By Cosmin Dzsurdzsa

March 16, 2022

-True North


Newly elected United Conservative Party MLA Brian Jean has said that if he had been in charge of Alberta during the COVID-19 pandemic, he would have brought NDP Opposition leader Rachel Notley into cabinet.

Jean, who is former leader of the Wildrose Party and an open challenger to Alberta premier Jason Kenney’s leadership of the United Conservative Party (UCP), made the comments during a Wednesday morning interview with Global News.

“First thing about leadership and the most important thing about leadership is you bring other people with you along for the ride. You make sure that they’re empowered with you and be part of it, and one of those people that I think would have been very important in this particular venture we’ve had with COVID is Rachel Notley as the leader of the Opposition,” said Jean.

“I think she should have been brought into the cabinet table. I think she should have been brought into the decision making so that Albertans could have trusted the UCP and could have trusted Jason Kenney.”

After securing the riding of Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche during Tuesday night’s byelection, Jean immediately took shots at Kenney.

“Jason, I hope you see what’s coming and I hope you do the right thing,” said Jean. “I know in your heart of hearts you know what the right thing to do is. And you know that the UCP can not win in one year unless you’re gone.”

Jean won with 63.6% of the 5800 ballots cast. He easily defeated NDP candidate Ariana Mancini, who received 18.4% of the vote, and Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta candidate Paul Hinman, who received 11%.

Jean has yet to be sworn in and will officially assume his position on Apr. 5. He has been open about his goal to oust Kenney from leading the UCP and has pushed for a vote to have Kenney removed during the UCP general meeting on April 9.

“I’m talking to my team, I’m talking to Albertans, I’m trying to get people excited about going to Red Deer on April 9,” said Jean.

Kenney congratulated the newly minted UCP MPP on Twitter following the byelection’s results.

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