|Redford at a 2012 campaign rally|
|14th Premier of Alberta|
October 7, 2011
|Preceded by||Ed Stelmach|
|Leader of the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta|
October 2, 2011
|Preceded by||Ed Stelmach|
|Minister of Justice and
Attorney General of Alberta
March 13, 2008 – February 18, 2011
|Preceded by||Ron Stevens|
|Succeeded by||Verlyn Olson|
|Member of the Alberta Legislative Assembly
March 3, 2008
|Preceded by||Craig Cheffins|
|Born||Alison Merrilla Redford
March 7, 1965
Kitimat, British Columbia
|Political party||Progressive Conservative|
Robert Hawkes 1986-1991
|Children||Sarah (b. 2002)|
|Alma mater||University of Saskatchewan|
Alison Merrilla Redford, Q.C., MLA, (born March 7, 1965) is a Canadian lawyer and politician. She is the 14th and current Premier of Alberta, Canada, having served in this capacity since October 7, 2011. Redford was born in Kitimat, British Columbia and grew up all over Canada and overseas before settling in Calgary as a teenager.
In the 2008 provincial election, Redford was elected as the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for the district of Calgary-Elbow. She served in the cabinet of Ed Stelmach as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General. Redford became premier upon winning the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta, and on April 23, 2012, she led her party to victory in the 2012 provincial election. Redford is the first female premier in the province's history and the eighth woman to serve as a premier in the history of Canada.
Redford was born March 7, 1965, in Kitimat, British Columbia, to Merrill and Helen (née Anderson) Redford. Her family moved to Nova Scotia and Borneo, and to Calgary by the time Redford was 12. She graduated from Bishop Carroll High School, Calgary, and from the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan in 1988. She articled for Jim Prentice at the law firm Rooney Prentice.
Throughout the 1990s, Redford worked as a technical adviser on constitutional and legal reform issues in various parts of Africa for the European Union, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Canadian Government and the Government of Australia. Her work in Africa focused on human rights litigation, developing education programs and policy reform with respect to gender issues.
One of Redford's most notable appointments was by the Secretary-General of the United Nations as one of the four International Election Commissioners to administer Afghanistan's first parliamentary elections, held in September 2005. Political issues in the elections program within Alberta at that time were under question by the Elections Commissioner. She also served as an adviser to the Privy Council Office on Canada's future involvement in Afghanistan subsequent to the elections. Her work has included assignments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Namibia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and the Philippines. Before her most current post, Redford managed a judicial training and legal reform project for the Ministry of Justice and the Supreme People's Court in Vietnam.
In the 1980s Redford served as Senior Policy Advisor to former Prime Minister Joe Clark, who was the Secretary of State for External Affairs. She went on to work in the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada from 1988 to 1990, under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. In this capacity, Redford organized a series of national foreign policy consultations facilitating public input on the Government of Canada's White Papers on Foreign Affairs and Defence. In the Canadian Parliament, she was also the Principal Legislative Advisor to the Secretary of State for External Affairs.
On March 13, 2008, after being elected MLA for the constituency of Calgary-Elbow, Redford was named Minister of Justice and Attorney General by Premier Ed Stelmach. In addition, she also served as a member of the Agenda and Priorities Committee, the Treasury Board, and the Cabinet Policy Committee on Public Safety and Services. She resigned from the cabinet in early 2011 to devote herself to her campaign to succeed Stelmach as leader of the governing Progressive Conservative Party.
On February 16, 2011, Redford announced she would be a candidate in the Progressive Conservative Association leadership race to succeed Stelmach, who had announced in January he would resign as leader and premier once his successor was chosen.
In the first round of voting held on September 18, 2011, Redford placed second behind Gary Mar, the perceived frontrunner in the race. Redford won 19 per cent of the vote compared to 41 per cent for Mar. With no candidate winning the necessary 50 per cent plus one on the first ballot a second and third round of voting was held on October 2, 2011. After the third round of voting Redford beat Mar, winning 51 per cent of the vote. Redford was sworn in as Alberta's 14th Premier at the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton on October 7, 2011.
On March 26, 2012, Redford met with Lieutenant Governor Don Ethell, who dissolved the current legislature and called an election for April 23, 2012. After the election was called, support for the Wildrose Party supposedly surged past Redford's Progressive Conservatives. Throughout the campaign it was thought by some that the Wildrose, led by Danielle Smith, would win a majority government, ending the PC's 40 year reign. However, on election night the Progressive Conservatives shocked pollsters and media pundits, by winning a twelfth majority government, taking 61 of the 87 seats in the provincial legislature—a loss of only five seats. The Wildrose Party have accused her of more moderate policies, thought to have attracted some Liberal and NDP supporters, who some pundits believed voted strategically to stop the further right-wing Wildrose, from forming a government. With this win, Redford became the fourth woman in Canadian history to lead a political party to victory in an election, after Catherine Callbeck in Prince Edward Island, Pat Duncan in Yukon, and Kathy Dunderdale in Newfoundland and Labrador.
