Alberta Politics

Former Ontario MP Jeff Watson running for Conservative nomination in Battle River-Crowfoot

After failing to win the United Conservative Party nomination in Calgary-Peigan last summer, former Ontario Member of Parliament Jeff Watson has now launched his campaign to seek the federal Conservative nomination in the sprawling east central rural Alberta district of Battle River-Crowfoot.

Battle River-Crowfoot
Battle River-Crowfoot

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. Previous to that he had run in Windsor-West as a Reform Party candidate in 1997 and a Canadian Alliance candidate in 2000.

Also running for the Conservative nomination in Battle River-Wainwright is Consort-native Damien Kurek, who works as a constituency assistant to retiring MP Kevin Sorenson and previously worked as a researcher for the Saskatchewan Party Caucus in Regina.

Watson spoke about the need to address rural crime in a video on his Facebook page, but it is not clear what connection Watson has to the communities or local politics in the large rural Alberta district. Watson also continues to update his “Jeff Watson YYC” Facebook page used during his UCP nomination campaign in Calgary.

The Windsor Star reported in November 2016 that Watson was relocating with his family to Calgary in order to pursue new opportunities.

Soon after his arrival in Alberta he worked as Director of Outreach and Coalitions during Jason Kenney’s leadership campaigns in 2017 and he currently works as a constituency assistant in the office of Calgary-Hays UCP MLA Ric McIver in southeast Calgary.

Damien Kurek
Damien Kurek

His Facebook page lists him as the owner of Issachar Strategies with clients including independent schools and parent groups “who fought the former-NDP government for school choice and to preserve parental authority.” The page also claims he has provided strategic advice to Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer.

He launched his campaign for the UCP nomination in Calgary-Peigan in June 2018 and was defeated by Tanya Fir at a candidate selection meeting in August 2018. Fir was elected as MLA in April 2019 and now serves as Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism.

That UCP nomination campaign became memorable for the bizarre entry of Quebec MP Maxime Bernier (still a Conservative MP at the time), when Fir’s campaign committee chairman Craig Chandler sent an email to her supporters that appeared to suggest Bernier had endorsed his candidate.

Bernier then responded with an email disputing the endorsement claim and instead appeared to endorse his “good friend” Watson.

2 replies on “Former Ontario MP Jeff Watson running for Conservative nomination in Battle River-Crowfoot”

How is it that this dude, Jeff Watson, a Harper has been, imported from Ontario by Jason Kenney to run for his UCP in Calgary, who teamed up with Wilberforce Project for his campaign, who lost that nomination, has now decided he should run for nomination for Sorenson’s seat in Battle River Crowfoot? How does a guy like this even pretend to know anything about our riding? This shows me just what Scheer/Harper cons think about Albertans, It’s insulting.

He also held campaign training sessions for the W8lberforce Project volunteers prior to the proivncila election

my name is Dan Hodgson I decided to run for the nomination. we in Battle river Crow foot riding, don’t need an insider or a former mp that is seeking a cushy govt paycheque because. they can’t. find work. we need a middle class working person that understands what is like to have to work out of town away from family and friends to earn a living for2- 3 weeks at a time.
As a grandson of a ww1 vet who was gassed in the 2 battle of ypres I strongly supports the armed forces to get them the equipment they need to get the job done. as professional pilot I make hundreds of little decisions at very hi speed every day. I lived in Wain wright Alberta for 6 years. I want to help the elderly in getting quality seniors housing, get the govt out of your wallet, reduce red tape,

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