Edmonton – “Unlike most professions, there is not a job description for Members of the
Legislative Assembly of Alberta,” said Honourable Nathan Cooper, Speaker of the Legislative
Assembly of Alberta. “The role is as unique as it is diverse. As elected officials serving in the
30th Legislature the work done in the Chamber, in committees and within the 87 constituencies
across Alberta is both challenging and rewarding and, I feel, deserves some recognition.”
In the spirit of collegial recognition, Speaker Cooper initiated the 2019 Alberta MLA awards to
give Members a chance to vote for their colleagues in a number of categories. The votes are
in with nine Members being recognized for extraordinary work in service of the people of
“I thank all Members for their service,” said Speaker Cooper. “Congratulations to those who
are receiving special recognition from their peers today.”
Taking top honours as Alberta’s MLA of the Year is the honourable Travis Toews, President of
Treasury Board and Minister of Finance. Toews represents the constituency of Grande
Prairie-Wapiti. Before being elected in April, Toews worked as a managing director and coowner of a corporate family cattle ranching operation and an oil field environmental company.
With a CPA, CMA accounting designation and extensive public practice, Toews was sworn in
as President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance on April 30, 2019.
West Yellowhead MLA, Martin Long was voted Alberta’s Most Collegial MLA. Prior to being
elected in April, Long worked in the newsprint industry and served his community as board
chair of the Tennille’s Hope Kommunity Soup Kitchen in Whitecourt and as a youth leader with
the Whitecourt Baptist church.
Shane Getson, MLA for Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland, was recognized as the Best Debater. As a
father of four Getson likely had a lot of practice debating before he was first elected in April.
Prior to beginning his career in public service, Getson spent 15 years in the construction
industry and as a senior manager in the energy sector.
Recognized for Best Community Outreach was MLA Janis Irwin. Before being elected in April
as the Member representing Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood, Irwin had devoted over a decade
to the education field. She has served as a board member for several nonprofit associations, including the Somali
Canadian Women and Children Association, the Highlands Historical Society Edmonton, and
Arts on the Ave. She has also volunteered with a number of organizations, including the Boyle
McCauley News, Homeward Trust and the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers.
Named Alberta’s Most Knowledgeable Parliamentarian was Deputy Speaker and Chair of
Committees, Angela Pitt. Pitt is currently serving her second term as the MLA representing
Airdrie-East. She has served on many Legislative Assembly committees during her time as an
elected official. Before that, she was a small business owner in Airdrie and an active community
Nate Horner received top marks with his colleagues as Alberta’s Best Representative of
Constituents. Before he was elected to represent the people of Drumheller-Stettler, Horner was
a rancher with a cow-calf mixed farm operation. He was also an active community volunteer
serving as an emergency medical responder for Dryland Emergency Medical Services
Association, president of the Highway 9 Feeder Co-op Association and co-chair of the
Hardgrass Bronc Match.
Members voted Tracy Allard as Alberta’s Hardest Working MLA. Allard was elected in April as
the representative for Grande Prairie. Prior to becoming an MLA Allard was a franchise
business owner and active community member. She served as a director with the Tim Hortons
Children’s Foundation. She was board president of the Grande Prairie Boys’ Choir and sat on
the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital Foundation Capital Cabinet.
Recognized by her peers as the Most Promising Newcomer was the Honourable Rajan
Sawhney, Minister of Community and Social Services. Before she was elected as Member for
Calgary-North East in April, Sawhney held senior positions in the oil and gas industry. As well,
Sawhney served as the senior vice-president of the Sikh Society of Calgary and director of its
Guru Nanak Punjabi School. She is a recipient of the Canada 150 award bestowed by YW
Calgary in 2007.
Alberta’s MLA Lifetime Achievement Award went to David Eggen. Eggen first served as the
Member for Edmonton-Calder from 2004 to 2008. He was re-elected in 2012 and 2015. In April
of 2019, Eggen was again elected to represent the constituency of Edmonton-North West. Over
the years he has served as Minister of Education and as Minister of Culture and Tourism and
has been an active member of numerous committees of the Legislative Assembly. In addition to
his many contribution as an MLA and in the education and health industries, Eggen is a trustee
with the Forum for Young Albertans and a chair leader of the Spinal Cord Injury Association of
- 30 -
Lianne Bell, Chief of Staff
Office of the Speaker