December 4, 2015
Alberta’s new government needs to do something about the lack of social diversity on the university boards; they've been stacked, by the PCs, with corporate lawyers, businessmen, and accountants who share a neo-liberal world view. Other visions of the university’s mandate are woefully under-represented on the boards.
Here, in summary form, are the occupational backgrounds of the current “general public” and “external” appointees to the Board of Governors of the University of Alberta.
General Public Board members (voting)
Richard (Dick) Wilson, corporate lawyer with Parlee McLaws
Sheraz Jeraj, business consultant
James Heelan, corporate lawyer with Bennett Jones (company that has donated to the Conservative Party)
LeRoy Johnson, former Augustana University College teacher and administrator, former PC MLA for Wetaskiwin-Camrose (appointed by Minister Hancock in May 2014)
Steven LePoole, MBA, retired CEO of Diversity Technologies Corp and funder of a Business School scholarship, appointed in 2013 by Minister Lukaszuk
Raymond Muzyka, MBA, physician, and Chair of the U of A Venture Mentoring Service
Michael H. Ross, certified management consultant, director on multiple business boards
Nizar Somji, professional engineer, Pres. and CEO of Jaffer Inc. (company that has donated to the Conservative Party)
Robert H. Teskey, corporate lawyer with Field Law
/9 (maximum permitted under the PSLA)
“External” Board members (voting) http://www.governance.ualberta.ca/BoardofGovernors/Board/~/media/Governance/Documents/GO01/MEM/Board/Board-External-Committee-Membership.pdf
Ken Bancroft, CFA, CharteredFinancial Analyst, Director at Pathfinder Asset Management Limited, Edmonton, Alberta, and CanadaInvestment Management
Barbara J. Belch, Chartered Financial Analyst, CEO of Barbara Belch Investments Management Ltd.
Robert Borelli, Chartered Financial Analyst, Partner (Audit) KPMG Canada
R. John Butler, lawyer with Bryan & Company LLP (same law firm as Doug Goss) and a Director of TELUS Corporation.
Jonathan Chia, Chief Financial Officer at Melcor Developments Ltd. and Melcor REIT
Gordon Clanachan is a chartered accountant and Director of Melcor Developments Ltd. (company that has donated to the Conservative Party).
Jim Drinkwater is an expert in corporate finance, former banker, and Director of ATB Financial.
David Ferro, formerly a manager at Suncor and Ledcor Industrial Inc., Manager with Bird Construction Income Fund.
David Lawson, chartered financial analyst and chief investment officer, WCB
Stuart Lee, chartered accountant and chief financial officer, Capital Power Corporation
Allister McPherson, former banker, Director of Capital Power Corp. and EPCOR
Sandy McPherson, chartered financial analyst,Chief Investment Officer, City of Edmonton
Catrin Owen, media relations consultant at Calder Bateman, Edmonton
Gordon Winkel, professional engineer, formerVP Syncrude Canada Ltd., Chair and Industrial Professor for the Safety and Risk Management Program in the Faculty of Engineering since 2010
Chancellor Ralph Young, MBA, CEO of Melcor Developments Inc. until July 2013
So, of the 9 “general public” representatives on the Board of Governors of the University, three are corporate lawyers, five are business consultants, managers, or consultants, and the one who was formerly a college teacher and administrator was also a PC MLA. Only one of the nine is a woman.
Of the 14 “external” board members, 10 are accountants or financial analysts, one is a lawyer, one is an engineer, one a business manager, and one a media relations consultant. Two of the 14 are women.
Of the 23 (combining the two groups) all but three (Sandy McPherson, Raymond Muzyka, and LeRoy Johnson) are employees, managers, or owners of private sector businesses.
Nowhere in this list does one find a representative of a trade union, an NGO, an aboriginal organization, the arts community, or a non-profit service provider, a nurse, a social worker, a day care educator, a carpenter, or a farmer. Many civil society organizations that represent important social interests come to mind: Edmonton Social Planning Council, Change for Children, Changing Together: A Centre for Immigrant Women, Alberta Federation of Labour, Edmonton Arts Council, Theatre Alberta, Sierra Club Alberta section, Green Energy Futures, Homeward Trust Edmonton, the many First Nations in Treaty areas 6, 7, and 8, United Nurses of Alberta, Canadian Mental Health Association Alberta division, Alberta Seniors United Now Society, Association of Edmonton Community Leagues, Greater Edmonton Alliance, Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development . . . and this is just a start. Why shouldn’t these social interests and perspectives be represented, too, on the board of governors of a university?
With a provincial election expected to be called in the coming weeks, Alberta’s political parties are pushing to nominate their slates of candidates. Not surprisingly, the governing Progressive Conservatives are close to choosing candidates in all 87 constituencies. At fifty-one, the NDP have the second largest number of candidates nominated for the next election.
Here are some of the latest additions to my growing list of nominated candidates:
Map of nominated and acclaimed PC candidates (as of March 23, 2015).
The PC Party has nominated 76 candidates, leaving only 10 remaining constituencies to choose candidates.
