|Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Edmonton-Highlands|
|Preceded by||David Thomas King|
|Succeeded by||Brian Mason|
|Leader of the Alberta New Democrats|
|Preceded by||Ross Harvey|
|Succeeded by||Raj Pannu|
November 26, 1953|
January 21, 2008 (aged 54)|
|Political party||Alberta New Democratic Party|
Early political career
Barrett ran in the 1986 Alberta general election and was elected in the riding of Edmonton-Highlands. She defeated incumbent David Thomas King, the Minister of Technology, Research, and Telecommunications, in what many regarded as a substantial upset.
She served as the New Democrats' Deputy House Leader from 1986 to 1993. She retired from the legislature in 1993 owing to poor health resulting from job stress.
Leader of Alberta New Democrats
Barrett came back to politics when she contested and won the Alberta NDP leadership in 1996 following the resignation of Ross Harvey. In the 1997 Alberta general election she ran and won in the re-drawn district of Edmonton Highlands.
Under Barrett in the 1997 election, the New Democrats won two seats after having been shut out in the 1993 election. Her aggressive leadership style inspired observers to nickname her "Mighty Mouse."
Near death experience
Barrett resigned the NDP leadership and her seat in 2000 after having what she claimed to be a near-death experience in a dentist's chair. After her retirement from politics she went on a "spiritual search". Her near death-experience was a subject of both serious and satiric attention in the Canadian media. She was parodied on the CBC Television show The Royal Canadian Air Farce and featured on the front cover of the May 2000 issue of lifestyle magazine Elm Street.
Barrett died on January 21, 2008, aged 54, at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton, from oesophageal cancer, after battling the disease for at least two years.
- FFWD Weekley September 3, 1998
- Pam Barrett's near death experience at the Wayback Machine (archived January 14, 2008) (WebCite archive)
- History of the Alberta New Democratic Party, Maple Leaf Web
- Obituary[permanent dead link]
|Legislative Assembly of Alberta|
David Thomas King
| MLA for Edmonton Highlands