MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY, ALBERTA - Brian Jean says if he becomes leader of the United Conservative Party (UCP) he will immediately reopen the nomination process in the Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre constituency, allowing disqualified candidate Tim Hoven a chance to seek the party nomination.
Jason Nixon, the current UCP MLA in the riding and a Jason Kenney cabinet minister, won the nomination by acclamation last month after challenger Hoven was disqualified by the party days before the scheduled vote.
On March 10, the party informed Hoven that he was being prohibited from seeking the nomination because he had followed a website platform linked to white nationalists in the U.S. and that he had allegedly disparaged the RCMP at the Coutt’s border protests.
Hoven says he is not a white nationalist and did not disparage any law enforcement officials. He says he believes he was disqualified because Jason Nixon is a close ally of the premier.
Nixon has not replied to repeated requests over the past month for comment on the nomination issue.
In an exclusive interview, Brian Jean told the Albertan that the nomination process in the riding was unfair and will be reopened should he become leader.
“I believe that he (Hoven) was winning and that is why he was disqualified and most people believe that,” said Jean. “If I win the leadership of our conservative party in Alberta, I will open up all the nominations that were not fair or were not under the rule of law. And the first one I would want to open up is Mr. Nixon’s (Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre).
“Once the (leadership) review is done and Mr. Kenney is gone, we will open up the nomination because it has not been fair, and we have another race where it is fair and independent.”
Had a nomination race been held in the Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre riding, it would have been a “great opportunity to have a good, competitive discussion and a good, competitive race.
“The people of that area should have the opportunity to pick somebody, not just to be forced to pick the only name on the ballot.”
Hoven would be a much better suited UCP candidate than Nixon in the 2023 provincial election, he said.
“I would never trust Mr. Nixon for anything,” said Jean. “I know Mr. Nixon personally. I do not think he is a well-qualified individual for representing the people. I do not trust him.
“I worked with him before and I hope to never work with him again.”
Brian Jean was elected as a UCP MLA in a byelection in the Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche riding on March 16. He says if the current UCP leadership review leads to a leadership race he will seek the top job.
The Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre riding includes the town of Sundre as well as portions of Mountain View and Clearwater counties.