Original Published on Aug 09, 2022 at 07:59
By Ryan Clarke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
UCP leadership candidate Brian Jean stopped in Lethbridge Saturday, holding a meet and greet at the Lethbridge Senior’s Centre Organization, hoping to spread his platform and meet members from the community.
Jean has served as a member of the Legislative Assembly for Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche since March, along with serving as the leader of the Wildrose Party from 2015 to 2017 before its merger with the UCP.
With his background in law, Jean hopes to bring autonomy to Albertans if elected and help rally the party which has become divided in recent times.
Jean and six other candidates are vying for the UCP leadership with Danielle Smith and Travis Toews among his competition. Hoping his good nature and calmer side of politics can earn him the leadership.
Jean is hoping to end conflict and discourage lies and misconceptions circulating among party members.
“People have been saying some things that are not true now. A little bit of mud is getting thrown back and forth, which I don’t like to be part of. I mean, that’s politics, and sometimes when somebody throws things, you have to throw them back, unfortunately,” says Jean.
“I’ve spent 10 years as a federal MP. I have experience on the political level, also 10 years as a lawyer. I’ve been a business guy for a long time, I know that if you burn bridges, you can’t go back over them.
“It’s way better to try to find places to meet in the middle and compromise than it is to concentrate on the things that tear us apart. I like to concentrate on the things that bring us together.”
Knowing Alberta has a rich agricultural identity Jean looks to stop impositions placed on farmers from the federal government.
“I want more autonomy from Ottawa because this fertilizer thing from Trudeau is nuts. That’s why Holland is going a little crazy right now. We don’t want that to happen here.
“Let’s just face it, we’re in a different situation here. Our cow-calf producers rely on the barley, we have to institute this, otherwise we’re not going to have the opportunity to grow any more barley which will kill our cow-calf producers, and we’ve got a pretty healthy market,” says Jean.
“I think the government needs to get involved in it more heavily, we have to look at other opportunities for slaughterhouse capacity here in Alberta. The government’s got to get involved because it’s got to be competitive in order for us to survive.”
Jean is also looking to put an end to rising prices in Alberta. “What I proposed is, if I become premier, I reduce our gas prices by about 30 cents a litre depending on the price. I’ll do that through not having to pay any royalty on our gas because there’s about 380,000 barrels a day that are produced in Alberta.
“What we’ll do is, we’ll lower the fiscal capacity of Alberta and the government by about 1.8 billion bucks a year, reducing the cost of gas to Albertans by 30 cents a litre which means that the government won’t have the money. But the money also will lower the fiscal capacity of the government so we don’t send that money to Quebec. It’s actually a unique policy that keeps money in with Albertans and takes it away from the Alberta government before they get it. So it takes the profit off,” says Jean.
Jean is looking forward to his leadership chances on election day Oct. 6.
“Some of the candidates are lying about things, and that’s not helpful. I reject that kind of politics, and they make up fantasies of what we can do and what we are able to do. It’s just not realistic. I don’t like that. I like running a race where people are talking about acting within the rule of law. I’m talking about respecting the Constitution and at least trying to change the law if you don’t like it, not just ignoring it,” says Jean.
This item reprinted with permission from the Herald, Lethbridge, Alberta