Decision Alberta 2015: Get to know the party leaders

Brian Jean, Jim Prentice, David Swann, and Rachel Notley. Global News

EDMONTON — Albertans will head to the polls early in a provincial election now set for May 5, 2015. Here are some details about the party leaders, many of whom are new to the leadership role.

Jim Prentice

Prentice has been called Alberta’s first CEO premier – a label that, while broad, captures a philosophy that will be put to the test when voters head to the polls.

“We’re under new management” has been his catchphrase since he took over as premier and leader of the Progressive Conservatives last September.

I am asking Albertans for a mandate to implement the changes that this province needs so badly,” he said Tuesday.

Prentice, 58, served in several federal cabinet positions before resigning to pursue the PC Alberta leadership. He subsequently won a by-election on Oct. 27, 2014 as MLA for Calgary-Foothills.

Story continues below advertisement


Brian Jean

The new leader of Alberta’s Wildrose party has returned to public life to fix what he calls a dysfunctional health system where means have become ends with tragic consequences.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

“The system is broken,” said Jean.

The 52-year-old lawyer and former federal Conservative MP was elected leader of the Wildrose party on March 28, 2015. On the same day, former leader Danielle Smith lost the Progressive Conservative nomination in Highwood to Okotoks councillor Carrie Fischer.


Rachel Notley

The NDP leader says nothing less than the removal of the 44-year-old Progressive Conservative government will do.

“We aren’t simply focused on being the conscience of the legislature,” Notley, 50, told supporters when she won the NDP leadership race last fall.

“I’m running to be premier. I don’t run to be second place,” Notley told reporters on Tuesday. She said she’s seeing unprecedented support for the NDP across the province.

Since 2008, Rachel has served as the MLA for Edmonton-Strathcona.

Raised in Fairview Alberta, she is the oldest child of Grant and Sandra Notley. Her father led the Alberta NDP from 1968 to 1984.

Story continues below advertisement


David Swann

Swann takes Alberta’s Liberals into the election in the role of reluctant warrior returning to rescue the party.

Former leader Raj Sherman quit the post on Jan. 26, 2015. Swann was named interim leader after fellow Liberal Laurie Blakeman tied her possible leadership to a merger with other progressive parties.

“We’re ready to show Albertans we are the party to trust, we are the moderate centrist alternative to this government,” he said Tuesday.

Swann, a former family physician and public health consultant, was elected to his third term as MLA for the constituency of Calgary-Mountain View on April 23, 2012.

Greg Clark

The Alberta Party leader calls the early $28-million election “unnecessary but expected.”

Clark hopes his party will elect its first MLA on May 5.

“The PCs introduced a budget that raises taxes on ordinary families but cuts their kids’ education and their family’s health care. The Alberta Party has a better way and our candidates across the province are ready,” said Clark.

Janet Keeping

The leader of the Green Party of Alberta moved to Calgary in 1973 where she studied philosophy and law. She articled with the law firm Bennett Jones.

Story continues below advertisement

Keeping ran in the 2012 provincial election for the EverGreens which has been re-named the Green Party of Alberta. In September 2012, she was elected leader.

With files from The Canadian Press

Sponsored content