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Sandra Jansen

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Sandra Jansen
MLA
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Calgary-North West
Assumed office
April 23, 2012
Preceded by Lindsay Blackett
Personal details
Born 1963/1964 (age 52–53)
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Political party New Democratic (2016–present)
Other political
affiliations
Progressive Conservative (2011–2016)
Children 1
Residence Calgary
Profession Broadcast journalist

Sandra Jansen (born c. 1963) is a Canadian politician who is an elected member to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta representing the electoral district of Calgary-North West.[1]

Early career[edit]

Her first experience in politics was with the Ron Ghitter campaign for the leadership of the Progressive Conservatives in 1985, alongside Alison Redford.[1] Soon after, Jansen began a 25-year career in television broadcast journalism – first at CHAT-TV in Medicine Hat, then at CICT-DT in Calgary, then in Montreal. Her career apex was in the late 1990s at CTV NewsNet/CTV News Channel in Toronto as one of their anchors. In the mid-2000s Jansen left Toronto to return to Calgary, anchoring the nightly news for Citytv Calgary.[2]

In 2007, Jansen left journalism to obtain a master's degree in professional communications, graduating in 2009.[1] This degree led her back into Alberta provincial politics, when in autumn 2011 Jansen was hired by incoming Premier Alison Redford to be part of Redford's communications team.[1]

Legislative assembly[edit]

Jansen was first elected to the legislative assembly in the 2012 provincial election.[1] She was named an associate minister on July 26, 2013, and sworn in on August 1, 2013[3] in the position of Minister of Family and Community Safety. Jansen addressed many issues, including human trafficking, violence against women and child exploitation.[4] Jansen has also previously served as a member of the Standing Committee on Families and Communities, Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections, and chair of the Calgary caucus.[5]

As the newly elected MLA of Calgary-North West, Jansen spearheaded many initiatives including rallying the importance of a new middle school in the community of Rocky Ridge/Royal Oak to then Education Minister, Jeff Johnson. The prospective school had been dropped from second to seventh place on the priority list of schools produced by the Calgary Board of Education in 2012.[6] After successfully demonstrating the need of constituents in the Calgary North-West community, the provincial government announced on May 1, 2013, that Rocky Ridge/Royal Oak would receive a new middle school, planned to open in fall 2016.[7]

Jansen also played a pivotal role in stopping an urban drilling site, proposed by Kaiser Exploration Ltd, where four oil wells were planned to be drilled within 400 metres of the northwest residential community of Royal Oak.[8] Jansen successfully expressed to legislature that current drilling policies do not take into account high-density areas.[9] After meetings with then Energy Minister, Ken Hughes, Jansen and Hughes discussed the importance of appropriate urban drilling policies for all Albertans, which takes into account air and water quality, pollution, and appropriate emergency evacuation routes.[10] Jansen sponsored the urban drilling review motion, which was later passed in April 2013, to determine whether adequate policy was in place regarding urban community drilling sites.[8] Jansen also successfully identified three possible alternative drilling locations.[8] In October 2013, it was announced that Kaiser Exploration Ltd. would be moving its drilling sites 2.3 kilometres away.[11]

In March 2014, Jansen was widely criticized after an appearance on CTV News Channel's Power Play in which she insulted MLA Len Webber for leaving the PC Party caucus.[12] Jansen said Webber should "go back to being an electrician".[12] Many found it ironic that Jansen had recently been given the associate minister of family and community safety portfolio, a role in which she had focused on combating bullying.[12]

In 2014, it was revealed that on at least one occasion Jansen had travelled with her daughter on the fleet of government private aircraft along with Redford.[13]

Jansen was shuffled out of the provincial cabinet on September 15, 2014.[14]

Jansen left the PC caucus and joined the NDP caucus on November 17, 2016. The news was announced by a joint press release between Jansen and Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley.[15]

Leadership campaign[edit]

After the Progressive Conservative government was defeated in the 2015 provincial election, Jansen declared as a candidate for the leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party. She withdrew her candidacy in a letter to supporters on November 8, 2016, following the party's AGM, saying “I have never before experienced harassment like that which occurred up to and including this past weekend. Insults were scrawled on my nomination forms. Volunteers from another campaign chased me up and down the hall, attacking me for protecting women’s reproductive rights, and my team was jeered for supporting children’s rights to a safe school environment.”[16]

Floorcrossing[edit]

Nine days after dropping out of the Alberta PC Leadership race, Jansen announced she was crossing the floor to sit with Rachel Notley's NDP Government.[17] Her crossing the floor has led to multiple instances of abuse aimed at her.[18] More specifically, Jansen's gender was attacked by those displeased with her crossing the floor.[19][20] In late November 2016, Jansen read out the insults she had received via social media in the Alberta Legisature, leading to the widespread condemning of such sexist insults against Canadian female politicians.[21]

