Pearl Calahasen

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Pearl Calahasen
20130902-Pearl Calahasen.jpg
MLA for Lesser Slave Lake
Incumbent
Assumed office
March 20, 1989
Preceded by Larry Shaben
Alberta Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
In office
March 15, 2001 – December 15, 2006
Preceded by New portfolio
Succeeded by Guy Boutilier
Alberta Associate Minister of Aboriginal Affairs
In office
May 26, 1999 – March 15, 2001
Succeeded by Position abolished
Alberta Minister without Portfolio in charge of Children's Services
In office
May 31, 1996 – May 26, 1999
Succeeded by Iris Evans
Personal details
Born (1952-12-05) December 5, 1952 (age 62)
Grouard, Alberta
Political party Progressive Conservative
Alma mater University of Alberta
University of Oregon

Pearl Calahasen (born December 5, 1952) is a Canadian politician, who currently represents the electoral district of Lesser Slave Lake in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. A member of the Progressive Conservative party and former cabinet minister (holding the positions of Minister without Portfolio in charge of Children's Services, Associate Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development). Calahasen was the first Métis woman elected to public office in Alberta.

Early life[edit]

Calahasen was born in 1952[1] and raised in Grouard, Alberta.[2] She attended the University of Alberta, from which she received a Bachelor of Education, and the University of Oregon, from which she received a Master's degree.[2]

Political career[edit]

Electoral record[edit]

Calahasen first sought election in the 1989 Alberta election, when she ran as the Progressive Conservative candidates in the riding of Lesser Slave Lake.[3] She won a plurality of votes, capturing 47.6% and defeating her nearest rival, Liberal Denise Wahlstrom, by nearly one thousand votes.[3] This was the closest election of her political career to date; in subsequent elections, she won shares of the votes ranging from 55.5% (in the 1993 election) to 74.2% (in the 2001 election).[3]

At the time of her election in 1989, Calahasen was the first Métis woman elected to public office in Alberta.[4]

Cabinet roles[edit]

Calahasen served as a backbencher in Ralph Klein's government until 1996, when Klein appointed her Minister without Portfolio responsible for Children's Services.[5] She served in this capacity until 1999, when she was shuffled to the position of Associate Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.[6] In 2001 she was promoted to full minister, of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.[7] Calahasen initially supported Lyle Oberg in the 2006 P.C. leadership election,[8] but switched her endorsement to Ed Stelmach after Oberg dropped off the ballot;[9] despite this support, she was not included in Stelmach's cabinet once he became premier in 2006.[10]

Legislative initiatives[edit]

Calahasen has sponsored a number of bills over her career in the legislature.

As a backbencher[edit]

Despite not being a member of cabinet, in 1990, Calahasen sponsored the Metis Settlements Act, a government bill which incorporated Métis settlements as a new class of municipality.[11] It passed with the support of the opposition, although New Democrat Bob Hawkesworth expressed concern that the settlements were not given sufficient autonomy from government.[12] The same year, she sponsored the Nechi Community College Act, a private bill that would have established the Nechi Community College but did not reach second reading.[13][14]

In 1995, Calahasen sponsored the Colin Chor Wee Chew Legal Articles Act, another private bill which didn't progress to second reading.[15] She also sponsored the Public Health Amendment Act, designed to allow nurse practitioners to fulfill some of the functions of doctors in communities in which doctors were in short supply.[16] The bill passed with the support of the opposition Liberals, but some members, including Terry Kirkland, Colleen Soetaert, Percy Wickman, Gary Dickson, Lance White, and Howard Sapers, argued that the bill left out too many details and left the details in the realm of legislation, inappropriately empowering bureaucrats at the expense of the legislature.[16][17]

As a minister[edit]

As Associate Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Calahasen sponsored the First Nations Sacred Ceremonial Objects Repatriation Act, a 2000 government bill that allowed for the repatriation of first nations artifacts.[18] It passed with full opposition support.[19]

Election results[edit]

2008 Alberta general election results (Lesser Slave Lake) Turnout 26.7%
Affiliation Candidate Votes %
     Progressive Conservative Pearl Calahasen 3,390 65.2%
     Liberal Steve Noskey 1,114 21.4%
     NDP Habby Sharkawi 423 8.1%
Greens Bonnie Raho 269 5.2%
2004 Alberta general election results (Lesser Slave Lake) Turnout 31.4%
Affiliation Candidate Votes %
     Progressive Conservative Pearl Calahasen 3,903 64.9%
     Alberta Alliance Valerie Rahn 969 16.1%
     Liberal Jonathan Plackaitis 530 8.8%
     NDP Doris Bannister 354 5.9%
Greens Ian Hopfe 254 4.2%
2001 Alberta general election results (Lesser Slave Lake) Turnout 45.5%
Affiliation Candidate Votes %
     Progressive Conservative Pearl Calahasen 4,766 74.2%
     Liberal Rick Noel 1,429 22.2%
     NDP Doris Bannister 232 3.6%
1997 Alberta general election results (Lesser Slave Lake) Turnout 41.8%
Affiliation Candidate Votes %
     Progressive Conservative Pearl Calahasen 3,389 60.6%
     Liberal Ralph Chalifoux 1,139 20.4%
     Social Credit Robert Alford 624 11.2%
     NDP Glenn Laboucan 442 7.9%
1993 Alberta general election results (Lesser Slave Lake) Turnout 60.5%
Affiliation Candidate Votes %
     Progressive Conservative Pearl Calahasen 4,260 55.5%
     Liberal Denise Wahlstrom 3,093 40.3%
     NDP Larry Sakaluk 326 4.2%
1989 Alberta general election results (Lesser Slave Lake) Turnout 56.6%
Affiliation Candidate Votes %
     Progressive Conservative Pearl Calahasen 3,249 47.6%
     Liberal Denise Wahlstrom 2,286 33.5%
     NDP Philip Lukken 1,294 18.9%

