Sarah Hoffman was at a junior high school in northern Alberta when Ralph Klein's government made deep cuts to the province's school system. Conversations at the family dinner table soon turned political and she remembers the night when her dad, a school principal, decided to take every other light bulb out of his school to save money.
"It was tough. He didn't want the kids to be in a school that wasn't well lit, but he didn't want to lay off another educational assistant," she said. As Alberta faces another budget crunch, the experience will guide her thinking.
Ms. Hoffman stepped down as chair of the Edmonton school board in January to run as a New Democrat in Edmonton-Glenora when the party seemed likely to pick up a few seats in Alberta's capital city. She had previously served as NDP research director.
During the second week of the election campaign, NDP Leader Rachel Notley arrived at Ms. Hoffman's campaign office and, while greeting staff, held Ms. Hoffman's left hand in the air and exclaimed: "My future minister of education."
Ms. Hoffman says she hasn't spoken about a cabinet post with the premier-designate yet.
After years leading the fight against the privatization of health care in Alberta, David Eggen can now breathe a small sigh of relief. As recently as election night on May 5 he was still worried the Progressive Conservatives had designs on doing away with more of the province's public health system.
"Not any more. We definitely beat them real good this time," he says with a laugh. He served as NDP house leader before the election, and as one of the party's four incumbents he's expected to find a senior role in cabinet.
First elected in a working-class area of northwest Edmonton in 2004, he narrowly lost re-election in 2008. Mr. Eggen soon found work as the executive director of Alberta's Friends of Medicare, a group opposed to health-care privatization.
"We pushed back against private health care. During that fight I came to realize that Albertans aren't so right-wing at all. People have strong beliefs in the value of public health care, education and infrastructure," he said.
In 2012, he won back his old seat of Edmonton-Calder. Before entering politics he was a public school teacher for nearly 20 years.
Former Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel beat Dr. Bob Turner nearly 2 to 1 in a by-election last October in Edmonton-Whitemud. Nearly six months later, Dr. Turner turned the tables on the health minister and beat him by nearly the same margin.
A medical oncologist by training who teaches at the University of Alberta, Dr. Turner – or simply Dr. Bob to most of his colleagues – says many people in his riding were impressed by Ms. Notley and just wanted to throw out the government.
"A lot of my friends in teaching and health care wanted to see an end to the Conservative government," he said.
"Mr. Mandel has great name recognition in this city; I'm just grateful I was along for the ride on Rachel's coattails."
Dr. Turner moved to Edmonton 38 years ago and joined the Alberta NDP under the leadership of Ms. Notley's father, Grant Notley. An involvement with medical politics through the Alberta Medical Association convinced Mr. Turner of the need to run for the provincial legislature.
"The Alberta Medical Association motto is 'Patient First.' I'd like to bring that to health care; for too long we've worried just about budgets," he said.
The longest serving New Democrat MLA in Alberta history, Brian Mason was leader of the party until last October and may be the steadiest hand in caucus besides Ms. Notley.
Holding his seat since 2000, Mr. Mason helped coach Ms. Notley through her first days in the legislature and has effectively heckled the government during Question Period – a skill the incoming premier never mastered. Going into the 2015 election, he was preparing for a final term.
"My retirement isn't really turning out the way I'd planned, no," deadpans the MLA for Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood. "We'll see what happens; there's now the burden of governing. That might account for what you perceive as my lack of enthusiasm."
He says he's taking the challenge ahead of him seriously. The first thing on his agenda is tackling the province's structural deficit. He's also thinking about the need for guidance and mentoring, now that the NDP has 50 MLAs who have never served in provincial politics before.
Born and raised in Calgary, he drove a city bus in Edmonton for most of the 1980s. "It really gives you a glimpse into the lives and challenges of people from all walks of life."
While the core of the new NDP government will come from the 19 seats it swept in Edmonton, the party captured constituencies across the province. One of Ms. Notley's new lieutenants could be Shannon Phillips, the new MLA for Lethbridge-West.