As part of the PC campaign platform, Redford expressed her intentions to work with nonprofits, calling for the creation of a new Department of Human Services as a “single point of entry” for non-profits. Premier Alison Redford also fulfilled her promise to raise AISH payments by $400 month, from $1,158 to $1,558, and doubling the amount an AISH recipient can make through working before it’s taken off their monthly AISH cheques, from $400 to $800. Redford promised to build, of which some have now opened, 50 new schools, and renovate 70 more over the next four years.
Post 2012 election Premiership
Promises made to postsecondary education during her campaign, however, were not kept. In spring 2013, under Redford's leadership the Progressive Conservatives tabled their first Alberta budget since reelection. The government failed to honour its 2012 provincial election promises to continue to increase post-secondary education at a rate of 2%. Instead the budget was cut by 7.2%. A 9.2% shortfall. Lukaszuk, as Redford's newly appointed Deputy Premier and Minister of Enterprise and Advanced Education, presided over these controversial cuts and layoffs at Alberta's colleges and universities. On October 9, 2013, following 900 academic staff and faculty job losses across the province, Lukazuk announced $142.5 million dollars had come available to construct a new Engineering building at University of Calgary. This figure was a controversial amount, close to the $147 million needed to reverse cuts 8 months before. The decision was also at odds with Lukaszuk's written assurances to university administrators on July 3, 2013 that he would advocate to reverse the budget cuts if additional dollars became available: "Look guys, you’re not happy, I’m not happy with this budget. But this is the reality ... The moment I have any extra dollars I can access, I’ll be the first on on my knees before the treasury board advocating for you to get your dollars. But in the meantime, get your financial houses in order," he said. To date Redford's government has not honoured the promise.
In 2013, Alison Redford attended the Funeral of Nelson Mandela, representing her province, and as part of her personal history with Nelson Mandela, whom she worked with and for in the fight against Apartheid.
Redford has been an active member of many community boards, including the Lycee Louis Pasteur Society, the Heritage Park Foundation and the Calgary Winter Club. She previously served on the Board of the Lakeview Community Association and the Alberta Human Rights Education Advisory Board.
She was married to Robert Hawkes, son of former Calgary West MP Jim Hawkes, between 1985 and 1991. They met while working for former MLA (and later Alberta PC leadership contestant and Senator) Ron Ghitter. Redford remains friends with her ex-husband and in 2011 he led her transition team when she became premier.
|Alberta general election, 2012: Calgary-Elbow|
|Progressive Conservative||Alison Redford||11,198||58.09||+16.01|
|New Democratic||Craig Coolahan||761||3.95||+1.96|
|Alberta Party||Greg Clark||518||2.69||–|
|Total valid votes||19,278||100.00||–|
|Total rejected ballots||257||–||–|
|Alberta general election, 2008: Calgary-Elbow|
|Progressive Conservative||Alison Redford||6,130||42.08||+3.75|
|Wildrose Alliance||Dale Nelson||963||6.61||+2.44|
|New Democratic||Garnet Wilcox||290||1.99||−1.31|
|Total valid votes||14,568||100.00|
|Total rejected ballots||77|
|Progressive Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||+5.16%|
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- McCan, Sean (October 2, 2011). "Meet your new premier". Calgary Sun. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- Martin, Sandra (March 31, 2012). "Alison Redford: A leader on the brink". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved September 16, 2012.
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- "Redford's Legislative Assembly of Alberta biography".
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- Schwartz, Daniel. "PROFILE: Alison Redford, Alberta premier". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
- "Premier Biography". Government of Alberta. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
- Rennie, Steve (November 18, 2011). "Premier cool on past link with PM". Herald News. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
- "Justice minister Redford joins PC leadership race". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. February 16, 2011. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- "Mar leads as Alberta PCs head to 2nd ballot". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. September 18, 2011. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- McLean, Tanara (October 1, 2011). "Redford wins leadership race". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- Fong, Petti (October 2, 2011). "Alison Redford new leader of Alberta’s PC party". Toronto Star. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
- "Alison Redford sworn in as Alberta Premier". CBC News. October 7, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
- "UPDATED: Alberta election called for April 23". Global Edmonton. March 26, 2012. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
- "Wildrose poised for majority in Alberta: poll". Globe and Mail. April 4, 2012. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
- Grenier, Éric (April 16, 2012). "Wildrose on track for majority with a week to go in Alberta". Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
- "Albertans elect Tory majority government". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. April 23, 2012. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
- "Smith blames controversial remarks, strategic voting for Alberta loss". Globe and Mail. April 23, 2012. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
- "Albertans elect Tory majority government". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. April 23, 2012. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
- "Alison Redford Promises Changes to Benefit the Nonprofit Sector". Retrieved September 26, 2012.
- "Locals happy to see $400 increase to AISH". Retrieved September 26, 2012.
- "PC Leader Redford promises 50 new schools". Retrieved September 26, 2012.
- CTV News Network, "Memorial of Nelson Mandela", airdate 10 December 2013 circa 4:30am EST
- "Alison Redford". Alison Redford.ca. Alison Redford. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alison Redford.|
|Order of precedence|
Donald Ethell, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
|Order of precedence in Alberta
as of 2013[update]
Catherine Fraser, Chief Justice of The Court of Appeal of Alberta