- Kevin Taft
name = Kevin Taft
BA, MA, PhD, MLA
imagesize = 150
office = Leader of the Official Opposition in Alberta
term_start = March 27, 2004
office2 = Leader of the
Alberta Liberal Party
term_start2 = 2004
office3 = MLA for
term_start3 = 2001 election
birth_date = birth date and age|1955|9|9
party = Alberta Liberal Party
spouse = Jeanette Boman
University of Alberta
University of Warwick
Kevin Taft (born
September 9, 1955in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) is a liberal politician in Alberta, Canada. He is leader of the Alberta Liberal Partyand leader of the opposition in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. Taft was raised in Edmonton, Alberta.
In 2001, Taft entered politics and was elected to the legislature as an Alberta Liberal
Member of the Legislative Assembly(MLA) in the riding of Edmonton Riverview, defeating Progressive Conservative star candidate and former city councillor Wendy Kinsella. Three years later in the spring of 2004, Ken Nicol resigned as leader of the Alberta Liberal Party, and Taft was elected to replace him. Taft was generally given credit for being more tenacious than the soft-spoken Nicol in his performance in the legislature during the lead-up to the 2004 election, especially on issues such as public auto insurance, public accounts, and government contracts. Despite leading a party saddled with a $900,000 debt, he helped his party more than double its seats in the election from 7 before the election call to 16, regaining seats in Edmonton, and making a breakthrough in the traditionally conservative city of Calgary. Taft also saw his support in Riverview solidify; he received more votes than any other candidate, of any party, in the 2004 election. In the 2008 election, the Liberal Party won only nine seats.
June 26, 2008, Taft announced that he will be stepping down as leader of the Alberta Liberal Party but intends to remain as an MLA.
Taft has a
B.A.and Master's Degreein Community Development from the University of Alberta, and a Ph.D. in Businessfrom the University of Warwickin England.
Experience in China
In the spring of 1989 Taft was travelling in
Chinaleading a dinosaur fossil expedition. It was here that he witnessed the pro-democracy protests at Tiananmen Squareand the brutal suppression of students by the Chinese government.
When asked later, Taft said; “There were thousands of them.... It felt like Woodstock, as if someone had taken the chains off these students.... There was a sense of revolution.”
The response came weeks later in early June, when the military was called in and, in a night of bloodshed and chaos, killed — depending on reports — hundreds to thousands of protesters. Taft said, "It was like springtime and then the depths of winter." [http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/Alberta/2008/02/04/4826949.html Alberta Liberal Leader Kevin Taft draws on lifetime of experience] ] .
In the past, Taft has been appointed by Alberta’s Progressive Conservative government to a team monitoring and investigating horrific conditions in hospitals and homes for seniors and the disabled.
He later worked as a consultant and policy analyst in the public and private sectors.
He was propelled into the public eye as the author of "Shredding the Public Interest", a book published in 1997 that accused the
Ralph Kleingovernment of unnecessarily cutting funding for public services; Klein responded by accusing Taft of being a communist. The book spent 12 weeks on the " Financial Post" bestseller list, and was chosen as "Alberta Trade Title of the Year" by the Book Publisher's Association of Alberta. In 2000, Taft co-authored a book with Calgarian journalistGillian Steward, titled "Clear Answers: The Economics and Politics of For-Profit Medicine". In 2006 he authored a book titled "Democracy Derailed" which details his observations and criticisms of the present government in Alberta.
In 2007, Taft delivered many speeches that were noted across the province, of particular note are "The Western Tiger" [http://proquest.umi.com.ezproxy.lib.ucalgary.ca/pqdweb?did=1335533741&sid=1&Fmt=3&clientId=12303&RQT=309&VName=PQD Opposition begins erecting election planks] ] and the "Alternate Speech from the Throne" [http://proquest.umi.com.ezproxy.lib.ucalgary.ca/pqdweb?did=1221952501&sid=5&Fmt=3&clientId=12303&RQT=309&VName=PQD One speech doesn't make a premier] ] .
* [http://www.albertaliberal.com/index.php/alp/contentmore/kevin_taft_leader_alberta_liberals/ Kevin Taft on the Alberta Liberal Party website]
* [http://www.assembly.ab.ca/adr/adr_template.aspx?type=mla_bio&rnumber=39 Biography for Mr. Kevin Taft on the website of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta]
Notes and references
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