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Meet the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta leadership candidates

August 26, 2014

Thomas Lukaszuk


Born in Poland and raised in north Edmonton, Thomas Lukaszuk graduated with an education degree from the University of Alberta and taught in Edmonton schools. He later started Injured Workers Advocates Inc., a small company that helped workers with their injury claims.

Mr. Lukaszuk has been the member of the legislative assembly for the constituency of Edmonton-Castle Downs since 2001. He has also held a number of cabinet portfolios, including deputy premier, minister of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour, Enterprise and Advanced Education, Education, and Employment and Immigration.

Thomas is involved with many community groups. He has coached soccer, been a scout leader and is a strong supporter of ABC Head Start. He has also volunteered with the Castle Downs Recreation Society to build playgrounds in Vietnam and the Philippines.

Education Platform

Thank you for having me at your Summer Conference in Banff. It was a pleasure talking with teachers.

You were candid with your comments and questions. You said let’s get back to a constructive, positive dialogue focused on what happens in the classroom. You are education experts and I value your input.

If elected, I will work with you to lower the weighting of the provincewide diploma exam to better reflect the work done year-round;

  • launch a “red-tape” review in education to stop adding work that doesn’t make sense;
  • make costs that teachers, librarians and educational assistants incur for classroom supplies tax-deductible; and
  • retain the current funding formula for private and charter schools.

It’s time to take workload issues seriously. It’s time to listen to frontline workers. It’s time to build a better tomorrow in Alberta.

Ric McIver


Ric McIver was born in Woodstock, Ontario, and moved to Alberta in 1981. He has worked in the food industry, including national sales manager and sales and marketing manager of different organizations. He also owned and operated a food distribution and marketing wholesale business. Ric served the residents of Calgary-Hays (Ward 12) as their alderman on Calgary City Council from 2001 to 2010. He was first elected as the MLA for Calgary-Hays in 2012. Ric served as minister of transportation and as minister of Infrastructure. He was also a member of the Treasury Board and the Southern Alberta Ministerial Flood Recovery Task Force.

Education Platform

We have one of the finest education systems in the world here in Alberta. One of the key reasons for that is the skill and dedication of our teachers.

Education is a partnership, and I don’t believe our government has always gotten that partnership right. If I’m elected as PC leader and premier, I am committed to restoring the relationship between teachers, principals, school boards, parents, students and the Alberta government.

As good as our education system is, I believe we can do better. The funding model for special needs students in particular needs to be reviewed to ensure money is invested where intended.

We can also do better by putting in place a realistic infrastructure plan that reflects a fiscally sound and flexible approach to meet the needs of students as a community ages and changes. New buildings should serve the needs of the whole community.

Jim Prentice, QC, PC


Jim Prentice put himself through university by working in the coal mines of the Crowsnest Pass. He received a bachelor of commerce and a bachelor of laws. As a young lawyer, Jim built a strong reputation for his expertise on property rights cases, specializing in landowner cases, including farm and ranch relocations, and became known for his ability to resolve First Nations negotiations. From 2004 to 2010, Jim was elected as the MP for Calgary North Centre. In Ottawa, Jim held some of the most challenging cabinet positions—Industry, Environment, and Indian Affairs and Northern Development. Jim later went on to CIBC, leading the bank in the critical areas of energy infrastructure and responsible resource development and the Asian Pacific Rim. Jim continues to live in Calgary with his wife Karen, children and grandchildren. He is an avid outdoorsman, who enjoys fly-fishing and hiking the Alberta Rockies. 

Education Platform

Our children receive an excellent education in Alberta and our teachers do a phenomenal job. I’ve expressed my goal that children in our province should receive the best education in Canada because our future success is tied to the quality of the education our children receive.

What do we need to be the best? First, we must take action to address the shortage of schools that is nearing crisis proportions in many of our communities. Second, we must ensure that what goes on inside the schools meets with the highest possible standards of teaching and learning.

I admire the integrity and commitment of those who dedicate their lives to teaching our children. I urge and invite all Albertans to demand more of your government when it comes to the education of our children, and I pledge to you that I will make education a personal priority.

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