Erin Babcock, a former Alberta NDP MLA for Stony Plain, died on Saturday of uterine cancer. She was 38 years old.
A post on Babcock’s public Facebook page on Saturday confirmed that Babcock’s lengthy cancer journey had ended, adding that the former MLA was proud of her time representing Stony Plain in the Alberta legislature.
“She fought cancer with all she had and enjoyed time with her family. She was proud to have served the communities of Stony Plain, Spruce Grove and Parkland County,” the Facebook post read.
While still in office in 2018, Babcock announced that she had been diagnosed with uterine cancer. She continued to work while still receiving treatment at the Cross Cancer Institute, and ran for re-election in Stony Plain in 2019, where she was ultimately defeated by the UCP’s Searle Turton.
Babcock was a licensed practical nurse working in Saskatchewan and Alberta prior to entering politics to run for the Alberta NDP in 2015. As a nurse, she worked with people with mental and physical disabilities, and later on in a unit specializing in work with acute stroke patients and acute geriatric patients.
Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley praised Babcock’s heart, grit and determination in a statement to her Facebook page on Sunday morning. Notley said Babcock’s dedication inspired those who knew her, and sent her sympathies to the former MLA’s family and loved ones.
“She was a wonderful friend to those around her, a dedicated mother, and was passionate about serving her constituents as their MLA,” Notley said in a Facebook post on Sunday. “She was a fighter and drew strength from standing up for those whose voice would not otherwise be heard.”
Condolences from Babcock’s peers poured in on Saturday night and Sunday morning. Michael Connolly, a fellow former NDP MLA who was elected to represent Calgary-Hawkwood in 2015, said on Facebook on Sunday morning that Babcock will be missed by many.
“Erin was one of the strongest women I’ve ever met,” Connolly said on Facebook. “Smart, principled, caring, hilarious, and never afraid to give you a piece of her mind. She loved being an MLA, but she loved her family more than anything.”
Turton, the current UCP MLA for Spruce Grove-Stony Plain, said on Twitter that Babcock cared deeply about the area, and that she leaves behind a great legacy of public service.
Premier Jason Kenney echoed these sentiments on Twitter, offering his condolences to Babcock’s family, friends and colleagues.
“She represented her community of Stony Plain in the Legislature with dignity, continuing to serve even as she battled cancer,” Kenney said on Twitter on Saturday night.