Janice Sarich

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Janice Sarich
Janice Sarich Near Window.jpg
Sarich in 2018
MLA for Edmonton-Decore
In office
Preceded byBill Bonko
Succeeded byChris Nielsen
Personal details
Born(1958-04-26)April 26, 1958
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
DiedFebruary 26, 2021(2021-02-26) (aged 62)
Political partyProgressive Conservative
SpouseSteve Sarich[1]
Residence(s)Edmonton, Alberta
Alma materUniversity of Alberta
OccupationExecutive Business Strategist and small business owner

Janice Sarich (April 26, 1958 – February 26, 2021) was a Canadian provincial-level politician. She served as member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta (MLA) from 2008 until 2015, representing the electoral constituency of Edmonton-Decore and sitting as a Progressive Conservative.

Early life and career[edit]

Sarich was born in Edmonton in 1958.[2][3] She was a fourth-generation Ukrainian Canadian.[3] She obtained a Master of Education (Educational Administration) degree and a Bachelor of Physical Education (Administration) both from the University of Alberta. She held Project Management and Project Leadership certificates from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), and from the Institute of Corporate Directors she held certificates in the ICD-Rotman (NFP) Governance Essentials Program and the ICD-Rotman Boardroom Financial Essentials. Prior to entering public life, Sarich was a small business owner and President of a business consulting company for over 20 years providing expertise in the areas of strategic planning, policy, and governance in the private and public sectors.

Political career[edit]

Sarich's first bid into electoral politics was in 2001, when she ran for a seat in Ward 2 on the Edmonton Catholic School District's board of trustees.[4] She defeated Ward 2 incumbent trustee Ronald Zapisocki by 602 votes to win the seat. During her first term, Sarich earned a reputation as a tight fiscal conservative, at times calling on the board to have its budget audited after reporting a 10 million dollar deficit.[5][6] In her bid for re-election in 2004, Sarich polled the most votes out of all 14 candidates in the Catholic district race and outpolled her Ward 2 opponent Jim Urlacher by a margin of almost 2 to 1. She did not seek re-election in 2007, allowing her to run for a seat in the Alberta Legislature.

In the 2008 provincial election, Sarich received 46% of the vote and defeated Liberal incumbent Bill Bonko by 723 votes to win the constituency of Edmonton-Decore. Following the election, Sarich was appointed to Cabinet by Premier Ed Stelmach to the position of Parliamentary Assistant to the Education Minister, Dave Hancock and served in this role until 2011. Highlights while serving as Parliamentary Assistant to Minister of Education included mandated to support the Minister in the evaluation of education infrastructure, chair and release the task force report "Building Financial Capacity for School Board Trustees and Superintendents", and to serve on the committee and contribute to the report "Inspiring Education-A Dialogue with Albertans."

In the 2012 Alberta general election Sarich received 42% of the vote firmly defeating the Wildrose, NDP and Liberal opponents.[7] In the 2015 Alberta general election Sarich was defeated by NDP candidate Chris Nielsen, garnering 18% of the vote compared to Nielsen's 68%.[8]

Community involvement[edit]

Sarich's community volunteer contributions included: a business mentor with interVivos, Board of Director and Chair, Speakers' Bureau with the Alberta Association of Former MLAs, and served as an advisory committee member to the Junior League of Edmonton and Catholic Social Services. Sarich served on Public Interest Alberta's Democracy Task Force, which examined potential areas of democratic reform in Alberta, and was one of the contributors to the publication "Democratic Renewal In Alberta Discussion Paper", and the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights Symposium report, "A More Democratic Alberta: How Do We Get There?". While elected as a School Board Trustee, Sarich volunteered with Junior Achievement Northern Alberta & NWT to share her business knowledge and experience with junior high students. For more than ten years she served on numerous boards, committees, and published articles in the corporate health and wellness industry.

