Alberta Politics

Source: MLA Kent Hehr to run for Trudeau Liberals in Calgary-Centre

Kent Hehr Matt Grant Calgary Liberal
Calgary-Buffalo MLA Kent Hehr (right) with nominated Calgary-Confederation Liberal candidate Matt Grant.

Political Calgary is abuzz with rumours that popular MLA Kent Hehr will seek the Liberal nomination in the federal riding of Calgary-Centre. Reliable sources say that Mr. Hehr has gone so far as to request nomination forms to become an official nomination candidate for the federal Liberals.

Joan Crockatt
Joan Crockatt

Mr. Hehr would be a star candidate for the Justin Trudeau-led Liberals in Alberta, who see an opportunity to unseat Conservative Member of Parliament Joan Crockatt in the next election. Ms. Crockatt placed a narrow 1,158 votes ahead of Liberal challenger Harvey Locke in a November 2012 by-election. That by-election took place one year after former Conservative MP Lee Richardson defeated his closest challenger with a 19,770 vote margin of victory in the 2011 federal election.

A well-respected lawyer before he entered politics, the likeable Mr. Hehr has represented the downtown Calgary-Buffalo constituency as a Liberal since the 2008 election. The Liberal Finance and Energy critic briefly ran for mayor in 2010, bowing out and endorsing Naheed Nenshi before nomination day. Mr. Nenshi’s campaign manager in that election and now his chief of staff Chima Nkemdirim also managed Mr. Hehr’s first election campaign in 2008 (Mr. Nkemdirim has also has been rumoured as a potential Liberal candidate in the same riding).

In December 2012, Mr. Hehr stirred up some controversy within his party when he wrote a guest post on this blog suggesting that the narrow Conservative win in the Calgary-Centre by-election should send a wake up call to Liberals, NDP and Greens in this province.

Darshan Kang Liberal MLA Calgary Skyview
Darshan Kang

As an MLA, Mr. Hehr has been a thorough opposition critic and a champion of LGBTQ issues, introducing Motion 503 supporting Gay-Straight Alliances in Alberta schools (the motion was voted down by a coalition of 22 Progressive Conservative and 9 Wildrose MLAs).

Perhaps trying to appeal to a more conservative base of supporters, Mr. Hehr was pictured alongside Wildrose MLA Rob Anderson this week signing a “no-debt” pledge from the Tea Party-lite Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

He would not be the only Liberal MLA planning to jump into federal politics in the next election. Calgary-McCall MLA Darshan Kang was recently nominated as the federal Liberal candidate in the north east Calgary’s new Calgary-Skyview riding. If both Liberal MLAs are nominated, they would each be required to resign as MLAs when a federal election is called, leaving the Liberals with only three MLAs in the Assembly (and for the first time since before  the 1993 election, with less MLAs than the New Democratic Party, which currently has four MLAs).

Other MLAs running for federal nominations are Edmonton-McClung PC MLA David Xiao, who is seeking the federal Conservative nomination in the new Edmonton-West riding, and Independent Calgary-Foothills MLA Len Webber, who is running for the Conservative nomination in the new Calgary-Confederation riding.

Attempts were made to contact Mr. Hehr in order to confirm and comment on the rumours of his potential candidacy in Calgary-Centre. No response had been received at the time this post was published.

UPDATE (July 17, 2014): As predicted in this post, Calgary-Buffalo MLA Kent Hehr has announced he will run for the federal Liberal nomination in Calgary-Centre.

Kent Hehr Calgary Centre Liberal

10 replies on “Source: MLA Kent Hehr to run for Trudeau Liberals in Calgary-Centre”

Third term Mayor, Martin Shields, City of Brooks running for Conservative nomination in new Bow River Constituency

Whoa! Fed Lib politics just got interesting in Calgary. A choice between Hehr and Nkemdrum? Win-win for Calgary-Centre.

When was the last time such a ‘buzz’ was generated for the Liberal party in Calgary. Calgary? – the North American oil and gas capital!

Mr Trudeau possesses many of the skills and instincts of his father.

He will profoundly transform the Liberal party and Canada.

bon voyage Mr Harper.

The Liberals haven’t elected anyone in Calgary federally since 1968, and 2015 will be a repeat of that. No one wants Trudeau in Alberta – much like Obama and Nenshi they speak well but do nothing except ruin our economy.

@chad…rest assured when Libs do come in..the economy would improve. Families would get greater value for the taxes they pay. A modest progressive income tax increase on the very rich does not qualify as an economy wrecker. Resources belong to the voting 99.99% of the people, not the shareholders. Cons are incapable of balancing the books or providing responsible, functional or wise governance. Once the pressures of market and supply and demand and mounting provincial debt coupled with a tired and jaded public catch up with reality, political turnover will be inevitable. Borrowed Liberal votes will not be enough. Political Turn over in AB is inevitable. Liberal PM Chretian generated billions in surpluses at a time when Canada was not an energy giant. A moderate path is where most Albertans and Canadians identify themselves with.

Duncan is right. Nenshi will never get elected to anything other than Mayor, especially with a “Liberal” party brand behind him. Bronconnier tried it – that worked out really well for him in 1997…

Given demographic shifts, the recent seat redistributions (which brings Inglewood into Calgary Centre and removes a whole swath of blue in the west) and the fact that Calgary has grown up, the riding is now a real chance for the Liberals in 2015. First time since 1968. So, will Nkemdirim give up his job with Nenshi and run?

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