Estefan Cortes-Vargas

Estefan Cortes-Vargas (born Estefania Cortes-Vargas, 1991) is a Colombian-born Canadian politician and non-profit administrator who was elected in the 2015 Alberta general election to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, representing the electoral district of Strathcona-Sherwood Park as a member of the Alberta New Democratic Party.[1] Upon election, they became one of the first three out LGBT people elected to the Alberta legislature, alongside caucus colleagues Michael Connolly and Ricardo Miranda.[2]

Estefan Cortes-Vargas
Estefania Cortes-Vargas 2015.jpg
Cortes-Vargas in 2015
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Strathcona-Sherwood Park
In office
May 5, 2015 – March 19, 2019
Preceded byDave Quest
Succeeded byNate Glubish
Personal details
Born1990/1991 (age 31–32)
Political partyAlberta New Democratic Party
OccupationNon-Profit Administrator

Although Cortes-Vargas was represented in media coverage during the election campaign as female and lesbian,[2] in December 2015, they formally came out as non-binary in the legislature during debate on the inclusion of transgender rights in the provincial human rights code.[3] While the provincial Hansard normally reports members' speeches under the gender honorifics "Mr." or "Ms.", Cortes-Vargas was recorded as "Member Cortes-Vargas".[3] They chose not to run in the 2019 Alberta general election.[4]

In 2019, Cortes-Vargas was named executive director of the Pride Centre of Edmonton.[5] They remained in that role until July 2020 when they became the new executive director for OUTSaskatoon.[6] They have been the vice-president of the Enchanté Network, which is a coalition of 2SLGBTQ+ community organizations across Canada, since 2020. In September 2022, they started their studies to become a lawyer at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law in Saskatoon.

Electoral historyEdit

2015 general electionEdit

2015 Alberta general election: Strathcona-Sherwood Park
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
New Democratic Estefania Cortes-Vargas 9,376 42.61% 34.10%
Progressive Conservative Dave Quest 6,623 30.10% -20.62%
Wildrose Rob Johnson 5,286 24.02% -9.62%
Alberta Party Lynne Kaiser 721 3.28%
Total 22,006
Rejected, spoiled and declined 50 38 22
Eligible electors / Turnout 34,346 64.28% 4.55%
New Democratic gain from Progressive Conservative Swing +27.36%
Source: "82 - Strathcona-Sherwood Park, 2015 Alberta general election". Elections Alberta. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
Chief Electoral Officer (2016). 2015 General Election. A Report of the Chief Electoral Officer (PDF) (Report). Edmonton, Alta.: Elections Alberta.


  1. ^ "Alberta Election 2015: NDP’s Estefania Cortes-Vargas wins Strathcona-Sherwood Park riding". Global News, May 5, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "NDP candidate supports education" Archived 2015-05-18 at the Wayback Machine. Sherwood Park News, April 30, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "An Alberta MLA on battling gender identity". Maclean's, December 1, 2015.
  4. ^ Bellefontaine, Michelle (January 21, 2019). "NDP MLAs Jansen, Cortes-Vargas announce they're not running again". CBC News. Retrieved 2019-07-25.
  5. ^ Konguavi, Thandiwe (July 25, 2019). "Former NDP whip takes lead of embattled Pride Centre of Edmonton". CBC News. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  6. ^ "Announcement of Departure of Executive Director – Estefan Cortes-Vargas" (PDF). Retrieved 2022-07-16.