EDMONTON — Albertans are going to the polls in a spring election on April 16. Here’s a look at the leaders of the five parties that currently hold seats in the legislature:
Derek Fildebrandt, Freedom Conservative Party
Pre-politics: Alberta director and national research director of Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
Politics: Elected member of the legislature for the Wildrose Party in 2015; joined the United Conservative Party after the Wildrose merged with the Progressive Conservatives; expelled from the UCP caucus in 2018; formed and now leading the Freedom Conservative Party.
Running in: Chestermere-Strathmore
Quote: “I want elections to be about issues. The Tories wanted it to be about simply a brand vote for the blue team — essentially buy Toronto Maple Leaf tickets (and) go for the guys in the blue jersey no matter how badly they treat their fans.”
Jason Kenney, United Conservative Party
Pre-politics: Studied philosophy at University of San Francisco, CEO of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
Politics: Elected as Reform MP in Calgary in 1997; re-elected with the Canadian Alliance in 2000; re-elected four more times with the Conservatives; held several cabinet posts from 2008 to 2015, including immigration, employment, and defence; elected leader of the Alberta Progressive Conservatives, which became the United Conservatives, in 2017.
Running in: Calgary Lougheed
Quote: “The NDP promised change, but instead what they gave us is a record of economic failure — the worst economic record of any government in the history of Alberta since the Great Depression.”
David Khan, Alberta Liberal Party
Pre-politics: Lawyer specializing in Indigenous rights and land-claims litigation.
Politics: Won party leadership in 2017; lost Calgary Lougheed byelection in 2017; ran and lost in Calgary Buffalo in the 2015 provincial election; ran and lost in 2014 byelection in Calgary West.
Running in: Calgary Mountain View
Quote: “The Alberta Liberals’ priority issues will be improving public health care, the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, boosting education, and an immediate ban on conversion therapy. We’ll hold the NDP government to account for failing to deliver on its progressive promises.”
Stephen Mandel, Alberta Party
Politics: Elected Edmonton city councillor in 2001; elected mayor in 2004, 2007 and 2010; named provincial Progressive Conservative health minister and won Edmonton Whitemud byelection in 2014; lost Edmonton Whitemud in 2015 election; won leadership of Alberta Party in 2018.
Running in: Edmonton McClung
Quote: “Albertans are frustrated with the level of spending we have right now. Many people feel we have a spending problem rather than necessarily just an expense problem.”
Rachel Notley, Alberta New Democratic Party
Pre-politics: Lawyer, labour negotiator
Politics: Elected member of the legislature for Edmonton Strathcona in 2008; re-elected in 2012; became NDP leader in 2014; re-elected 2015 and became premier when party won a majority.
Running in: Edmonton Strathcona
Quote: “Who is going to be premier and who is fit to be premier? That is the choice. Because Alberta is really for all of us. One Alberta, not just for the few, but for all of us.”
The Canadian Press