David King

davidhead&shouldersSomewhat like a Swiss “citizen-soldier” David King is a “citizen-politician”, having spent 17 years in the Alberta Legislature Building, and another 20 years working for locally elected politicians in that  province.

A democrat who believes that an enduring and healthy democracy is nurtured from the grassroots up, David is dedicated to working with local governments, local civil society organizations and citizens concerned about strong democracy and viable, strong local communities. More generally, David is interested in politics and political relations, the economy, systems and organization, futuring, and ecology.

He is the former (and first) Executive Director of the Public School Boards’ Association of Alberta, a role he fulfilled from 1990 until 2010, when he retired. The Association is a voluntary membership organization for public school jurisdictions in Alberta.

From 1967 – ’69, David was Research Assistant to Peter Lougheed, Leader of the Opposition in the Alberta Legislature.

Between 1971 and 1986, he was a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, during which time he was Legislative Secretary to then Premier Lougheed (1971 – ’76), Minister of Education (1979 – ’86, upon the appointment of Premier Lougheed), and Minister of Technology, Research and Telecommunications (1986, upon the appointment of Premier Getty).  Also during this time, Mr. King was (in the absence of a Campaign Manager) Campaign Co-ordinator for the Joe Clark Leadership Campaign (Progressive Conservative Party of Canada) of 1975 – ’76.

While Legislative Secretary to Premier Lougheed, David introduced the Sexual Sterilization Repeal Act (1972), and served on a number of Standing and Select Committees, including those which recommended repeal of the Communal Property Act, modernized the Workers’ Compensation Act, and redistributed electoral boundaries.

During his seven years in three different Alberta Cabinets, he served for a time as Deputy Government House Leader and as a member of various Cabinet Committees, including: Social Planning; Economic  Planning; Labour Relations; Science; Communications Policy; and, Legislative Review. For two years he was the Minister Responsible for the implementation of the Government’s Policy on Professions and Occupations.

As Minister of Education, David was responsible for a number of major initiatives, including the establishment of:  Provincial Diploma Examinations (end of grade XII) and Provincial Achievement Tests; the educational Management Finance Plan; the computer Technology in Schools Program; the Designated Community Schools program; the Teacher Internship Program; the Council of Alberta Teaching Standards; and, elected trusteeship for Northlands School Division.  He also revoked the Teaching Certificate of Jim Keegstra in light of anti-Holocaust teachings.

David also has experience in merchant banking (with Capwest Capital Services Ltd.), and in social science research (as Research Director for the Edmonton and District Council of Churches and as Research Assistant to the Leader of the Opposition in the Alberta Legislature).  He has served on the Board of Directors of a number of public and private companies, including L.S.I. Logic Corporation of Canada, Inc., Domglas Canada, and Firstclass Systems Corp.  From 1986 – 1990 David was President of Effective Strategies Incorporated, specializing in strategic planning, issue management, and political relations.

David was (briefly) the first Executive Director of the Edmonton City Centre Church Corporation.  He was also a founder and charter member of:  Communitas (promoting cooperative housing in Alberta); the Edmonton Citizens for Better Housing Society; the Boyle Street Community Services Cooperative; the Boyle-McCauley Health Centre; and, the Urban Reform Group of Edmonton.  For more than a decade he was a member of the Rotary Club of Northeast Edmonton, and a member (and a former long time Director) of the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights. He is also a long time supporter of Amnesty International and a long-time supporter of Habitat for Humanity.

In 2010 David was recognized by the Alberta Teachers’ Association and then by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation as a Friend of Education. He was also honoured by the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba as a Distinguished Lecturer (in 2007). The David Thomas King School in the Edmonton Public School District is named in recognition of his service to the cause of education and civil democratic society.

David has been a lifetime active member of the United Church of Canada.

A long-time Progressive Conservative, the provincial party turned away from citizen-oriented community conservatism in 1994, and the federal party made the same turning away in 2003.  David now belongs to the Green Party.


David and Clare (nee Piven) have been married since October 19th, 1968. They have two sons (Troy, and Jason), and a daughter (Sarah), and six grandchildren.

Born:  June 22nd, 1946, in Perth, Ontario (to Rev. A.E. and Mrs. Ethel King)

B.A. (Political Science and History) from the University of Alberta (transfer from the University of Victoria)

David and Clare have lived in Victoria, B.C. since November, 2011.


Personal Notes

As is always the case, my own upbringing and experience have a strong influence on my perspective, my aspirations, and my hopes for the future of the community.

My father, and grandfather were United Church ministers who lived the Social Gospel.  My faith and the Social Gospel continue to be an integral part of my life.  I wrestle mightily to understand my faith in the context of my place in the 21st century.

As for my place, I have lived most of my life in Edmonton, Alberta.  In Edmonton, the community I called home, is the Highlands — more than 100 years old, very stable, renewing itself every generation, almost self-contained, exuding neighbourliness.  I travelled extensively around the province for more than 60 years and I have friends and acquaintances who I value, throughout the province, in the drylands, the foothills, the mixed farming areas, the resource communities, the mid-sized cities and the metropolitan centres with their bedroom communities.

I now live in Victoria, B.C., which I have visited often over many years, and I am coming to love this community as I love Alberta.

Through my life many many people have influenced me in positive and life-giving ways:  both my parents, and my father’s parents; Peter Lougheed, Gerry Amerongen, Neil Crawford (and many others); Robert Stanfield, Joe Clark, Hugh Segal, David McDonald (and many others); Dick Baker, Thomas Sergiovanni, David Matthews (and many others); John McKnight, Howard Lawrence, Mark Anielski (and many others).

From a distance, others have also influenced me:  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King, Jr., Pete Seeger (and many others).

My music is folk music — the music of people’s struggle onward and upward.  (I confess to enjoying many other types of music, as well.)

1 Comment

  1. David, I do hope this reaches you. I always listen to and read your views on education. I am sitting at the airport headed to Fort McMurray for the 220 th time.
    I see you had a forum Monday night at the U of A. I sincerely believe you are the most knowledgeable person to carry on these discussions. You say a decade and I say neither of us may live to see it happen regardless of the absolute common sense resolution.
    I learned a lot from you and have admired your many accomplishments.
    Trust you and Clare are well. I remain keenly interested in educational issues although I am no longer connected.
    Fight the good fight.
    David Ellis

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