Link Byfield

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Link Byfield
Personal details
Born Eric Linkord Byfield
(1951-12-05)December 5, 1951
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Died January 24, 2015(2015-01-24) (aged 63)
St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Political party Wildrose (2008–2015)
Other political
Wildrose Party of Alberta (2007)
Independent (2004–2006)
Spouse(s) Joanne Byfield
Children 4
Profession Publisher
2004 Senator Nominee
Religion Roman Catholic[1]
Awards Alberta Centennial Medal 2005

Eric Linkord "Link" Byfield (December 5, 1951 – January 24, 2015) was a Canadian news columnist, author and politician.[2][3]

Columnist and writer[edit]

Byfield was editor and publisher for the now defunct Alberta Report magazine for eighteen years.[4]

One of six siblings born to Ted, a conservative columnist, and Ginger Byfield, Link became a columnist for the Calgary Sun[5] and occasionally was published in the Calgary Herald, National Post,[6]Globe and Mail[7] and Winnipeg Free Press.[8]


Byfield founded the Citizens Centre for Freedom and Democracy, a lobby group dedicated to "advocating responsible government."[9]

Senator in waiting[edit]

Byfield was the first to declare his candidacy for the 2004 Senator in waiting election on September 27, 2004.[10] He decided to remain Independent of the other parties, and was one of two Independent Senator-in-waiting candidates—the other being Tom Sindlinger. He was elected to the 4th and final spot in the block vote with 236,382 votes. He is the first independent senator in waiting, and the first independent elected in an Alberta election since Raymond Speaker and Walt Buck in 1982. In 2005, Byfield received the Alberta Centennial Medal.[11]

Provincial politics[edit]

Byfield helped found the Wildrose Party of Alberta in 2007, which merged with the Alberta Alliance Party on January 19, 2008, shortly before a provincial general election was called. He unsuccessfully contested the riding of Whitecourt-Ste. Anne for the post-merger Wildrose Alliance in that 2008 election.[12]

The party dropped "Alliance" from its name for media purposes prior to the 2012 general election and Byfield ran as the Wildrose Party candidate for Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock in that April election.[13][14] He lost by a narrow margin, falling short of the Progressive Conservative candidate by less than 5% of the vote.[15]


On January 24, 2015, Byfield died of liver and esophageal cancer, aged 63, in the Sturgeon Community Hospital in St. Albert, Alberta, just north of Edmonton. He was survived by his father, his wife Joanne, four children and four siblings.[16] A tribute held in Byfield’s honour at Calgary's Manning Centre for Building Democracy in September feted him as a key figure in western conservatism.[17]


  1. ^ Profile,, January 26, 2015.
  2. ^ Profile,; accessed January 26, 2015.
  3. ^ Profile,; accessed January 28, 2015.
  4. ^ Profile,; accessed January 26, 2015.
  5. ^ Link Byfield's Calgary Sun columns,; accessed January 26, 2015.
  6. ^ Link Byfield on The West: Don’t tell us what to do, National Post, April 6, 2009
  7. ^ Column, Globe and Mail, September 30, 2000
  8. ^ A View from the West: A provincially elected Senate: Upper house can link Ottawa with the provinces, Winnipeg Free Press , February 24, 2009.
  9. ^ Citizens Centre for Freedom and Democracy homepage,; accessed January 26, 2015.
  10. ^ Link Byfield declares Senate candidacy,; accessed January 26, 2014.
  11. ^ Alberta Centennial Medal Recipients (A-G),; accessed January 26, 2015.
  12. ^ Former journalist running for Wildrose Alliance, Whitecourt Star, February 13, 2008
  13. ^ Stephen Dafoe. "Byfield acclaimed as Wildrose Alliance Candidate",, October 11, 2010.
  14. ^ Braid: Feud between Link Byfield, Ken Kowalski fuels Alberta voting fever, Calgary Herald, September 16, 2010.
  15. ^ "Kubinec keeps Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock riding for PCs" St Albert Gazette, April 23, 2012.
  16. ^ "Link Byfield, journalist and Wildrose Party co-founder dead at age 63". Edmonton Journal. January 25, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Link Byfield, columnist, politician and publisher, dead at 63". CBC. January 25, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2015.