Alberta Politics

Wildrose MLA Jason Nixon faces expulsion motion from students’ union

While the mainstream media has spent an inordinate amount of time focusing on the social media indiscretions of Calgary-Bow MLA Deborah Drever, newly elected Wildrose Party MLA Jason Nixon faces an expulsion motion from members of an organization he used to lead.

According to the student newspaper The Voice Magazine, members of the Athabasca University Students’ Union brought forward a motion at their May 27, 2015 annual general meeting to have former president and Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre MLA Mr. Nixon expelled from the organization.

Mr. Nixon was president of the students’ union from April 2014 until his resignation shortly after the May 2015 provincial election.

The student newspaper reported motions to expel Mr. Nixon and other leading members of the students’ council were made in response to allegations that the council violated its own bylaws when making changes to the elections policy without issuing the required notice to members, failing to give email notice of the AGM, and interfering in the student newspaper by removing the April 17, 2015 issue of The Voice from its website without the managing editor’s consent.

The autonomously operating student newspaper published an article in its April 17 issue alleging that the students’ council had voted to significantly increase student executive salaries in the final months of the 2014/2015 fiscal year. An article in that issue described Mr. Nixon as being “the highest paid Student Executive in Alberta.”

A blog posted published on the AUSU website from Vice-President External Shawna Wasylyshyn, who is currently serving as (Acting) Editor in Chief of The Voice and (Acting) President of AUSU, claims the April 17 issue was removed because of a legal complaint received about one of the articles.

The individual chairing the AGM ruled the motion to expel Mr. Nixon out of order and that members at the meeting could only make recommendations to the students’ council. The motion to recommend Mr. Nixon’s expulsion from the organization was passed.

20 replies on “Wildrose MLA Jason Nixon faces expulsion motion from students’ union”

Clearly the Wildrose Party should have done a better job vetting their candidates. How embarrassing for Brian Jean.

I used to serve on the board of that students’ union about 15 years ago. Since I have worked with the students unions at University of Alberta, NAIT, and MacEwan. AUSU has always been the single most dysfunctional organization, student governance or otherwise, of which I have ever been a part. Knowing that, I’m not satisfied whether being expelled from the organization would be a compliment or an insult, though I do know there is no reason that should be the highest paid position in student politics in Alberta. That said, I also know one person can’t vote themselves a raise unilaterally. I’m very reluctant to judge him until I know more.

Good scoop Dave. The big difference between Drever and Nixon is that he was expexted to win and she wasn’t.

Student politics can be nasty and the allegations against Nixon could be unfounded but the Wildrose Party owes Albertans an explanation why they still let him be nominated as a candidate.

These bylaw violations presumably would have happened when he was a Wildrose nominated candidate.

jason – Thanks for the comment and sharing your insight about AUSU. While I believe this is important information for Albertans to be aware of (which is why I published this post), I am also reluctant to judge Mr. Nixon until I know more.
– Dave

After reading the article in The Voice Magazine, I find it more troubling that students were so concerned about a staff salary paid to Mr. Nixon that they voted to recommend AUSU council undertake a forensic audit. It seems to me that there may have been some financial funny-business going on that needs to be investigated properly. Just because he’s left the AUSU doesn’t mean he can’t be held responsible for what happened while he was there.

Keep digging, Dave. Eventually you will find something to make us look away from the multitude of Drever distractions. Trouble is, what are you going to do to excuse the rest of the NDP Caucus?

Wow, 15 years and you say everyone on every team was corrupt? What’s that 150 people (new group every year right?) Maybe it was corrupt when you were there, ok. Did you know of corruption all the time all those years and you didn’t do anything? That is just not too likely — it’s hard to believe. All kinds of boards are corrupt but not every person on a board every year all the time for that many years. I can’t buy that. But if it’s true man you probably should have said something.

Anyway students were never told why a whole issue disappeared then came back just after the election closed with nothing but a few changes that change nothing about the story. But it was out of the way while the guy was campaining right? How does that not look bad on the party and those running?

Is it August already (Dog Days)? Or is this what passes for a “scoop” these days? If there was a more irrelevant organization, I’d be hard pressed to find it. Student unions – wasters of time and money and a breeding ground for ne’er-do-well whingers.

Sharon – You do know that Deborah Drever was kicked out of the NDP caucus, right? What about “the rest of the caucus”?

So the Wildrose’s “Democracy and Accountability” critic is being ousted from a students union for screwing with an election policy without telling the members, and for taking some sort of salary that even the remaining councillors are too embarassed to tell their members about?

Maybe the thinking is set a crook to catch a crook?

Why is it that elected people can’t do the job they are elected to do. And instead start filling their pockets and their friends pockets? Just govern in the best interests of the group they represent. The whole group.

Matty – AUGSA is the AU Graduate Students’ Association. I’m not sure why David mentioned them, since none of the other comments references them.

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