Brian Mason

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For the meteoriticist, see Brian Harold Mason.
Brian Mason
Brian Mason 2015.jpg
Mason in May 2015
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Edmonton Highlands-Norwood
Assumed office
November 22, 2004
Preceded by New district
Leader of the Alberta New Democrats
In office
July 13, 2004[1] – October 18, 2014
Preceded by Raj Pannu
Succeeded by Rachel Notley
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Edmonton Highlands
In office
Preceded by Pam Barrett
Succeeded by District abolished
Personal details
Born (1953-10-12) October 12, 1953 (age 61)
Calgary, Alberta
Political party Alberta New Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Karin
Children Peter
Alma mater University of Alberta
Occupation Bus Driver
Portfolio Minister of Infrastructure, Minister of Transportation

Brian Mason (born October 12, 1953) is a Canadian politician and was leader of the Alberta New Democrats (NDP) 2004 to 2014 and is currently Minister of Infrastructure and Minister of Transportation in Rachel Notley's NDP government.[2] Mason was first elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood in a 2000 byelection, and his career in politics spans more than 20 years. He was born in Calgary, Alberta.[3]

Mason has lived in Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood for over 20 years. He and his wife Karin have two sons, Peter and Alex.

On April 29, 2014, Brian Mason stepped down as leader of Alberta's NDP. Mason is the longest serving NDP MLA in Alberta history.[4]

On May 24, 2015, he was appointed Minister of Infrastructure and Minister of Transportation, as well as Government House Leader by Premier Rachel Notley.

Early political involvement[edit]

Mason is the son of an electrical engineer. His father was a Red Tory who later helped found the Reform Party of Canada while his mother was a Liberal.[4] His grandfather was a Conservative Senator[4] James Mason.

Mason first became politically active in the mid-1970s while studying political science at the University of Alberta. He served as executive director of the Federation of Alberta Students from 1977 to 1979. Upon leaving university Mason began working as bus driver with the Edmonton Transit System.[4]

Municipal politics[edit]

He re-entered politics in 1989 with a dynamic campaign running for Edmonton city council in Ward 3. Mason's campaign came on the heels of a legal challenge he mounted against a provincial law forbidding municipal employees from running as candidates in a civic election unless they resigned their position with the city.

The legal challenge was unsuccessful, however Mason was elected city councilor for Ward 3 in October 1989. Shortly after the election the law Mason challenged was repealed, and municipal workers in Edmonton are today allowed to run for civic office without resigning their positions. Mason remained on city council until 2000.

Provincial politics[edit]

In 2000, following the mid-term resignation of the then leader of the New Democrats Pam Barrett of MLA Edmonton Highlands, Mason left city council and ran for the NDP in the ensuing by-election. He easily held the Legislative Assembly seat and was re-elected in the 2001 provincial election.

Mason was appointed the role of interim party leader for the NDP following the resignation of then leader Raj Pannu in July 2004. He became the official leader of Alberta's NDP on September 18, 2004, following a vote at the party convention.

Mason held his seat during the provincial election in 2004, which saw the caucus welcome the return of former leaders Pannu and Ray Martin, along with newcomer David Eggen. In the provincial election of 2008 Mason again retained his seat, and was joined in caucus by newly elected NDP MLA Rachel Notley from Edmonton-Strathcona, the seat previously held by Pannu.

During his tenure as a Member of the Legislative Assembly, Mason has become the outspoken champion of issues such as:

  • Protecting public health care and long-term care
  • Defending senior citizens
  • Diversifying Alberta's economy
  • Refining more bitumen in the province
  • Banning political contributions from corporations and unions (like what has been done federally)
  • Denouncing PC electricity deregulation
  • Increasing education funding
  • Regulating automobile insurance rates

Provincial public consultations[edit]

In recent years Mason has hosted various community meetings around the province of Alberta. In 2009, Mason hosted a Round Table forum to discuss provincial budget concerns with a wide cross-section of Albertans. In 2009 and 2010, Mason hosted two provincial tours, each visiting several Alberta communities.

The first tour took place in September 2009, with the public forums focusing on health care concerns, and resulted in the publication of the What People Want report. This report included more than 35 recommendations for health care reforms that would protect public services and improve the general health of Albertans.

The second tour took place in May 2010, where the NDP again held public consultations. This time they invited Albertans to discuss concerns over the future of Alberta's energy economy and environment, as well as the erosion of public health services including long-term care.

Edmonton Highlands-Norwood riding results, 2004 to present[edit]

2004 general election[edit]

2004 Alberta general election results[5]

Edmonton Highlands-Norwood

Turnout 42.74% Swing
Affiliation Candidate Votes % Party Personal
     NDP Brian Mason 6,054 62.62% *
     Progressive Conservative Terry Martinuk 2,208 22.84% *
     Liberal Jason Manzevich 1,035 10.71% *
     Alberta Alliance Ray Loyer 305 3.15% *
     Independent Dale Ferris 66 0.68% *
Total 9,668 100%
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined 91
20,681 Eligible Electors
     NDP pickup new district Swing N/A

2008 general election[edit]

2008 Alberta general election results[6]

Edmonton Highlands-Norwood

Turnout 32.54% Swing
Affiliation Candidate Votes % Party Personal
     NDP Brian Mason 4,754 50.95% -11.67%
     Progressive Conservative Andrew Beniuk 2,978 31.92% 9.08% *
     Liberal Brad Smith 1,132 12.13% 1.42% *
     Wildrose Alliance Travis Loewen 245 2.63% -0.52 *
Green Mohamad Maie 221 2.37% *
Total 9,330 100%
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined 39
28,795 Eligible Electors
     NDP hold Swing -10.38%


  1. ^ "About Brian Mason". Alberta's NDP. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Rachel Notley sworn in as Alberta premier, reveals cabinet," CBC News May 24, 2015.
  3. ^ Brian Mason to step down as Alberta NDP leader
  4. ^ a b c d "Brian Mason resigns as leader of Alberta NDP". CBC News. April 28, 2014. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood Statement of Official Results 2004 Alberta general election" (PDF). Elections Alberta. Retrieved March 3, 2010. 
  6. ^ The Report on the March 3, 2008 Provincial General Election of the Twenty-seventh Legislative Assembly. Elections Alberta. July 28, 2008. pp. 302–305. 

External links[edit]