Gene Zwozdesky

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Gene Zwozdesky
Gene Zwozdesky - Jun 2013.JPG
Zwozdesky at a charity function in June 2013
12th Speaker of the Alberta Legislative Assembly
In office
May 23, 2012 – June 11, 2015
Preceded byKen Kowalski
Succeeded byBob Wanner
MLA for Edmonton-Mill Creek
In office
1997–2015
Preceded byNew District
Succeeded byDenise Woollard
MLA for Edmonton-Avonmore
In office
1993–1997
Preceded byMarie Laing
Succeeded byDistrict Abolished
Personal details
Born(1948-07-24)July 24, 1948
Nipawin, Saskatchewan
DiedJanuary 6, 2019(2019-01-06) (aged 70)
Edmonton, Alberta
Political partyProgressive Conservative
Other political
affiliations
Liberal (1993–1998)
Spouse(s)Christine Zwozdesky
Children2
ResidenceEdmonton, Alberta
OccupationTeacher

Eugene Zwozdesky, MLA (July 24, 1948 – January 6, 2019) was a Canadian politician in the province of Alberta. He served in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta from 1993 to 2015, and was the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly from 2012 to 2015.[1]

Early life[edit]

Zwozdesky was born on July 24, 1948 in Nipawin, Saskatchewan to Ukrainian-Canadian parents Alec and Anna Zwozdesky[2][3] and came to Alberta at the age of two. He lived in Grand Centre, Hinton and Sangudo before moving to Edmonton, where he lived since 1963. After attending Victoria Composite High School, he obtained bachelor's degrees in arts and education from the University of Alberta.[4] Before becoming involved in politics, Zwozdesky worked as a teacher, administrator, professional musician, and businessman.

Political career[edit]

Zwozdesky was first elected in the 1993 Alberta general election as the Alberta Liberal Party's candidate, defeating incumbent Marie Laing of the Alberta New Democratic Party. He was re-elected to the new riding of Edmonton-Mill Creek in the 1997 Alberta general election.

In July 1998, he left the Liberal Party caucus and sat as an Independent member after a dispute over fiscal policy. He joined the governing Progressive Conservatives a month later. In the 2001 Alberta general election, he won by a generous margin over the Liberal challenger Bharat Agnihotri.

Zwozdesky was appointed to the cabinet as Minister of Community Development; after being re-elected in the 2004 Alberta general election, he was appointed Minister of Education.

On December 15, 2006, Zwozdesky was replaced in Premier Ed Stelmach's cabinet by Ron Liepert. He again joined the Alberta Cabinet on June 27, 2007 as Associate Minister for Capital Planning. In 2008, he was the Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Deputy Government House Leader. He was also co-chair of the Advisory Council on Alberta-Ukraine Relations, co-chair of the Cabinet Policy Committee on Public Safety and Services, and a member of the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections, Standing Orders and Printing.[5]

Zwozdesky has won numerous awards from cultural and arts organizations, as well as the 2005 Alberta Centennial Medal.[5]

Zwozdesky was re-elected in the 2012 provincial election as an incumbent PC candidate. He was defeated in the 2015 Alberta general election by Alberta NDP candidate Denise Woollard.[6]

Personal life and death[edit]

Zwozdesky joined the Ukrainian Shumka Dancers in 1963, and danced in the troupe for six years before becoming the musical director, composing and conducting Shumka's music for twenty-five years;[7] he also served in the same role for the Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Company. He was involved in various other cultural organizations, was the executive director of the Alberta Cultural Heritage Foundation and the Alberta Ukrainian Canadian Centennial Commission, and has served on various voluntary boards.[5][4] He was married to Christine, with two children.[2]

He died of cancer on January 6, 2019, aged 70.[8][9]

Electoral record[edit]

