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Thomas Dang

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Thomas Dang

MLA Dang - Portraits - 20181130 - 037.jpg
Dang in 2018
Alberta NDP Deputy House Leader
Assumed office
February 8, 2021
LeaderRachel Notley
Preceded byChristina Gray
Alberta NDP Infrastructure Critic
Assumed office
April 2019
LeaderRachel Notley
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Edmonton-South
Assumed office
April 16, 2019
Preceded byConstituency Established
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Edmonton-South West
In office
May 5, 2015 – April 16, 2019
Preceded byMatt Jeneroux
Succeeded byKaycee Madu
Personal details
Born (1995-04-07) April 7, 1995 (age 25)
Edmonton, Alberta
Political partyAlberta New Democratic Party
ResidenceEdmonton, Alberta

Thomas Kyle Dang (born April 7, 1995) is a Canadian politician who was elected in the 2015 Alberta general election to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta representing the electoral district of Edmonton-South West.[1] Dang is the youngest MLA to ever be elected in Alberta.[2]

Dang was a member of the first Alberta NDP Government Caucus in the history of the province. During his first term, Dang advocated heavily for the new South-West high school and hospital, both of which were announced during his tenure.[3][4] He also put forward motions related to education and most notably, changes to daylight saving time in Alberta.

In April 2019, Thomas Dang was re-elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta in the new electoral district of Edmonton-South, defeating the United Conservative Party candidate Tunde Obasan by a narrow margin.[5] Dang continues his political career constituting part of the Official Opposition in the Alberta Legislature.[6]

Political career[edit]

Dang entered politics as a candidate for the New Democratic Party of Alberta. He served as a member of the Standing Committee on the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund, the Special Standing Committee on Members' Services and the Standing Committee on Resource Stewardship. He also previously served as a member of the Standing Committee on Private Bills.[7]

Dang is seen as a rising star among his caucus; education minister David Eggen called Dang a strong pick as a future education minister due to his leadership and as a role model for young people.[8]

In December of 2020, Dang was named as Alberta's Best Representative of Constituents by his legislature colleagues.[9]

Dang in 2015

Early career[edit]

Dang was a computer science student at the University of Alberta. He also wrote a blog on provincial politics. He defeated incumbent Progressive Conservative MLA Matt Jeneroux on the May 5, 2015 election that saw the Alberta NDP sweep the city of Edmonton and win a majority government, the first switch of governing parties in the province since the 1971 election.[10] As of 2014–15, he is a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity at the University of Alberta,[2][11] of which former Premier Peter Lougheed was also a member.

Official Opposition[edit]

In his second term, Dang is part of the Alberta NDP Official Opposition. He serves as the Official Opposition Infrastructure Critic.[12] In February of 2021, he was appointed Official Opposition Deputy House Leader.[13]

During his time in opposition, he has been a vocal critic against misuse of funds, including bringing forward motions to investigate spending scandals and errors of Government MLAs.[14]

Infrastructure Critic[edit]

South-West Hospital[edit]

In May 2017, the Alberta Government announced a new hospital in southwest Edmonton. The location was chosen in part due to its proximity to both Anthony Henday Drive and the Queen Elizabeth Highway 2 (Alberta). The location is also near a proposed future LRT expansion. This decision was in part due to advocacy by Dang and he was on hand for the announcement.[3]

South-West High School[edit]

In November 2017, Premier Rachel Notley and Education Minister David Eggen announced with Dang a new high school for the southwest region of Edmonton. The province announced the new high school will have space for 1800 students and was in response to the dramatic growth in that part of the city. It will be the first high school the city as seen in over 12 years.

Dang had been advocating for the school for several years and engaged with families, parent councils, and stakeholders over their clear need for a new high school.[4]

P3 School Issues[edit]

Dang has been an advocate for parents and students experiencing issues with the Public–private partnership schools built in the Edmonton area. The schools have experienced issues with drainage issues leading to mud pits and large fences installed by the contractor.[15] Dang has asked questions in Question Period of both the Education Minister[16] and Infrastructure Minister[17] and received commitments from the Government to work on resolving the issue.

While in opposition and as infrastructure critic, he has continued to advocate for communities and pushed against Government plans to increase the use of P3 projects.[18]

Earplug Controversy[edit]

During a late night sitting of the Alberta Legislature, Premier Jason Kenney handed out earplugs to members of the United Conservative Party caucus while Dang was speaking.[19] This was described by labour leaders, members of the public, and the opposition as "outrageous and insulting".[20]

Community Advocacy[edit]

Racism and Refugees[edit]

Throughout his political career, Dang has been a vocal advocate on refugee and anti-racism issues. His parents were Chinese-Vietnamese refugees from Vietnam.[2] He has spoken out against racism in politics in the Legislature[21] and supported Vietnamese people who came to Alberta as refugees.[22] Dang has criticized Jason Kenney for comparing his own emigration from Saskatchewan to refugee Canadians.[23]

Youth and Bullying[edit]

Dang put forward Motion 503 in his first session as an MLA, urging the Government to consult with school boards and youth to encourage student participation on boards. This was aimed to increasing dialogue and student engagement on democratic governance. The motion was passed unanimously with bi-partisan support in the assembly.[24] The motion read as follows:

Be it resolved that the Legislative Assembly urge the Government to consult with school boards and youth to encourage senior high school student participation on boards with a view to increasing dialogue, increasing student engagement in board policy and planning, and educating students about democratic governance.

