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Jason Nixon

Jason Nixon
Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services
Assumed office
June 9, 2023
PremierDanielle Smith
Preceded byJeremy Nixon
Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board
In office
June 20, 2022 – October 21, 2022
PremierJason Kenney, Danielle Smith
Preceded byTravis Toews
Succeeded byTravis Toews
Minister of Environment and Parks of Alberta
In office
April 30, 2019 – June 20, 2022
PremierJason Kenney
Preceded byShannon Phillips
Succeeded byWhitney Issik
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre
Assumed office
May 5, 2015
Preceded byJoe Anglin
Leader of the Opposition in Alberta
In office
October 30, 2017 – January 29, 2018
Preceded byNathan Cooper
Succeeded byJason Kenney
Personal details
Born
Jason John Nixon

(1980-05-26) May 26, 1980 (age 44)
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Political partyUnited Conservative (2017-present)[1]
Other political
affiliations
Wildrose Party (until 2017), Conservative Party of Canada
SpouseTiffany Nixon[1]
Children3
Residence(s)Sundre, Alberta, Canada[2]
Alma materAthabasca University, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
PortfolioChief Opposition Whip[3]
Websitehttps://jasonnixon.ucp2023.ca/

Jason John Nixon ECA MLA (born May 26, 1980) is a Canadian politician and the current Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services of Alberta. He is member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta representing the electoral district of Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre.[2]

He was first elected as a member of the Wildrose Party in 2015, and then he served on the negotiation team that created a framework for unity between the Wildrose Party and the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta.[4] The agreement was ratified and approved by the members of both parties in July 2017, establishing the United Conservative Party (UCP).[5]

After the merger, Nixon endorsed Jason Kenney in the 2017 United Conservative Party leadership election.[6] After Kenney was elected as the leader, Nixon served as Leader of the Official Opposition in Alberta until Kenney won a seat (Calgary-Lougheed) in the Alberta legislature in a by-election.[7]

Nixon served as the Opposition House Leader in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.[8] He has previously served as the Wildrose opposition critic for Human Services and was a participant on the government's Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention.

From 2006 to 2011, Nixon served as the executive director at The Mustard Seed, a non-profit organization founded by his father Pat Nixon dedicated to helping the homeless.[8] Nixon took online courses at both the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and Athabasca University.[2]

Nixon graduated from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in 2011 with a management major, but he continued to take classes in Athabasca University. In 2014, Nixon was elected president of the Athabasca University Student Union.[9]

During the 2019 Alberta election, Nixon was dogged with controversies about a peace bond for an assault of a woman over his alleged involvement in a poaching incident on her property,[10] a subsequent confrontation with a Fish and Wildlife Officer,[11] as well as an earlier British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal ruling about his handling of a sexual harassment complaint at his former company.[12]

After winning the 2019 election on the UCP ticket, he was sworn in as Alberta's Minister of Environment and Parks on April 30, 2019.[13] Before the election, he was a vocal opponent to the previous Minister, Shannon Phillips, especially in relation to the proposed Bighorn Wildland Provincial Park.[14][15]

He and his brother Jeremy Nixon are the first brothers to serve in the Alberta legislature at the same time.[16] Jason Nixon is one of four men named Jason serving in the UCP cabinet.[17]

Environmental views

After the 2019 Alberta general election, Nixon was appointed Minister of Environment and Parks.

According to a biography on his website, he has worked in Alberta's oil and gas industry.[1] His wife works for a pipeline company.[2]

While Nixon was the Leader of the Opposition in Alberta, he was vocal in his opposition to the proposed Bighorn Wildland Provincial Park, calling the plan a: "foreign-funded plot to wall off the back country to Albertans who call the region home."[14]

As the newly appointed Minister, he announced plans to stop the project entirely.[18]

[Nixon said] that he is pleased that the NDPs plans to make changes to the Big Horn Country will not happen. “They are completely stopped,” he said, adding that the UCP is looking at increasing investment in the area.[19]

Other plans include possibly re-writing Alberta's provincial park legislation to be more friendly to agribusiness, forestry, mining, and oil and gas extraction,[20] and cancelling Alberta's climate leadership plan that was implemented under the previous NDP government.[21]

Contribution in government

Jason Nixon sponsored the following bills:

