Election 2023: Brian Jean – UCP

What are your thoughts on the oil sands sector?

Well, I think it’s great. Oil Sands is a major economic driver for our province and for our country. It’s an amazing industry that is a world leader on the environmental front and as well as the industrial front and the ESG front. I mean, we lead the world on what we do, and I’m proud of it. And the oil sands sector is, you know, just another example of what we can do. And we need to take that, you know, nonrecurring oil resource and put it into renewable opportunities that we can have here in Alberta. So we continue to have the great and amazing jobs and an economic future that we do have.

Do you have any plans or policy regarding emissions from oil sands?

Absolutely. We have a net zero by 2050, that industry has said that they can reach that point, the international community said that is the point that is reasonable. And I think we’re going to lead the world on that not just on timeframe, but also on how the rest of the world can adapt that technology is going to come from Alberta-based companies.

What are your plans for addressing EMS response times?

Well, here, particularly in Fort McMurray, we’ve seen you know, EMS issues, and the struggle that people have had locally, when, you know, the people that answer the phone in Calgary don’t know where particular addresses are or where a new camp is located, a new work camp is located, you know, because they just relocated a week ago. Those are real issues that are local issues. And those local issues. We took the Minister of Health just about a month ago, the Minister of Health has put forward a proposal to AHS on how to change that so that we don’t have those issues anymore. And I’m satisfied with what steps they’ve taken on that and what steps are going to take on that I think ultimately what we are seeing is emergency response times have gone down or wait times have gone down. Now operation times we’re going to be caught up within a year we’re going to be caught up in our operations backlog which we’ve had for years and years that go back to the NDP days of government. All those things are trending in the right direction. And that’s the best we can do. And I think the Minister of Health Jason Copping is doing an amazing job. I really do. I’ve been watching him closely. As many people know, I lost my son to the healthcare system just you know, six years ago. And that’s why I got back into politics. And I think Jason Copping is doing a great job. And I hope he continues as our health minister. So if you’re down in Calgary, please vote Calgary, varsity, please vote for Jason Copping.

Do you have plans to address inflation or economic plans in general?

Yes, I, you know, one thing that I hear constantly at the doors right now, right across Alberta, and especially here in Fort McMurray is affordability. So, you know, we’re looking at opportunities on how to make life more affordable for Albertans. And one of those things that we do is we make sure that taxes are low. Albertans take more money home than anybody else in the whole country, more their taxpayer, more of their paycheck than anybody else in the entire country. And they actually pay taxes, less taxes than anybody else in the entire country. It’s, it’s in the 1000s of dollars. So, you know, we’re we’re proud of that we also, what we also do is we make sure that Albertans pay less at the pump than anybody else in the country, and we have cheaper gas prices, anybody and that’s because we got rid of the provincial gas tax on a permanent basis, as long as we have a certain oil price, we feel Albertans should enjoy the revenues as well. And that helps a lot, 13 and a half cents off every litre helps Albertans a lot. Because as you know, gas is you know, involved in just about everything we buy, whether it be food or clothing or, or you know, to go to work every day. So the less expensive gas is the lower the inflation rate is. And it just so happens that the lowest inflation rate in Canada is Alberta, as well as the highest net migration number is Alberta. That’s because people are fleeing other jurisdictions to come to Alberta, because they know there is hope here, there is a job opportunity here. There’s 85,000 jobs right now available for people to come to Alberta and fill immediately. This is the promised land for a lot of people. And that’s why we’re seeing so many people come to Alberta. 93,000 people came to Alberta in the last six months of last year. And that’s a testament to how well our province is doing under our government.

Why did you choose to run?

Well, I did because I lost my son in 2015. Provincially, healthcare is the provincial jurisdiction and my son was 24 at the time and he died as a result of the screw up in the healthcare system which has no accountability whatsoever. So I’m there to make the healthcare system better. And along the way, I see there’s a lot of opportunities to make life better. And you know, healthcare is not a simple thing that you can just solve by being the health minister. There’s so many things involved, whether it’s the justice system, the homelessness issue, whether it’s the addictions issue, you know, even whether it’s the economy, we know when there’s a bad economy, people commit more crimes. That’s because they’re, they need food they need, they need the necessities of life. And some things, sometimes drive people to desperation, we don’t want to see that we want to see more opportunity for people, the more opportunities for them, the more in control they are of their lives, the happier they are. And that’s what I’m all about. I want to see people have a better quality of life and be happier.

