The Electoral District is named after historical Fort Calgary. The district lies in the Central SE of the city.
The first election in Calgary Fort was held in 1997, it was created out of Calgary East. The Riding covers some of the cities older blue collar neighborhoods including Forest Lawn, Dover, Inglewood, Lynwood Ridge, Ogden, Erinwoods and the Foothills Industrial Park. The riding is largely broken with three distinct residential sections surrounded by industrial areas.
The riding has suffered from a number of environmental problems in recent years caused by heavy industry. Soil contamination from the old oil refinery in Lynwood Ridge has created a ghost town of houses in limbo. Canadian Pacific Railway has also been to blame for heavy soil contamination affecting residents along the tracks in Ogden by a chemical known as Trichloroethylene used as a track degreaser. In 1999 the Hub Oil refinery just east of Erin Woods exploded raining contamination on the neighborhood. The riding also has a quarantined site where the Inglewood Refinery used to be for soil contamination problems.
The riding has been a Progressive Conservative stronghold since its creation in 1997 and only held by Wayne Cao, however support dipped in the last election. The Liberals have managed to finish second in every election, but have lost significant votes in the last two. No candidate has run more than once to oppose the incumbent.
The electoral district was created in the 1996 boundary redistribution out of Calgary-East. The riding had significant changes in the 2010 boundary redistribution. It was expanded to meet the new boundaries of the city of Calgary and gained some rural portions that had belonged to Foothills-Rocky View. It also gained the neighborhoods of Ramsay that was previously in Calgary-Egmont and East Village which was in Calgary-Buffalo. The riding also expanded south into industrial land that was formerly part of Calgary-Hays.
Legal description from the Statutes of Alberta 2003, Electoral Divisions Act.
Starting at the intersection of the left bank of the Elbow River with the right bank of the Bow River; then 1. southeast along the right bank of the Bow River to the westerly extension of 26 Avenue SE; 2. east along the extension and 26 Avenue SE to 36 Street SE; 3. north along 36 Street SE to 8 Avenue SE; 4. east along 8 Avenue SE to 52 Street SE; 5. south along 52 Street SE to 17 Avenue SE; 6. east along 17 Avenue SE to the east Calgary city boundary; 7. south along the east Calgary city boundary to Glenmore Trail SE; 8. west and northwest along Glenmore Trail SE to the right bank of the Bow River; 9. north along the right bank of the Bow River to the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) line; 10. in a north westerly direction along the CPR line to the left bank of the Elbow River; 11. downstream along the left bank of the Elbow River to the starting point.
The electoral district of Calgary-Fort was created in the boundary redistribution of 1997. The district covers central south east Calgary and was carved primarily from Calgary-East. Progressive Conservative Wayne Cao won the district in the first election held in 1997 with just under half the popular vote.
Cao would run for his second term in 2001 and win a landslide victory winning almost 69% of the popular vote over a crowded field of eight candidates. He was re-elected in 2004 with a significantly reduced margin of victory taking just over half the popular vote.
Cao stood for a fourth term in the 2008 election and for the first time since 1997 he won less than half of the popular vote in one of the lowest voter turnout races in the province.
On November 19, 2004 a Student Vote was conducted at participating Alberta schools to parallel the 2004 Alberta general election results. The vote was designed to educate students and simulate the electoral process for persons who have not yet reached the legal majority. The vote was conducted in 80 of the 83 provincial electoral districts with students voting for actual election candidates. Schools with a large student body that reside in another electoral district had the option to vote for candidates outside of the electoral district then where they were physically located.