  • Bill Pr7 Living Faith Bible College Amendment Act, 2015
  • Bill 19 Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction Implementation Act, 2019 ($)
  • Bill 16 Public Lands Modernization (Grazing Leases and Obsolete Provisions) Amendment Act, 2019
  • Bill 87 Electoral Divisions (Calgary-Bhullar-McCall) Amendment Act, 2021
  • Bill 83 Environmental Protection and Enhancement Amendment Act, 2021
  • Bill 79 Trails Act
  • Bill 69 Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, 2021
  • Bill 64 Public Lands Amendment Act, 2021
  • Bill 42 North Saskatchewan River Basin Water Authorization Act
  • Bill 34 Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, 2020
  • Bill 31 Environmental Protection Statutes Amendment Act, 2020
  • Bill 24 Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, 2022

Controversies

A 2005 incident resurfaced in the press in 2017, regarding a female safety officer at Nixon's company Nixon Safety Consulting (NSC).[12][22][23] In 2005, a mother of three was sexually harassed by an independent contractor working on a NSC project. Adjudicator Kurt Neuenfeldt wrote in his December 30, 2008 British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal ruling that the contractor "sexually harassed " the female employee, and "that NSC terminated her employment" at the "urging" of Navigator, and Con-Forte when Harrison complained.[12][22] In December 2008, the tribunal found that Nixon Safety Consulting, and the other respondents had discriminated against the woman.[23] Navigator and Con-Forte were ordered to pay her lost wages, $14,144, an additional $15,000 compensation for injury to her dignity, feelings and self-respect, and $3,000 for improper conduct during the hearing.[22]

By 2008, Nixon was working as manager of the Mountain Aire Lodge addiction treatment facility on the Red River near Sundre. Nixon's father Pat, was the founder of the Mustard Seed that runs the Mountain Aire Lodge. On February 6, 2009, Nixon was part of a group who shot a deer on Allison Gentry's family's property, the Sixty-One Ranch near Cremona, Alberta.[23] In June 2011, Nixon pleaded guilty to a charge of poaching which resulted in a $500 fine.[23] In February 2011, Nixon signed a one-year peace bond and paid a surety of $2000. He agreed to stay 500 metres away from Gentry's property and have no contact with her for a year.[24][25] The bond was in response to threat of injury/damage charges against him in which he had "caused Allison Gentry to fear" that he would "cause personal injury to her, in that on November 6, 2009 Nixon "did harm Allison Gentry".[26][23] Gentry, who lived alone on her property with her mother, was driving her truck around the perimeter of her property when she heard gunshots then saw several men armed with long guns including Nixon. They had just shot a deer near a No Hunting sign. A neighbour arrived and they both took photos of the incident as evidence. She confronted the men and Nixon, who is 6' 8" tall intimidated her when she accused him of poaching.[23] Nixon turned to his friends and said, "Somebody just want to shoot the b-ch?"[27] Nixon signed the peace bond but later denied the claims.[26][24][10][20] Alberta Fish and Wildlife officer, Adam Mirus, who led the investigation into the 2009 allegation interviewed Nixon and the others and recorded the interviews in his truck.[23] Mirus returned to Nixon's Mountain Aire lodge for further interviews on January 4, 2010, and Nixon expressed his displeasure with the ongoing investigation. He was found not guilty of both charges in June 2011.[28] The assault charge involving Gentry was dropped a few months earlier, in February 2011, when Nixon agreed to enter into a peace bond.[28]

During Nixon's 2011 trial, the video of the interview was submitted as evidence and was played in court and the contents were later reported in a subsequent March 8, 2011 Mountain View Gazette article.[29] The Alberta judge who had served as served as Progressive Conservative MLA in the Calgary-Lougheed riding from 1997 until 2004, Marlene Graham, found Nixon not guilty of the charges against the Fish and Wildlife officer.[30] Judge Graham delayed a scheduled hearing on the request to make the 2011 trial video of the confrontation between Nixon and the Alberta Fish and Wildlife officer public as requested by a journalist. In 2019, United Conservative Party lawyers representing Nixon who was then a newly elected MLA, succeeded in having the media blocked from releasing the video evidence from the 2011 court case to the public in an April 17, 2019 ruling in a provincial court in Didsbury, Alberta by Judge Graham.[30] Judge Graham said that the "risk of harm and prejudice to Mr. Nixon outweighs any interest that the public might have in seeing this DVD."[23][11] The contents of the video which are publicly available are now covered by a publication ban.[30][29]

