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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:00 pm    Post subject: Brian Jean resigns as Fort Mcmurray mla Reply with quote

( former wildrose leader Brian Jean has resigned his seat in the alberta legislature , triggering another alberta by election )

Former UCP leadership contender Brian Jean quits as Fort McMurray MLA

Vincent McDermott Vincent McDermott

Published on: March 5, 2018 | Last Updated: March 5, 2018 5:41 PM MST

Fort McMurray — Brian Jean has resigned as MLA for Fort McMurray-Conklin, citing a desire to spend time with his family and rebuild his home, which was destroyed in the May 2016 wildfire.

Jean made the announcement during a Monday phone interview with Fort McMurray Today, after being dogged for months by rumours surrounding his future as a politician following his loss to Jason Kenney for United Conservative Party leadership in October.

“My wife and my family have made a lot of sacrifices for me and I would like to give back to them,” he said Monday. “I’m stepping aside because, frankly, I have to focus on my family and my life.”

Jean said he knows some people will accuse him of being a sore loser, but insists his desire to leave comes mostly from a desire to focus on his home life.

He only recently started rebuilding his Fort McMurray home.

One of his sisters also has stage 4 cancer, while two other family members are also battling the disease. The experience brought back memories of when he lost his son, Michael, in March 2015.

“I lost my son and I lost my house, and it’s been a tough few years for my family,” he said. “Being a politician is a 24-7 job. At this stage, I need to rebuild, I need to spend time with my family, I need to spend time with my friends, I need to get grounded again.”

No date for a byelection, which must be called within six months of a riding being vacated, has been set. The next provincial election is scheduled for May 2019.

No one has declared themselves as candidates, although Jean said he has heard from several residents interested in running.

Jean’s resignation comes as the UCP prepares for another byelection in Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, after MLA Don MacIntyre resigned in February. MacIntyre is facing sexual interference charged involving a child under 16.

Jean first entered politics in 2004 when he was elected a federal MP for Fort McMurray-Athabasca. He resigned in January 2014, citing a desire to focus on his personal life.

However, he returned to politics a year later after former Wildrose leader Danielle Smith and eight other MLAs joined the Progressive Conservatives in late 2014. His son was also being treated for lymphoma, and Jean said the trip through Alberta’s health-care system shocked him.

On election night, Jean led the rebuilt party to form an even larger opposition.

At first, Jean rejected uniting the Wildrose with the PCs, instead inviting any PCs interested in a unified conservative movement to join his party.

Jean eventually relented on the issue as the idea’s popularity grew among Alberta’s conservatives in both parties, especially as Kenney began touring the province pitching unity.

When the two parties did merge, tensions between Kenney and Jean flared during the leadership race. Jean insists he has no personal or professional grudges towards Kenney.

“He was chosen by 36,000 other members to lead the party. He should have the opportunity to put his vision in place and put it before Albertans,” said Jean. “I feel very proud of the direction of the party, of what we achieved with the Wildrose and very proud of the leadership race.”

Leela Aheer, like Jean, came to the UCP from the Wildrose side. She admitted Monday evening she was “a little teary” when she heard the news.

“It’s the end of an era,” she said.

Aheer, MLA for Chestermere-Rocky View, doesn’t think Jean’s departure is a sign of divisions in the caucus. When he lost his bid to lead the new party, she said, he stood aside and let the new team get on with its work.

Still, she said it’s a “huge loss” for the party.

“I’m proud of him for knowing what he needs right now, and focusing on his family,” she said.

For now, Jean said he has no plans to return to life as an MP or MLA, although he does plan to remain active politically.

“Being an MLA isn’t the only way to help our province and build our party. There’s lots of ways to do it and people are going to see more of me in the weeks ahead,” he said. “Never say never with politics.”


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UCP MLA Brian Jean announces his retirement from politics

Brian Jean
Brian Jean, UCP MLA for Fort McMurray-Conklin, announces his resignation Tuesday afternoon

Amy Stalker, Senior News Producer

Published Monday, March 5, 2018 8:23PM MST

Former Wildrose leader and UCP leadership candidate Brian Jean has resigned as MLA.

Jean served the riding of Fort McMurray-Conklin and was named the leader of the Wildrose party in 2015.

