Edmonton

Former Edmonton Liberal MLA Weslyn Mather dies

The former teacher represented the riding of Edmonton-Mill Woods from 2004 until 2008, when she was defeated by PC Carl Benito.

A 'stalwart in the party,' interim Liberal Leader David Swann says

Weslyn Mather died at her Edmonton home on Sunday. (Facebook )

Former Liberal MLA Weslyn Mather died at her home in Edmonton on Sunday.

"We're really all reeling under this tremendous loss to both her family and her community and to the Liberal Party," interim provincial Liberal Leader David Swann said. "She was a stalwart in the party."

The former teacher and school counsellor represented the riding of Edmonton-Mill Woods from 2004 until 2008, when she was defeated by PC Carl Benito.  

Mather ran for the Liberals in 2012 but was unsuccessful in reclaiming her seat. She last ran for public office for a seat on the board of trustees at Edmonton Public Schools.

Mather's husband Dick Mather, a former city councillor and chairman of Edmonton Public Schools, died in 1997. Injuries from a car crash in 1972 meant she had to use a wheelchair to get around. 

Mather was the Liberal critic for children and youth services while she was an MLA.  

Her work was praised by Janis Tarchuk, then the department's Progressive Conservative minister, after Mather had lost her seat.

"She was wonderful to work with and a great advocate for the children and families in this province," Tarchuk said during debates of the govenment estimates in May 2008. 

Swann said he and Mather were close. They were first elected in 2004 and sat next to each other in the legislature.

Swann said she died at home. She had developed an infection and it had "got away," he said. 

"It makes it doubly tragic because it would appear that she maybe didn't have the medical care there that she might have needed."

Federal Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr, a former Alberta Liberal MLA, offered a tribute to Mather on Twitter.

"She was a stalwart in the battle for a better Alberta," he said. "She will be missed."

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