Kelly Christie – Green Party
Nicolas Duchastel De Montrouge – Independent
Stephen Harper – Conservative Party of Canada
Larry Heather – Independent
Matt Masters – New Democratic Party
Brendan Miles – Liberal Party
Steven Paolasini – Libertarian Party
Korry Zepik – Independent
Kelly Christie was born in Winnipeg, Man., and has been a member of the Green Party since 2008.
He has lived in Calgary Heritage for 25 years, running in two previous elections. As a youth, he was a member of the Cub Scouts of Canada and the YMCA. He has owned and operated his own business, but is currently self-employed as a construction consultant and supervisor. Christie’s work as a supervisor has had him overseeing major projects such as the high density, green-friendly project of the London at Heritage condo development.
Christie is an advocate for ending the prohibition of cannabis and “the war on drugs” and is a member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in Canada, the Canadian Cannabis Coalition and a civilian member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. He believes that there are substantial economic and medical benefits from its legalization.
When the Calgary Journal asked how he defines politics, Christie said, “The Merriam Webster definition works fine for me, ‘activities that relate to influencing the actions and policies of a government or getting and keeping power in a government and the work or job of people, who are part of a government. The opinions that someone has about what should be done by governments, or, a person’s political thoughts and opinions.’”
Nicolas Duchastel De Montrouge, 43, is an independent candidate who has “never set foot in the City of Calgary.” Originally from Montreal and currently living and working in Seattle, Montrouge was stripped of his right to vote by mail as a result of living outside of Canada for over five years.
He says that he does not expect to win in this election, but decided to run against Stephen Harper to bring attention to something he feels passionately about. He believes that every Canadian, including ex-patriots, should have the right to vote. The Harper government overturned a ruling that allowed the 1.4 million ex-pats living outside of Canada to vote by mail in July of this year.
Duchastel De Montrouge could not be reached for further comment.
Stephen Harper, 56, is a Toronto native. He moved to Calgary, Alta., where he and his family still live today, in 1978 to work in the petroleum industry. Harper attended the University of Calgary where he obtained his Bachelor of Economics, and later completed the master’s program, also in economics.
In 2004 under his leadership, the Conservatives gained 25 seats in the federal election. This is largely accredited to Harper’s major breakthrough in Canada’s most populous province, Ontario. In 2006, Canadians gave Harper and his party a mandate to form a Conservative government for the first time in 13 years. In 2008 the Harper-led Conservatives were returned to office with a larger seat count and a mandate to guide Canada through the volatile economic conditions presaging what was considered the worst global recession in half a century. In 2011 Harper again led the Conservative Party of Canada to victory, this time with a national majority government. Harper’s mission is to “secure Canada’s economic recovery.”
Having successfully brought the federal tax burden to its lowest level in half a century, and with the budget balanced in 2015, Harper is working to provide greater tax relief and increased benefits for Canadian families.
Harper could not be reached for further comment.
Larry Heather told the Calgary Journal that he defines politics as, “the art of applied wisdom in the limitation of reality.” Heather is an aspiring politician and activist from Vulcan, Alta. He has lived in the electoral district of Calgary Southwest since 1963, and has campaigned in a number of provincial and municipal elections since 1984.
He holds a bachelor of religious education from Briercrest Bible College in Saskatchewan, a bachelor of arts degree in religion from Rocky Mountain College, and a graduate certificate of Christian studies from Regent College in Vancouver. He is a member and performer in the Canadian Badlands Passion Play Society and a member of the Creation Science Association of Alberta. He was a candidate for mayor for the 2013 Calgary Municipal elections and came in fifth place out of nine candidates. Heather is a frequent City Hall attendee and presenter for the public at both the committee level and council public hearings.
Aside from his political aspirations, he strongly supports anti-abortion campaigns. In the 2015 Alberta provincial election he was a social credit candidate in Calgary Elbow against Education Minister incumbent Gordon Dirks. If Heather doesn’t win he would like a candidate with similar views to be elected. “I’m to the right of Stephen Harper, so I wouldn’t go anything left of him,” says Heather.
Matt Masters, 39, is an award-winning musician. He runs a music business with his wife and two children. He grew up in a politically active house, as his mother, Jocelyn Burgener, was MLA for Calgary Currie from 1993 to 2001.
He was personally inspired to seek NDP nomination in his riding after the NDP victory in the Alberta election of 2015. Masters is a bilingual communicator and has traveled and performed extensively around the world. He has held membership at the American Federation of Musicians, Local 547 for a decade and is a member of the Royal Canadian Legion. He also is a consultant for the City of Calgary Arts and Culture Division.
Masters could not be reached for further comment.
Dr. Brendan Miles was born and raised in the Calgary Heritage community, and this coming election will be his very first of his political career. He earned a bachelor of science and a master of public administration from Queen’s University, as well as his medical degree, prior to completing his residency at the University of Calgary in 2010.
He believes that politics is the way in which we engage in the democratic process. “It would be logistically cumbersome to have 35 million Canadians in the House of Commons at once. So, politics is the process by which we chose one person to represent our geographical area and our common interests. And that person must be connected to and invested in the community of people they are representing,” said Miles.
Miles is fluent in both of Canada’s official languages, and believes strongly in the development of evidence-based policy. As a family doctor, Miles focuses on patient-centred care, an approach he hopes to bring to parliament. Aside from his medical practice and political aspirations, Miles is an accomplished triathlete, and enjoys hiking the Canadian Rockies with his wife and family.
Paolasini could not be reached for further comment.
Korry Zepik | Independent Candidate
Korry Zepik grew up in rural northern Ontario. He told the Calgary Journal he defines politics as, “the act of co-operating as a group for mutual benefit and it’s been hardwired into us since before we discovered fire. Co-operation has always been the essential part. Co-operation requires empathy, otherwise the society exists only through fear and intimidation. It will not last long.”
He has held multiple jobs, including building communications towers, owning a cleaning business in Banff and Canmore, teaching skiing at Canada Olympic Park, and installing concrete reinforcing steel at an oil sands refinery. His time spent teaching skiing at COP resulted in Zepik volunteering at the 1988 Olympics, something he holds as a valuable life experience. He believes this experience is the key to his progress onto the National Freestyle Ski Team, which he belonged to for five years. His experience working in the oil sands led to him becoming far more conscious of climate change, something that he feels is the most critical challenge faced by humans.
He became politically active during the 2008 federal election and has remained involved ever since. When asked which party he would vote for if he weren’t running as an independent, Zepik said, “I would vote for any progressive candidate that had the best chance of defeating the Conservative candidate. The Harper government has been labeled as being the worst country for disrupting climate talks and putting future generations at risk.”
Campaign Website: calgarydemocracy.ca
Calgary Heritage at a glance
This electoral year, the majority of the riding formerly known as Calgary Southwest has become Calgary Heritage. The neighbourhoods in this riding include Chinook Park, Canyon Meadows, Bridlewood and Woodbine. The southeast corner of the former riding is now part of the new riding of Calgary Midnapore.
In the 2011 election, Conservative leader Stephen Harper won the Calgary Southwest riding with 75 per cent of the vote. The serving MP before Stephen Harper, Preston Manning, was the founder of the Reform Party and represented Calgary Southwest from 1993 until his retirement in 2002.
Map courtesy of Elections Canada