After joining the NDP, Jansen co-sponsored Bill 2 (2017), which would extend the period of time that a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence may choose to bring legal action,[22] and introduced Private Members' Bill 205 (2017), which would create a new disabled persons' advocacy position in Alberta's government.[23][24]

Electoral history[edit]

Alberta general election, 2012: Calgary-North West
Party Candidate Votes %
Progressive Conservative Sandra Jansen 7,683 51.76%
Wildrose Chris Challis 5,454 36.74%
Liberal Robert Prcic 992 6.68%
New Democratic Brian Malkinson 471 3.17%
Evergreen Bryan Hunt 140 0.94%
Alberta Party Troy Millington 103 0.69%
Alberta general election, 2015: Calgary-North West
Party Candidate Votes %
Progressive Conservative Sandra Jansen 6,335 32.8
New Democratic Karen Mills 5,693 29.5
Wildrose Jeff Callaway 5,156 26.7
Alberta Party Chris Blatch 1,177 6.1
Liberal Neil Marion 934 4.8

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Penty, Rebecca. "PCs extend 15-year hold on Calgary North West". Calgary Herald, April 24, 2012.
  2. ^ "About - Sandra Jansen MLA". Retrieved July 7, 2016. 
  3. ^ Hrynyk, Morgan, ed. (November 11, 2013). "Associate Minister Jansen to Act as Honourary Chair of Alberta-based Bullying Prevention Organization". The Society for Safe and Caring Schools & Communities. Retrieved November 17, 2016. 
  4. ^ Moharib, Nadia; Wood, Demian (July 27, 2013). "Calgary MLA Sandra Jansen ready to tackle bullies, child exploitation in new role". Calgary Sun. Postmedia Network Inc. QMI Agency. Retrieved November 17, 2016. 
  5. ^ "MLA Biography". Legislative Assembly of Alberta. June 29, 2015. Retrieved November 17, 2016. 
  6. ^ Platt, Michael (May 2, 2013). "Squeaky wheels the winner as Alberta government announces new Calgary school in Rocky Ridge/Royal Oak". Calgary Sun. Postmedia Network Inc. Retrieved November 17, 2016. 
  7. ^ Capstick, Kim; Smith, Jeannie, eds. (May 1, 2013). "Redford government announces new schools for Calgary". Government of Alberta. Retrieved November 17, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c Varcoe, Chris (May 9, 2013). "Province to complete review on urban oil drilling". Calgary Herald. Postmedia Network Inc. Retrieved November 17, 2016. 
  9. ^ Nolais, Jeremy (June 24, 2012). "Alberta government creating urban drilling policy". Metro Calgary. Free Daily News Group Inc. Retrieved November 17, 2016. 
  10. ^ Vieira, Gustavo (April 17, 2012). "Not in my backyard: Calgarians fight a suburban oil well". Maclean’s. Rogers Media. Retrieved November 17, 2016. 
  11. ^ RRROCA Board of Directors (October 2013). "Kaiser Oil Well Update" (PDF). Rocky Ridge Suburban Journal. Suburban Journals Publishing. p. 5. Retrieved November 17, 2016. 
  12. ^ a b c "Anti-bully minister Sandra Jansen MIA from the Alberta Legislature since 'electrician' blast against Len Webber". Calgary Sun, March 19, 2014.
  13. ^ "Former premier Redford brought daughter on dozens of government flights". Edmonton Journal, April 14, 2014.
  14. ^ "Jim Prentice’s new cabinet unveiled". CTV News, September 15, 2014.
  15. ^ Bellefontaine, Michelle (November 17, 2016). "Alberta MLA Sandra Jansen leaves PCs, joins NDP caucus". CBC News. Retrieved November 23, 2016. 
  16. ^ http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/alberta/two-female-candidates-quit-alberta-progressive-conservative-leadership-race/article32740647/
  17. ^ "Former Alberta PC leadership contender Sandra Jansen crosses floor, joins NDP caucus". CBC News. Retrieved 2016-12-02. 
  18. ^ http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/sandra-jansen-alberta-mla-misogyny-1.3865047
  19. ^ https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/11/23/dumb-broad-watch-new-alberta-ndp-member-sandra-jansen-read-insults-shes-received.html
  20. ^ http://edmontonjournal.com/news/politics/watch-ex-tory-mla-sandra-jansen-slams-sexism-harassment-abuse-in-first-statement-since-crossing-floor
  21. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/11/22/sandra-jansen-abuse_n_13156478.html
  22. ^ http://www.assembly.ab.ca/net/index.aspx?p=bills_status&selectbill=002&legl=29&session=3
  23. ^ http://www.edmontonsun.com/2017/04/06/bill-calls-for-advocate-for-people-with-disabilities
  24. ^ http://www.assembly.ab.ca/net/index.aspx?p=bills_status&selectbill=205&legl=29&session=3