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Tany Yao
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo
Assumed office
May 5, 2015
Preceded byMike Allen
Personal details
Born1971 (age 50–51)
Grand Falls, New Brunswick
Political partyUnited Conservative Party
Other political
Wildrose (2015–17)
Residence(s)Fort McMurray, Alberta
OccupationParamedic, firefighter

Tany Yao (born 1971) is a Canadian politician who was elected in the 2015 and 2019 Alberta general elections to represent the electoral district of Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo in the 29th and 30th Alberta Legislatures.[1][2]


Yao was born in Grand Falls, New Brunswick and moved to Fort McMurray, Alberta in 1977 at the age of six. His father, Joseph Yao, was originally from Cebu in the Philippines and eventually worked as a doctor in Fort McMurray.[3] His mother, Keiko, was a nurse within the community.[citation needed]

Yao graduated from Fort McMurray Composite High School in 1989 and enrolled in the EMT program at Portage College in Lac La Biche, Alberta. Ultimately he went on to become a paramedic at NAIT in Edmonton, Alberta. His first full-time job after graduating from NAIT was with the Alberta Central Air Ambulance in Lac La Biche. In 1997, Yao returned to Fort McMurray as a paramedic firefighter. He helped fight the House River Fire in 2002.[4] In 2007, Yao was promoted to Assistant Deputy Chief of Operations - EMS for the region of Wood Buffalo.[citation needed]

Provincial Politics

In late 2014 Yao considered running for office after Wildrose party was in disarray after leader Danielle Smith and eight other MLAs crossed the floor to the ruling Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta. After Brian Jean was elected as the official leader of the Wildrose Party, Yao decided to run in the electoral districts of Fort McMurray- Wood Buffalo.

The 2015 Alberta election was held on May 5, 2015. Yao was elected to represent the electoral district of Fort McMurray- Wood Buffalo, defeating Progressive Conservative candidate Mike Allen. The party retained its standing as Official Opposition in the legislature, while for the first time in Alberta history, the New Democratic Party formed government, with Rachel Notley becoming Premier. This marked the end of 43 years of government by the Progressive Conservatives.

On May 18, 2017, the Wildrose and the Progressive Conservatives announced that their two parties had come to a merger agreement and on July 22, 2017 the merger was passed with 95% support from both the PCs and the Wildrose. The merger agreement formed the United Conservative Party, a leadership election occurred on October 28, 2017, in which Jason Kenney was chosen as the leader of the UCP.[5]

Yao was the UCP's official critic on Health and Emergency Response Preparedness.[6] Yao was reelected in the 2019 Alberta general election.

Yao travelled to Mexico at the end of 2020 despite regulations that required Albertans to avoid non-essential travel due to the coronavirus pandemic. Yao later apologized for his actions on his public Facebook page.[7] As of January 4, 2021, Yao is one of several MLAs who travelled outside the country in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic in December 2020, despite public health orders that closed the border to non-essential travel. Multiple phone calls and text messages to Yao’s personal and professional numbers during his vacation were not returned when his travel became publicly known.[8] Yao and several other United Conservative MLAs were demoted by Premier Jason Kenney as a result of their international travel during the pandemic.[9]

Electoral history

2019 general election

2019 Alberta general election: Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
United Conservative Tany Yao 10,269 71.06% 5.00%
New Democratic Stephen Drover 3,129 21.65% -8.77%
Alberta Party Marcus Erlandson 804 5.56%
Alberta Independence Michael Keller 249 1.72%
Total 14,451
Rejected, spoiled and declined 43 34 13
Eligible electors / Turnout 22,497 64.48% 22.54%
United Conservative hold Swing 6.93%
Source: "61 - Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo, 2019 Alberta general election". Elections Alberta. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
Alberta. Chief Electoral Officer (2019). 2019 General Election. A Report of the Chief Electoral Officer. Volume II (PDF) (Report). Vol. 2. Edmonton, Alta.: Elections Alberta. pp. 275–278. ISBN 978-1-988620-12-1. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
Change and swing for UCP candidate is based on the combination of Wildrose and PC candidate results.

2015 general election

2015 Alberta general election: Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Wildrose Tany Yao 3,835 40.03 -2.92
New Democratic Stephen Drover 2,915 30.42 +25.37
Progressive Conservative Mike Allen 2,486 25.95 -23.04
Liberal Robin Le Fevre 345 3.60 +0.59
Total valid votes 9,581
Rejected, spoiled and declined 76
Eligible electors / Turnout 22,940 42.10 +7.97
Wildrose gain from Progressive Conservative Swing +10.06
Elections Alberta. "Electoral Division Results: Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo". Retrieved 21 June 2018.


  1. ^ "Alberta Votes 2015 - CBC News".
  2. ^ "Fresh faces in the Wildrose Opposition". Edmonton Journal. 9 May 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Consul General Torres Meets MLAs Nathan Cooper and Tany Yao".
  4. ^ "House River Fire 2002".
  5. ^ "Wildrose-PC members to vote on new united party July 22". Edmonton Journal. 19 May 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Tany Yao |". UCP Caucus. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Fort McMurray MLA still in Mexico, apologizes for trip". 6 January 2021.
  8. ^ "Yao travelled to Mexico during break, government unable to reach him". Fort Mcmurray today. 4 January 2021. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  9. ^ "7 Alberta cabinet ministers, MLAs, staff resign after holiday travels: Kenney". Coast Mountain News. 4 January 2021. Retrieved 4 January 2021.