kenney last year. He’s at the cabinet table, in committee meetings or just as often jetting off to any one of the dozens of community dinners and other meetings he attends every year as part of his outreach to ethnic and religious groups.

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Kenney, named by parliamentary peers Canada’s hardest-working MP this year, was first elected in 1997, just after his 29th birthday. Today he wears a permanent five o’clock shadow, a testament to a work rate that can seem at least a bit masochistic. On the day he spoke to Maclean’s, Kenney had a marathon run of meetings and briefings. He hoped to be back at the office by 9 p.m. where the real work of running a government ministry—he was appointed minister of Citizenship, Multiculturalism and Immigration in 2008—and chairing the powerful cabinet operations committee could begin. “Last night, I was doing that stuff until about 2:30 a.m.,” he says. As to how he keeps his schedule up, it’s all time management. “The thing about this job,” he says, “is you just have to cram things into every possible moment.”

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Parliamentarians of the Year (hardest working): Jason Kenney

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