Raj Pannu

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Raj Pannu
Raj Pannu.jpg
Raj Pannu speaking at a rally at the Alberta Legislature, on June 11, 2007.
MLA for Edmonton-Strathcona
In office
March 11, 1997 – March 3, 2008
Preceded byAl Zariwny
Succeeded byRachel Notley
Leader of the Alberta New Democrats
In office
Preceded byPam Barrett
Succeeded byBrian Mason
Personal details
Rajinder Singh Pannu[1]

(1934-01-12) January 12, 1934 (age 86)
Punjab, India
Political partyNew Democratic Party
ResidenceEdmonton, Alberta, Canada
OccupationUniversity Professor, Teacher

Rajinder Singh "Raj" Pannu (born January 12, 1934) is a Canadian educator and politician, who led the Alberta New Democratic Party from 2000 to 2004.[2]

Pannu was born in Punjab, India completing an undergraduate degree before immigrating to Canada in 1962. He settled in Whitecourt, Alberta, where he worked as a high school teacher until 1964.[3]

In 1964 he moved to Edmonton to work on a graduate program, completing a Ph.D. in sociology in 1973. He taught at York University for one year (1968–69) before returning to the University of Alberta, where he taught for 27 years until his retirement in 1996.[2] He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta.

He entered provincial politics in 1997 when he was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta representing the riding of Edmonton-Strathcona. Pannu became leader in February 2000 after the previous leader, Pam Barrett, retired from politics.[2]

Pannu ran a high-profile campaign in the 2001 Alberta election. T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan "Raj Against the Machine",[4] as well as a reputation as a "likeable and honest politician" contributed to his popularity and made him a leader well respected by supporters and non-supporters alike.

He announced on July 13, 2004 that he was resigning as party leader. Fellow MLA Brian Mason, the deputy leader, became interim leader. Mason was formally elected leader in a leadership convention held on September 18. However, he sought re-election as an MLA in the 26th Alberta general election, and was re-elected by a wide margin.

On June 14, 2006, he announced his retirement from Alberta politics at the dissolution of the legislature, which took place in February 2008.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b c Angela, Brunschot (Feb 28, 2008). "Raj leaves the machine". Fast Forward Weekly. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Raj Pannu fonds". Archives Canada. Retrieved 2012-09-23.
  4. ^ "On the trail: Notley Crue T-shirt lights up social media". Edmonton Journal. Apr 20, 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015.

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