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Jean Vs. Mancini Vs. Kenney: Battle for the heart of Alberta

Byelection's usually dont make much news, but when the two candidates representing the only two parties in the legislature come out against the current Premier that changes the news.

Brian Jean, the former MLA and Wildrose Leader, is looking to make a come back as he secured the nomination for the United Conservative Party (UCP) in the riding of Fort McMurray Lac La Biche.

Jean, who has been critical of Kenney's leadership since the start of the pandemic, said in a social media post that the people of Fort McMurray Lac La Biche have voted and they want change, "The same members who had voted with their feet by leaving the UCP party are voting their support by coming back.

"The members of Fort McMurray – Lac La Biche 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," He added.

In a video post early in November, Jean said that people have asked him why he left politics in 2018 and didn't continue on with the UCP after loosing the leadership of the newly formed UCP.

Jean said that Kenney had not reached out to him for the four month after winning the nomination, "We had no phone conversations, no in-person conversations, no texts or emails. I wasn't consulted or asked about any decisions and my input was never sought out.

"Now, when your boss doesn't talk to you for four months its probably time to leave. Jason obviously wanted be out and I obliged him. I truly hoped for your sake, for my sake, for Alberta's sake that he would be successful," He said in the video post. "Unfortunately, he has not been."

Jean will be up against Fort McMurray teacher Ariana Mancini who secured the nomination for the Alberta NDP.

Mancini said in her speech after securing the nomination, "In this upcoming election we are called to assert our commitments, and our values, against a harsh new reality.

"Are we living up to our full potential, or are we letting ourselves down," Mancini added. "On this point Albertans are clear, they do not like the direction this province is heading."

Mancini pointed to internal party issues with the UCP, "Even the conservatives dont like the conservatives, thats saying something."

The riding of Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche was vacated in August upon the resignation of former MLA Laila Goodridge who sought the federal seat of Fort McMurray-Cold Lake.

Premier Kenney has until February 2022 to call the by-election for the vacated seat.

The Alberta Party, Alberta Liberals, Alberta Independence Party, and Alberta Greens have yet to name a candidate for the by-election.

In our Interview with Alberta Party Leader Barry Morishita which aired in November, the Alberta Party leader will not be seeking the nomination for the party in the riding but rather looking for a local supporter to carry the party flag.

Paul Hinman, the leader of the Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta will be carrying the parties banner in the upcoming byeleciton.

Hinman said in a video post that Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche was ground zero for the attack from the Federal Governments Carbon Tax, "We need to send a strong message to Ottawa, and Edmonton, that Wildrose will fight for Fort McMurray and the Alberta Energy Sector."

Currently there are 61 UCP MLA's, 24 NDP MLA's and two independent MLA's in the legislature.


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