Christine Cusanelli

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Christine Cusanelli
Member of the Alberta Legislative Assembly
for Calgary-Currie
In office
April 23, 2012 – May 5, 2015
Preceded by Dave Taylor
Succeeded by Brian Malkinson
Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation
In office
May 8, 2012 – February 4, 2013
Preceded by Jack Hayden
Succeeded by Richard Starke
Personal details
Born (1972-07-15) July 15, 1972 (age 43)
Political party Progressive Conservative
Alma mater University of Alberta
Profession Educator

Christine Cusanelli, MLA, (born July 15, 1972) was a Canadian politician who represented the electoral district of Calgary-Currie in the Alberta Legislature. Cusanelli was elected to her first term as MLA for Calgary-Currie on April 23, 2012. Cusanelli was the minister for Tourism, Parks, and Recreation from May 8, 2012,[1] until February 4, 2013. On May 5, 2015 she was voted out of office in Alberta's general election, losing her seat to Brian Malkinson of Alberta New Democratic Party in a landslide victory that saw the NDP end the PC Party of Alberta's 44 year political dynasty.

Education and work[edit]

Cusanelli has a Bachelor of Education degree from Faculté Saint-Jean at the University of Alberta, and a master's degree in psychology from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. She started her career as a teacher with the Calgary Catholic School District where she taught elementary and junior-high students in French immersion and other educational settings. Most recently Cusanelli led St. Michael's School (K-9) in implementing two International Baccalaureate programs. She has been a keen supporter and advocate for students with special needs and learning challenges.[citation needed]

She became a principal at age 32. In this role she began an outreach program that included visiting seniors' homes, working with Inn from The Cold] and opening the school up to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Calgary.

Expense controversy[edit]

In 2012, while in Alison Redford's cabinet, Cusanelli was asked to repay 31 items adding up to $10,600 in expenses, including $4,000 in airfare expenses incurred after she flew her daughter and mother to the Olympics. In response to media questions, Cusanelli said the problem was a misunderstanding on what can be charged and how and those questions have now been cleared up.[2] She said she didn't fully understand the expense process and she should have looked at the process better and for that she apologizes to Albertans. Cusanelli added that people often bring their family members on government business trips and in this case since her daughter happened to have her birthday at the same time she was traveling she chose to take her on the trip.[3] The released documents show that Cusanelli wrote a cheque to repay the province about 10 days after she returned from the trip.[4]

Cusanelli also oversaw $113,000 in non-refundable payments for London Olympics hotel rooms that were never used.[5]


Her personal interests include running, cycling, swimming and golfing.[6]

She is a member of Chickwagon, a Calgary women’s group that raises money and awareness for women in need.[7]

Election results[edit]

Alberta general election, 2015
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
New Democratic Brian Malkinson 7,317
Progressive Conservative Christine Cusanelli 4,493
Wildrose Terry DeVries 3,748
Liberal Shelley Wark-Martyn 1,430
Alberta Party Tony Norman 1,126
Green Nelson Berlin 403
Total valid votes
Alberta general election, 2012: Calgary-Currie
Party Candidate Votes %
Progressive Conservative Christine Cusanelli 6,814 44.63%
Wildrose Corrie Adolph 4,305 28.20%
Liberal Norval Horner 2,508 16.43%
New Democratic Robert Scobel 826 5.41%
Alberta Party Norm Kelly 556 3.64%
Evergreen Dean Halstead 259 1.70%


External links[edit]