John Edward Brownlee (August 27, 1884 - July 15, 1961), Canadian politician, was Premier of Alberta between 1925 and 1934.
Brownlee became the lawyer for the United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) in the early part of the last century. When the UFA entered electoral politics and unexpectedly won the 1921 general election he was recruited to serve in the new government as Attorney-General. In 1925, due to dissatisfaction with the leadership of Premier Herbert Greenfield, Brownlee was recruited to become the new Premier and UFA leader.
Brownlee's government was successful in negotiating a degree of control of Alberta's natural resources from the federal government, an achievement that became historically significant when oil was discovered at Leduc in 1947.
The Brownlee government faced its most serious challenge during the Great Depression when the dust bowl impoverished the province's largely agrarian population. The government's policies of continued fiscal restraint in the face of widespread demands for relief led to the UFA's increasing unpopularity as Albertans began to look to the radical solutions offered by Social Credit and the socialist Co-operative Commonwealth Federation.
Brownlee's personal reputation was destroyed by a sex scandal in which he was sued for seduction of a young woman and found guilty forcing him to resign in July 1934. The UFA's economic policies as well as the scandalizing of Alberta's conservative population, led to the party's downfall in 1935 when it failed to win one seat in the legislature in the face of a sweep by William Aberhart and his Social Credit party.