A Record of Results

 A lawyer. A senior cabinet minister. A trusted voice in Alberta politics. Kathleen has the experience to lead the next Alberta NDP government.

A Voice for Progressive Change

Fast Facts

  • Kathleen has been elected in two constituencies: Calgary-Mountain View: April 16, 2019; May 29, 2023 Calgary-Buffalo: May 5, 2015.

  • In the 2023 general election, Kathleen earned 16,516 votes from her riding of Calgary-Mountain View — the most of any Alberta NDP MLA.

  • Kathleen sponsored 11 bills in the Legislature in the Notley government. 

Energy, Economy, Environment

A three-term Calgary MLA, Kathleen has been a prominent voice for the Notley NDP for almost a decade.

While she’s always been an authority on law and social justice, in the last few years, Kathleen’s focus has shifted to creating an economy that works for people.

Since October 2020, she has served as the Official Opposition Critic for Energy. In Opposition, Kathleen has fought to protect our natural spaces while also supporting Alberta’s energy economy. She is a firm believer that when we pit the environment against the economy we fail at both.

Kathleen’s advocacy on environmental issues includes work protecting the Eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains from coal mining and development.

 “Albertans have been clear — they want the government to protect their mountains."

A Leader Who Listens

Kathleen has made it a priority to meet with and listen to a broad spectrum of people from the communities she serves throughout her time in office.

She’s connected with her neighbours and constituents on how the province could support schools, and the latest medical guidance. But more than that, they connected on orphan wells, legal aid, and the importance of public spaces.

By listening to her constituents in Hillhurst Sunnyside, Kathleen learned about local challenges with food security and helped support community pantries and fridges that became a lifeline for many not used to needing help.  

Kathleen Meets with former Alberta NDP candidate Kevin Van Tighem in Nanton.

A Champion for Justice and Equality

In May 2015, Kathleen became the 846th member sworn into the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. 

Kathleen won the confidence of her party from day one. As the brand new Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, she was entrusted with sponsorship of Bill 1: An Act to Renew Democracy in Alberta

She brought the Alberta NDP’s flagship bill, its first ever piece of legislation as a government, to the floor of the legislature in 2015 and shepherded it through the legislative process. Bill 1 banned corporate and union political donations. 

The law “puts the power back in the hands of Alberta citizens, rather than those with the deepest pockets.”

Protecting People

During her time as Justice Minister and Solicitor General, Kathleen moved her government to pass legislation to protect people. Her actions reveal a deep-rooted concern for the needs of those Albertans that our legal systems had pushed to the margins.

For example, Kathleen introduced Bill 7 - Alberta Human Rights Amendment Act in 2015. The bill added gender identity and expression as prohibited grounds for discrimination to the Alberta Human Rights Act.

“Seeing ourselves in the world will save our lives,” Aria Ehren told the Edmonton Journal

Kathleen recognized transgender and gender diverse populations experience discrimination on multiple fronts — from accessing health care to community services to experiencing bullying, harassment, and assault.

Kathleen commented at the time that “No Albertan should be denied basic services for being true to themselves.”

As a student volunteer offering legal assistance, Kathleen observed high rates of warrants being issued for unhoused people who were unable to pay fines for minor infractions. For instance, Calgarians were being ticketed outside of the Calgary Drop-In Centre.

Recognizing that issuing warrants for minor infractions is a costly, labour-intensive process that does a poor job of holding offenders to account, Kathleen introduced Bill 9: An Act to Modernize Enforcement of Provincial Offences. This ended the practice of criminalising poverty, while freeing up resources to target more serious crimes.

In each of these cases, Kathleen has shown how her empathy and concern for others translates into real action.

Reconciliation in Action

In December 2017, Kathleen was honoured to be able to appoint Karen Crowshoe as the first Indigenous woman to serve on Alberta’s provincial court. In doing so, she recognized that Indigenous people are over-represented among people going through the court system, but rarely do they encounter Indigenous people serving that system.  

In her time as the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Kathleen learned firsthand about the challenges facing people in places like Moose Lake and the Lubicon Valley in the lead up to a historic land claim settlement.

Meeting Indigenous people and really listening to them helped Kathleen understand their needs, and led to programs like the expansion of Indigenous Police Services, grant funding for Indigenous women to start businesses, and launching the first Metis consultation policy for Alberta.

Standing Up for Everyday Albertans

Kathleen has always stood up for everyday Albertans. 

After graduating at the top of her law class, Kathleen went to work at the Calgary law firm McGown Johnson. There, she represented workers in labour and employment law cases, as well as issues of human rights and privacy law.

“She is very intelligent and thoughtful,” lawyer Wayne Benedict told the Calgary Herald in 2015.

At the University of Calgary, Kathleen actively participated in the Student Legal Assistance (SLA) program. She worked with fellow law students to offer pro bono legal representation and assistance to students and underserved Calgarians who lacked the means to hire a lawyer. 

Degrees from the University of Calgary

  • Juris Doctor (J.D.) - 2011

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Honours, Philosophy - 2008

  • Bachelor of Science (BSc), Psychology - 2001

Behind-the-Scenes Service

Kathleen developed the experience, the skills, and the empathy she’s shown on the front bench of the NDP over years of by serving her community in many ways.

As a stage manager in a local community theatre company, she learned how to take care of her cast so they could deliver their best performances.

This experience primed her for a life in politics, where she applied her organizational prowess and people skills to campaign and govern effectively, further solidifying her reputation as a leader who can bring out the best in others and deliver results.