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Profile of Alison Redford, Premier of Alberta

Jul 25, 2013

 

 

Alison Redford is the 14th and current Premier of Alberta, Canada, having served in this capacity since October 7, 2011.

 

Early life:  

 

Redford was born in in Kitimat, British Columbia. She grew up all over including including living in in Nova Scotia, Canada and Borneo in Southeast Asia before her family settled in Calgary. 

 

Education:  

 

  • College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan in 1988. She articled for Jim Prentice at the law firm Rooney Prentice.

Former occupations:

 

  • A technical adviser on constitutional and legal reform issues in various parts of Africa for the European Union, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Canadian Government and the Government of Australia. 
  • Her work in Africa focused on human rights litigation, developing education programs and policy reform with respect to gender issues.

Political beginnings

 

  • Served as a Senior Policy Advisor to former Prime Minister Joe Clark, who was the Secretary of State for External Affairs. 
  • Served in the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada from 1988 to 1990 under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney
  • Lost: In 2004, Redford unsuccessfully challenged Member of Parliament Rob Anders for the federal Conservative nomination in Calgary West
  • Won: On March 13, 2008, was elected MLA for the constituency of Calgary-Elbow. 
  • Named:  Minister of Justice and Attorney General in March 2008.

Leadership bid:

 

  • In 2011, she sought the leadership of the PC Party in Alberta. She placed second behind Gary Mar, the frontrunner in the race. 
  • Redford won 19 per cent of the vote compared to 41 per cent for Mar. 
  • Narrow victory:  As the rules stipulated having 50 per cent plus one of the votes, a second and third round of voting was held on October 2, 2011. After the third round of voting, Redford beat Mar, winning 51 per cent of the vote.

General election victory

 

Defying the polling which predicted a significant win for Danielle Smith’s Wild Rose party, Ms. Redford subsequently won a general election taking 61 of the 87 seats in the provincial legislature—a loss of only five seats.

 

Claim to fame

 

  • She was appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations as one of the four International Election Commissioners to administer Afghanistan's first parliamentary elections, held in September 2005.
  • Redford managed a judicial training and legal reform project for the Ministry of Justice and the Supreme People's Court in Vietnam.

 

 

This Premier Profile is part of EV's summer news series on the occasion of the annual Premiers' meeting at Niagara on the Lake in July 2013. This year, a historic six women premiers were at the table representing nearly half of all Premiers. Read more here.

 

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Thanks also to the Government of Canada (Status of Women & Canadian Heritage) for their financial support.