Matt Grant | Liberal Party of Canada
Kirk Heuser| New Democratic Party
Kevan Hunter | Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada
Natalie Odd | Green Party of Canada
Len Webber | Conservative Party of Canada
Matt Grant graduated from law school at the University of Calgary, now practicing corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions law for the Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer firm. Grant is a dedicated community organizer, and has worked with several organizations mainly focused on community development, youth-empowerment and human rights. Moreover, he was the executive assistant to MLAs Craig Cheffins and Kent Hehr. Grant and his wife Carly now reside in West Hillhurst, where he is director of the community association. (Source: mattgrant.liberal.ca)
The Calgary Journal asked Grant if he had to vote for another party, who would it be? He says of the Green Party: “I like what they’re saying. We actually have some shared values, like a democratic reform or caring for the environment.”
According to Grant, politics is “people working together for the better benefit for the community and for each other” and adds that it also involves volunteering, exchange of ideas and bringing people together to determine how best to help each other.
Kirk Heuser’s political activity came after his experience as an award-winning journalist and community leader. He served as a public affairs journalist and has experience as a news anchor, radio host and producer. Heuser was the communications lead for the Pembina Institute, an organization “working to solve today’s greatest energy challenges”. His experience as a journalist is what took Heuser into politics and, therefore, into a more direct way to approach the main issues for Canadians. He lives in Calgary with his wife Chantal. (Source: kirkheuser.ndp.ca)
The Calgary Journal asked Heuser if he had to vote for another party, who would it be? “I would vote for Natalie Odd, because I’ve known Natalie and she is a very passionate person who believes in a positive change for Canada and addressing the biggest challenge we face, specially climate change.”
Kevan Hunter is a junior high social studies teacher and therefore an advocate for the importance of education. According to Hunter’s biography, a main focus is for the government to “recognize the role of public education in raising the level of the whole society.” He identifies himself as an antiwar and civil rights activist, and has participated in multiple actions to denounce Canada’s involvement in wars in the Middle East, the defense of the rights of the Palestinian people, and the rejection of Bill C-52. (Source: Kevan Hunter)
The Calgary Journal asked Hunter what politics means to him. “Politics is Canadians coming together, finding solutions to problems they face.” He says it’s also a way to find a viable economy and the need to approach healthcare, education, social programs and pensions.
Natalie Odd emigrated with her family from England and settled in Calgary in 1977. She received an MA in environment and management from Royal Roads University in Victoria, B.C and now works as a project manager at Alberta Ecotrust Foundation, an environmental non-profit organization. She is also passionate about human rights, motivating her to volunteer for Amnesty International for 18 years. Odd and her husband currently live in Parkdale with two children. (Source: greenparty.ca)
When the Calgary Journal asked who she would vote for if she had to choose another party, Odd said that it would be unfair to other candidates if she had to choose one. However, she explains, “They’re all respectful gentlemen who are dedicated to public services” but said “under no circumstances would I vote for the Conservatives under the leadership of Stephen Harper.”
Born and raised in Calgary, Len Webber obtained a bachelor of commerce degree from the University of Calgary as well as a journeyman communications electrician certificate from SAIT. A dedicated volunteer, he has been recognized for his contributions, receiving the Alberta Centennial Medal. Before he embarked on his political journey, he was vice-president and director at Webber Academy, a non-profit university preparatory private school. Webber and his late wife, Heather, have three daughters. (Source: www.lenwebber.ca)
The Calgary Journal asked Webber who he would vote for if he had to choose another party. “I would go with the party that protected the environment and ensured the economy from suffering with new environmental regulation.”
When asked to define politics, Webber said it’s “having the right to be a democracy… the opportunity to choose in what we believe.”
Calgary Confederation at a glance
Calgary Confederation is a new riding that is proving a tight race this election between the Liberals and the Conservatives. Created in 2012, the riding consists of the following electoral districts: Calgary Centre-North, Calgary West and Calgary – Nose Hill. These previous ridings were all Conservative strongholds over the past three elections, according to Elections Canada.
The riding has a low age bracket due to the students attending the University of Calgary and SAIT. These institutions, along with the Foothills Hospital, are the biggest employers in the area.
According to the City of Calgary Census, 46 per cent of the riding’s residents are less than 34 years old. Statistics Canada revealed over 87 per cent of the riding speak English at home.
Map courtesy of elections.ca and icon courtesy of Adiante Apps/Icon Finder under creative common license