CALGARY – The ‘Orange Chinook’ that washed over Alberta on May 5th included the election of CUPE Research Representative Ricardo Miranda as MLA for the riding of Calgary Cross.
Miranda was one of 54 NDP MLAs elected as part of Rachel Notley’s surprise victory in the Alberta provincial election. Miranda won a squeaker, defeating PC star candidate, and former Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson by only 100 votes.
Previously considered Canada’s most conservative province, Albertans surprised pundits defeating a 44 year old government and electing a Premier and party committed to better health and education funding, fighting climate change, a higher minimum wage and a review of the provinces energy royalty system.
A parent of two, Miranda worked as a flight attendant with Air Canada for 15 years, serving as President of CUPE 4095, joining CUPE’s staff in 2012. With CUPE, he worked as a National Representative, researcher and as an organizer, helping to bring employees into the CUPE family.
After his experience as a union organizer, Miranda says he wants to work as an MLA to make it easier for workers to join unions. “I witnessed some real hard ball tactics by some bad employers,” said Miranda, “I’d like to see a process where the only deciding factor on forming a union is the will of the employees.”
Miranda said his experiences working with CUPE had an impact on his campaign. “Calgary Cross includes Peter Lougheed Hospital and Lester B. Pearson High School, both places where CUPE members have told me their first-hand experiences trying to deliver public services on budgets starved for too many years.”
The newly elected MLA credited the NDP win to voters looking for change. “Albertans have never been as conservative as people think,” said Miranda. “And after 44 years – they decided they wanted a government that better reflected their values.”
Miranda has a Bachelor of Arts in the humanities from the University of Calgary. He speaks English, Spanish, French, and three other languages. Along with two other NDP MLAs, Miranda made history as the first elected LGBTQ members of the Alberta Legislature.