Public Interest Alberta Staff

Brad Lafortune, Executive Director 

Bradley (he/they) is a passionate community organizer, settler, and advocate for social justice, human rights, and the public interest. Born and raised on the prairies, he has spent the last 20 years in Edmonton. In the past, Bradley has worked with community organizations, labour unions, and advised leaders and politicians from all levels of government. His favourite part of advocacy is working with good people helping make big change happen. Outside of organizing, Bradley enjoys spending time with his brilliant kiddo, Maven, and spending as much time as possible in the mountains. 


Laura Kruse, Director of Communications and Organizing 
[email protected]

Laura Kruse is the Director of Communications and Organizing for Public Interest Alberta. She is a community organizer, an in-demand keynote speaker, and an educator and facilitator, training young people (and the young at heart!) for meaningful action in the public interest. A few highlights of Laura's career include a successful campaign to win affordable child care in Alberta, acting as the co-founding anchor for the Edmonton chapter of the national Common Horizon movement, and co-founding the nationally-renowned Free Transit Edmonton campaign. Her writing has appeared in the Globe and Mail, the Edmonton Journal, Jacobin Magazine, and Progress Alberta. 

Deanne Timmons, Finance and Administration Officer
[email protected]  

2022-23 Board of Directors

Public Interest Alberta is governed by a Board of Directors drawn from our member organizations and individuals from the community. The Board is elected by the membership at our Annual General Meeting. 

Terry Price, President

As a retired teacher and activist, Terry has served in various elected and staff positions with territorial, provincial, and national teachers' organizations for the past 26 years. Terry served in various capacities in the Canadian Teachers' Federation from 1993 to 2005 including two years as President. She served as a staff officer of the Manitoba Teachers' Society from 2006 until her retirement in November 2017, when she moved to Edmonton to be closer to family. Terry has been active with Public Interest Alberta as a member of the Board of Directors, Secretary of the Executive, and Chairperson of the Seniors' Task Force and guided the planning of a highly successful Citizens' Forum on seniors' issues held in Red Deer in March 2019.


Alison McIntosh, Vice-President

Alison McIntosh is a climate organizer and passionate advocate for people-powered change. Born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Alison is proud to fight for a just transition in Alberta that is grounded in climate action, good green jobs, and justice for all. Alison is an organizer with Climate Justice Edmonton, a grassroots climate justice collective. Since 2021, she has served as Vice President at Public Interest Alberta. Alison’s interest in intersectional social change began with her BA in Human Geography from the University of Alberta. She also has a MA in Geography from Simon Fraser University where her thesis project was part of a community-based multidisciplinary research project about food security and harm reduction.

Mike Parker, Vice-President
Health Sciences Association of Alberta

Mike_Parker.pngMike Parker has been a first responder since 1992, volunteering in his local community of Coaldale, Alberta. He went on to work in the private ambulance industry in Andrew, Lamont, Morinville and Athabasca, before moving to Edmonton in 1996. He graduated as a paramedic in 1999. He has been involved in the labour movement for many years, serving as a steward and as vice-president of his local with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). He became a member of HSAA in 2009 and served as a board member before being elected as HSAA vice-president in 2015. The following year, he became president. Mike has always been a strong proponent of the role of unions in protecting the rights of citizens and also of the public sector in providing vital services. Mike has also served as a volunteer with Canadian Medical Assistance Teams (CMAT), providing emergency assistance after disasters in the Philippines, Pakistan and Nepal.

Jonathan Teghtmeyer, Treasurer
Alberta Teachers’ Association


Donna Staszenski, Secretary

Donna is a retired teacher and school principal. Throughout her career, she was committed to nurturing children’s success in learning and supporting good teaching practices. Through her work as an ATA Economic Consultant, an Alberta School Employees Benefit board member and a leader in school curriculum initiatives, she contributed to the defence and integrity of public education. In several federal, provincial and municipal elections, she successfully developed organizational and volunteer capacities. Currently, Donna serves as chair of the Public Interest Alberta Child Care and Early Learning Task Force. She supports the importance of advocating for establishing a public system of early learning and child care programs which are of high quality, accessible, affordable and well-regulated.

Gil McGowan, Director
Alberta Federation of Labour

SiobhanVipond.jpgIn 2021, Gil McGowan was re-elected to a record ninth two-year term as president of the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL), Alberta’s largest union advocacy organization, representing more than 175,000 workers in both the public and private sectors.

McGowan, a father of three, has presided over a period of substantial growth for the AFL and has been instrumental in putting many important issues forward for public discussion in Alberta. For example, he has led public discussion that led to policy changes on resource development, reform of the temporary foreign worker program, climate change and green jobs, a $15 minimum wage, pension reform, reforms to the labour code and employment standards, and reforms to occupational health and safety and WCB legislation.

