Dan Backs was elected to his first term as a Member of the Legislative Assembly
of Alberta for the constituency of Edmonton-Manning on November 22, 2004.
After graduating high school from St. Francis high school in Calgary, Mr. Backs
continued his education earning a Bachelor of Arts (Special) in Political Science
from the University of Alberta. He earned his heavy equipment certificate from
NAIT and a human resources certificate through Continuing Education. Attending
the Enforex Language Institute in Marbella, Spain, and the Amerispan language
school in Antigua, Guatemala, he studied the Spanish language. Mr. Backs furthered
his education at the University of Alberta Extension, taking negotiations and
creative writing; Fairview College, studying farm electricity and wiring; and
the George Meany Institute in Washington, D.C., where he studied newswriting.
Mr. Backs worked on the family farm as a young man while also working in industrial
construction, the pipeline industry and road construction. He has worked and
traveled in 45 countries. Mr. Backs also worked for the federal government for
a time. His work with Syncrude, Suncor, Keephills,Sundance, Genesee and other
major projects and pipelining from Brooks to Rainbow Lake brought vast Alberta
private sector workplace experience. Later, he gained extensive experience as
a negotiator and representative for the Alberta Operating Engineers organization.
In addition to serving for six years as the elected secretary-treasurer of the
Alberta and NWT Council of Labour, Mr. Backs’ experience includes work
on many boards and committees. Recently, he contracted as an analyst on labour
Mr. Backs has been active in supporting many charitable and community activities.
He has organized, chaired or assisted in many fundraising activities for causes
such as multiple sclerosis research, juvenile diabetes, the northern Alberta
Children’s hospital, Theatre Network, McMann Youth Services, United Way
of Edmonton Allocation Committee, the Conference Board of Alberta, the Operating
Engineers Training Trust and many others. He has worked closely with political
leaders such as Laurence Decore, Bettie Hewes, Nick Taylor and Mike Percy.
In his spare time Mr. Backs enjoys photography, hiking, languages, travel,
woodworking, horseback riding and working out. He often combined these hobbies
and has photographed musk oxen in Greenland, polar bears in Nunavut, grizzlies
in Alaska, the Yukon and Alberta, alligators in Florida, boa constrictors in
the Amazon area of Brazil, lowland gorillas in the Congo, mountain gorillas
in Rwanda, lions, rhinos, cheetahs, crocodiles, hyenas, et cetera in the Serengeti
of Tanzania, caimans in the Pantanal of Brazil, foxes in Patagonia in Argentina
and Chile as well as numerous other animals and sites including the family dog.
February 3, 2005