An informant claimed that Nixon, Gary Cape, Earl Anderson, and a youth had been involved in shooting a pregnant wild horse near Sundre, Alberta in April 2009. They were charged and arrested in January 2010 for "wilfully killing cattle and careless use of a firearm" in 2009. From 2001 to 2010 there were about 30 equine killings in the Sundre area near the Mountain Aire Lodge.[31] The Wild Horses of Alberta Society had offered a $25,000 reward leading to a conviction of those responsible. On April 27, 2011, the case against all four was closed and all charges were dropped because of lack of conclusive evidence. In an April 28, 2011 Calgary Herald column, since retracted, Licia Corbella described how Nixon was arrested with force by 10 RCMP officers. This was denied by the RCMP.[23] On December 3, 2012, William Klym submitted a statement of claim on behalf of the four men in the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench in Calgary in a multimillion-dollar negligence lawsuit against the RCMP officers involved.[32] The statement of claim said that the informant was unreliable and was motivated by the award. They said that because of the charges they had lost their jobs at the addictions treatment facility at Mountain Aire Lodge near Sundre.[32]

From 2013 to 2015 Nixon, who was then a Wildrose candidate in Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre and was taking online courses at Athabasca University, also served as Athabasca University Students’ Union (AUSU) president.[33] In 2015, his student union voted to expel him from the organization for allegedly taking an executive director salary while not working for six months, interfering with the student newspaper, raising executive salaries without student consultation, and other bylaw violations.[2][34] According to the student news magazine, the raises he initiated made him the "highest paid Student Executive in Alberta. And not by a few dollars, but by more than 30%."[35]

In 2019, the former MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre Joe Anglin asked the RCMP to investigate Nixon for obstruction of justice.[36]

On May 13, 2019, Nixon sent a fundraising communiqué to UCP party supporters, asking them to make a "small donation" to support cuts to the corporate tax rate, and scrapping the provincial carbon tax. This — and another fundraising communication from Kenney's office — resulted in the NDP opposition filing an ethics complaint on the basis of improper use of the office of the premier for party fundraising.[37]

In June 2019, he was the subject of a point of privilege raised by the NDP, claiming Nixon, "deliberately misled the legislature when he said no one used the earplugs distributed by Premier Jason Kenney during last week's debate on a bill to delay wage talks for 180,000 public sector workers."[38] On June 18, 2019, as UCP house leader, Nixon announced a nine-hour total limit on debate on the "contentious" and "controversial" Public Sector Wage Arbitration Deferral Act (Bill 9)— the "bargaining rights bill"— intended to delay hearings on wage arbitration for 180,000 public service employees represented by unions in 24 collective agreements.[39][40][41] At 11:25 Wednesday night, in the middle of a speech by New Democrat MLA Thomas Dang in the all-night marathon session of debate prior to Bill 9's passage on the morning of June 20, Premier Kenney passed out orange earplugs to UCP MLAs in the legislature and about six people used them including Nixon.[42] When accused of lying and of being disrespectful of the thousands of public health workers whose wages were frozen, both Kenney and Nixon offered explanations: the earplugs were intended to "boost" UCP MLA's morale; no one used them, and they were intended for one MLA who "suffers from tinnitus".[43] Nixon said that when he stated no one from the government used the earplugs, he was referring only to cabinet members.[44] Both the NDP whip David Eggen and Dang said they saw Nixon wearing the earplugs. Nathan Cooper, the Speaker of the house ruled that based on Beauchesne's Parliamentary Rules and Forms, the Speaker "has to accept what members say about themselves." Cooper sais that, in "addition to the statement being misleading — the member must have known it was inaccurate and uttered it to deliberately mislead other members". Cooper found that the NDP "were "rightly" offended by the earplugs incident", however, the incident involving Nixon did not "merit a point of privilege", which is a very serious matter.[44]

Nixon said on March 3, 2020, that Alberta's provincial parks, recreation and protected areas were only generating $36 million annually while costing $86 million of tax payers dollars.[45] The March 5 publication—"Optimizing Alberta Parks"—listed the various actions the government would undertake in 2020 as part of a cost-saving initiative.[46][47] This included "fully or partially closing 20 provincial parks" with 164 other parks being handed to "third-party managers".[46][45] This represents "more than one-third of all the province's parks, recreation areas and other protected areas."[45] While the "Optimizing Alberta Parks" statement included the possibly of selling Crown land,[48] Nixon said in a March 5 Calgary Herald interview, "We are not selling any Crown or public land — period."[47] However, the province listed a 65-hectare plot of land east of Taber in a March 31 auction with a starting bid of $440,000.[48]

