Rod Loyola enters Alberta NDP leadership race

Rod Loyola announces he's joining the Alberta NDP leadership race; July 21, 2014. Global News

EDMONTON – A third candidate has added his name to the list of contenders vying to lead Alberta’s NDP.

Rod Loyola threw his name into the ring Monday evening at a Mill Woods coffee shop. He joins Edmonton-Strathcona MLA Rachel Notley in the race as well as Edmonton-Calder MLA David Eggen, who attended the announcement.

Loyola, 40, is the NDP’s candidate in Edmonton-Ellerslie for the next provincial election. It’s a riding he tried to win in 2012 but came in third with 16 per cent of the vote, ultimately losing to a PC candidate.

Still, he’s optimistic about Alberta’s “potential for change.”

“So many people seem to think that there’s the saying, ‘you don’t change Alberta, Alberta changes you.’ I think that that’s wrong.”

“I think that we can change the Alberta of 43 years of PC government, and the time is now. And I want to be a part of that change,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

One area he says he’d like to focus on is making sure that vulnerable and marginalized populations, such as indigenous people and newcomers to Canada, are better represented in the legislature.

The married father-of-two is originally from Chile. He immigrated to Canada as a child in 1976 and has lived in Edmonton’s Mill Woods neighbourhood for more than 30 years.

He is also president of the Non-Academic Staff Association (NASA) at the University of Alberta — a position he says he’s used to call on the Tories to restore post-secondary education funding.

You can learn more about Loyola on his website or Facebook page.

Brian Mason is set to step down as party leader at a convention in October.