Alberta Votes·Profile

Janet Keeping: Green Party of Alberta leader

Janet Keeping is planning to take on PC party leader Jim Prentice in Calgary-Foothills in the next election.

Longtime Calgarian took over party in September 2012

Janet Keeping
Party leader since September 2012
Age:
65
Occupation before politics: Lawyer, NGO president
Education: Bachelor of science, master of philosophy, law degree
First year elected to Alberta legislature: Not yet elected
Candidate in Calgary-Foothills

Janet Keeping is planning to take on PC party leader Jim Prentice in Calgary-Foothills in the next election.

"Albertans need someone who understands and can describe a better way forward to run against the premier in Calgary-Foothills," said a release on the party's website. "There is no one better placed to articulate these fresh and more democratic directions than Green Party leader Janet Keeping."

The longtime Calgarian took over the helm of the Green Party in Alberta in September 2012.

The party ran its first candidates for office under the Evergreen Party banner in the last provincial election, but officially changed its name to Green Party of Alberta in November that year.

Keeping ran unsuccessfully in Calgary-Hawkwood in 2012. She lost to PC candidate Jason Luan. She hopes an agreement with Alberta's other left-of-centre parties will bolster the Greens this time around.

Her party says it won't run candidates against some Liberals and New Democrats when Albertans head back to the polls, and will not run against Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark in Calgary-Elbow.

Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman has also agreed to represent the Greens and Alberta Party in her riding of Edmonton-Centre. It is mainly a symbolic gesture of uniting the progressive left, as she will still appear on the ballot as a Liberal candidate.

Diverse background

Born in Montreal, Keeping spent her childhood in Quebec, southern Ontario and the Boston area. 

She got her bachelor of science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1971. She moved to Calgary in 1973 and obtained her master's in philosophy and a law degree at the University of Calgary.

Keeping worked for the law firm Bennett Jones before co-founding the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre. She would become the organization's first executive director.

She also served as the president of the Sheldon Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership from 2006 to 2012.

Janet lives in Calgary's Hillhurst community where she and her husband raised three children.

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