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Monday , 23 May 2022
Image Submitted: Brian Jean

Brian Jean wins Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche by-election

Brian Jean won the riding of Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche, this time representing the United Conservation Party.

On March 15, voters took to the polls to make their decision which saw Jean receiving roughly 60 per cent of the vote.

“I ran on the message that Jason Kenney needs to be replaced, needs to leave. And tonight the people of Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche have spoken and they want him to leave. They agree with me,” Jean said during his victory party Tuesday night from campaign headquarters.

Jean received 3,714 votes of the 5,670 cast in the by-election. NDP competitor Ariana Mancini secured 1,081 votes. Paul Hinman was third with 628 votes for the Wildrose Independence Party. Alberta Liberal Party candidate Abdulhakim Hussein received 211 votes. The rest of the candidates received less than 100 votes.

Jean has been calling for Kenney to resign for months, insisting that the first-term premier will lose to the opposition NDP in a general election scheduled for May 2023.

“I had some great volunteers and, you know, the by-election I was running in was all about stopping the NDP next year by starting the process of renewing UCP right now,” Jean told Lakeland Connect in an exclusive interview.

History of Brian Jean’s role in Alberta Politics

According to his Wikipedia page, Jean was elected in the provincial riding of Fort McMurray-Conklin and became the leader of the Opposition as the Wildrose Party formed the Official Opposition to the governing Alberta New Democratic Party (NDP). Jean ceased to lead the Wildrose Party merged with the Progressive Conservatives (PCs) to become the United Conservative Party in 2017 and ran to be leader of the new party, losing to Jason Kenney. He resigned his seat in the Alberta legislature on March 5, 2018.

Jason Kenney Responds

Kenney took to Twitter shortly after Jean was declared the winner to congratulate him on the win.

“Congratulations to Brian Jean and the UCP team on winning the Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche byelection,” Kenny said on Twitter. “Thank you to all of the candidates & their volunteers for their commitment to democracy, and local voters for participating in the electoral process.”

#RenewtheUCP

However, Jean says Kenny has to go.

“The message that people most obverts recognize is that the UCP under Jason Kenney, his leadership is not going to win against the NDP that’s only a year away. And if we don’t renew the UCP, the NDP is going to reshape our province like never before. And I don’t want that. I think the company next year would be bad for Alberta. So to stop that I’m jumping in right now. And doing whatever I can,” Jean said. “This is a five-step process. You know, we did the nomination and by-election. Now, you know, step three, of course, is April 9, and making sure people recognize that if they don’t buy a membership and register before this Saturday at midnight, that’s just a few days away, they cannot participate in the leadership review on April 9.”

Kenney’s leadership review will occur in Red Deer on April 9. For more information visit: https://www.unitedconservative.ca/sgm-2022/

Lakeland Connect will meet up with Jean next week for a live interview.

About Arthur C. Green

Arthur C. Green is an award winning journalist and is from Whitbourne Newfoundland. Green graduated from the CNA Journalism Program. Arthur also studied Business Marketing and Political Science at Memorial University in Essex England and St. John's Newfoundland. Green has worked for such organizations as CBC, CBC Radio, NTV, Saltwire, Great West Media, CKLB Radio, River Radio, Vista Radio, and Postmedia. He also loves Jiggs Dinner and can fillet a Codfish.