A former Red Deer city councillor says he firmly supports Brian Jean’s decision to pursue the UCP nomination for Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche byelection.
On Wednesday, the former Wildrose Party leader and unsuccessful UCP leadership candidate, announced his intentions to run.
“Something must be done or (NDP leader) Rachel Notley will win the next election with an overwhelming majority. That will be bad for Alberta,” said Jean in a Facebook post.
“I will need your help. The NDP won’t want me to be in the Legislature. Some in the UCP will want to stop me as well.”
Buck Buchanan, who was a Wildrose candidate in the 2015 provincial election, said he liked Jean’s style and told him so.
“I think Brian Jean is excellent. I’ve always thought that,” said Buchanan, who recently campaigned for the job of Red Deer mayor.
He said infighting in the UCP has created a big mess with the blaming over the handling of the pandemic. It’s unlikely the UPC will win the next election in its current state.
“I wouldn’t suggest that Brian Jean is perfect. But I think he’s probably a little bit more of a team player than the present premier.”
He said Premier Jason Kenney knows are there concerns about his leadership and wondered if Kenney will try and prevent Jean from winning the nomination. The leadership review set for the spring will ultimately show where UCP members stand.
“It’s interesting times,” Buchanan said.
Glen Carritt, a vocal anti-lockdown advocate and former Innisfail town councillor, said he admires anyone who puts their name forward in politics, but Brian Jean may not be the right choice for the UCP.
“I’m not sure Alberta is ready for another career politician. I want to see somebody who will stand up for freedom of choice and really has a strong voice against what’s going on in Ottawa,” Carritt said.
“We thought Kenney would be that guy who would stand up for us. We’ve seen that’s not going to happen. We need someone to take action, not just write strongly worded letters. He hasn’t done anything for the oil and gas industry.”
He said Kenney flip-flopped on vaccine passports which created disunity within the UCP, and allowed small businesses to be shut down during the pandemic while stores like Costco and Walmart stayed open.
“We need strong conservative values, and not a left-leaning UCP party in power.”