Brian Jean

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Brian Jean
MLA
Brian Jean 2015 Debate.jpg
Leader of the Opposition in Alberta
In office
May 5, 2015 – July 24, 2017
Preceded by Heather Forsyth
Succeeded by Nathan Cooper
Leader of the Wildrose Party
In office
March 28, 2015 – July 24, 2017
Preceded by Heather Forsyth (interim)
Succeeded by Position abolished
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Fort McMurray-Conklin
Assumed office
May 5, 2015
Preceded by Don Scott
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
In office
February 7, 2006 – May 24, 2011
Minister Lawrence Cannon
John Baird
Chuck Strahl
Denis Lebel
Preceded by Charles Hubbard
Succeeded by Pierre Poilievre
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Fort McMurray—Athabasca
In office
January 23, 2006 – January 17, 2014
Preceded by Riding established
Succeeded by David Yurdiga
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Athabasca
In office
June 28, 2004 – January 23, 2006
Preceded by David Chatters
Succeeded by Riding abolished
Personal details
Born Brian Michael Jean
(1963-02-03) February 3, 1963 (age 54)
Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
Political party United Conservative Party
Other political
affiliations
Conservative (federal)
Wildrose (provincial, until 2017)
Spouse(s) Kimberley Michelutti (m. 2016)
Residence Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada
Alma mater Bond University
Occupation Lawyer
Website brianjean.ca

Brian Michael Jean (born February 3, 1963) is a Canadian politician who was the Leader of the Opposition of Alberta and the last leader of the Wildrose Party.

Jean was a federal Member of Parliament who represented the riding of Athabasca from 2004 to 2006 and Fort McMurray—Athabasca from 2006 to 2014 in the House of Commons. After resigning from the House in 2014, he returned to political life in February 2015 by announcing he would seek the leadership of the Wildrose Party.[1] He was elected party leader on March 28, 2015.[2] In the 2015 provincial election, Jean was elected in the provincial riding of Fort McMurray-Conklin and became Leader of the Opposition as the Wildrose Party formed the Official Opposition to the governing Alberta New Democratic Party.[3] Jean ceased to lead the Wildrose Party with the merger into the United Conservative Party and is running as leader of the new party.[4] Jean has lost the election as new UPC leader.[5]

Background[edit]

Jean was born in Kelowna, British Columbia, and moved to Fort McMurray, Alberta when he was four years old in 1967.

Jean has a Bachelor of Science degree from Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon, and Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Laws degrees from Bond University in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. He also attended the law school at the University of Calgary, where he received qualification to be admitted to the Law Society of Alberta. This allowed him to practiced law for 11 years in Fort McMurray prior to his political career.

Jean has worked as a farmhand, a printer's assistant, a businessperson, a lawyer, and an inspirational speaker. In his community, Jean served as the chairman of the Children's Health Foundation in Northern Alberta, chair of the Alberta Summer Games, president of the Fort McMurray Downtown Business Association, and director of the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce.

Federal political career[edit]

Jean was first elected the House of Commons as a Conservative Party of Canada candidate in the riding of Athabasca in 2004, sitting in the Official Opposition to Paul Martin's Liberal government. He was re-elected in the renamed riding of Fort McMurray—Athabasca in 2006, when the Conservatives formed government under Stephen Harper. In February 2006, Jean was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities Lawrence Cannon. Jean was re-elected again in 2008 and 2011. After the 2011 election, he declined reappointment as Parliamentary Secretary in order to focus on his constituency needs. In the House of Commons, Jean served on the Finance, Justice, and Industry Committees.