During the May 9, 2020 legislative session Nixon was caught on tape laughing while an NDP MLA was presenting his concerns[49][50] about the 4,000 Albertans with Type A diabetes who depended on the Alberta's Insulin Pump Therapy Program, that the UCP had just cancelled.[51] During the May 10 session MLA Janis Irwin said that when Nixon was laughing, there were 25 Albertans present in the legislature who had come to express concerns about cuts to the program. When she asked what was so "funny about Albertans losing their coverage for life-saving insulin pumps, Nixon responded that Irwin's behaviour was "ridiculous" and he "condemned the Official Opposition for continuing to play politics". He denied laughing "at people that were in that situation"; he said he was laughing at a private joke shared between colleagues while the NDP MLA was speaking, not at the Opposition's comments.[49]: 1263–1264 

Cabinet Positions

Alberta provincial government of Jason Kenney Cabinet post (1) Predecessor Office Successor Shannon Phillips Minister of Environment and ParksApril 30, 2019– Whitney Issik

Electoral history

2023 general election

2023 Alberta general election: Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
United Conservative Jason Nixon 15,571 69.46 -12.18
Independent Tim Hoven 3,393 15.14
New Democratic Vance Buchwald 3,118 13.91 +4.81
Independent Fred Schwieger 135 0.60
Advantage Party Carol Nordlund Kinsey 103 0.46 -0.18
Wildrose Loyalty Coalition Tami Tatlock 96 0.43
Total 22,416 99.37
Rejected and declined 142 0.63
Turnout 22,558 64.89
Eligible voters 34,766
United Conservative hold Swing -13.66
Source(s)

2019 general election

2019 Alberta general election: Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
United Conservative Jason Nixon 20,579 81.64 +9.28
New Democratic Jeff Ible 2,293 9.10 -8.10
Alberta Party Joe Anglin 1,350 5.36 +4.85
Freedom Conservative Dawn Berard 303 1.20
Green Jane Drummond 286 1.13 +1.04
Alberta Independence David Rogers 185 0.73
Alberta Advantage Party Paula Lamoureux 161 0.64
Independent Gordon Francey 50 0.20
Total 25,207 99.26
Rejected, spoiled and declined 189 0.74
Turnout 25,396 75.36
Eligible voters 33,699
United Conservative notional hold Swing +8.69
Source(s)
Source: "80 - Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre, 2019 Alberta general election". officialresults.elections.ab.ca. Elections Alberta. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
Alberta. Chief Electoral Officer (2019). 2019 General Election. A Report of the Chief Electoral Officer. Volume II (PDF) (Report). Vol. 2. Edmonton, Alta.: Elections Alberta. pp. 386–393. ISBN 978-1-988620-12-1. Retrieved April 7, 2021.

2015 general election

2015 Alberta general election: Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Wildrose Jason Nixon 6,670 40.11% -11.31%
Progressive Conservative Tammy Coté 5,296 31.85% -8.70%
New Democratic Hannah Schlamp 2,791 16.78% 11.58%
Independent Joe Anglin 1,871 11.25%
Total 16,628
Rejected, spoiled and declined 60 37 10
Eligible electors / turnout 32,578 51.26% -2.47%
Wildrose hold Swing -1.30%
Source(s)
Source: "77 - Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre, 2015 Alberta general election". officialresults.elections.ab.ca. Elections Alberta. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
Chief Electoral Officer (2016). 2015 General Election. A Report of the Chief Electoral Officer (PDF) (Report). Edmonton, Alta.: Elections Alberta. pp. 411–412.

