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Meet the Alberta NDP leadership candidates

September 23, 2014

From left to right, NDP leadership candidates David Eggen, Rod Loyola and Rachel Notley.

The Alberta NDP is in the process of selecting a new leader. Three candidates are hoping to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Brian Mason.

The party will hold a leadership convention and vote Oct. 18 at the Sutton Place Hotel in Edmonton.

As a non-partisan organization, the Alberta Teachers’ Association encourages its members to engage in the political affairs of the province through individual partisan and non-partisan activities. To that end, we encourage members to participate in all of the political opportunities that are available to them and we seek to keep them informed about all candidates and parties for political office.

The three NDP candidates were invited to submit a biography and statement of educational beliefs for publication in the ATA News.

David Eggen


David Eggen has been a strong voice in Alberta for over a decade.  He served as the MLA for Edmonton-Calder from 2004 to 2008 and won back his seat in 2012 after serving as the executive director of Friends of Medicare for four years.

In addition to his time in the legislature and with Friends of Medicare, David worked as a teacher in Zimbabwe, Thailand and in Edmonton for 20 years.  It was his career as a teacher that inspired David to seek public office and stake a claim in shaping a better society.

As both teacher and MLA, David has always prioritized engagement. He has used this campaign as an opportunity to bring teachers and Albertans into the NDP. He continues to meet with teachers, encouraging them to engage in politics and make their voices heard. As leader, David will continue to prioritize engagement and education for an Alberta we can be proud of.

Statement of educational beliefs

David’s career as a teacher has given him a strong understanding of the needs of Alberta’s students, teachers and educational staff.  We have a world-class education system in Alberta, but we’ve failed to provide the supports and resources needed to maintain that system into the future.

Teachers and students desperately need limits on class sizes, appropriate training and resources to realize inclusive education, a provincewide rollout of junior and full-day kindergarten programs, and predictable funding to help establish a fair starting point in contract negotiations. We need to realize that education is an investment in the future of our province, and without the necessary supports now, we’ll be shortchanged in the years to come.

Rod Loyola


Rod Loyola has lived in Edmonton for over 30 years and is married raising two young boys. He studied at the University of Alberta and graduated in 1999 with a bachelor of arts in cultural and economic anthropology. Rod has served as the chair and education programmer of development and peace for over 10 years and was on their national board of directors and on the Latin America program committee for three years. Rod has worked diligently as the project manager for community development projects in Honduras, Guatemala, and Argentina and is focused on bringing his experience to local programs and projects. He is currently the president of the Non-Academic Staff Association at the U of A and volunteers on a number of boards and organizations, among them the Public Interest Alberta Post-Secondary Task Force, Friends of Medicare, the Memoria Viva Society of Edmonton, and the Knottwood Community League.

Statement of educational beliefs

Investing in education would be my highest priority, making sure that we are establishing communities of learning complimenting the academic, cultural and economic growth of communities across Alberta. Viewing the school as a community of learning would help to set the foundation and culture of the school in terms of how parents, teachers, administrators and students interact with one another. Current thinking makes the student the “consumer” of provincial spending money. This is a financial view, not an educational one. I would guarantee every school in the province base funding, achievable by implementing a progressive income tax and increased royalty regime. I would work with school boards, principals, teachers, parents and other key educational professionals and support staff to identify ways to innovate current programs to meet students’ and parents’ needs, assuring adequate class sizes that permit teachers to connect with every child.

Rachel Notley


Rachel Notley is the MLA for Edmonton-Strathcona. She was first elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012 with the highest vote share of any MLA in the province.

As an elected representative, Rachel has been a strong advocate for a better education system that will benefit all Albertans.

Rachel holds a BA in political science from the University of Alberta, and a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. Before politics, Rachel worked for a variety of labour unions and served as a ministerial advisor to B.C.’s attorney general.

Raised in Fairview, Rachel is the oldest child of Grant and Sandra Notley. She lives in Edmonton’s Old Strathcona neighbourhood with her husband and two teenage children.

Rachel is running to be leader of the NDP and a modern voice for Alberta. She is bringing progressive Albertans together to challenge the Conservative and Wildrose status quo in Alberta—and win!

Statement of educational beliefs

Our students are Alberta’s future and they deserve better than what they are getting. A modern and dynamic province deserves a first-rate education system.

The most important element to building a quality education system is our province’s teachers. But you wouldn’t know that based on the Conservative and Wildrose approach to teachers. And that needs to change.

Teachers deserve to be treated with respect and dignity by their government. By working together, we can create an education system that will ensure that

  • all students have access to education by eliminating school fees,
  • class sizes are reduced to enhance learning,
  • special needs students and teachers receive the support they require and
  • Alberta’s education funding leads the way in Canada.

Education should be a partnership between teachers and government. I value everything that teachers bring to our province. As premier, I’ll make sure you know it and that together we provide the best for students.

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