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