Gateway Gazette

Jean Statement on Wildrose Members Voting in Favour of Unity

RED DEER, AB (July 22, 2017): Today, Wildrose Leader Brian Jean released the following statement on 95 per cent of Wildrose members voting in support of unity:

“I said from the very beginning that members needed to make this decision for our party, and today, they said yes! Yes, to a brighter future, yes to building on all that we’ve accomplished as Wildrose and yes to saving Albertans from the NDP.

“I want to say a special thank you to all our members, our staff, our MLAs both past and present and our volunteers. Today could not have happened without their hard work and support.

“And I want to reserve a special thank you to my beautiful wife, Kim. She is my anchor and I couldn’t be here without her.

“The time to build a new conservative legacy for Alberta has begun.

“We’ve seen this renewal in the past. From Peter Lougheed to Ralph Klein, a moment in history when conservatives in this province and ordinary working folk said it’s time for something new, and it’s time to have new leadership that sticks up for the regular people of our province.

“I am excited to get to work in supporting a new United Conservative Party.”

Brian’s full speech:

Wow!
What a day for Albertans! What a day for conservatives. And what a day for Wildrose members!
I said from the very beginning that members needed to make this decision for our party, and
today, they said yes! Yes, to a brighter future, yes to building on all that we’ve accomplished as
Wildrose and yes to saving Albertans from the NDP.
Before I go any further, I want to say a few special thank yous.
Thank you to our members, who have been the lifeblood of our party for nearly a decade. For
your time, your donations, and for your passion for Alberta. Today is not the end of Wildrose,
but a new beginning, where we are one step closer to putting power back into the hands of the
ordinary people of Alberta and restoring conservative principles to our great province!
Thank you to our staff who have devoted countless hours in recent months to make today a
reality.
We sold nearly 25,000 memberships in just two months. What we achieved together is nothing
short of remarkable.
I want to say a special thank you to Paul Hinman who was there at the very beginning building
our party, our first MLA.
Thank you to all our MLAs, both past and present. For fighting for our principles and our values.
Of fiscal responsibility, personal and religious freedoms, free markets and a belief in the
greatness of Alberta.
Thank you to Heather Forsyth who stood stall for our party when pundits and insiders were
telling us to throw in the towel.
Thank you to all of our elected members on EC for their tireless devotion to our party and the
countless volunteer hours they’ve put in every single day.
And finally, thank you to all our supporters, to every single Albertan who has trusted us with
their vote, and to conservatives, who believe in building a province and a legacy that can last for
generations.
Friends, serving as Wildrose Leader since March 2015 has been the greatest honor of my life.
This job matters.
It matters because what politicians do affects our loved ones, our friends and our neighbours. It’s
why I’m here, fighting for my son who was forgotten by a broken health care system.
We are all here to make a difference.
Over the past two years, I’ve been able to see every corner of our province. I’ve seen the
desperation in people’s eyes as they’ve watched every level of government work against them,
whether it’s the NDP in Edmonton or Trudeau in Ottawa. But I’ve also seen the unbreakable
hope and determination from all Albertans to once again make our province the very best it can
be.
I’ve never believed politics should be about self-interest, but it should be about doing what is
right. If we are to be successful, we can never tolerate cronyism. It’s what attracted me to
Wildrose in the first place. It’s what our members and our party have always been about.
If the PCs join us later this evening with a yes vote, today will mark the end of my time as leader
of Wildrose. I plan to hand in my resignation as soon as the papers are filed.
I need to step down, so we can rise up together. But I will be there running to lead our new
movement with already very qualified candidates who have put their name forward.
Once again, it will be you, the members, who decide where we take the next step. And I know
you will, as always, make the right choice.
Friends, let there be no question, with tonight’s vote, the NDP’s time in government is ticking
down.
And the time to build a new conservative legacy for Alberta has begun.
We’ve seen this renewal in the past. From Peter Lougheed to Ralph Klein, a moment in history
when conservatives in this province and ordinary, working folk, said it’s time for something
new, and it’s time to have new leadership that sticks up for the regular people of our province.
This is the legacy we are building.
I believe Alberta is the best place in the world. We have been called to be that city set on a hill,
that beacon of light to the world that shines brightly. Let’s never forget this is our purpose, this is
why we serve.
We will rip up the carbon tax, we will work Alberta back to balance and start paying down the
debt, we will protect parents rights to decide what is best for their children’s education, we will
fix health care and we will send a message to all of Canada that Alberta is done apologizing for
our industries.
And we will do this together.
Friends, this will be my final sign off as Wildrose leader. Thank you for all the trust you’ve put
in me to date. I can’t wait to get started building our new United Conservative movement,
together.
Thank you.
God bless you.
And God bless Albertans!

Audio of his availability is here.

Video of his speech is here.

Official vote totals:

24,598 votes cast
57.7 per cent turn out
23,466 yes
1132 no
Yes – 95.4 per cent
No – 4.6 per cent

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