Gil has been instrumental in coordinating the AFL’s political action campaigns, including the campaign that helped elect Alberta’s first NDP government in May 2015. That same year, Gil was named one of Alberta’s 50 most influential people. In addition to his position with the AFL, Gil also sits on the Canadian Council, the governing body of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), and was Co-Chair of the Energy Diversification Advisory Committee (EDAC), a special committee established by the Notley government to make recommendations about how to add more value to Alberta’s energy resources. Gil also serves as Sponsor Board Chair Person for the Local Authorities Pension Plan (LAPP), Alberta’s largest pension plan and he was a member of the Federal Just Transition Task Force, which developed transition strategies for workers and communities affected by the phase out of coal fired electricity across Canada.


Heather Smith, Director
United Nurses of Alberta

HeatherSmith.jpgHeather is the President of the United Nurses of Alberta, a position she has held since 1988. Born and raised in Ontario, she came to Alberta to work as a nurse at the Edmonton General Hospital. She quickly became involved in her union and served as President of her Local for two years. She also sat on the provincial negotiating committee during the 19-day illegal strike in January 1988. Heather has been a key figure in defending public health care in Alberta, including campaigns to oppose Bill 37, Bill 11 and the Third Way.

Bonnie Gostola, Director
Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE)


Quinn Benders, Director
Non-Academic Staff Association (NASA)


Rory Gill, Director
CUPE Alberta Division

Rory Gill has worked in the public sector with the City of Calgary for over 20 years. He first joined the City as a seasonal parks labourer in 1997 and worked in several different capacities until he was promoted to foreman in the Parks Department in 2000.

In 2006, Gill became active in his local union, CUPE 709 – the Calgary Civic Foremen’s Union. He joined the local Executive in 2011, and was later elected as the local’s Vice-President in 2012 and then the President in 2014.

At the same time, Rory was active with CUPE Alberta Division and attended its conventions since 2011.  In 2016, he was elected to the division’s Executive Committee as Calgary Area Vice President.  The following year, he was elected Southern General Vice President and served in that position until he was elected President of CUPE Alberta in March 2019.

Rory is originally from Aberdeen, Scotland, though he primarily grew up in Calgary. He is the proud father of two sons.

Sheldon Kerr, Director
United Utility Workers Association 

Sheldon was born in St. Albert but raised in Airdrie, Alberta where he still lives with wife and son. He has worked as a Business Representative for the United Utility Workers’ Association since 2018 and before that was a local shop steward in the Contact Centre at FortisAlberta. He is an alumni of SAIT and Athabasca University where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Recourses and Labour Relations. Sheldon sat as a Vice President on the Alberta Federation of Labour Executive Committee and was Recording Secretary for the Political Action Committee.

Collin Anderson, Director
Alberta Federation of Union Retirees


Collin is a Past President of the Calgary and District Labour Council and prior to retirement was the President of the Telecommunications Workers Union Locals 204 and 205. He is currently the President of the Calgary Area Council of the Congress of Union Retirees of Canada (CURC) and on the Executive of the Alberta Federation of Union Retirees (AFUR). Within the roles with CURC and AFUR, Collin advocates on behalf of retirees and seniors on issues such as health care, long term care, housing, and pensions. A prime focus in 2018 will be to continue the opposition to Bill C-27, an attack on pensions by the federal government.

Greg Mady, Director
Edmonton & District Labour Council

Greg Mady is the President of the Edmonton & District Labour Council. Greg has obtained degrees in Philosophy & Political Science from the University of Alberta & Waterloo. Working in the service industry throughout his schooling he eventually found his way to Canada Post where he worked as a mail carrier and volunteered tirelessly with his union, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW). In 2013, Greg was struck by a vehicle while working and sustained serious injuries. After a month in the hospital and a year in rehabilitation, he returned to work where he continued to educate others and push hard for fair treatment of health and safety concerns. In his current role with the Edmonton & District Labour Council, he sits on many boards in his effort to better the lives of all working Edmontonians on behalf of dozens of affiliated union members.



Linda Osborne, Director
Seniors United Now

Ex-officio members

Chris Gallaway
Friends of Medicare

Chris Gallaway (he/him) is an experienced community organizer and advocate for public health care. Born and raised on a farm in rural Saskatchewan, he has since spent most of his adult life living on Treaty 6 territory, first in Saskatoon, and for the last decade living here in Edmonton. His past experience includes working for the Alberta Federation of Labour, in three provincial legislative assemblies, and for a variety of non-profit and community organizations. Outside of work Chris is an active volunteer and community member engaged in social justice and the arts.


Ricardo Acuña
Parkland Institute