|Thomas Lukaszuk in 2012|
|Deputy Premier of Alberta|
May 8, 2012
|Preceded by||Doug Horner|
|MLA for Edmonton-Castle Downs|
March 12, 2001
|Preceded by||Pamela Paul|
April 5, 1969 |
|Political party||Progressive Conservative|
|Alma mater||University of Alberta|
Thomas Adam Lukaszuk (born April 5, 1969) is a Canadian politician and the Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. He represents the constituency of Edmonton-Castle Downs as a Progressive Conservative. He is Minister of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour.
Lukaszuk was raised in north Edmonton and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Alberta and became a teacher with the Edmonton Catholic School District before starting up Injured Workers Advocates Inc. (IWA), a firm designed to assist injured workers with work-related injury claims. He was also active in policymaking, serving on the Social Care Facilities Review Committee; the Citizens Appeal Panel (chair), which led to government policy changes to social benefits; and the Alberta Lotteries Review Committee. He conducted a review of Alberta daycares, foster homes, group homes and homeless shelters for the Minister of Children's Services.
Edmonton-Castle Downs MLA Pamela Paul's retirement opened the door for Lukaszuk to win the constituency. Garnering 5,971 votes in the 2001 provincial election, he was able to increase the Progressive Conservative vote share to 51 per cent, up from the 40 per cent Ihor Broda polled in losing to Paul in 1997. Upon his election, he became the first ever Polish-born person to be elected to a Canadian legislature.
In his first term in office, Lukaszuk sponsored Bill 204, a private members bill known as the Blood Samples Act, which passed third reading on March 31, 2004 and was passed into law on May 11, 2004. The act granted authority to Good Samaritans, front-line emergency workers, police officers, fire fighters, correctional officers, and health service providers to seek an order from the justice system to take a blood sample from a person who has refused to give their consent. The act intended to protect individuals who believe they had come into contact with the body fluid of a person who is infected with a virus that causes a prescribed communicable disease.
In the 2004 provincial election, Lukaszuk was originally declared defeated by the Liberals' Chris Kibermanis, a former draft pick of the NHL's Winnipeg Jets. Election night results showed Kibermanis winning by a five-vote margin over Lukaszuk. An automatic judicial recount confirmed Kibermanis's win by three votes rather than five, and Kibermanis was declared the winner by the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. However, the Progressive Conservative Party appealed the recount to the Alberta Court of Appeals, which disputed a number of previously rejected ballots, giving Lukaszuk a three-vote margin of victory. The ordeal earned Lukaszuk the moniker "Landslide Lukaszuk," which has been ascribed to him in the local media. Kibermanis again challenged Lukaszuk in the 2008 provincial election, but was defeated by 2,080 votes.
In his time as an MLA, Lukaszuk has served on a total of 21 legislative committees, chairing six of them. After being elected to his third term in 2008, Premier Ed Stelmach named him parliamentary assistant to Municipal Affairs Minister Ray Danyluk. On January 13, 2010, Lukaszuk was appointed as Minister of Employment and Immigration and on February 4, 2013 was appointed as Minister of Enterprise and Advanced Education by Premier Alison Redford. She appointed him Deputy Premier on May 8, 2012. In a cabinet shuffle on Dec. 6 2013, he was replaced as Deputy Premier by Dave Hancock, Minister of Innovation and Advanced Education, and given responsibility for a new ministry that of Jobs, Skills and Training.
In spring 2013 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 the newly appointed Deputy Premier and Minister of Enterprise and Advanced Education, presided over these controversial cuts and layoffs at Alberta's colleges and universities. Post-secondary institutions were given a letter of expectation. The document was released publicly by University of Alberta. The ongoing controversy surrounding the branding of "Campus Alberta" in this letter has been closely covered by media outlets. Lukaszuk has also made it clear that post-secondary institutions should not make up shortfalls with tuition increases  or otherwise additional fees. However, actual students costs have been impacted. At University of Alberta alone, $500,000 in scholarships to attract top students were cut to make up this loss. Graduate funding has also been reduced and in many cases removed. Administrator salaries were not cut due to a collective bargaining agreement. Lukaszuk confirmed that the government would send in a special team of independent financial consultants to review university books and to find faster budget cuts. These consultants never showed up.
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 eight 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 money 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.
Lukaszuk enjoys travelling, reading and participating in child-based activities. He coached soccer through the Edmonton Northwood Community League, has been a Scout leader and is a strong supporter of the Hope Foundation. He is a past president of the Youth Friendship Society and a Knight of Columbus. He has been decorated with the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal for his community service and the Alberta Centennial Medal for his contributions to the province.
Lukaszuk is married to CTV Morning Live anchor Stacey Brotzel. They have one child.
|2008 Alberta general election results ( Edmonton-Castle Downs )||Turnout 40.3%|
|Progressive Conservative||Thomas Lukaszuk||7,159||51.6%|
|2004 Alberta general election results ( Edmonton-Castle Downs )||Turnout 41.3%|
|Progressive Conservative||Thomas Lukaszuk||5,022||41.8%|
|Alberta Alliance||Colin Presizniuk||586||4.9%|
|Social Credit||Ross Korpi||78||0.6%|
|2001 Alberta general election results ( Edmonton-Castle Downs )||Turnout 46.9%|
|Progressive Conservative||Thomas Lukaszuk||5,971||51.1%|
- "Lukaszuk's Legislative Assembly of Alberta biography".
- O'Brien, Chris. "Castle Downs MLA demonstrates mythical spirit". Retrieved 2008-11-11.[dead link]
- "Bill Status Report for the 25th Legislature - 4th Session (2004)".
- Markusoff, Jason (2008-02-05). "Edmonton provincial election ridings". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
- Thompson, Graham (2008-02-09). "Local Tory MLAs say there are no shoo-ins". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
- Gerson, Jen (2012-07-17). "Facebook joke about mudslide-hit resort lands Alberta's deputy premier in hot water". National Post. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
- Metcalfe, Bill (2012-06-27). "What happened in Johnsons Landing?". Retrieved 2013-03-18.
- "Thomas Lukaszuk". Twitter. 17 July 2012. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
- Broadcaster Brotzel delivers in time for 11 o'clock news
|Order of precedence|
Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to Canada
|Order of precedence in Alberta
as of 2013[update]