FORT McMURRAY, AB (March 5, 2018): United Conservative Party MLA for Fort McMurray-Conklin and former Wildrose Leader Brian Jean announced today that he is stepping aside from his position as Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.
“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.
“Conservatives are stronger together. Together with my caucus and our movement, I worked hard to set out a vision of unity for Albertans and members of our party. It’s a legacy I’m proud of. More importantly, I cannot express how humbling it was to lead Alberta’s official Opposition for over two years. I was privileged to meet with Albertans from every corner of the province, listen to them and advocate for them in the legislature. I made friendships that will last a lifetime.
“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. Our conservative movement — its ideas, its principles and its common sense solutions — is better for Albertans.
“I did not make this decision lightly. Being elected to represent the people of Fort McMurray in different capacities since 2004 has been one of the greatest honours in my life. 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. My beautiful wife Kim was my greatest support during my time as MLA, leader and leadership candidate, and it’s time for us to take the next steps on our adventure together – including finally getting our home rebuilt in Fort McMurray. I love this province. Thank you, everyone. God bless Alberta.”
Brian Jean won the leadership of the Wildrose Party in March 2015, bringing the Caucus from three members to 22 and increasing party coffers by almost a million dollars during his tenure. Over the past few years, Jean had been particularly outspoken on the subjects of health care, equalization, energy policy, property rights, OHV use, parental rights and protections for our most vulnerable. In 2017, his motion to provide sensitivity training for provincial judges in cases involving sexual assault passed in the legislature.
Prior to entering provincial politics, he served for ten years as the Member of Parliament for Fort McMurray – Athabasca, and Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Communities for six of those years. Jean was a full-time member of the Standing Committees on Finance and Justice.
In his life before politics, Jean built many successful businesses and was a barrister, solicitor and active litigator. He has served on many volunteer and corporate boards throughout his life. He is a father and grandfather.