NEWS

Brian Jean says Danielle Smith made a decision he would never make

03/29/2015 11:32 EDT | Updated 05/29/2015 05:59 EDT
It is the first day in power for the new leader of Alberta's Official Opposition party and Brian Jean is primed for a fight, taking a hard jab at former leader Danielle Smith.

Jean, a former member of Stephen Harper's Conservative caucus defeated two challengers to become the leader of the Wildrose Party last night in Calgary.

The party has been without a permanent leader since Danielle Smith led eight other party member across the flood to join Jim Prentice's Progressive Conservatives. The move decimated Alberta's Official Opposition.

Jean, a 52-year-old lawyer from Fort McMurray, Alta. is ready to push the party out of the shadow Smith left behind, he says Smith made a decision he would never make.

"I don't believe in crossing floors, I don't believe in stabbing your family in the back," Jean said after Saturday night's victory. "This is a family, this is my family and I'm not going to betray my family."

During his campaign for leadership, Jean said if elected, he would immediately enter into a contract between himself and the party for $100,000 in liquidated damages if he crossed the floor.

The people in Smith's riding showed last night they were unwilling to forgive Smith for what she did to the party. Last night, Smith lost the PC nomination race in the Highwood riding to Carrie Fischer, a councillor from Okotoks.

"I'm a big believer in democracy and the rule of law, and we have in Alberta a situation where we had the governing body, the governing party, try to destroy democracy, tried to destroy the parliamentary democracy that makes Canada great," Jean said.

"We have to have a government but we also have to have a strong opposition and that's what Jim Prentice tried to destroy,"

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