So far we only have Brian Jean’s word for it, but the former Wildrose Party leader and Jason Kenney’s principal rival in the 2017 race to lead the United Conservative Party in 2017, says he has won the UCP nomination contest for the Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche by-election.

In a statement published on Facebook early this evening, Mr. Jean said UCP members in the riding “have given me a mandate to push for renewal of the UCP and I expect that soon my constituents will give me a mandate get Alberta back on track.”

NDP Candidate Ariana Mancini (Photo: Fort McMurray Today).

By which he means, presumably, that he expects to win the upcoming by-election for the UCP, wrest the party from Premier Kenney’s hands, and beat the NDP in a general election. 

“We got a very good result, Mr. Jean said in his Facebook post, “and now I will travel the province trying to get the UCP enthusiasm in every part of the province up to the same level as Fort McMurray. 

“I will also travel my riding campaigning against the NDP who don’t have the right solutions for Alberta,” he said. 

The scion of a well-known Fort McMurray business family, Mr. Jean may have enjoyed an advantage with local Conservatives in the northern Alberta oil sands servicing centre. The former MP and MLA campaigned openly on his desire to replace Alberta’s embattled and unpopular premier as the leader of the UCP – and said that if he didn’t win the nomination he would run as an Independent. 

Mr. Kenney clearly backed local businessman and PhD economist Joshua Gogo in the nomination contest. 

There appears to have been no official statement at this hour from the UCP that Mr. Jean has won. However, the candidate for the NDP Opposition issued a news release just after 7 p.m. congratulating the candidate. 

“I want to congratulate Brian Jean on being nominated as the United Conservative Party candidate in the coming Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche by-election,” said NDP candidate Ariana Mancini.

However, Ms. Mancini went on, “Mr. Jean has made it clear, even this evening, that he is running because of his rivalry with Jason Kenney. I am running for the people of Fort McMurray and Lac La Biche.

“UCP MLAs haven’t delivered for our region,” she said. “I am focused on job creation, improving public healthcare, protecting public education, protecting our community from flood and fire, and ensuring we have reliable EMS.”

Voting took place in the riding Saturday and yesterday. The final tally was 529 to 250 in Mr. Jean’s favour, or 68 per cent of the vote.

There’s more to come, without a doubt.

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  1. Well, isn’t this a fine mess….for Kenney?

    Maybe not. I suspect that nothing has been confirmed concerning Jean’s nomination, so there is still lots of potential for all kinds of shenanigans to break out. Kenney demands a review and there is a delay in confirming Jean’s nomination for about … oh, six months. That should be enough time for Kenney to get past the leadership review. Delaying the re-entry of Jean back into politics is foremost in Kenney’s fevered mind right now. And if Jean decides to travel all of Alberta as a UCP premier-in-waiting things will get very ugly and awesomely entertaining.

  2. Hm, I suspect the plumbers and dirty tricks teams are now going to get very busy. The UCP is giving us all a very hot rebellion in the belly of one political party. My bet is Jason Kenney survives. Unless of course, party major finders cut the cash. Then it’s game over for the Premier bloviator.

  3. Daughter and husband have lived in Ft. Mac. for ten years. They are business owners and fairly well connected.

    They are currently not UCP supporters…Jean or Kenney.

    Prior to the nomination meeting their comment was that Kenney was embarrassing himself and harming the UCP by his overt support of Gogo and sending in his shock troops to sign up members prior to the vote. It was clear to everyone what it was from the start. A con. Nothing more, nothing less. And very, very sloppy to boot. Just more of the same from Kenney.

    As my daughter said to me yesterday…looks like the ‘best summer yet’ could turn into either the ‘best Christmas yet’ or the best Jan/Feb yet’

    Once again, Albertans will pay the price.

  4. It seems not enough bus loads of bible school students made it to Fort McMurray to save the day for Kenney this time. Winter weather can make such travel more difficult.

    I suspect Kenney will try carry on regardless, despite Jean likely becoming even a much bigger pain in the butt for him. Of course, Kenney’s main focus and what is much more important to him than this nomination remains the upcoming leadership review.

    It doesn’t help convince members and others Kenney is firmly in charge of the party when he can’t stop a most outspoken opponent from winning nomination. However, perhaps he is saving the bulk of his dirty tricks for the much more important leadership review battle.

  5. It is all a UCP gong show and distraction. The solution is to elect Ariana Mancini! I do not say that whimsically. Fort Mac owes Notley big time. If only the UCP plaque can be eradicated Alberta will be a better place. A Mancini victory would be a sign of hope for all Albertans that the monkey business will end and the huge task of rebuilding Alberta will begin.

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