As a policy analyst for the Alberta Federation of Labour, Ms. Phillips studied some of the most pressing economic issues in the province. She steered the federation's opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline. She was a supporter of Enbridge's Line 9B proposal.
"We intervened in favour of it because it established east-west connections, energy security for Canada and import substitutions for eastern Canada," she says.
While some in Calgary's office towers worry the NDP's pledge to increase corporate taxes could lead to a loss in jobs, Ms. Phillips says she has seen first-hand what too much economic intervention can do.
"I was a child of the National Energy Program. My dad lost his job as an electrician on an oil rig and I have memories of him staying home with us as my mother patched together contracts," she says.
Who's who in the Alberta orange wave
All the current and rookie NDP MLAs that will form Alberta's provincial government
Deron Bilous, M
Education: Bachelor of education, University of Alberta
Experience: Former teacher who won his seat in the 2012 provincial election
David Eggen, M
Education: BEd, U of A
Experience: Won his seat in 2012 provincial election, Edmonton public teacher from 1990 to 2004
Brian Mason, M
Education: Studied at U of A
Experience: Elected to the legislature in a 2000 by-election, former Alberta NDP leader, former Edmonton city councillor
Rachel Notley, F
Education: Bachelor of arts, U of A; law degree, Osgoode Hall Law School
Employment: Premier-designate of Alberta, previously a labour lawyer
Experience: Elected as an MLA in 2008, elected Alberta NDP leader in 2014
Newly elected MLAs
Colin Piquette, M
Education: BA and master's degree in educational policy studies, U of A
Employment: Manager of Piquette Insurance Services in Boyle, Alta.
Experience: President of Boyle & District Chamber of Commerce and director of the Boyle District Agricultural Society
Cameron Westhead, M
Education: BA, Nipissing University; BSc, University of Toronto
Employment: Operating room registered nurse at Foothills hospital in Calgary
Experience: Board member of United Nurses of Alberta, workplace representative for Foothills nurses
Brandy Payne, F
Education: Bachelor of Journalism, Carleton University
Employment: Yoga teacher, runs her own business Brandy Payne Yoga
Experience: Previously worked in the oil and gas industry
She defeated former justice minister Jonathan Denis.
Deborah Drever, F
Education: Studying sociology at Mount Royal University
Experience: Volunteer for Calgary festivals
Photos from her Facebook have been criticized as inappropriate for an elected MLA, and a petition for her to step down is circulating online.
Kathleen Ganley, F
Education: BSc, BA and Juris Doctor, University of Calgary
Employment: Labour and employment lawyer at McGown Johnson
Experience: Volunteer work at a hospital and pro bono legal services
Ricardo Miranda, M
Education: BA, U of C; currently studying industrial relations
Employment: Research representative at the Canadian Union of Public Employees, previously worked as a flight attendant
Experience: Worked as a union organizer
He beat the PC candidate, former Calgary chief of police Rick Hanson, by just 100 votes.
Brian Malkinson, M
Education: BSc programming, Simon Fraser University
Employment: Salesperson for heavy duty engine supplier
Experience: NDP candidate in the October, 2014, Calgary-West provincial by-election and for Calgary-North West in the 2012 provincial election.
Robyn Luff, F
Education: BSc, University of Victoria; master's degree, U of C
Employment: Grade 8 math and science teacher
Experience: Volunteer for environmental causes
She defeated 22-year incumbent Moe Amery by 1,500 votes. Her grandfather ran against Grant Notley for NDP party leadership in the 1960s.
