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Meet the Liberal leadership candidates

May 16, 2017

Two candidates are vying for the leadership of the Alberta Liberal Party, which will announce the winner at its annual general meeting in Calgary on June 4.

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.

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


Kerry Cundal


Kerry Cundal has lived all over Alberta, from Grande Prairie to St. Albert, from Red Deer to Calgary, serving Albertans as a teacher and immigration lawyer before sitting on the Immigration and Refugee Board and then running as the Liberal candidate federally in Calgary Signal Hill in 2015. Recently, Kerry served as director of parliamentary affairs for the federal department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. Kerry co-founded Ask Her, with a goal to see more women run for Calgary city council in 2017.

Kerry Cundal is running to be the next leader of the Alberta Liberal Party because she passionately believes that we need to work together with those who share our principles and vision for Alberta. Kerry is reaching out to Albertans to ensure there is a strong centrist voice in the next election that combines fiscal responsibility with needed social supports and strong human rights values.

Statement of educational beliefs

As a former teacher and member of the ATA, I am committed and passionate about ensuring that we continue to invest in public education and our children’s future. As a lawyer and graduate of the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary, I know that promoting lifelong learning is essential.

As a practical matter, the importance of rural schools is obvious to me. My practicums took place in the Peavine Métis Settlement and in Grande Prairie’s Crystal Park School, so I know the importance of providing rural schools with the infrastructure and resources that they need to serve their students and families. It was there I also came to understand the value of practising inclusion, diversity and equality.

As a substitute teacher at Annie L. Gaetz School in Red Deer, I realized something else: teachers and students move throughout the province. Accordingly, all schools need to be bound by the same standards and a single Alberta education curriculum.

Teachers know that each student is unique. Consequently, it is important to support mental health, early literacy and ESL program, as well as to provide enhanced trades training in high schools.

I believe that education is an investment and the right of each and every child in Alberta. To accomplish this, teachers and schools need to have the resources required to meet the needs of students and support an integrated and holistic learning environment. As education has enriched my life, I want to pass that gift along. 


David Khan


I am running for the leadership of the Alberta Liberals because I care passionately about the future of our province and believe that Liberal values and policies are fundamental to a better future for all. I was born and raised in Calgary and continued my education in Vancouver, Toronto, Budapest and Quebec. I have degrees in chemistry and law, and am fluent in English and French. I am a lawyer practising primarily in the field of indigenous rights and land claims and care deeply about the rights of all Canadians, including First Nations.

I volunteer for several non-governmental organizations, including RESULTS Canada and the Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society. For the best part of a decade, I have been involved with both the provincial and federal Liberal parties, served on the board of the Calgary-Buffalo Constituency, ran as a candidate twice, and served as executive vice-president of the Alberta Liberals.

Education policy

There is nothing more important to Alberta’s future than the education of our children. I’m committed to working with educators to improve quality of life and educational outcomes for all Albertans. Here are some of my policy proposals:

  • Protect students’ rights: Schools should be safe places. I unequivocally support anti-bullying programs and high-quality sex education, and programs such as gay–straight alliances, which are necessary to create a safe space for our LGBTQ youth.
  • End school fees: School fees punish low- and middle-income families. I will seek to bring an end to all school fees while ensuring that funding for teachers, classrooms and programs is maintained.
  • Expand trades training: In consultation with business, I will bring more ­specialized trades programs and schools into our education system. Trades provide a rich and fulfilling career path for many Albertans.
  • Support public education and regulate private schools: I fully support the public system but recognize the important services many private schools provide. I want to bring private schools under the public regulatory umbrella while providing choice.
  • Expand early childhood education: I will commit to full-time kindergarten, which has been shown to be an enormous benefit to children.
  • Make better use of school infrastructure as community hubs: Our schools should also be used as wellness and recreation centres, and for adult education, ESL and counselling services. I’m committed to consulting with our educators and other stakeholders on the issues facing our education system and giving educators a prominent voice in my party and my government.

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