Alberta Politics

Former Ontario MP Jeff Watson running for UCP nomination in Calgary-Peigan

Photo: Jeff Watson (left) speaks at a rally in support of Ontario PC candidate Chris Lewis (right) on May 11, 2018. (Source: Facebook)

Former Essex Member of Parliament Jeff Watson is the fourth candidate to enter the United Conservative Party nomination contest in the new Calgary-Peigan district.


Watson served as the Conservative Party MP for southern Ontario district of Essex from 2004 until 2015 when he was unseated by New Democrat Tracey Ramsey. He had previously run in Windsor-West as a Reform Party candidate in 1997 and a Canadian Alliance candidate in 2000.

While in Ottawa he served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport.

The Windsor Star reported in November 2016 that Watson was planning to relocate himself and his family to Calgary to pursue new opportunities.

Watson works as a Constituency Assistant in the office of Calgary-Hays UCP MLA Ric McIver.

His LinkedIn page describes him as the Proprietor of Issachar Strategies with his clients listed as “Jason Kenney Leadership, Alberta Advantage Fund, the Hon. Andrew Scheer, We R Conservative.” His Facebook page does not name specific organizations but states that some of his clients are “independent schools and parent groups fighting the NDP for school choice and to preserve parental authority.”

Watson worked as Director of Outreach and Coalitions in Kenney’s leadership campaign.

Joe Ceci Calgary NDP
Joe Ceci

Watson travelled back to Ontario during the first week of that province’s recent election and spoke at a rally organized for Progressive Conservative candidate Chris Lewis in the provincial Essex district on May 11, 2018.

Elections Alberta lists Watson as being the President of the Calgary-Hays UCP association since 2017 and as having served as president of the PC association in the same district in 2017.

Calgary-Peigan is a new district that is created mostly from areas currently included in Calgary-Fort as well as Calgary-Acadia, Calgary-Hays, Calgary-South East. Current Calgary-Fort MLA Joe Ceci will run for the NDP in the newly redrawn Calgary-Buffalo district.

The other candidates running for the UCP nomination in this district are Tanya Fir, Andrew Griffin, and two-time Wildrose Party candidate Jeevan Mangat.

If you know any candidates who have announced their intentions to stand for party nominations, please send me an email at I will add them to the list. Thank you!

6 replies on “Former Ontario MP Jeff Watson running for UCP nomination in Calgary-Peigan”

Interesting article by George Clark on his Facebook Page about Jeff Watson. And Jeff also works for an MLA as an Assistant in Calgary so you are paying for his election campaign with your tax dollars


That’s quite a misleading representation on your webpage, most reading it would assume that you were an Albertan Conservative MP fighting for Alberta for decades. But the reality is that you are a former Windsor-Essex Conservative ONTARIO MP who managed to do what few others did in the 2015 federal election. Lose to an NDP challenger.

And as a life-long Ontarian, you surprised the heck out of your Windsor community 18 months ago when you very publicly announced that you were packing up your wife & six kids to head to Alberta to head a new unnamed Humanitarian organization. You even went so far in November of 2016 as very explicitly saying that you would NOT be seeking election in Alberta.

Subsequently you claim to somehow be here in Calgary at the personal request of Jason Kenney, insinuating that he needs your help in the Alberta Legislature. And you put up a post on your personal webpage asking for UCP members to support your bid to win the nomination for Calgary Peigan. Yet there’s no sign of you on the Alberta Elections candidate registration page. In case you didn’t know, taking donations ahead of registration is considered bad form here in Cowtown.

My personal recommendation to you would be please don’t embarrass yourself by seeking a seat this next election. You haven’t been in Alberta long enough to know any of us let alone represent us. I understand that 11 years of receiving a good MP salary after 7 years on a Windsor Trim line as an autoworker might entice one to want that good salary and ultimate pension payout once again. But not here in Alberta just yet Jeff. Stay awhile, make a good life preferably in the private sector for a few more years, get to know more than 100 of us and then if you still have the urge, take a run in 2023. Keep your word, I’ve included screenshots of your Windsor farewell interview just to remind you. And I certainly cannot support anyone who still needs GPS to find his way down to the Saddledome!

And btw, suggesting that Jason Kenney is behind your political ambitions is a huge mistake. It’s bad enough that so many of his UCP employees are imports from Ontario, importing MLA candidates would be the final straw for many Albertans wondering when the hell they are going to be invited into the inner circle. Bad enough that Rachel Notley filled her NDP ranks with candidates and staff from across Canada, we don’t need our UCP doing the same! of !

George Clark, Founder
Albertans First Patriots

I think Jeff needs to live in Alberta a bit longer than the year and a half he was living here to run for political office. I really do not think the UCP needs failed former MPs or MLAs running for their party. They need fresh faces and Jeff is not one. It feels like Jeff’s move to Alberta occurred because he felt useless in Ontario after he lost his seat so he thought it was a better idea to move to alberta and eventually get another political job.

Who the hell really he is a card carrying conservative so what’s the big deal?? NDP brought people from Ont so what’s the big deal??

“Fresh faces” is a catchy idea but I think it is a little naive to dismiss candidates with experience. There is still a government to run that will need people with experience too.
From my experience, it is the Alberta Way to let everyone have a fair shot. Like a lot of the people I know here, Jeff is an Albertan by choice, and that’s okay with me. As for changing his mind about his career path, well I think it is just human nature and nothing to make a fuss about.
I say, welcome to Alberta and let the best candidate win.

If we are supposed to be alarmed at the Carbon Tax charged on gasoline, why is there not just as much or more concern about the general increase in gasoline at the same time that is not related to the Carbon Tax.

Last September (2017) I filled my truck up at 94.4 cents a litre. This July 2018 I am paying more than $1.34 a litre. The Increase in carbon Tax might account for * cents a litre, what about the other 20 – 30 cents a litre.

If the Carbon Tax is going to have such an adverse effects on us, the additional increase will surely put the ordinary Joe citizen in the poor house. It is not always the government that is costing us more,what about the others. The Tax Payers association should be coming down on any price increase that seems to be out of line. I for one do not think that a government tax is not any better or worse than the other increases that are we are forced to pay. At least I have a vote to accept or not accept a government. The price charged at the pump is just as much a concern, we should be angered more at t hses increased affect my pocket book.

You should see the BS going on in the riding now.

The Tanya Fir campaign and her manager boyfriend are slinging mud at Jeff calling him a smooth career politican and then claiming that she was being endorsed by Maxime Bernier who then sends a message saying no I haven’t. The conduct of the campaign claiming to be so high brow is such a joke.

Good luck to Jeff Watson!

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