Joe Ceci, M
Education: Master's degree in social work, U of C
Employment: Public policy manager for a community development non-profit
Experience: Calgary Ward 9 city council alderman 1995-2010
Michael Connolly, M
Education: Studying political science at the University of Ottawa
Experience: Worked in Manitoba NDP MP Niki Ashton's office, nominated to run for the NDP seat in Calgary-Midnapore in the 2015 federal election
Craig Coolahan, M
Education: BA, University of British Columbia; bachelor of journalism, Thompson Rivers University
Employment: Technical writer for an electricity transmission company
Experience: Business representative for the United Utility Workers' Association
Karen McPherson, F
Education: Studied political science at Grande Prairie Regional College; degree in business administration and management, U of C
Employment: Business and IT analyst
Experience: Volunteer mentor for women in technology
Irfan Sabir, M
Education: BA, University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir; master's degree in social work, U of C; JD, U of C
Employment: Lawyer at a firm specializing in aboriginal law
Experience: Volunteer at Calgary Legal Guidance and worked at a homeless shelter
Jamie Kleinsteuber, M
Education: BA, University of Ottawa
Employment: Airline employee
Experience: Ran for an MLA seat for Banff-Cochrane in 2012 and ran for Cochrane town council in 2013
Graham Sucha, M
Education: TV broadcasting diploma, Algonquin college; studied political science at Carleton
Employment: Restaurant manager, currently on parental leave
Stephanie McLean, F
Education: BA, Concordia University College of Alberta; JD, U of C
Employment: Lawyer, partner at Gosselin-Tardif McLean
Experience: Ran as the NDP candidate in Calgary-Elbow in the 2014 by-election
Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, F
Education: Bachelor of education, U of A; master's degree in administration and leadership, San Diego State University
Employment: Business consultant, former vice president of Grande Prairie Regional College Fairview Campus
Experience: Ran for the provincial NDP in 1997
Nicole Goehring, F
Education: Diploma in social work, Grant MacEwan University
Employment: Social worker
Experience: Member of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees
She unseated PC MLA Thomas Lukaszuk
David Shepherd, M
Education: Diploma in music from Grant MacEwan; BA in communications, Royal Roads University
Employment: Works in communications for the City of Edmonton's city manager's office, former musician
Experience: Transportation and arts advocate
Unseated Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman, who had held the riding since 1997
Chris Nielsen, M
Education: Studied engineering design at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Employment: Shipper/receiver at Lucerne Foods ice cream plant
Experience: Member of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 401, worked on MLA Deron Bilous's campaign
Rod Loyola, M
Education: BA, U of A
Employment: President of the U of A's non-academic staff association
Experience: Ran for NDP leadership in 2014, regional vice-president in Edmonton for the Alberta NDP
Sarah Hoffman, F
Education: Master's in educational policy studies, U of A
Employment: Edmonton Public School Board Ward G trustee
Experience: Previous Edmonton Public School Board chair
Marlin Schmidt, M
Education: Master's degree in hydrogeology
Employment: Works for Alberta Environment, previously worked as an environmental consultant
Experience: NDP candidate in Edmonton-Gold Bar in the 2012 provincial election
Heather Sweet, F
Employment: Child protection worker with Alberta Human Services
Experience: Alberta Union of Provincial Employees member, former chair for Edmonton and Area Human Services Workers
Lorne Dach, M
Education: BA, U of A
Employment: Real estate agent
Experience: NDP candidate for provincial elections in 2001, 2004 and 2012
Jon Carson, M
He won the riding once held by former Alberta Liberal leader Raj Sherman, who did not seek re-election.
Denise Woollard, F
Education: Master's of education, U of A
Employment: University facilitator at the U of A, supports student teachers
Experience: Volunteer for Edmonton arts causes
She unseated the former speaker, PC MLA Gene Zwozdesky.