Notice of Motion 507 was given on Day 2 of the second session on the order paper. This motion was aimed at ensuring that students and parents were ready to deal with all facets of bullying in an ever-evolving technological world. The notice of motion reads as follows:[25]

Be it resolved that the Legislative Assembly urge the Government to take steps to increase awareness in Alberta's schools of the effects of cyberbullying.

Motion 507 was passed unanimously with bi-partisan support in the assembly.[26]

Tourism Week[edit]

In spring 2016, Dang tabled Bill 204, The Alberta Tourism Week Act. This bill would create a tourism week in legislation that would occur in the first week of June starting 2017. The Bill has currently passed first and second reading in the Legislature.[27]

Daylight Saving Time[edit]

In late 2016, Dang announced that he planned to table a bill to abolish Daylight Saving Time in Alberta. Dang said he had been working on this file since it had been brought up at an NDP policy convention. He has stated that he intends to lead a public consultation on the issue in advance of his bill in 2017. [28] [29] [30]

On February 13, 2017, Dang announced an online consultation process that would take place until the end of February. He received widespread support from young families and members of the agricultural industry. Egg farmers have cheered the proposal, because the time change “plays havoc with the natural rhythm of poultry.” Dang also announced that he hoped to have a bill ready to be tabled in mid-March.[31]

Dang tabled Bill 203, the Alberta Standard Time Act on March 14, 2017.[32] The bill would set the Alberta Standard Time to UTC−6. This was done after his online consultation showed that 82% of respondents prefer not changing their clocks twice a year, and 59% of respondents prefer to have daylight in the late afternoon.[33]

In October 2017, the Alberta Legislature voted against Dang's bill to abolish the time change. This was due in part to pressure from industry groups such as the Oilers Entertainment Group and WestJet. The industries were concerned about the consequences of moving off time change while other jurisdictions continued to.[34] Dang said that despite the vote he would like to continue the conversation and would support moving forward if other jurisdictions such as British Columbia and other parts of North America abolished time change as well.[35]


Dang has been a vocal advocate throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for more support for small business and families.[36]


Dang was pursuing a degree in Computing Science at the University of Alberta.[2] He is also an Offensive Security Certified Professional with a passion for issues relating to Information security.[37]

Personal life[edit]

Dang was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. He is the second child of refugee parents from Vietnam.[13]

Dang played competitive table tennis as a junior for many years, competing across Canada and in the United States of America.[citation needed] He was a member of the Edmonton Table Tennis Club.[38]

He also enjoys playing Ingress, an alternate reality game that involves physically going to different locations as part of the gameplay, with Dang stating that his earlier game-related travels to different parts of Alberta have been helpful since becoming an MLA in the province.[39]

Electoral history[edit]

2019 general election[edit]

2019 Alberta general election: Edmonton-South
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
New Democratic Thomas Dang 10,673 46.6% -7.31%
United Conservative Olatunde Obasan 9,881 43.2% +4.2%
Alberta Party Pramod Kumar 2,156 9.4% +6.8%
Green Ben Roach 180 0.8% --
Total valid votes 22,890
Rejected, spoiled, and declined 146 51 11
Registered electors 34,524
Turnout 66.8%
New Democratic hold Swing %
Source: Elections Alberta[40]

2015 general election[edit]

2015 Alberta general election: Edmonton-South West
Party Candidate Votes %
New Democratic Thomas Dang 11,729 53.0%
Progressive Conservative Matt Jeneroux 6,319 28.6%
Wildrose Cole Kander 2,291 10.4%
Liberal Rudy Arcilla 1,202 5.4%
Alberta Party Krishna Tailor 575 2.6%


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  17. ^ "QP on P3 Schools". Facebook. May 29, 2018.
  18. ^ "Cautionary tales should steer government away from P3 projects, NDP says". edmontonjournal. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  19. ^ "'Unbecoming of a premier': NDP calls out Kenney for handing out ear plugs during debate". Edmonton. June 21, 2019. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
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  29. ^ Josie Lukey (December 15, 2016). "NDP MLA Thomas Dang to table bill abolishing daylight savings[sic] time | Metro Calgary". Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  30. ^ Johnston, Scott (December 15, 2016). "Get rid of daylight saving time switch? Alberta MLA pushing for referendum". Global News. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  31. ^ "Edmonton MLA asks for input into plan to scrap daylight savings[sic] time". Edmonton Journal. February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  32. ^ Thomson, Stuart. "NDP private member's bill calls for Alberta standard time, no more clock changes". Edmonton Journal.
  33. ^ Thomas, Brodie. "Bill to keep Alberta on daylight saving time year-round coming: MLA". Metro News.
  34. ^ "Terry Jones: Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames concerned about Alberta Standard Time". Edmonton Journal. March 17, 2017. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  35. ^ "Alberta government officially scraps bill that would get rid of Daylight Saving Time". Global News. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  36. ^ "Alberta to bring in commercial eviction ban, grants to help businesses get restarted | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  37. ^ "Legislative Assembly of Alberta". Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  38. ^ "ETTC Member Thomas Dang Elected To Alberta Government". ETTC Blog. May 8, 2015. Archived from the original on November 26, 2015. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
  39. ^ Neuman, Doug (November 21, 2015). "A secret war rages on". St. Albert Gazette. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
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