|Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Athabasca-Redwater|
Athabasca-Lac La Biche (1989-1993)
March 20, 1989 – March 3, 2008
|Preceded by||Leo Piquette|
|Succeeded by||Jeff Johnson|
Melvin Percy Joseph Cardinal
July 17, 1941
|Political party||Progressive Conservative|
Melvin Percy Joseph "Mike" Cardinal is a politician from Alberta, Canada and a former member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, having served in that capacity from 1989 until 2008. He sat as a Progressive Conservative and represented the districts of Athabasca-Lac La Biche, Athabasca-Wabasca, and Athabasca-Redwater. He also held five cabinet posts in the government of Ralph Klein.
Mike Cardinal was born into a family of 13 in 1941 in northern Alberta, the son of a trapper and a homemaker. He dropped out of school in grade 8 to work, but eventually returned to school and graduated from grade 12. He spent ten years in the forestry and sawmill industries before entering the public sector. He worked as a mortgage officer with the Alberta Housing Corporation before transferring to the Alberta Human Resources Development Authority. There he developed a native housing/relocation program before moving to the department of Advanced Education and Manpower, where he served as regional supervisor of Employment/Counselling Services for ten years. He served a further three years as a regional manager of Employment and Relocation Counselling Services, and three more as a senior consultant to the Assistant Deputy Minister of Advanced Education and Manpower.
Cardinal first sought provincial office in the 1989 election, when ran as a Progressive Conservative against incumbent New Democrat Leo Piquette in the riding of Athabasca-Lac La Biche. He defeated Piquette by more than 900 votes. When electoral boundaries were re-drawn in advance of the 1993 election, Cardinal ran in the new riding of Athabasca-Wabasca. He was elected here not only in 1993, but also in 1997 and 2001, taking well over fifty percent of the vote each time. In 2004 this riding too was abolished, and Cardinal served his last term as the member for Athabasca-Redwater, which he won handily in the 2004 election. He did not seek re-election at the conclusion of this term.
Cardinal served as a backbencher from the time of his election until Ralph Klein became premier in December 1992. During this time, he sponsored the Metis Settlements Land Protection Act of 1990, a government bill designed to give Metis settlements ownership over the land. It passed without significant controversy, though Liberal Nicholas Taylor questioned a portion of the bill that stipulated that the land, as it was communally owned, could not be mortgaged.
Minister of Family and Social Services
Upon Ralph Klein's ascendancy to the Premiership in December 1992, Cardinal was brought into cabinet as the Minister of Family and Social Services. He was the first treaty Indian to be named to Alberta's cabinet, and, in addition to his portfolio, was given cabinet responsibility for aboriginal issues.
|2004 Alberta general election results (Athabasca-Redwater)||Turnout 49.9%|
|Progressive Conservative||Mike Cardinal||5,707||47.7%|
|Alberta Alliance||Sean Whelan||1,184||9.9%|
|Green||Luke de Smet||252||2.1%|
|Social Credit||Leonard Fish||177||1.5%|
|2001 Alberta general election results (Athabasca-Wabasca)||Turnout 50.4%|
|Progressive Conservative||Mike Cardinal||4,238||66.7%|
|Social Credit||David Klassen||153||2.4%|
|1997 Alberta general election results (Athabasca-Wabasca)||Turnout 47.7%|
|Progressive Conservative||Mike Cardinal||3,380||59.0%|
|Social Credit||Curtis Gunderson||468||8.2%|
|1993 Alberta general election results (Athabasca-Wabasca)||Turnout 62.2%|
|Progressive Conservative||Mike Cardinal||4,144||60.0%|
|1989 Alberta general election results (Athabasca-Lac La Biche)||Turnout 67.5%|
|Progressive Conservative||Mike Cardinal||4,237||45.2%|
|chapter-url=missing title (help) (PDF). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Legislative Assembly of Alberta. June 5, 1990.
- Quaid, Maeve (2002). Workfare: Why Good Social Policy Ideas Go Bad. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. p. 148. ISBN 978-0-8020-8101-8.
- Fraser, Fil (March 27, 1993). "Cardinal ready to settle Lubicon claim". Edmonton Journal.
|Alberta Provincial Government of Ralph Klein|
|Cabinet posts (5)|
|Clint Dunford||Minister of Human Resources and Employment
|Iris Evans (as Minister of Employment, Immigration and Industry)|
|New portfolio||Minister of Sustainable Resource Development
|Steve West||Minister of Resource Development
|Murray Smith (as Minister of Energy)|
|New portfolio||Associate Minister of Forestry
|John Oldring||Minister of Family and Social Services