Changing the Face of Politics: Alison Redford to become first female Premier in Alberta and fourth in Canada

Ottawa/Edmonton/Calgary: In a province where female political party leaders have been few and far between, Alison Redford, former Alberta Justice Minister and Attorney General, has won the leadership of her party and will become Alberta’s first female premier.

Widely considered a long shot, Ms. Redford, whose political beginnings included serving as senior policy adviser to former Prime Minister Joe Clark and as president of the Alberta Young Conservatives, won on the second ballot, displacing front-runner Gary Mar.

“Equal Voice is not only delighted that Ms. Redford has won the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party in Alberta but by the fact that she has the distinction of serving as Alberta’s first female premier and is one of four women currently occupying premierships across the country,” said Janet Buckmaster, long-time chair of Equal Voice’s Alberta North chapter.

As premier, Ms. Redford could go head to head with another prominent woman in Alberta, Danielle Smith, who is leader of the Wildrose Party and a probable contender for premier in the next election. Further, Alberta could see three female leaders at the helm if Rachel Notley, one of two MLAs for the provincial New Democratic Party, assumes the leadership should the current leader step down.

“Alberta has a rich history of women taking on significant roles in their communities – whether it be on the family farm or in more urban areas. Ms. Redford’s success reflects the fact that Albertans are entirely comfortable with women as public leaders,” added Janice Kinch, chair of Equal Voice’s Alberta South chapter.

Ms. Redford joins three other female premiers – Christy Clark in British Columbia, Eva Aariak in Nunavut and Kathy Dunderdale in Newfoundland and Labrador – who are changing the face of politics in Canada.

“Female premiers are rocking this country,” said Donna Dasko, Equal Voice’s National Chair.

“Political parties understand the appeal of women leaders who are regarded as credible, different, and exciting in today’s political climate.”

For more information:

Janice Kinch, Chair, Alberta South: jkinch@ucalgary.ca or 403-210-3879
Nancy Peckford, Executive Director: npeckford@equalvoice.ca or 613-292-7941
Donna Dasko, National Chair: donna.dasko@gmail.com

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