Brian Jean

Fort McMurray—Athabasca Wildrose Party Conservative Party of Canada
Brian Jean
Brian Jean April 28 2015.jpg
Leader of the Opposition in Alberta
In office
May 5, 2015 – July 24, 2017
PremierRachel Notley
Preceded byHeather Forsyth
Succeeded byNathan Cooper
Leader of the Wildrose Party
In office
March 28, 2015 – July 24, 2017
Preceded byHeather Forsyth (interim)
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Fort McMurray-Conklin
In office
May 5, 2015 – March 5, 2018
Preceded byDon Scott
Succeeded byLaila Goodridge
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
In office
February 7, 2006 – May 24, 2011
MinisterLawrence Cannon
John Baird
Chuck Strahl
Denis Lebel
Preceded byCharles Hubbard
Succeeded byPierre Poilievre
Member of the
Canadian Parliament
In office
June 28, 2004 – January 17, 2014
Preceded byDavid Chatters
Succeeded byDavid Yurdiga
ConstituencyAthabasca (2004–06)
Fort McMurray—Athabasca (2006–14)
Personal details
Brian Michael Jean

(1963-02-03) February 3, 1963 (age 57)
Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
Political partyUnited Conservative Party
Other political
Conservative (federal)
Wildrose (provincial, until 2017)
Kimberley Michelutti
(m. 2016)
ResidenceFort McMurray, Alberta, Canada
Alma materBond University

Brian Michael Jean (born February 3, 1963) is a Canadian politician who was the Leader of the Opposition of Alberta and the last leader of the Wildrose Party (2015-2017). He was a federal Member of Parliament who represented the riding of Athabasca from 2004 to 2006 and Fort McMurray—Athabasca from 2006 to 2014 in the House of Commons.

After resigning from the House in 2014, he returned to political life in February 2015 by announcing he would seek the leadership of the Wildrose Party.[1] He was elected party leader on March 28, 2015.[2] In the 2015 provincial election, Jean was elected in the provincial riding of Fort McMurray-Conklin and became Leader of the Opposition as the Wildrose Party formed the Official Opposition to the governing Alberta New Democratic Party.[3] Jean ceased to lead the Wildrose Party with the merger into the United Conservative Party and ran to be leader of the new party,[4] losing to Jason Kenney.[5] He resigned his seat in the Alberta legislature on March 5, 2018.[6]


Jean was born in Kelowna, British Columbia, and moved to Fort McMurray, Alberta when he was four years old in 1967.

Jean has a Bachelor of Science degree from Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon, and Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Laws degrees from Bond University in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. He also attended the law school at the University of Calgary, where he received qualification to be admitted to the Law Society of Alberta. This allowed him to practice law for 11 years in Fort McMurray prior to his political career.

Jean has worked as a farmhand, a printer's assistant, a businessperson, a lawyer, and an inspirational speaker. In his community, Jean served as the chairman of the Children's Health Foundation in Northern Alberta, chair of the Alberta Summer Games, president of the Fort McMurray Downtown Business Association, and director of the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce.

Federal political career

Jean was first elected to the House of Commons as a Conservative Party of Canada candidate in the riding of Athabasca in 2004, sitting in the Official Opposition to Paul Martin's Liberal government. He was re-elected in the renamed riding of Fort McMurray—Athabasca in 2006, when the Conservatives formed government under Stephen Harper. In February 2006, Jean was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities Lawrence Cannon. Jean was re-elected again in 2008 and 2011. After the 2011 election, he declined reappointment as Parliamentary Secretary in order to focus on his constituency needs. In the House of Commons, Jean served on the Finance, Justice, and Industry Committees.

On January 10, 2014, Jean announced that he would be resigning his seat on January 17, 2014 to return to private life in Fort McMurray.[7][8]

Provincial politics

The Wildrose Party was in disarray in late 2014 after leader Danielle Smith and eight other MLAs crossed the floor to the ruling Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta. A leadership election was organized to choose a new leader and Jean was encouraged to run. Jean entered the race on February 25, 2015, and was elected party leader on March 28, 2015 with 55% of the vote, defeating Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes and former Strathcona County Mayor Linda Osinchuk.[2]

The 2015 Alberta election was held on May 5, 2015, less than two months after Jean became Wildrose leader. The party retained its standing as Official Opposition in the legislature, growing its caucus from 17 in 2012, and 5 at dissolution, to 21. For the first time in Alberta history, the New Democratic Party formed government, with Rachel Notley becoming Premier. This marked the end of 43 years of government by the Progressive Conservatives.