Driving school owner Gurcharan Garchadefeated two-term MLA Peter Sandhu to win the PC nomination in Edmonton-Manning. Mr. Sandhu, who was briefly removed from the government caucus after facing allegations of conflict of interest, is the first incumbent PC MLA to lose a nomination in 2015. Another candidate, Manpreet Gill, was originally contesting the nomination but does not appear to have been named in the final vote.
Controversial MLA David Xiao survived a strong challenge from party activist Amanda Nielson to win the PC nomination in Edmonton-McClung.
Other recently nominated PC candidates include Blake Prior in Battle River-Wainwright, Jeff Wilson in Calgary-Shaw, former MLA Jack Hayden in Drumheller-Stettler, Rhonda Clarke-Gauthier in Dunvegan-Central Peace-Notley, Harman Kandola in Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview, Gene Zwozdesky in Edmonton-Mill Creek, Shelley Wegner in Edmonton-Strathcona, Darrell Younghans in Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills, Wade Bearchell in Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills, Christine Moore in Red Deer-North, Darcy Mykytyshyn in Red Deer-South, Cathy Olesen in Sherwood Park, and Ken Lemke in Stony Plain, Molly Douglass in Strathmore-Brooks.
UPDATE: Former cabinet minister Naresh Bhardwaj has withdrawn his candidacy in Edmonton-Ellerslie. The second-term PC MLA resigned as Associate Minister for Persons with Disabilities this month pending an investigation by the PC Party into allegations of bribery in his constituency’s nomination contest. Metro Edmonton first reported that a party member publicly accused Mr. Bhardwaj of offering him, through another person, a $10,000 bribe in return for recanting his support for candidate Balraj Manhas.
Map of nominated and acclaimed NDP candidates (as of March 23, 2015).
New Democratic Party
The NDP have nominated candidates in fifty-two constituencies, the most of any opposition party. Recent nominations and acclamations include Chris Noble in Airdrie, Tristan Turner in Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock, Kathleen Ganley in Calgary-Buffalo, Catherine Wellburn in Calgary-Elbow, AnamKazim in Calgary-Glenmore, Chris McMillan in Calgary-Mountain View, Aaron Haugen in Cardston-Taber-Warner, and Erin Babcock in Stony Plain.
Candidates who have recently announced their intentions to seek nominations are: Gordon Naylor in Battle River Wainwright, Josalyne Head in Bonnyville-Cold Lake, Christina Gray in Edmonton-Mill Woods, Leslie Mahoney in Highwood, and Hannah Schlamp in Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre.
The following candidates are seeking the NDP nominations at a five-constituency joint nomination meeting on March 31, 2015: Jill Moreton in Calgary-Fish Creek, Don Monroe in Calgary-Greenway, Danielle Nadeau McMillian in Calgary-Hawkwood, Ryan Wick in Calgary-MacKay-Nose Hill, and Karen Mills in Calgary-North West.
Map of nominated and acclaimed Wildrose candidates (as of March 23, 2015).
The Wildrose Party have at least forty candidates nominated and appear to have opened nominations in all remaining 47 constituencies.
Recently nominated candidates include Glenn van Dijken in Barrhead-Moriville-Westlock, Wes Taylor in Battle River-Wainwright, Trevor Grover in Calgary-Bow, Mark Smith in Drayton Valley-Devon, Donald MacIntyre in Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, Val Olson in Medicine Hat and Norman Wiebe in Red Deer-North.
Map of nominated and acclaimed Alberta Party candidates (as of March 23, 2015).
The Alberta Party has nominated 28 candidates across Alberta (including MLA Laurie Blakemanin Edmonton-Centre).
Some of the more recently no mated candidates include: Alison Wemyss in Calgary-Fish Creek, Owais Siddiqui in Edmonton Beverly-Clareview, Derek Christensen in Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville, John Stewart in Leduc-Beaumont, Trevor Love in St. Albert, Krystal Kromm in Red Deer North, Serge Gingras in Red Deer South and Rob Fox in Bonnyville-Cold Lake.
Map of nominated and acclaimed Liberal candidates (as of March 23, 2015).
The Liberals have nominated candidates in at least nineteen constituencies.
Former Liberal Party President and Ontario NDP MPP Shelley Wark-Martyn was chosen to represent the Liberal Party candidate in Calgary-Currie. Also recently nominated are Ronald Brochu in Edmonton-Gold Bar, Adam Mounzer in Edmonton-Manning, Michael Dawe in Red Deer-North, and Mike Hanlon in Stony Plain. Following the lead of Ms. Blakeman, Mr. Dawe plans to seek the Green Party nomination in Red Deer-North.
Map of nominated and acclaimed Green Party candidates (as of March 23, 2015).
The Greens have nominated candidates in ten constituencies across Alberta (including MLA Laurie Blakeman in Edmonton-Centre).
Nominated Green candidates are David Reid in Calgary-Bow, Janet Keeping in Calgary-Foothills, Polly Knowlton Cockett in Calgary-Hawkwood, Noel Keough in Calgary-Klein, Sandy Aberdeen in Calgary-Mackay-Nose Hill, Carl Svoboda in Calgary-Varsity, David Parker in Edmonton-Gold Bar and Alison Anderson in Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville.
I have added these updates to the list of nominees and nomination candidates planning to run in Alberta’s next general election. Please email david.cournoyer [at] gmail.com if there are additions to the list. Thank you.