Jean released a statement Monday afternoon announcing his resignation which reads in part:

“Three years ago, I entered provincial politics because I believed Albertans deserved better from their government whether it was an unresponsive health care system, irresponsible spending, or suffering from a decline in democracy. We needed to set a bold new direction for conservative politics in this province and I’m proud that during my time as leader of Wildrose and as a member of the United Conservative Party, these policies are closer to coming to reality than ever before."

“Last fall, I was proud to run for the leadership of our United Conservative Party and was incredibly touched by the support I received. Our members set out a clear direction for our party, and I would like to wish Jason Kenney and the rest of my UCP colleagues the very best as they prepare for the next election. “

Jean says he didn’t make the decision to step down lightly but he’s quitting to spend more time with his family.

UCP leader Jason Kenney thanked Jean for his contributions to the conservative movement.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Former Alberta Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean resigns as MLA

Resignation comes after Jean lost in the leadership race for the United Conservative Party

By Michelle Bellefontaine, CBC News Posted: Mar 05, 2018 6:02 PM MT| Last Updated: Mar 05, 2018 7:27 PM MT

After months of speculation about his political future, Brian Jean announced Monday he is stepping down as the MLA for Fort McMurray-Conklin.

Brian Jean, former leader of the Wildrose Party, resigned Monday as the MLA for Fort McMurray-Conklin.

In a written statement, Jean gave no reason for his decision to resign as a United Conservative Party MLA other than saying he wants to spend more time with his family.

"Alberta and Albertans are always close to my heart and mind, but I believe now is an important time in my life to draw closer to my family, my kids and my grandchildren," he said.

Jean has faced questions about his political future ever since he lost the UCP leadership to former federal Conservative MP and cabinet minister Jason Kenney in October, following the amalgamation of the Wildrose Party and the Progressive Conservatives.

Jean told Fort McMurray Today that three family members, including his sister, have cancer.

Kenney in a written statement praised Jean's legacy and service.

"While it is a loss for our caucus that he has decided to return to private life, I understand and respect his personal reasons for doing so," Kenney said. "His legacy in public life will endure in the United Conservative Party that he helped to create."

Premier Rachel Notley cited Jean's leadership during the 2016 wildfires in Fort McMurray, in which he lost his own home.

"As former Leader of the Official Opposition, Brian Jean took over his party at a difficult time and led it ably and conducted himself in a manner that demonstrated it is possible to disagree without being disagreeable," she said in a statement. "He represented his constituency with great dedication – no more so than during the Wood-Buffalo wildfires.

"On behalf of the Province of Alberta, I offer our gratitude and thanks for his service to the people of Alberta."

Jean's announcement comes three days before the legislature on Thursday starts a spring sitting.

Son misdiagnosed

Angela Pitt, the UCP MLA for Airdrie, said Jean ran to lead a Wildrose Party that was diminished by floor crossings in late 2014.

"He was committed to rebuilding this movement that was the Wildrose Party at that time," she said.

Pitt was first elected MLA in 2015 under the Wildrose banner. She said Jean is both a mentor and a friend.

"He would offer all sorts of different information or introduce me to the right people at the right time in whatever quest or whatever project I was working on at the time," she said.

"He taught me a lot about being grassroots ... He always was able to bring it back to the people."

Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo MLA Tany Yao, also of the UCP, said while he was disappointed by the news, he respects Jean's decision.

He said Jean still had much to offer Alberta.

"Quite frankly, I understand that there is personal family issues that he's going through right now," Yao said.

"And the fact that he has worked really hard, he deserves a break."

Yao said Jean will be remembered locally as the politician who advocated for Fort McMurray seniors when the provincial government backtracked on a decision to build a continuing care facility downtown.

Jean was first elected as an MLA in May 2015, two months after winning the leadership of the Wildrose Party, which was left with five MLAs after the majority of caucus crossed to the Progressive Conservatives the previous year.

The Wildrose ceased to exist last summer after it merged with the Progressive Conservative party to form the UCP.

Jean spent a decade as a Conservative MP before resigning in January 2014. His bid for the Wildrose leadership was inspired by his 24-year-old son's treatment by the health care system.

Jean said his son was misdiagnosed a number of times before it was discovered he had lymphoma. Michael Jean died shortly before his father won the Wildrose leadership

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Brian Jean resigns as Fort Mcmurray mla

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