Jeff Watson (politician)

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Jeff Watson
Member of Parliament
for Essex
In office
June 28, 2004 – August 4, 2015
Preceded bySusan Whelan
Succeeded byTracey Ramsey
Personal details
Born (1971-03-25) March 25, 1971 (age 50)
Windsor, Ontario
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Sarah Anne Watson (Thomson)
ChildrenSophie, Emma, Elijah, Thaddaeus, Ava, Beatrice (adopted)
ResidenceCalgary, Alberta
ProfessionPolitical analyst, marketing manager, autoworker

Jeffrey D. Watson (born March 25, 1971 in Windsor, Ontario) is the former Member of Parliament for the Essex electoral district in Ontario, 2004-2015 under Stephen Harper's Prime Ministership.

In the 2015 General Election, and after four terms in office, Watson narrowly lost his seat to the NDP. The Watsons relocated to Calgary, Alberta looking for a better life.[1]

Watson and his wife Sarah have six children.[2]

Member of Parliament for Essex, Ontario, 2004-2015[edit]

Watson was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Essex in June 2004 and re-elected in January 2006 and October 2008 as a member of the Conservative Government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Watson was the first centre-right MP elected for Essex or its predecessors in 46 years. He also had the distinction of being designated by the Library of Parliament as the first autoworker elected to the Parliament of Canada.[3][4]

Steven and Mrs Harper With Jeff Watson and his Children, adopted daughter Beatrice and eldest son, Elijah

Watson served on the Standing Committee on the Environment & Sustainable Development and on the Standing Committee on Transportation, Infrastructure & Communities. He was also Chair of the Government Auto Caucus, a member of the All-Party border Caucus, and the Canada-UK, Canada-Italy Inter-Parliamentary Groups. As well he served as a member of the Executive and Vice-Chair respectively as a member of the Canada-Israel and Canada-US Inter-Parliamentary Groups.[5]

In February 2007, Watson came under criticism for comments made at a hearing of the Special Legislative Committee on Canada's Clean Air Act that linked greenhouse gas reductions to a demise in the Canadian economy which could result in domestic violence and suicide.[6] While in April 2007, the government tabled a report detailing how C-288 will plunge Canada into a recession costing 275,000 jobs, echoing the MPs concerns.[7]

Following his studies in history and political science at the University of Windsor, Watson worked as an executive assistant and marketing director before joining the line at the Trim Division at Daimler Chrysler's Windsor Assembly Plant, where he was employed for seven years.[8][9]

In January 2007, the Windsor Star reported that a former campaign worker from Watson's 2004 campaign threatened he would "kill Jeff Watson with (his) bare hands", was charged by the Ontario Provincial Police and sent to trial.[10] The defendant was later acquitted as the Ontario court judge, Justice Lloyd Dean, could not conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the words were spoken to intimidate or strike fear. "I had to deal with whether or not the matter was before the court because the young ladies [the witnesses] were fearful of Mr. Kouvalis or assessing what move to make and what evidence to give because they were concerned about the political consequences for Mr. Kouvalis, Mr. Watson and the Conservative party," the judge said.[11] The case was complicated by the admission in court that "Witness Kaydee Schnekenburger, a former campaign worker for Watson .. testified earlier in the trial that she and Angela Jonsson, another witness .. met with Watson and his wife, Sarah, at the MP's home for three hours and discussed the sequence of events in the case.[12]

Watson was re-elected in the 2008 federal election.

He became Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport on Sept.19, 2013.[13]

Jeff and Mrs. Watson with Jason Kenney

In May 2015, the Jewish National Fund Windsor honoured Jeff Watson. "Over 500 people attended the event to pay tribute to Mr. Watson for his great work in serving [the Jewish] community and for his strong support of Israel. .. with a fascinating keynote address from The Honourable Jason Kenney."[14]

Watson was defeated in 2015 by the New Democratic Party, despite a Liberal Party majority elsewhere in the country.[15]


In 2015, the Watsons relocated to Calgary, Alberta for their Children. Watson stated "The kids, some of them want to ride horses. My boys, 11 and 13 — they want to mountain bike extreme style. One of them wants to snowboard." Watson continued to on, "Asked if he’ll be getting into politics in Alberta, Watson said he’ll likely help out on the campaigns of friends like fellow Conservative Jason Kenney"

Jason Kenney with the Watson's children during Kenney's 2017 Campaign

In 2017, Watson become the Director, Coalitions and Outreach for Unite Alberta / Jason Kenney Leadership.[16]

In addition to being a member of Jason Kenney's campaign leadership team during 2016–17, Watson has also continued his work in Federal Politics and acts as an advisor to the Hon. Andrew Scheer.

