Alberta Party MLA Karen McPherson says she won’t run in spring election

Calgary MLA Karen McPherson has said she won't be running in the next provincial election. FACEBOOK

EDMONTON — A key candidate for the Alberta Party in the upcoming provincial election has announced she won’t be running.

Karen McPherson, legislature member for Calgary−Mackay−Nose Hill, says the demands of politics are too much as she works to balance work with her family life.

“The commitment required of public servants is beyond my capabilities right now,” McPherson said Wednesday in a statement posted on social media.

“I have grappled with the lack of balance between the demands of the role of an MLA and my sense of responsibility to my family and myself, especially as my elderly mother, who recently completed radiation for lung cancer, recovers from her treatment,” she wrote.

“I have struggled with depression and anxiety throughout much of my time in office because of this lack of balance, especially during the time my father was very ill before he passed away in 2016.”

McPherson was elected to the legislature for the NDP in 2015, but left the caucus in 2017 and later joined the Alberta Party.

She said at the time that the polarization of partisan political debate was squeezing out common−sense solutions and she needed the freedom to speak her mind.

Prior to that, she was a longtime analyst and business consultant, focusing on the oil and gas sector.

She was to run in the renamed riding of Calgary−Beddington.

McPherson is one of three Alberta Party members in the legislature and was being counted on to help lead what the party hopes will be a breakthrough in the spring election.

The party grabbed one seat and took just over two per cent of the popular vote in the 2015 campaign, but is trying to run a full slate of 87 candidates this time around.

The campaign had a setback recently when seven candidates, including party leader Stephen Mandel, were banned by Elections Alberta for missing a deadline to file their nomination financial paperwork.

Six of the seven, including Mandel, have had the decisions overturned on appeal at the Court of Queen’s Bench, as they argued mitigating circumstances.

Mandel’s lawyers told court he missed the deadline because his chief financial officer, who was responsible for the paperwork, took ill.  

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