Candidacy announced on August 11, 2015.
(The following text was provided by the candidate or campaign.)
Like many of those who make Calgary their home, Mark Taylor grew up outside the borders of Alberta. He followed his father, a 35 year veteran of the RCMP, to many several small towns throughout Saskatchewan eventually ending up in Regina. He graduated from the University of Regina, with a degree in Petroleum Engineering, before heading west to the opportunities that the oil patch had to offer a new graduate.
A registered professional engineer (P.Eng.), Mark has been working in the Alberta oil industry since 2004. He’s seen what the chaotic pace of $120/barrel of oil does to this city. He’s also seen the impact of sub-$50/barrel of oil as well, being one of the thousands in the province that have been laid off in the recent downturn. Mark knows firsthand the value of the oil and gas industry to the economy of Alberta.
As a response to the change in economic conditions in downtown Calgary, Mark drew on his entrepreneurial drive and started a business focused on leadership development and executive coaching particularly in the fields of science, technology and engineering. As a fiscal conservative, Mark knows that small businesses are the lifeblood of any economy and, thus, is very sensitive to the challenges small businesses face from government regulations and taxation.
Mark has always had an interest in politics. Starting back in 1990, he joined the local Progressive Conservative Youth chapter before he graduated high school. After graduating high school, he spent a decade working as a bartender and bar manager hearing first hand from customers the day-to-day impact politics were having on citizens’ lives. This fed his continued interest in politics working with several political parties over the years including the Green Party of Canada and the Wildrose Party of Alberta. He’s drawn to political parties that are focused on grassroots democracy and engaging citizens but has left parties when he finds they are too focused on serving their own interests, not that of the citizens. Mark has been focused on ensuring that Canada has had a strong democracy that gives its’ citizens the opportunity to participate and the option to find the party fits their views.
He joined the Alberta Party after hearing Leader Greg Clark speaking to group of engaged citizens in 2014. It was great to see a politician who was focused on what was best for Albertans rather than what was best for a political party. Mark believes it’s time to move beyond partisan politics and start having pragmatic politicians who can see the bigger picture. As such, Mark was given the opportunity to apply his engineering training and decades of political experience to help grow the Alberta Party. This included being part of the core campaign team that got Greg Clark elected in the recent general election as the Alberta Party’s first elected MLA.
Family is important to Mark whether it is his two children that he has shared custody of who attend public school in Okotoks; his brother who works with the Calgary Police Service; or his dad who retired to Sundre after his RCMP career. His partner, Beth Barberree, is a successful entrepreneur with her own massage therapy clinic and was the Alberta Party candidate in Calgary-Hawkwood during the 2015 Alberta general election.
Outside of politics and family, Mark is also a craft beer enthusiast who especially enjoys the local breweries here in Calgary. He can be found occasionally in the woods near golf courses searching for a ball he has badly sliced. Also, he is quite active with the squash community in Calgary and is currently ranked in the top 1100 of men’s players in Alberta.