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Brian Mason

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The leader of the Alberta New Democrats (NDP) and a member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Edmonton Highlands-Norwood since 2004.
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Biography

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Brian Mason (born October 12, 1953) is a Canadian politician and current leader of the Alberta New Democrats (NDP). Mason was first elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood in a 2000 byelection, and his career in politics spans more than 20 years. Mason has lived in Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood for over 20 years. He and his wife Karin have two sons, Peter and Alex.

 

Political career

Mason first became politically active in the mid-1970s while studying political science at the University of Alberta. He served as executive director of the Federation of Alberta Students from 1977-79. Upon leaving university Mason began working as bus driver with the Edmonton Transit System.

 

He re-entered politics in 1989 with a dynamic campaign running for Edmontoncity council in Ward 3. Mason's campaign came on the heels of a legal challenge he mounted against a provincial law forbidding municipal employees from running as candidates in a civic election unless they resigned their position with the city. The legal challenge was unsuccessful, however Mason was elected city councilor for Ward 3 in October 1989. Shortly after the election the law Mason challenged was repealed, and municipal workers in Edmonton are today allowed to run for civic office without resigning their positions. Mason remained on city council until 2000. In 2000, following the mid-term resignation of the then leader of the New Democrats Pam Barrett of MLA Edmonton Highlands, Mason left city council and ran for the NDP in the ensuing by-election. He easily held the Legislative Assembly seat and was re-elected in the 2001 provincial election.

 

Mason was appointed the role of interim party leader for the NDP following the resignation of then leader Raj Pannu in July 2004. He became the official leader of Alberta's NDP on September 18, 2004, following a vote at the party convention. Mason held his seat during the provincial election in 2004, which saw the caucus welcome the return of former leaders Pannu and Ray Martin, along with newcomer David Eggen. In the provincial election of 2008 Mason again retained his seat, and was joined in caucus by newly elected NDP MLA Rachel Notley from Edmonton-Strathcona, the seat previously held by Pannu. 

 

In recent years Mason has hosted various community meetings around the province of Alberta. In 2009, Mason hosted a Round Table forum to discuss provincial budget concerns with a wide cross-section of Albertans. In 2009 and 2010, Mason hosted two provincial tours, each visiting several Alberta communities. The first tour took place in September 2009, with the public forums focusing on health care concerns, and resulted in the publication of the What People Want report. This report included more than 35 recommendations for health care reforms that would protect public services and improve the general health of Albertans. The second tour took place in May 2010, where the NDP again held public consultations. This time they invited A. bertans to discuss concerns over the future of Alberta's energy economy and environment, as well as the erosion of public health services including long-term care.

 

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2011-11-28

updated: 2012-11-15

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