Darlene Malayko – New Democrat Party of Canada

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Darlene Malayko represents your typical everyday person.

That’s what sets her apart from other candidates, she said.

“I’m a regular person and I think that’s what a lot of our population is,” said Malayko, a former transit operator. “I think I’m more representative of our community and I think we need that to be in Ottawa.”

Malayko thinks the country needs more working and middle class representation in Parliament. She believes that with her down-to-earth, friendly personality she is just the person to speak on behalf of the nurses, teachers, firefighters, policemen, construction workers, postal workers, immigrants, women and other underrepresented groups within St. Albert-Edmonton.

“I think that makes me unique,” she said. “I’m the face of those people. I represent those people. I’m their demographic.”

As a union representative and a former volunteer co-ordinator at the Good Samaritan Auxiliary Hospital in Edmonton, where she recruited more than 300 helping hands, she also has leadership and advocacy experience needed to be a strong voice in Parliament.

“It’s all about representation, talking to people, solving issues, helping them, understanding their issues, trying to make things better for everybody,” she said of the parallels between acting as a shop steward for the Alberta Federation of Labour and an MP. “It’s about real issues that affect real people.”

Malayko has called St. Albert home for the past 20 years. Although she was born here, her father’s career in the Canadian Air Force saw her move across the country until she was 11.

Her connection to the city has always remained strong however, through frequent visits to her grandparents’ farm on Highway 37.

Malayko said she chose the NDP because of its social program policies, including healthcare, immigration – her grandfather immigrated from Germany – and pensions.

But her biggest priority would be getting St. Albertans the infrastructure that they need, especially when it comes to transit.

A mother of four, Malayko loves to hike and ski in the Rocky Mountains of Jasper with her family. Closer to home, she will take the cross-country skis out on River Lot 56.

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Michelle Ferguson