Watson is also working with Ric McIver in the United Conservative Party held riding of Calgary-Hays as a Constituency Assistant.[17]

Electoral record[edit]

2015 Canadian federal election: Essex
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
New Democratic Tracey Ramsey 25,072 41.42 +6.52 $106,087.64
Conservative Jeff Watson 21,602 35.69 -12.58 $87,656.45
Liberal Audrey Festeryga 12,639 20.88 +6.62 $78,480.89
Green Jennifer Alderson 1,141 1.88 -0.54
Marxist–Leninist Enver Villamizar 77 0.13 -0.02
Total valid votes/expense limit 60,531 100.00   $233,865.23
Total rejected ballots 241 0.40
Turnout 60,772 66.19
Eligible voters 91,816
New Democratic gain from Conservative Swing +9.55
Source: Elections Canada[18][19]
2011 Canadian federal election: Essex
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Jeff Watson 25,327 48.1% +8.1%
New Democratic Taras Natyshak 18,538 35.2% +8.6%
Liberal Nelson Santos 7,465 14.2% -14.9%
Green Cora Carriveau 1,290 2.4% -1.9%
Marxist–Leninist Enver Villamizar 77 0.1% -0.1%
Total valid votes 52,697 99.6%
Total rejected ballots 233 0.4%
Total votes 52,930 100.0%

Source: Elections Canada

2008 Canadian federal election: Essex
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Jeff Watson 20,608 40.0% -0.4% $87,306
Liberal Susan Whelan 14,973 29.1% -5.0% $87,544
New Democratic Taras Natyshak 13,703 26.6% +3.9% $47,430
Green Richard Bachynsky 2,234 4.3% +1.6% $0
Total valid votes/expense limit 51,518 100.0% $90,595
Total rejected ballots 206
Turnout 51,724  %
2006 Canadian federal election: Essex
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Jeff Watson 23,125 40.4% +3.8%
Liberal Susan Whelan 19,508 34.1% -0.9%
New Democratic Taras Natyshak 12,992 22.7% -1.7%
Green James McVeity 1,518 2.7% -1.2%
Marxist–Leninist Robert Cruise 108 0.2% 0.0%
Total valid votes 57,251
Total valid votes 57,251 100.0%
2004 Canadian federal election: Essex
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Jeff Watson 18,755 36.6% -4.9%
Liberal Susan Whelan 17,926 35.0% -9.4%
New Democratic David Tremblay 12,519 24.4% +10.5%
Green Paul Forman 1,981 3.9%
Marxist–Leninist Robert Cruise 105 0.2% -0.1%
Total valid votes 51,286 100.0%

Note: Conservative vote is compared to the total of the Canadian Alliance vote and Progressive Conservative vote in 2000 election.


  1. ^ "Former Essex MP Jeff Watson to move west for 'something wild and different'". Windsor Star. Retrieved 2020-10-02.
  2. ^ "- Edmonton Journal - Jeff Watson and his wife Sarah Watson are joined by their children Ava, left, Thad, Elijah, Emma and Sophie as they hold their newly adopted daughter Beatrice Grace Ulaajuk at their home in Amherstburg, Ont., on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012". Archived from the original on 2018-07-11. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  3. ^ - Mulcair trash-talks Harper over auto support
  4. ^ - CPAC Vote 2015 – Essex
  5. ^ - Jeff Watson - Roles - House of Commons Canada
  6. ^ "Kyoto a killer, MP says," Mike De Souza, Windsor Star, February 17, 2007 Archived September 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ - Report on Bill C-288
  8. ^ -
  9. ^ - Unifor, autoworkers want Tory candidates to state views on Trans-Pacific Partnership
  10. ^ "Death threat to MP left workers scared," Anne Jarvis, Windsor Star, January 10, 2007 Archived November 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Tory campaign manager acquitted of threatening MP Jeff Watson," Anne Jarvis, Windsor Star, January 25, 2007 Archived November 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "MP's wife called witnesses," Anne Jarvis, Windsor Star, January 23, 2007 Archived February 24, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ - New role for Jeff Watson: Parliamentary secretary to transport minister
  14. ^ - JNF Windsor 2015 Negev Dinner, Honouring Jeff Watson, MP Essex
  15. ^ - Essex elects New Democrat Tracey Ramsey
  16. ^ - Jeff Watson Linkedin Profile
  17. ^ "Government of Alberta". Retrieved 2018-07-11.
  18. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Essex, 30 September 2015
  19. ^ Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates Archived 15 August 2015 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]