Later life[edit]

Sarich endorsed Jason Kenney in the latter's successful run for leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party in 2017.[9] She was subsequently appointed a public member of MacEwan University's Board of Governors in August 2019.[10]

Sarich died on the night of February 26, 2021. She was 62, and had been diagnosed with cancer three weeks before her death.[2][11] A tribute was made by Premier Kenney.[12]

Election results[edit]

2008 general election[edit]

2008 Alberta general election results[13] Turnout 32.96% Swing
Affiliation Candidate Votes % Party Personal
Progressive Conservative Janice Sarich 4,577 45.71% 15.30%
  Liberal Bill Bonko Sr. 3,895 38.89% -5.95%
New Democratic Sidney Sadik 1,301 12.99% -2.43%
Green Trey Capenhurst 241 2.41% *
Total 10,014
Rejected, spoiled, and declined 66
Eligible electors / Turnout 30,584  %
Progressive Conservative gain from Liberal Swing 10.63%

2012 general election[edit]

2012 Alberta general election: Edmonton-Decore
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Janice Sarich 5,722 42.36% -3.34%
Wildrose Alliance Chris Bataluk 2,911 21.55%
New Democratic Ali Haymour 2,721 20.15% 7.15%
Liberal Ed Ammar 2,153 15.94% -22.96%
Total 13,507
Rejected, spoiled and declined 99 62 4
Eligible electors / turnout 28,766 47.31% 12.91%
Progressive Conservative hold Swing 7.00%
Source: "32 - Edmonton-Decore, 2012 Alberta general election". officialresults.elections.ab.ca. Elections Alberta. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
Chief Electoral Officer (2012). The Report of the Chief Electoral Officer on the 2011 Provincial Enumeration and Monday, April 23, 2012 Provincial General Election of the Twenty-eighth Legislative Assembly (PDF) (Report). Edmonton, Alta.: Elections Alberta. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 6, 2021. Retrieved April 7, 2021.

2015 general election[edit]

2015 Alberta general election: Edmonton-Decore
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
New Democratic Chris Nielsen 10,531 67.91% 47.76%
Progressive Conservative Janice Sarich 2,847 18.36% -24.00%
Wildrose Dean Miller 1,289 8.31% -13.24%
Liberal Bradley Whalen 691 4.46% -11.48%
Green Trey Capnerhurst 150 0.97%
Total 15,508
Rejected, spoiled and declined 47 37 21
Eligible electors / turnout 32,518 47.90% 0.59%
New Democratic gain from Progressive Conservative Swing 14.37%
Source: "32 - Edmonton-Decore, 2015 Alberta general election". officialresults.elections.ab.ca. Elections Alberta. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
Chief Electoral Officer (2016). 2015 General Election. A Report of the Chief Electoral Officer (PDF) (Report). Edmonton, Alta.: Elections Alberta.


  1. ^ "Remembering the life of Janice Sarich". edmontonjournal.remembering.ca. Edmonton Journal Obituaries. Retrieved March 3, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ a b "Former Edmonton MLA Janice Sarich dead at 62". CBC News. February 27, 2021. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Sarich Presented with Michael Luchkovich Award". New Pathway Ukrainian News. Ukrainian National Federation of Canada. September 13, 2018. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  4. ^ "Sarich's Legislative Assembly of Alberta biography".
  5. ^ "Ripley pledges deficite won't hurt students". Archived from the original on 2007-08-10. Retrieved 2006-01-30.
  6. ^ "Board asks for debt extension". Archived from the original on 2007-08-10. Retrieved 2006-02-20.
  7. ^ Elections Alberta. "Electoral Division Results: Edmonton-Decore". Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  8. ^ "Alberta Election 2015: NDP's Chris Neilsen wins Edmonton-Decore". Global News. May 5, 2015. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  9. ^ McConnell, Rick (November 23, 2016). "Blast from past: Jason Kenney trumpets endorsement from 50 former MLAs". CBC News. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  10. ^ Bellefontaine, Michelle (August 16, 2019). "UCP sweeps NDP governance appointments out of post-secondary institutions". CBC News. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  11. ^ Junker, Anna (February 28, 2021). "Former Edmonton MLA, Catholic school trustee Janice Sarich dead at 62". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  12. ^ "Jason Kenney - Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2021-02-28.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ The Report on the March 3, 2008 Provincial General Election of the Twenty-seventh Legislative Assembly. Elections Alberta. July 28, 2008. pp. 286–289.