Christina Gray, F
Education: BA, Concordia University College of Alberta
Employment: Consultant for a software development company
Experience: Ran as the NDP candidate for Edmonton-Mill Woods in the 2008 provincial election
Lori Sigurdson, F
Education: BA, U of A; bachelor and master of social work, U of C
Employment: Social worker, manager of professional affairs at Alberta College of Social Work
Experience: Sits on the board of Public Interest Alberta
Richard Feehan, M
Education: BA, U of A; bachelor of social work, U of C; master of social work, Wilfrid Laurier University
Employment: U of C faculty of social work instructor in the Edmonton division
Experience: Ran for Edmonton City Council in 2013
Thomas Dang, M
Education: Second-year computer science student, U of A
Experience: Ran for the Students' Union executive position at the U of A in 2014
Bob Turner, M
Education: MD, McGill University; trained in internal medicine at Royal Victoria Hospital, trained in hematology and medical oncology at the University of Pittsburgh
Employment: Hematologist/oncologist at Edmonton's Cross Cancer Institute
Experience: Served as medical director of Canadian Red Cross blood transfusion service
Jessica Littlewood, F
Employment: Executive assistant at an accounting firm
Experience: Previous work with seniors in long-term care facilities
Shaye Anderson, M
Employment: Service technician for Telus
Experience: Union shop steward and vice president of Telecommunications Workers Union Local 208
Danielle Larivee, F
Lesser Slave Lake
Employment: Registered nurse
Experience: President, Local 315 of United Nurses of Alberta
Maria Fitzpatrick, F
Education: BEd, Memorial University
Employment: Worked in corrections for 30 years
Experience: Advocated for the No Drilling Lethbridge campaign
Shannon Phillips, F
Education: BA and MA, U of A
Employment: Director of policy analysis, Alberta Federation of Labour
Experience: Worked as a political staffer for provincial and federal NDP
Bob Wanner, M
Education: MBA, U of C
Employment: Mediator, former commissioner of public services with the City of Medicine Hat
Experience: Ran as an NDP candidate in Medicine Hat in the 1993 provincial election
Debbie Jabbour, F
Education: BA and MA, Athabasca University
Employment: Provisional psychologist in addictions and mental health
Experience: Volunteers with High Level Victim Services Unit
Kim Schreiner, F
Employment: Health-care worker
Experience: AUPE member
Barb Miller, F
Employment: Safeway cashier
Experience: Union shop steward for United Food and Commercial Workers 401, president of Red Deer and District Labour Council
Annie McKitrick, F
Education: BSc, McGill; diploma in public sector management, UVic; master of education, UVic
Employment: Community planning consultant, now semi-retired
Experience: Nominated as federal NDP candidate for Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan
Trevor Horne, M
Spruce Grove-St. Albert
Education: Political science student at MacEwan University
Experience: Policy chair for the New Democrat Youth Association
Marie Renaud, F
Education: Background in disability and women's studies
Employment: Executive director of LoSeCa Foundation, which supports adults with disabilities
Experience: Disability and community activist
Erin Babcock, F
Employment: Licensed practical nurse at Royal Alexandra hospital
Experience: Served on board of directors for the Special Olympics in Kindersley, Sask.
Estefania Cortes-Vargas, F
Education: Studying social work at MacEwan University
Employment: Student, constituency assistant for the Edmonton-Strathcona riding
Experience: Co-chair of the student program advisory committee for the MacEwan social work program
Eric Rosendahl, M
Education: Diploma from Vermilion Agricultural and Vocational College, now called Lakeland College
Employment: Spare bus driver in Hinton, Alta., former pulp mill worker
Experience: President of Hinton Fish and Game Association and president of Yellowhead Labour Council
Bruce Hinkley, M
Ecuation: BEd, U of C; master's degree, U of A
Employment: Former school principal, now retired
Experience: Ran as an NDP candidate in the 2012 provincial election
Oneil Carlier, M
Employment: Regional representative, Public Service Alliance of Canada, former geotechnical technician
Experience: Ran for positions in town councils, volunteered on federal and provincial NDP campaigns
Anam Kazim, F
Education: Bachelor's and master's degrees in engineering from University of Western Ontario
Employment: Applications engineer
Experience: Advocate for women in science