Matt Badura – Libertarian Party
Jason Devine – Communist Party
Judson Hansell – Green Party of Canada
Deepak Obhrai – Canservative Party of Canada
Abdou Souraya – New Democratic Party
Cam Stewart – Liberal Party
Max Veress – Democratic Advancement Party
Matt Badura | Libertarian candidate
“For me politics is representing the people, getting input from all the parties involved in different situations and bringing everybody together to find a common solution for whatever problems or situations arise,” said Matt Badura of the Libertarian Party of Canada.
Badura emigrated to Canada from Poland with his family in 1989 to escape a communist state.
Growing up Badura experienced the struggles of being an immigrant in a new country, including social integration issues, financial issues, and language barriers. Badura was often included in making family decisions, which he says shaped his character.
If Badura could not vote for his own party, he says he would vote for the Liberal Party.
“I think I would probably vote for the Liberal Party, primarily because they are pushing an agenda issue that is very core to our platform items which is the legalization of marijuana.”
Campaign Website: https://www.libertarian.ca/candidate/1158/
Jason Devine | Communist Candidate
“If I had to vote for a party other than the one I’m running for, I’d vote for the NDP. I’d have to say of the big three parties it’s the one, how to phrase this, it’s the least worst of them all,” says Jason Devine of the Communist Party of Canada.
“From my perspective from the [Communist] Party, none of the major parties are trying to address the actual structures of what we’re dealing with here. It’s, you know, maybe a little less on the pipeline, maybe a little more spending here and there. But in so far is those three major parties only really truly address policy questions not structural questions. As I said I find the NDP to be the least worst of them all.”
Devine grew up in Calgary and is a member and spokesperson for Anti-Racist Action. He has a BA and MA in History and he is currently working towards his BE in order to become a high school teacher. Devine is concerned for general growth of private schools and the increasing student teacher ratio in classrooms. Devine is married and has four sons.
Phone: 403 248 6489
“From what I understand about politics, it is the social reality among large groups of people…Politics is just a funny word, it’s just loaded,” says Judson Hansell of the Green Party of Canada. “ In terms of politics it seems to be more about power struggle and people almost forming gains among themselves to get the upper-hand. And so politics is a necessary evil for government it seems in that sense.”
Hansell is an artist, activist and musician in Calgary. Hansell was previously in a band where socially conscious issues such as racism, terrorism, corruption, misogyny, addiction, complacency, and deforestation were the focus of the songs. He is a supporter of Amnesty International, which is a human rights organization.
If Hansell couldn’t vote for the Green Party, he said he would likely vote for the Liberals.
“Justin Trudeau is a leader; he listens.”
Deepak Obhrai | Conservative candidate
Deepak Obhrai was born in Tanzania, and attended school in Tanzania, India, and the UK. He graduated as an air traffic controller in the UK and worked in several airports in East Africa. In 1977, Obhrai immigrated to Canada and was elected as the Member of Parliament for Calgary East from the Reform Party in 1997. Obhrai was re-elected to Parliament in 2000, 2004, and 2006. In 2008, India Abroad newspaper named Deepak as one of 35 most influential Indo-Canadians in Canada.
In December 2006, Deepak’s former school, Daly College in Indore, India, awarded him the prestigious Padma Shri RN Zutshi Medal for outstanding achievement by an Old Dalian. Obhrai has two daughters, a son, grandson, and granddaughter.
When asked who he would vote for if not his own party Obhrai said, “I would only vote for my party.”
Phone: 403 207 3030
Abdou Souraya of the New Democratic Party of Canada says, “Politics is the roots of setting the laws and setting examples to build a great country. That’s what politics means to me.”
Souraya was born and raised in Calgary and resides in Penbrooke Meadows. He has a wife and four daughters. He has worked for the municipal government for over 11 years and spends his spare time volunteering for the community. Souraya worked in transportation during the 2013 flood. Souraya has a degree in Geography with a minor in Psychology and Political Studies from the University of Manitoba.
“Which one would I vote for? That’s a good question. Other than the New Democratic Party? I’d say Liberal only because Cam Stewart is a nice guy. It has nothing to do with Trudeau. And there’s certain policies from the Liberal party that are, you know C-24, that resonate with myself and some of the ridings members and residence that I’ve been speaking to.”
Phone: 403 999 0834
“Politics mean… it’s a big answer I guess,” says Cam Stewart of the Liberal party. “ It means more than just one day, one month, one year. How we operate as a democracy. Working with the small politics of community, of individuals.”
Stewart was a member of the Calgary Police Service for 25 years. He worked in a variety of units including investigations, undercover work, crime analysis, and diversity relations. After retiring from the Calgary Police Service, he facilitated training for the United Way of Calgary, Red Cross, City of Calgary, and federal government. He is currently the Calgary Chair for the Institute of Canadian Citizenship and an active Rotarian in the Calgary East Rotary Club. He has won multiple awards, including the Calgary Police Chief’s Award for Community Service. Stewart has a masters degree from Royal Roads University in International and Intercultural Communications and a Certificate in Business Management from the University of Calgary.
When asked who he would vote for if he could not vote for his own party, Stewart admits he had not given it much thought. “I’m not going to tell you who I’m going to vote for, but I mean if I look at the candidate who’s best going to represent me. In a lot of ways, for me, it’s less about the party and more about the candidate. People are saying liberal, NDP, whatever, and I say let’s vote for the best candidate who’s going to give us the best representation.
Phone: 403 807 9200
“To be honest I believe that politics to me is the representation of people. Politicians have to give out their resume during the election to the people and the people choose,” said Veress. “So it’s almost like a hiring process. A hiring process for the people to choose who they want to represent them on a federal stage and on a local stage.”
On who he would vote for if not for his own party, Veress says, “Who would I vote for, oh, see that’s why I’m running. You know what if it’s in my riding probably Cam Stewart he seems to be the most, the one who presents himself the best and one that I find is more, yeah he seems more genuine, I feel like the other two guys seem too opportunistic. It would be just on Cam Stewart. I know this is going to derail your question a little but I find that there’s issues, I’m more right wing, but I find that there are more issues with the conservatives at this point so I would probably be voting based on Cam Stewart, just on him how he presents himself. You know what? This is a tough, tough election, but you know what Trudeau has made some very interesting points, as much as I don’t agree with a lot of the policies, Trudeau will probably have my vote.”
All photos courtesy of the party websites
Calgary Forest Lawn at a glance
The Forest Lawn riding is a highly ethnically diverse area and includes Calgary’s International Avenue, which draws in tourists and residents for its restaurant scene. The riding was originally formed in 1979, and lasted until 1993, when it was split to Calgary East and Calgary North East. Following the 2012 seat redistribution in preparation for the upcoming federal election, Forest Lawn was recreated from portions of the ridings of Calgary East and Calgary North East. The riding extends from Deerfoot Trail starting at Vista Heights; south to Forest Lawn; and then east along 17th Avenue to Range Road. The neighborhoods included in this area of the city have elected a Conservative MP since 2000. The expenditures of the conservative candidates over the years have been significantly higher than the other candidates for those years as well.
Forest Lawn Riding Demographics:
- 108,251 residents live in the Forest Lawn riding.
- 35 per cent of those residents are immigrants.
- 16 per cent of residents speak a non official language mostly at home.
- Average income of the Forest Lawn riding residents is $33,458/ year.
- Source: 2014, National household survey & Calgary Civic Census.
Map courtesy of elections.ca