References

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  2. ^ a b c d e Habib, Marlene (November 18, 2014). "The average undergrad getting an online degree is older". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
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  6. ^ "Former Wildrose and PC caucus members endorse Jason Kenney, take shots at Brian Jean | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  7. ^ "Nixon appointed opposition house leader - Mountain View Gazette". Mountain View Gazette. October 31, 2017. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Jason Nixon". United Conservative Party Caucus. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  9. ^ "Jason Nixon - Rimbey – Rocky Mountain House – Sundre". May 25, 2015. Archived from the original on May 25, 2015. Retrieved July 27, 2023.
  10. ^ a b Hall, Josh (April 7, 2019). "Jason Nixon denies 'troubled past' allegations by NDP". Red Deer News Now. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
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  21. ^ French, Janet; Graney, Emma (May 22, 2019). "UCP government prepares to end climate leadership plan as MLAs sworn in". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  22. ^ a b c "Harrison v. Nixon Safety Consulting and others (No. 3), 2008 BCHRT 462" (PDF). B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. p. 3.
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  25. ^ Alberta's NDP (April 7, 2019). "@UniteAlberta Jason Nixon signed peace bond, requiring him to pay the court a $2000 fine and to stay 500 metres away from the woman's house. #ableg #abvote" (Tweet). @albertaNDP. Retrieved March 27, 2022.
  26. ^ a b Markus, Jade (April 7, 2019). "Decade-old charge against UCP candidate in spotlight week ahead of Alberta election". CBC. Retrieved March 27, 2022.
  27. ^ Theobald, Claire (April 7, 2019). "UCP candidate slams NDP for dredging up assault allegations they say make him 'unfit for office'". The Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved March 27, 2022.
  28. ^ a b "The other Jason: Nixon's rocky ascent to power". The Sprawl. Retrieved March 20, 2023.
  29. ^ a b Singleton, Dan (March 8, 2011). "June verdict for man charged with threatening Fish and Wildlife officer". Retrieved March 27, 2022.
  30. ^ a b c McIntosh, Emma (April 17, 2019). "Judge bars media from accessing video of UCP MLA Jason Nixon, siding with party lawyers". The Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved March 27, 2022.
  31. ^ "Mustard Seed defends workers". CTV News. January 21, 2010. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  32. ^ a b "Alberta foursome launches $4M negligence suit against RCMP after being falsely accused of killing horse". National Post. March 13, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2022.
  33. ^ "Wildrose Candidate's Pay Hike For Student Prez Work Dubbed 'Hypocritical'". HuffPost. April 23, 2015. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  34. ^ Lehtiniemi, Barbara (June 19, 2015). "Council Connection: AGM Survivors". The Voice: A Publication for the students of Athabasca University. Archived from the original on June 25, 2015. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  35. ^ Low, Karl (April 17, 2019). "It's All About the Benjamins" (PDF). The Voice: A Publication for the students of Athabasca University. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 14, 2017. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  36. ^ Hall, Josh (February 2, 2019). "Nixon accused of obstruction of justice". Red Deer News Now. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  37. ^ Russell, Jenny; Charles, Rusnel (May 23, 2019). "Alberta NDP file fundraising ethics complaint against Premier Jason Kenney". CBC. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  38. ^ Bellefontaine, Michelle (June 24, 2019). "NDP says government House leader lied about earplug incident". CBC News. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  39. ^ Trynacity, Kim (June 14, 2019). "Wage deferral bill could be to the UCP what farm safety was to NDP". CBC News. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  40. ^ Canadian Press (June 20, 2019). "Bargaining rights bill passes after all-night session in Alberta legislature". CBC News. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  41. ^ "Alberta limits debate on bill to strip some public sector bargaining rights". Global News and the Canadian Press. June 18, 2019. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  42. ^ "Jason Kenney hands out earplugs during debate on bill affecting union rights". CTV News. June 20, 2019. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  43. ^ "UCP, NDP swap accusations, attacks in earplug debate". Global News. June 24, 2019. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  44. ^ a b Bellefontaine, Michelle (June 25, 2019). "Speaker finds no point of privilege on earplug incident". CBC. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  45. ^ a b c "Alberta government plans to close 20 parks, hand over 164 others to third parties". The Canadian Press via Kimberley Daily Bulletin. March 4, 2020. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  46. ^ a b "Optimizing Alberta Parks" (Press release). March 5, 2020. Archived from the original on March 18, 2020. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  47. ^ a b Licia Corbella (March 5, 2020). "Alberta Parks are not for sale — not one square centimetre". Calgary Herald. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  48. ^ a b Weber, Bob (March 17, 2020). "Alberta to sell native grassland despite government promises no Crown land would be sold". Global News via the Canadian Press. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  49. ^ a b Sharon, Hon Leela; Dale, Hon; Albert, Morinville-St. "Legislative Assembly of Alberta The 30th Legislature": 40. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  50. ^ Notley, Rachel (May 11, 2022). "Decisions by the UCP Government have left Albertans with diabetes without coverage for life-saving insulin pumps. I'm sorry Jason Nixon, but there is NOTHING funny about this". Trendsmap. Retrieved May 11, 2022 – via @RachelNotley.
  51. ^ Pedersen, Kylee (May 4, 2022). "Changes to insulin pump therapy program has some Albertans with diabetes worried". CBC News. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
  52. ^ "80 - Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre". officialresults.elections.ab.ca. Elections Alberta. Retrieved June 10, 2023.
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Jason Nixon
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