What makes you the right choice?

You know, everybody has to make a decision on who they think is the best choice to represent them, I think, for sure, I think most people recognize that I’ve been in Fort McMurray, just about all of my life. over 50 years, I’ve been a business owner here owning more than a half a dozen businesses, whether it be retail or manufacturing or construction, locally, I’ve been involved in many of the local groups Children’s Health Foundation, Chamber of Commerce, the downtown business association, and many, many others, Alberta summer games, etc. As a community volunteer, I’ve also got a Bachelor of Science degree, an MBA in finance, a law degree and I practiced law in Fort McMurray for 10 years, I attended the UofC, but I also got a degree internationally, which gives me a different perspective than a lot of people. And I chose Alberta and Fort McMurray as my home and to live in, I’ve raised a family here. I continue to own businesses here. And I continue to have my livelihood here, but I continue to love the place. And people choose me because I think I represent the area well. And I have for many years, I’ve been a politician here for a number of years. And when they come to me, I’m accessible. Most people have my phone number, or my email address or both. And they contact me if there’s an issue. And if there’s an issue, I address it and get it solved if I possibly can and 99% of the time, I can. And that’s the reason why I think people will choose me and why they want to choose me, or should choose me in the next election. I also want to tell people that I do I do really believe that the UCP is the right answer for them. I want them to vote for Tany Yao. He’s in the jurisdiction next door, and a place that I represented for many years. And he’s doing a great job. I know, there’s been some some issues relating to all of the contestants across Alberta. But Tany Yao, I’ve watched you know, he’s been passionate about health care. He’s been driving that agenda, and he doesn’t take no for an answer. And, and that’s why the UCP is the right people to represent the people of Alberta because they’re passionate and caring, and they’re going to make sure that, you know, we always represent the people that elected us. And so just for me, I think I’m the right person, because I’m going to do everything I possibly can to to deliver the goods to Fort McMurray and to make people happier, healthier, and to give them a better quality of life.

If someone is undecided, what would you do or say to convince them?

Well, how do I convince them? You know, the people that make the decision, ultimately are Cabinet, who make decisions for caucus, the party, the parties and Albertans. And I think the likelihood is that I’m going to be in the next cabinet if it’s a UCP Government. So, you know, for me, I’m hoping that people will see that I’ve spent 20 years just about in politics now. I’ve worked hard for them during that period of time. I’ve I’ve held a number of positions and the last position and the current position, I actually hold is as the Minister of Jobs, Economy, and Urban Development. And that’s one of the most senior positions in the government with two portfolios, both labour and economic development. So I think I’m going to be in the next cabinet. And I’m hoping that I can really help the people of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and Lac La Biche and North Eastern Alberta because you know, it’s time it’s time that we received more back, because right now and up to now we have not been receiving our fair share of the quality of life that has been going to other people as a result of our economic efforts.

Anything else regarding plans or policies or anything you want the people to know?

For sure, well, politics is a complicated business. But it’s a simple business. It’s a business of the heart, and you have to capture the people’s hearts and minds, you have to make sure they recognize that you care. And I think most people recognize I care that I care for the community, I care for the people, and I care for Alberta. Now, can I capture their minds as well? Well, folks, whether it be healthcare, whether it be education, or jobs, or economy, or justice and security, and, and and making sure that we keep criminals behind bars, there are a number of portfolios that I’m involved with and that I want to remain involved with. There’s a lot of work that I need to do yet in government and for the people of my riding and the people of Alberta. And I think if you give me that opportunity, one more time, you’ll find that the next four years will be the best years that we have in this region as a result of decisions made by politicians.

You can listen to the full interview here: Election 2023: Brian Jean – UCP.

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