Jason Nixon

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Jason Nixon

Jason Nixon.JPG
Leader of the Opposition in Alberta
In office
October 30, 2017 – January 4, 2018
PremierRachel Notley
Preceded byNathan Cooper
Succeeded byJason Kenney
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre
Assumed office
May 5, 2015
Preceded byJoe Anglin
Personal details
Born (1980-05-26) May 26, 1980 (age 40)
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Political partyUnited Conservative (2017-present)[1]
Other political
affiliations
Wildrose Party (until 2017), Conservative Party of Canada
Spouse(s)Tiffany Nixon[1]
Children3
ResidenceSundre, Alberta, Canada[2]
Alma materAthabasca UniversitySouthern Alberta Institute of Technology
PortfolioChief Opposition Whip[3]
Websitewww.jasonnixon.ca[1]

Jason John Nixon (born May 26, 1980) is a Canadian politician and current Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta representing the electoral district of Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre.[2]

He was first elected as a member of the Wildrose Party in 2015, and then he served on the negotiation team that created a framework for unity between the Wildrose Party and the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta.[4] The agreement was ratified and approved by the members of both parties in July 2017, establishing the United Conservative Party (UCP).[5]

After the merger, Nixon endorsed Jason Kenney in the 2017 United Conservative Party leadership election.[6] After Kenney was elected as the leader, Nixon served as Leader of the Official Opposition in Alberta until Kenney won a seat (Calgary-Lougheed) in the Alberta legislature in a by-election.[7]

Nixon served as the Opposition House Leader in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.[8] He has previously served as the Wildrose opposition critic for Human Services and was a participant on the government's Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention.

Nixon was formerly the Executive Director at The Mustard Seed, a non-profit organization founded by his father Pat Nixon.[8][9] Nixon took online courses at both the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and Athabasca University.[2]

During the 2019 Alberta election, Nixon was dogged with controversies about a peace bond for an assault of a woman over his alleged involvement in a poaching incident on her property,[10] a subsequent confrontation with a Fish and Wildlife Officer,[11] as well as an earlier British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal ruling about his handling of a sexual harassment complaint at his former company.[12]

After winning the 2019 election on the UCP ticket, he was sworn-in as Alberta's Minister of Environment and Parks on April 30, 2019.[13] Before the election, he was a vocal opponent to the previous Minister, Hon. Shannon Phillips (NDP), especially in relation to the proposed Bighorn Wildland Provincial Park.[14][15]

He and his brother Jeremy Nixon are the first brothers to serve in the Alberta legislature at the same time.[16] Jason Nixon is one of four men named Jason serving in the UCP cabinet.[17]

Under Nixon, the Ministry of Environment and Parks introduced a cost-saving initiative to save Alberta's tax payers millions of dollars, by closing or placing under third-party management, about a third of Alberta's provincial parks, recreation and protected areas in 2020.[18]

Environmental views[edit]

After the 2019 Alberta general election, Nixon was appointed Minister of Environment and Parks.

According to a biography on his website, he has worked in Alberta's oil and gas industry.[19] His wife works for a pipeline company.[2]

While Nixon was the Leader of the Opposition in Alberta, he was vocal in his opposition to the proposed Bighorn Wildland Provincial Park, calling the plan a: "foreign-funded plot to wall off the back country to Albertans who call the region home."[14]

As the newly-appointed Minister, he announced plans to stop the project entirely.[20]

[Nixon said] that he is pleased that the NDPs plans to make changes to the Big Horn Country will not happen. “They are completely stopped,” he said, adding that the UCP is looking at increasing investment in the area.[21]

Other plans include possibly re-writing Alberta's provincial park legislation to be more friendly to agribusiness, forestry, mining, and oil and gas extraction,[22] and cancelling Alberta's climate leadership plan that was implemented under the previous NDP government.[23]

Controversies[edit]

A 2005 incident resurfaced in the press in 2017, where Nixon had fired a woman in retaliation for her sexual harassment complaint.[12][24]

A ruling from the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, handed down on Dec. 30, 2008, involved three companies: Nixon's company, Nixon Safety Consulting (NSC); Navigator, a company building a condo in Kelowna; and Con-Forte, a company that performed concrete work on the site. It also involved Greg Ford, an independent contractor. The tribunal found that Nixon's company fired its safety officer, Kori Harrison, in December 2005 after she complained that Ford had sexually harassed her.[12][25]

