The Official Opposition in Alberta


By Alexa Briggs, CCVO Director, Policy & Research

Members of the Opposition are MLAs who are not part of the governing party. The role of the opposition is to hold the government accountable, criticize government activity, propose amendments to policies, and present themselves to the public as an alternative to the party in office. They work to ensure that legislation is carefully considered, and alternate views are expressed and debated. The opposition party with the most seats is called the Official Opposition, and the leader of that party is known as the Leader of the Opposition. When bills or motions are introduced, the Leader of the Opposition, or an Official Opposition Critic, is usually called on after a Cabinet Minister who speaks on behalf of the Government. (From CCVO’s Election Toolkit in the Chapter 4: Navigating the Alberta Government).

Leader of the Opposition Rachel Notley and her party’s MLAs were recently sworn in and she has announced her party’s critic roles, as noted below.

Please take note of portfolios that are important to your organization’s mission and mandate as it is often productive to work with both the Opposition as well as the governing party. Because there are presently only two parties (the NDP and the UCP) with seats in the Alberta legislature following this year’s provincial election, we have only the NDP serving in opposition to the governing UCP.

Official Opposition Critic Roles

Deron Bilous: House Leader, Economic Development, Trade and Tourism (MLA for Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview)

Jon Carson: Service Alberta (MLA for Edmonton-West Henday)

Joe Ceci: Caucus Chair, Municipal Affairs (MLA for Calgary-Buffalo)

Lorne Dach: Agriculture & Forestry (MLA for Edmonton-McClung)

Thomas Dang: Infrastructure (MLA for Edmonton-South)

Jasvir Deol: Multiculturalism (MLA for Edmonton-Meadows)

David Eggen: Whip, Advanced Education (MLA for Edmonton-North West)

Richard Feehan: Indigenous Relations (MLA for Edmonton-Rutherford)

Kathleen Ganley: Justice (MLA for Calgary-Mountain View)

Nicole Goehring: Culture, Military Liaison (MLA for Edmonton-Castle Downs)

Christina Gray : Labour & Immigration (MLA for Edmonton-Mill Woods)

Sarah Hoffman: Deputy Leader, Education (MLA for Edmonton-Glenora)

Janis Irwin: Deputy Whip, Women, LGBTQ Issues (MLA for Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood)

Rod Loyola: Transportation (MLA for Edmonton-Ellerslie)

Chris Nielsen: Red Tape Reduction (MLA for Edmonton-Decore)

Rakhi Pancholi: Children’s Services (MLA for Edmonton-Whitemud)

Shannon Phillips: Caucus Vice-Chair, Finance (MLA for Lethbridge-West)

Marie Renaud: Community & Social Services, Francophone Issues (MLA for St. Albert)

Irfan Sabir: Energy, Natural Gas (MLA for Calgary-McCall)

Marlin Schmidt: Environment (MLA for Edmonton-Gold Bar)

David Shepherd: Health (MLA for Edmonton-City Centre)

Lori Sigurdson: Seniors & Housing (MLA for Edmonton-Riverview)

Heather Sweet: Deputy House Leader, Democracy & Ethics, Mental Health & Addictions (MLA for Edmonton-Manning)