On August 30, 2016 Jean, responding to questions about the need for more seniors housing in the city he represents, told an audience he has been "beating this drum" for more than a decade. "I will continue to beat it, I promise," Jean said. "But it's against the law to beat Rachel Notley." He quickly apologized for what he later characterized as an "inappropriate attempt" at humour.[9]

Jean's former federal caucus colleague Jason Kenney became Progressive Conservative leader after winning that party's leadership election in early 2017. Kenney's platform called for uniting the Progressive Conservative and Wildrose parties to form a united right-of-centre alliance. On March 20, 2017, Jean met with Kenney to begin unity discussions.[10]

On May 18, 2017, Jean and Kenney announced that their two parties had come to a merger agreement and on July 22, 2017 the merger was passed with 95% support from both the PCs and the Wildrose. The merger agreement formed the United Conservative Party, a leadership election occurred on October 28, 2017, in which Jean was defeated by Kenney, and a founding convention to be held in 2018.[11]

Jean announced his resignation from the legislature on March 5, 2018, saying he wished to spend more time with his family and rebuild his house which had been destroyed in the 2016 Fort McMurray Wildfire.[6]

Electoral record


2015 Alberta general election: Fort McMurray-Conklin
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Wildrose Brian Jean 2,950 43.85% +3.70%
New Democratic Ariana Mancini 2,071 30.79% +22.86%
Progressive Conservative Don Scott 1,502 22.33% −26.62%
Liberal Melinda Hollis 204 3.03% +0.06%
Total valid votes 6,727 99.10%
Rejected, spoiled and declined 61 0.90% +0.07%
Eligible electors / Turnout 15,272 44.45% +8.15%
Wildrose gain from Progressive Conservative Swing +15.16
Elections Alberta. "Election Results - Fort McMurray-Conklin". Retrieved 2018-03-14.


2011 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Brian Jean 21,988 71.84 +4.72 $68,113
New Democratic Berend Wilting 4,053 13.24 +0.33 $24
Liberal Karen Young 3,230 10.55 -0.05 $20,825
Green Jule Asterisk 1,374 4.49 -1.88 $2,734
Total valid votes/Expense limit 30,605 100.00
Total rejected ballots 144 0.47 +0.13
Turnout 30,749 40.75 +5
Eligible voters 75,456
2008 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Brian Jean 17,160 67.12 +2.67 $48,046
New Democratic Mark Voyageur 3,300 12.91 -1.58 $1,853
Liberal John Webb 2,710 10.60 -4.17 $5,459
Green Dylan Richards 1,628 6.37 +1.47
Independent Shawn Reimer 350 1.37 $666
First Peoples National John Malcolm 233 0.91 -0.47
Christian Heritage Jacob Strydhorst 186 0.73 $733
Total valid votes/Expense limit 25,567 100.00 $101,823
Total rejected ballots 86 0.34 +0.03
Turnout 25,653 36 -12
2006 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Brian Jean 20,342 64.45 +4.16 $59,027
Liberal Mel H. Buffalo 4,663 14.77 -9.28 $3,333
New Democratic Roland Lefort 4,573 14.49 +4.03 $19,091
Green Ian Hopfe 1,547 4.90 -0.28 $8
First Peoples National John Malcolm 437 1.38
Total valid votes 31,549 100.00
Total rejected ballots 97 0.31 -0.06
Turnout 31,646 48.32 +0.47
2004 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Brian Jean 17,942 60.3 -6.40 $84,096
Liberal Doug Faulkner 7,158 24.05 -4.35 $52,713
New Democratic Robert Cree 3,115 10.46 +7.94 $4,942
Green Ian Hopfe 1,542 5.18 +4.18 $112
Total valid votes 29,757 100.00
Total rejected ballots 112 0.37 +0.07
Turnout 29,869 47.85 -8.43


  1. ^ "Brian Jean enters Wildrose leadership race". Calgary Herald. February 25, 2015. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Brian Jean named new Wildrose leader". Edmonton Journal. March 28, 2015. Retrieved March 28, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Brian Jean brings Wildrose back to respectability". Globe and Mail. May 5, 2015. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  4. ^ "Rona Ambrose says proposed PC-Wildrose merger what Alberta needs". CBC News. May 18, 2017. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  5. ^ Wood, James (October 29, 2017). "Kenney wins big in UCP leadership race, fires warning shot at NDP". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  6. ^ a b Franson, Jason (March 5, 2018). "Former Wildrose leader Brian Jean resigns from Alberta legislature". The Globe and Mail. Fort McMurray, Alberta. The Canadian Press. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  7. ^ "Alberta Conservative MP Brian Jean stepping down". CBC News. January 10, 2014. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  8. ^ "Conservative MP representing oil sands resigns". Globe and Mail. January 10, 2014. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  9. ^ Trynacity, Kim; Bell, Roberta (August 31, 2016). "Wildrose leader's 'beat Rachel Notley' joke provokes widespread condemnation". CBC News. Edmonton, Alberta. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Brian Jean, Jason Kenney take first steps toward uniting Alberta conservative parties". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-04-19.
  11. ^ Graney, Emma (May 19, 2017). "Wildrose-PC members to vote on new united party July 22". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 29 May 2020.