Alison Redford was elected leader of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party on October 1, 2011 and sworn-in as Alberta's 14th premier on October 7, 2011.
Getting to Know the Premier
If you were to ask Alison Redford to talk a little about herself she would likely tell you that she’s a busy mom to 9-year-old Sarah, a fan of country music, and wishes she had more time to read books and bake bread when she’s at home in Calgary. She would likely tell you that like so many Albertans, she juggles responsibilities of children, career and aging parents. And she would also tell you that she’s honoured and humbled to serve as Alberta’s 14th premier, and that she’s excited for what lies ahead.
The seeds of political involvement were planted early for Alison Redford, and she’s been actively involved in provincial and federal politics since the 1980s. As a student at Bishop Carroll High School in Calgary, she was elected president of the Progressive Conservative Youth of Alberta. From there, Redford went to university, receiving her law degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1988 and went on to serve as a senior advisor to Prime Minister Joe Clark.
There are probably few Albertans whose passports boast as many travel stamps as Alison Redford’s. The Premier has a world of international experience under her belt. After practicing family law in Calgary, Redford traveled the globe, serving as an advisor in South Africa on constitutional and legal reform where she shared an office with Nelson Mandela. She went on to accept assignments in Bosnia, Uganda and the Philippines to name just a few. Her career path also took her to Afghanistan, to help administer that country’s first parliamentary elections. The Premier certainly felt the impact of this historical event. She not only helped organize and oversee a new democratic system, but educated people in the war torn country about what it meant to cast a ballot, and that it was safe to do so for the very first time. She’s personally witnessed how commitment to changing the status quo can improve quality of life, and those experiences overseas have helped to shape her vision for Alberta.
After being elected MLA for Calgary-Elbow in 2008, Premier Redford was named Minister of Justice and Attorney General. As chair of the Safe Communities Secretariat, Redford helped to implement crime prevention and reduction programs at the community level, realizing that each community is unique and experiences crime and social disorder in a unique way. To date, 88 pilot projects have been launched to support a variety of issues including family violence, mental health and addictions and gang violence.
It was in part her conversations with Albertans as Justice Minister that helped fuel the drive for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative party. Whether it was talking with parents in Edmonton’s Somali community, meeting with gang intervention experts in Calgary, touring the women’s shelter in Strathmore or partnering with the Saddle Lake Boys & Girls Club for an at-risk youth project, one thing became clear. Alberta is changing. Our stable economy and opportunities for families are attracting people from across Canada and around the world. Alison Redford saw a place in Alberta’s future for a leader with a new vision. When party members voted for change, politics in Alberta caught up to who we are as Albertans.
The time since Alison Redford was elected leader of the PC party and sworn in as Premier has gone quickly, but much has been accomplished. Upon the April 23, 2012 election results Premier Alison Redford has introduced a new Cabinet of Minister’s to help lead our Province through the next four years in government. Together they are focused on Building Alberta - opening new markets for our resources, building upon our savings, and supporting our communities and the families that call Alberta home.
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