On January 10, 2014, Jean announced that he would be resigning his seat on January 17, 2014 to return to private life in Fort McMurray.[6][7]

Provincial politics[edit]

Jean in 2015

The Wildrose Party was in disarray in late 2014 after leader Danielle Smith and eight other MLAs crossed the floor to the ruling Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta. A leadership election was organized to choose a new leader and Jean was encouraged to run. Jean entered the race on February 25, 2015, and was elected party leader on March 28, 2015 with 55% of the vote, defeating Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes and former Strathcona County Mayor Linda Osinchuk.[2]

The 2015 Alberta election was held on May 5, 2015, less than two months after Jean became Wildrose leader. The party retained its standing as Official Opposition in the legislature, growing its caucus from 17 in 2012, and 5 at dissolution, to 21. For the first time in Alberta history, the New Democratic Party formed government, with Rachel Notley becoming Premier. This marked the end of 43 years of government by the Progressive Conservatives.

On August 30, 2016 Jean, responding to questions about the need for more seniors housing in the city he represents, told an audience he has been "beating this drum" for more than a decade. "I will continue to beat it, I promise," Jean said. "But it's against the law to beat Rachel Notley." He quickly apologized for what he later characterized as an "inappropriate attempt" at humour.[8]

Jean's former federal caucus colleague Jason Kenney became Progressive Conservative leader after winning that party's leadership election in early 2017. Kenney's platform called for uniting the Progressive Conservative and Wildrose parties to form a united right-of-centre alliance. On March 20, 2017, Jean met with Kenney to begin unity discussions.[9]

On May 18, 2017, Jean and Kenney announced that their two parties had come to a merger agreement and on July 22 2017 the merger was passed with 95% support from both the PCs and the Wildrose. The merger agreement formed the United Conservative Party, with a leadership election to occur on October 28, 2017 and a founding convention to be held in 2018.[10]

Electoral record[edit]

Provincial[edit]

Alberta general election, 2015: Fort McMurray-Conklin
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Wildrose Brian Jean 2,950 43.87 +3.71
New Democratic Ariana Mancini 2,071 30.80 23.05
Progressive Conservative Don Scott 1,497 22.26 −26.69
Liberal Melinda Hollis 207 3.08 0.11
Total valid votes 6,725  
Total rejected ballots    
Turnout      
Eligible voters  

Federal[edit]

Canadian federal election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Brian Jean 21,988 71.84 +4.72 $68,113
New Democratic Berend Wilting 4,053 13.24 +0.33 $24
Liberal Karen Young 3,230 10.55 -0.05 $20,825
Green Jule Asterisk 1,374 4.49 -1.88 $2,734
Total valid votes/Expense limit 30,605 100.00
Total rejected ballots 144 0.47 +0.13
Turnout 30,749 40.75 +5
Eligible voters 75,456
Canadian federal election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Brian Jean 17,160 67.12 +2.67 $48,046
New Democratic Mark Voyageur 3,300 12.91 -1.58 $1,853
Liberal John Webb 2,710 10.60 -4.17 $5,459
Green Dylan Richards 1,628 6.37 +1.47
Independent Shawn Reimer 350 1.37 $666
First Peoples National John Malcolm 233 0.91 -0.47
Christian Heritage Jacob Strydhorst 186 0.73 $733
Total valid votes/Expense limit 25,567 100.00 $101,823
Total rejected ballots 86 0.34 +0.03
Turnout 25,653 36 -12
Canadian federal election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Brian Jean 20,342 64.45 +4.16 $59,027
Liberal Mel H. Buffalo 4,663 14.77 -9.28 $3,333
New Democratic Roland Lefort 4,573 14.49 +4.03 $19,091
Green Ian Hopfe 1,547 4.90 -0.28 $8
First Peoples National John Malcolm 437 1.38
Total valid votes 31,549 100.00
Total rejected ballots 97 0.31 -0.06
Turnout 31,646 48.32 +0.47
Canadian federal election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Brian Jean 17,942 60.3 -6.40 $84,096
Liberal Doug Faulkner 7,158 24.05 -4.35 $52,713
New Democratic Robert Cree 3,115 10.46 +7.94 $4,942
Green Ian Hopfe 1,542 5.18 +4.18 $112
Total valid votes 29,757 100.00
Total rejected ballots 112 0.37 +0.07
Turnout 29,869 47.85 -8.43

References[edit]

External links[edit]