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alberta Teachers' Association (October 1989). A Guide to Alberta's 22nd Legislature. 
  2. ^ a b Pearl Calahasen's Legislative Assembly of Alberta biography at the Wayback Machine (archived October 5, 2006)
  3. ^ a b c "Alberta's past election results". Retrieved 2008-03-06. 
  4. ^ "National Aboriginal Achievement Awards biography of Pearl Calahasen". Archived from the original on 2007-12-06. Retrieved 2008-04-15. 
  5. ^ "Alberta Teacher's Association account of the 1996 cabinet shuffle". Retrieved 2008-04-14. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Alberta Teachers' Association account of the 1999 cabinet shuffle". Retrieved 2008-04-14. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Legislative Reports (Alberta)". Canadian Parliamentary Review 24 (2). Summer 2001. Retrieved 2008-04-15. 
  8. ^ "News and Comment, Turtle Island Native Network". Retrieved 2008-04-15. 
  9. ^ "Artists for Dinning, MLA Pham for Morton". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. November 29, 2006. Retrieved 2008-04-15. 
  10. ^ "Stelmach names smaller cabinet". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. December 15, 2006. Retrieved 2008-04-15. 
  11. ^ https://www.assembly.ab.ca/ISYS/LADDAR_files%5Cdocs%5Chansards%5Chan%5Clegislature_22%5Csession_2%5C19900605_2000_01_han.pdf |chapter-url= missing title (help). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Legislative Assembly of Alberta. June 5, 1990. 
  12. ^ https://www.assembly.ab.ca/ISYS/LADDAR_files%5Cdocs%5Chansards%5Chan%5Clegislature_22%5Csession_2%5C19900626_2000_01_han.pdf |chapter-url= missing title (help). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Legislative Assembly of Alberta. June 26, 1990. 
  13. ^ https://www.assembly.ab.ca/ISYS/LADDAR_files%5Cdocs%5Chansards%5Chan%5Clegislature_22%5Csession_2%5C19900424_1430_01_han.pdf |chapter-url= missing title (help). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Legislative Assembly of Alberta. April 24, 1990. 
  14. ^ "Bill Status Report for the 22nd Legislature - 2nd Session (1990)". Retrieved 2008-04-15. 
  15. ^ "Bill Status Report for the 23rd Legislature - 3rd Session (1995)". Retrieved 2008-04-15. 
  16. ^ a b https://www.assembly.ab.ca/ISYS/LADDAR_files%5Cdocs%5Chansards%5Chan%5Clegislature_23%5Csession_3%5C19950411_2000_01_han.pdf |chapter-url= missing title (help). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Legislative Assembly of Alberta. April 11, 1995. 
  17. ^ https://www.assembly.ab.ca/ISYS/LADDAR_files%5Cdocs%5Chansards%5Chan%5Clegislature_23%5Csession_3%5C19950426_2000_01_han.pdf |chapter-url= missing title (help). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Legislative Assembly of Alberta. April 26, 1995. 
  18. ^ https://www.assembly.ab.ca/ISYS/LADDAR_files%5Cdocs%5Chansards%5Chan%5Clegislature_24%5Csession_4%5C20000306_1330_01_han.pdf |chapter-url= missing title (help). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Legislative Assembly of Alberta. March 6, 2000. 
  19. ^ https://www.assembly.ab.ca/ISYS/LADDAR_files%5Cdocs%5Chansards%5Chan%5Clegislature_24%5Csession_4%5C20000418_2000_01_han.pdf |chapter-url= missing title (help). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Legislative Assembly of Alberta. April 18, 2000. 

External links[edit]

Alberta Provincial Government of Ralph Klein
Cabinet Posts (3)
Predecessor Office Successor
' Minister without portfolio responsible for Children's Services
1996–1999
Iris Evans was given the title "Minister of Children's Services" rather than being considered a minister without portfolio.
Iris Evans
' Associate Minister of Aboriginal Affairs
1999–2001
Position abolished
New portfolio Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
2001–2006
Guy Boutilier