The Tribunal ordered Navigator and Con-Forte to pay Harrison lost wages, $14,144, an additional $15,000 compensation for injury to her dignity, feelings and self-respect, and $3,000 for improper conduct during the hearing.[26]

In 2009, he was charged for assault for allegedly threatening an Alberta woman over what she alleged were his poaching activities, along with two other men, on her property. A peace bond was entered. Nixon denies the claims,[27][28][10] and was cleared of all charges.[22] A dashcam video submitted as evidence during a 2011 trial related to the alleged assault—allegedly showing Nixon confronting a Fish and Wildlife Officer—was blocked from public release by Alberta judge and former Progressive Conservative MLA Marlene Graham.[11]

In 2011, he was arrested for allegedly killing a wild horse in 2009, but was later acquitted, and successfully sued the RCMP.[9]

In 2015, while a student at Athabasca University,[2] his student union voted to expel him from the organization for allegedly: taking an Executive Director salary while not working for six months, interfering with the student newspaper, raising executive salaries without student consultation, and other bylaw violations.[29] According to the student news magazine, the raises he initiated made him the: "highest paid Student Executive in Alberta. And not by a few dollars, but by more than 30%."[30]

In 2019, the former MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre Joe Anglin asked the RCMP to investigate Nixon for obstruction of justice.[31]

On May 13, 2019 Nixon sent a fundraising communiqué to UCP party supporters, asking them to make a "small donation" to support cuts to the corporate tax rate, and scrapping the provincial carbon tax. This — and another fundraising communication from Kenney's office — resulted in the NDP opposition filing an ethics complaint on the basis of improper use of the office of the premier for party fundraising.[32]

In June 2019, he was the subject of a point of privilege raised by the NDP, claiming Nixon, "deliberately misled the legislature when he said no one used the earplugs distributed by Premier Jason Kenney during last week's debate on a bill to delay wage talks for 180,000 public sector workers."[33]

Nixon said on March 3, 2020 that Alberta's provincial parks, recreation and protected areas were only generating $36 million annually while costing $86 million of tax payers dollars.[34] The March 5 publication—"Optimizing Alberta Parks"—listed the various actions the government would undertake in 2020 as part of a cost-saving initiative.[18][35] This included "fully or partially closing 20 provincial parks" with 164 other parks being handed to "third-party managers".[18][34] This represents "more than one-third of all the province's parks, recreation areas and other protected areas."[34] While the "Optimizing Alberta Parks" statement included the possibly of selling Crown land,[36] Nixon said in a March 5 Calgary Herald interview, "We are not selling any Crown or public land — period."[35] However, the province listed a 65-hectare plot of land east of Taber in a March 31 auction with a starting bid of $440,000.[36]

Cabinet Positions[edit]

Alberta provincial government of Jason Kenney
Cabinet post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Shannon Phillips Minister of Environment and Parks
April 30, 2019–
Incumbent

Electoral history[edit]

2019 general election[edit]

2019 Alberta general election: Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
United Conservative Jason Nixon 20,579 81.64
New Democratic Jeff Ible 2,293 9.10
Alberta Party Joe Anglin 1,350 5.36
Freedom Conservative Dawn Bedard 303 1.20
Green Jane Drummond 286 1.14
  Independence David Rogers
185
0.73
  Alberta Advantage Paula Lamoureux
161
0.64
Independent Gordon Francey 50 0.20
Total valid votes
Rejected, spoiled and declined
Registered electors
Turnout

2015 general election[edit]

