Alberta announces new appointees for 6 postsecondary boards of governors

The province announced new appointments to boards of governors of 6 postsecondary institutions. Plus, there was another one last month.

Earlier this week, the provincial government announced new appointments to boards of governors of 6 postsecondary institutions.

The new board members are

  • Linda Banister: Grant MacEwan University
  • Julian Martin: Grant MacEwan University
  • John Stelter: Grant MacEwan University
  • Mona Hale: University of Alberta
  • Roy Bjorklund: Grande Prairie Regional College
  • Adele Thomson: Keyano College
  • Jenny Adams: NorQuest College
  • Jennifer Cleall: NorQuest College
  • David R. Erickson: SAIT
  • Reynold Tetzlaff: SAIT
  • Susan Billington: SAIT

Linda Banister is a management consultant. Until 2018, she was president of Banister Research & Consulting. In 2015, she donated $500 to the Edmonton-Rutherford PC party constituency association. Her husband, Harold, has donated $9000 to various political entities since 2006, including the PC party, the Wildrose Party, and the UCP; the Akash Khokhar PC campaign; Brian Jean’s UCP leadership campaign; and the La Biche–St. Paul–Two Hills Wildrose constituency association,

Julian Martin is an advisor, having worked as a history professor at the University of Alberta and as the director of a regional cabinet ministers’ office in Edmonton. He has donated to political entities since 2004, including $450 to Shannon Stubbs PC campaign in 2004; $300 to the Wildrose Party in 2015, $350 in 2016, $350 in 2017; $575 to the UCP in 2017, $400 in 2018, and $1,100 in 2019; and $686.44 to Len Thom’s nomination campaign. During the 2019 provincial election, he donated $450 to the UCP, as well as $150 to the Edmonton-Strathcona UCP candidate.

John Stelter is a partner and senior leader at KPMG’s Edmonton office, specializing in public sector auditing. I could find no political donations for Stelter, and KPMG made a single $550 donation to the Liberal party in 2004.

Mona Hale is a senior vice president with Finning International. There’s no record of her donating money to political endeavours, but Finning’s Edmonton location donated $49,450 between 2004 and 2015, all to the PC party.

Roy Bjorklund works for Team Auctions in their Fairview location. He has no recorded political donations.

Adele Thomson is the manager of surface land and stakeholder relations with Canadian Natural Resources, which incidentally donated $600,000 to Keyano College in 2018, buying them naming rights over the college’s gym and field house. There’s no record of political donations for Thomson, but CNRL has donated nearly $125,000 to political parties, candidates, and constituency associations between 2004 and 2015.

Jenny Adams owns The Adams Agency, a public relations firm in Edmonton. In 2016, Adams donated $310 to the PC Party, and she was the campaign manager for Katherine O’Neill (PC candidate) during the 2015 provincial election.

Jennifer Cleall is a partner with the law firm DLA Piper (Canada) LLP. In 2012, she donated $600 to Heather Klimchuk’s PC election campaign. She donated $375 to the PCs in 2013, $2,208.34 in 2014, and $3,750 in 2015. She also donated $500 to the Edmonton–Riverview PC constituency association in 2015. Her father, Ken Cleall, who is senior counsel at the same law firm, donated $425 to the PCs in 2009, $350 to the UCP in 2018, and $450 to the UCP in 2019. He also donated $93.75 to the Edmonton–Glenora UCP constituency association. Both of them each donated $500 to Jim Prentice’s PC leadership campaign.

David R. Erickson is retired, but he most recently spent 10 years as the president and CEO with Alberta Electric System Operator, where he was the highest paid public sector employee in Alberta, earning just shy of $1 million a year. I could find only one donation for a David Erickson in Calgary, and it was for $1000 to the Wildrose party; however, I was unable to confirm these were both the same person.

Reynold Tetzlaff is managing partner in PwC Canada’s Calgary office. I could find no record of political donations from Tetzlaff.

Susan Billington is a lawyer with Billington Barristers and an associate professor with the University of Calgary Faculty of Law. She ran as a PC party candidate in the 2015 provincial election. She was also 1 of 5 members of the Kananaskis Improvement District’s council that approved motions to seek reimbursement from the province to cover taxes and levies for the Kananaskis Country Golf Course. She donated $450 to the PC party in 2014. Her husband, Richard, is a senior partner at the same law firm and has donated $4,245 to the PC party between 2012 and 2015, including the Calgary–Fish Creek and Calgary–Greenway PC constituency associations, Jim Prentice’s leadership campaign, and his wife’s election campaign.

These appointments are in addition to the appointment last month of Karri Flatla to the Lethbridge College board of governors. Flatla ran as the UCP candidate in the Lethbridge-West riding last year.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

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