1993 Alberta general election: Edmonton-Avonmore
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Gene Zwozdesky 6,728 52.67% 24.59%
Progressive Conservative Ken Alyluia 3,433 26.88% -3.33%
New Democratic Marie Laing 2,190 17.15% -24.56%
Social Credit Leslie M. Jackson 285 2.23%
Greens Dennis Clark 97 0.76%
Natural Law Lucia Hoff 40 0.31%
Total 12,773
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined 28
Eligible electors / Turnout 22,055 58.04%
Liberal gain from New Democratic Swing 7.15%
Source(s)
Source: "Edmonton-Avonmore Official Results 1993 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
1997 Alberta general election: Edmonton-Mill Creek
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Gene Zwozdesky 6,757 51.91%
Progressive Conservative Sukhi Randhawa 3,679 28.27%
New Democratic Stephen Crocker 1,804 13.86%
Social Credit Christie Forget 776 5.96%
Total 13,016
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined 18
Eligible electors / Turnout 23,216 56.14%
Liberal pickup new district.
Source(s)
Source: "Edmonton-Mill Creek Official Results 1997 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
"1997 General Election". Elections Alberta. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
2001 Alberta general election: Edmonton-Mill Creek
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Gene Zwozdesky 8,085 55.67% 27.40%
Liberal Bharat Agnihotri 4,229 29.12% -22.80%
New Democratic Edwin Villania 1,893 13.03% -0.83%
Alberta First Kyle Harvey 220 1.51%
Greens Harlan Light 97 0.67%
Total 14,524
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined 41
Eligible electors / Turnout 26,307 55.37% -0.78%
Progressive Conservative gain from Liberal Swing 1.45%
Source(s)
Source: "Edmonton-Mill Creek Official Results 2001 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
2004 Alberta general election: Edmonton-Mill Creek
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Gene Zwozdesky 5,070 42.08% -13.59%
Liberal Aman Gill 4,289 35.60% 6.48%
New Democratic Nathan Taylor 1,709 14.18% 1.15%
Alberta Alliance Robert J. Alford 523 4.34%
Greens Eric Stieglitz 386 3.20% 2.54%
Independent Cameron Johnson 72 0.60%
Total 12,049
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined 50
Eligible electors / Turnout 24,419 49.55% -5.82%
Progressive Conservative hold Swing -10.03%
Source(s)
Source: "Edmonton-Mill Creek Official Results 2004 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
"Edmonton-Mill Creek Statement of Official Results 2004 Alberta general election" (PDF). Elections Alberta. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
2008 Alberta general election: Edmonton-Mill Creek
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Gene Zwozdesky 6,857 50.78% 8.70%
Liberal Aman Gill 4,058 30.05% -5.55%
New Democratic Stephen Anderson 1,822 13.49% -0.69%
Green Glen Argan 726 5.38%
Communist Naomi Rankin 41 0.30%
Total 13,504
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined 90
Eligible electors / Turnout 29,773 45.66% -3.89%
Progressive Conservative hold Swing 7.12%
2012 Alberta general election: Edmonton-Mill Creek
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Gene Zwozdesky 6,623 55.06% 4.28%
Wildrose Adam Corsaut 2,193 18.23%
Liberal Mike Butler 1,640 13.63% -16.42%
New Democratic Evelinne Teichgraber 1,336 11.11% -2.39%
Alberta Party Judy Wilson 194 1.61%
Communist Naomi Rankin 43 0.36% 0.05%
Total 12,029
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined 117
Eligible electors / Turnout 25,250 48.10% 2.44%
Progressive Conservative hold Swing 8.05%
Source(s)
Source: "Elections Alberta 2012 General Election". Elections Alberta. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
"40 - Edmonton-Mill Creek". officialresults.elections.ab.ca. Elections Alberta. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
2015 Alberta general election: Edmonton-Mill Creek
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
New Democratic Denise Woollard 9,025 55.94% 44.83%
Progressive Conservative Gene Zwozdesky 3,848 23.85% -31.21%
Liberal Harpreet Gill 1,896 11.75% -1.88%
Wildrose Saqib Raja 1,365 8.46% -9.77%
Total 16,134
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined 59
Eligible electors / Turnout 32,521 49.79% 1.69%
New Democratic gain from Progressive Conservative Swing -2.37%
Source(s)
Source: "Elections Alberta 2015 General Election". Elections Alberta. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
"40 - Edmonton-Mill Creek". officialresults.elections.ab.ca. Elections Alberta. Retrieved 4 June 2020.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Premier Redford welcomes Gene Zwozdesky as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly". Government of Alberta. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b The Canadian Parliamentary Guide - Gale Canada, Pierre G. Normandin - Google Books. 2008-10-16. ISBN 9781896413433. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  3. ^ "MLA still gets kick from time as Shumka dancer". The Edmonton Journal. March 18, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Nick Lees (2018-07-22). "Nick Lees: No signs of slowing down as Gene Zwozdesky turns 70". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  5. ^ a b c "Legislative Assembly of Alberta". Assembly.ab.ca. 2018-07-01. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  6. ^ "Alberta Election 2015: Former Speaker of the House Gene Zwozdesky loses Edmonton-Mill Creek seat to NDP". Globalnews.ca. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  7. ^ "Dancer turned politician reflects Shumka success | CTV News Edmonton". Edmonton.ctv.ca. 2009-11-22. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  8. ^ https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/calgary-gene-zwozdesky-death-1.4967933
  9. ^ Alex Antoneshyn (2019-01-06). "Edmonton MLA, legislative speaker Gene Zwozdesky dies". CTV Edmonton. Retrieved 2019-01-06.

External links[edit]

Order of precedence
Preceded by
Alison Redford, former premier of Alberta
Order of precedence in Alberta
as of 2014
Succeeded by
Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to Canada