2015 Alberta general election: Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Wildrose Jason Nixon 6,670 40.11 -11.31
Progressive Conservative Tammy Cote 5,296 31.65 -8.90
New Democratic Hannah Schlamp 2,791 16.78 +11.57
Independent Joe Anglin 1,871 11.25
Total valid votes 16,628 99.36 +0.01
Rejected, spoiled, and declined 107 0.64 -0.01
Turnout 16,735 51.37 -2.47
Registered electors 32,578
Wildrose hold Swing -1.21
Source(s)
Elections Alberta. "Electoral Division Results: Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre". Retrieved November 22, 2018.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 25, 2015. Retrieved May 25, 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b c d e Habib, Marlene (November 18, 2014). "The average undergrad getting an online degree is older". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  3. ^ "Wildrose caucus meets for first time; names senior shadow cabinet | Globalnews.ca". globalnews.ca. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  4. ^ "Progressive Conservative, Wildrose discussion teams set to take first steps toward unity". Edmonton Journal. March 25, 2017. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  5. ^ "Alberta Wildrose, PC members overwhelmingly vote to merge". Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  6. ^ "Former Wildrose and PC caucus members endorse Jason Kenney, take shots at Brian Jean | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  7. ^ "Nixon appointed opposition house leader - Mountain View Gazette". Mountain View Gazette. October 31, 2017. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Jason Nixon". United Conservative Party Caucus. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Corbella, Licia (November 4, 2017). "Corbella: UCP's Jason Nixon is a giant in every way". Calgary Herald. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  10. ^ a b Hall, Josh (April 7, 2019). "Jason Nixon denies 'troubled past' allegations by NDP". Red Deer News Now. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  11. ^ a b Grant, Meghan (April 17, 2019). "Judge bans media access to video of confrontation between MLA Jason Nixon and wildlife officer". CBC. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  12. ^ a b c Bellefontaine, Michelle (December 12, 2017). "UCP house leader Jason Nixon fired woman after sex harassment complaint". CBC. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  13. ^ Singleton, Dan (April 30, 2019). "Jason Nixon named minister of Environment and Parks". Mountain View Gazette. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  14. ^ a b Lewis, Jeff (January 7, 2019). "On the Rockies' edge, frictions form over Alberta's plan for new provincial park". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  15. ^ Vaughn, Todd (January 8, 2019). "OPINION: MLAs Ron Orr and Jason Nixon comment on Bighorn Country consultations". Lacombe Express. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  16. ^ Clancy, Clare (April 30, 2019). "Nixons become first brothers to serve as Alberta MLAs at the same time". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  17. ^ Dawson, Tyler (April 30, 2019). "Four guys named Jason: What you need to know about the Jason Kenney cabinet". National Post. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  18. ^ a b c "Optimizing Alberta Parks" (Press release). March 5, 2020. Archived from the original on March 18, 2020. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  19. ^ "Jason Nixon". Archived from the original on May 25, 2015.
  20. ^ Derworiz, Colette (May 7, 2019). "Calling it flawed, UCP scraps Bighorn parks proposal touted by NDP". Calgary Herald. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  21. ^ "MLA Jason Nixon appointed as Alberta's Minister of Environment and Parks and Government House Leader". Rimbey Review. May 2, 2019. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  22. ^ a b "Here's how Alberta's new environment minister plans to balance industry with conservation | The Star". thestar.com. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  23. ^ French, Janet; Graney, Emma (May 22, 2019). "UCP government prepares to end climate leadership plan as MLAs sworn in". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  24. ^ "Harrison v. Nixon Safety Consulting and others (No. 3), 2008 BCHRT 462" (PDF). B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. p. 3.
  25. ^ "Harrison v. Nixon Safety Consulting and others (No. 3), 2008 BCHRT 462" (PDF). B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.
  26. ^ "Harrison v. Nixon Safety Consulting and others (No. 3), 2008 BCHRT 462" (PDF). B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. pp. 68, 71, 74.
  27. ^ Markus, Jade (April 7, 2019). "Decade-old charge against UCP candidate in spotlight week ahead of Alberta election". CBC. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  28. ^ Antoneshyn, Alex (April 7, 2019). "'Complete and utter lie': Nixon denies rancher's claims of assault". CTV News. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  29. ^ Lehtiniemi, Barbara (June 19, 2015). "Council Connection: AGM Survivors". The Voice: A Publication for the students of Athabasca University. Archived from the original on June 25, 2015. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  30. ^ Low, Karl (April 17, 2019). "It's All About the Benjamins" (PDF). The Voice: A Publication for the students of Athabasca University. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 14, 2017. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  31. ^ Hall, Josh (February 2, 2019). "Nixon accused of obstruction of justice". Red Deer News Now. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  32. ^ Russell, Jenny; Charles, Rusnel (May 23, 2019). "Alberta NDP file fundraising ethics complaint against Premier Jason Kenney". CBC. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  33. ^ Bellefontaine, Michelle (June 24, 2019). "NDP says government House leader lied about earplug incident". CBC News. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  34. ^ a b c "Alberta government plans to close 20 parks, hand over 164 others to third parties". The Canadian Press via Kimberley Daily Bulletin. March 4, 2020. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  35. ^ a b Licia Corbella (March 5, 2020). "Alberta Parks are not for sale — not one square centimetre". Calgary Herald. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  36. ^ a b Weber, Bob (March 17, 2020). "Alberta to sell native grassland despite government promises no Crown land would be sold". Global News via the Canadian Press. Retrieved March 18, 2020.