The making of a leader

Rachel Notley


When Rachel Notley made history on May 5, no one was prouder than the HSA staff and members who worked with her back in the day.

Notley, who led Alberta's New Democrats from four seats to government, ending 44 years of Progressive Conservative rule, worked at HSA from 1994 to 2002, representing injured workers and helping members with occupational health and safety issues.

"I always knew she'd be successful," says Carol Riviere, an HSA communications officer who worked alongside Notley. "I knew she'd do a good job for her constituents and make real breakthroughs as leader of the party." She digs into the issues because she wants to make a real difference."

Riviere travelled to Alberta to volunteer on election day, along with labour relations officer Leila Lolua.

"We'd come out to help her on campaigns before," said Lolua, "but this time, the moment we got there, it was clear that something very big was happening."

Rebecca Maurer, HSA's Director of Human Resources and Operations, says Notley's election breakthrough may have been unexpected, but it was no fluke.

"The wonderful thing about Rachel is that her public persona and private persona are the same. The smart, warm, caring person who voters saw on the campaign trail is exactly who she is privately."

"I was struck by her intellect, passion and ability to connect personally with anyone. She's truly one-of-a-kind."