Heather Forsyth

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Heather Forsyth
MLA Heather Forsyth.jpg
MLA for Calgary-Fish Creek
Assumed office
Preceded by William Edward Payne
Minister of Children's Services in the Alberta government
In office
November 25, 2004 – December 15, 2006
Preceded by Iris Evans
Succeeded by Janis Tarchuk
Solicitor General and Minister of Public Security in the Alberta government
In office
March 16, 2001 – November 25, 2004
Preceded by Vacant
Succeeded by Harvey Cenaiko
Personal details
Born Heather Mae Forsyth[1]
(1950-08-01) August 1, 1950 (age 64)
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Political party Wildrose Alliance
Spouse(s) Gordon
Residence Calgary, Alberta
Occupation sales and marketing manager
Website heatherforsyth.com

Heather Mae Forsyth (born August 1, 1950) is a Canadian politician and current member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta representing the constituency of Calgary-Fish Creek as a Wildrose Alliance representative. She was a Progressive Conservative until she crossed the floor on January 4, 2010. In the Alberta general election, 2012, Forsyth was reelected along with 16 other Wildrose MLAs to form the Official Opposition. Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith appointed Forsyth as Health Critic.[2]

Early life[edit]

Forsyth was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on August 1, 1950.[3] Prior to being elected into the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, Forsyth spent 15 years in the advertising industry as a sales and marketing manager, receiving both the Silver Marketing Award and the 1989 President’s Award. During this time, she was also an avid volunteer with various community groups, the Children’s Wish Foundation, the Calgary Board of Health, the Alberta Youth Justice Committee, and the Alberta Social Services Appeal Advisory Board.

Political career[edit]

Forsyth first sought public office in the 1993 provincial election in the constituency of Calgary-Fish Creek. In that election, she received 55% of the vote. She was reelected in each of the subsequent elections in 1997, 2001, 2004, and 2008, receiving 67%, 75%, 58% and 52% of the vote respectively.

Prior to her appointment to Cabinet, Forsyth was arguably best known for fighting for the issue of child prostitution. Her efforts resulted in the Protection of Children Involved in Prostitution Act, which recognized child prostitutes as victims of sexual abuse in need of protection. Forsyth's work on protecting children earned her the Canadian Hero award from Reader's Digest.[4]

On March 16, 2001, Forsyth was appointed as Alberta’s Solicitor General. Throughout her tenure as Solicitor General, she continued to be a champion for children, launching the high-risk offender website and launching Canada’s first Amber Alert program and passing the Drug Endangered Children Act. The Integrated Response to Organized Crime (IROC) initiative, among other initiatives, was also advanced while she held the office of Solicitor General.

On November 25, 2004, Forsyth became Minister of Children’s Services, a position she held for two years. During this time, she focused her efforts on strengthening families and communities. She passed legislation to protect drug-endangered children (DECA – the first law of its type to be passed in Canada), created Bad Guy Patrol, a website dedicated to children’s education Internet safety through a partnership with Microsoft, and worked on many strategies regarding family violence and bullying.

In 2007, she became chair of the Crime Reduction and Safe Communities Task Force where she met with Albertans and stakeholders to discuss crime in their communities and reported back to the Minister of Justice with her findings.

Forsyth was the chair of the Standing Committee on the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund and was a member of the Standing Committee on Private Bills and the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections, Standing Orders and Printing.

In January 2010, Forsyth and fellow PC MLA Rob Anderson crossed the floor to join the Wildrose Alliance Party.[5]

She was re-elected as a Wildrose MLA in the 2012 Alberta Election, winning by just 74 votes over PC candidate Wendelin Fraser in a race which was the last in the entire province to have its winner declared.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Forsyth is married to Gordon. The couple has two sons together. She enjoys reading, golfing, rock chimbing, gardening and giving back to the community. Forsyth founded and is the current chair of the Peanut Butter Classic Society, a non-profit organization that raises funds through an annual golf tournament to assist women and children. Of the many honours she has received, Forsyth identifies being given the Blackfoot name “Aahsoikinnah-kaiki”, which means healing woman, as one of her greatest.[7]

Election results[citation needed][edit]

2012 Alberta general election Turnout % Swing
Affiliation Candidate Votes % Party Personal
     Wildrose Heather Forsyth 7700 44% 34.42% -12.3%
     Progressive Conservative Wendelin Fraser 7626 44%
     Liberal Nazir Rahemtulla 1241 7%
     NDP Eric Leavitt 961 5% 1.78% *
Total ' 100%
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined '
Eligible Electors
     Swing %
2008 Alberta general election results ( Calgary-Fish Creek ) Turnout 46.8%
Affiliation Candidate Votes %
     Progressive Conservative Heather Forsyth 6,883 52%
     Liberal Laura Shutiak 4,052 31%
     Wildrose Alliance Jamie Buchan 1,261 10%
Greens Kerry T. Fraser 556 4%
     NDP Eric Leavitt 423 3%
2004 Alberta general election results ( Calgary-Fish Creek ) Turnout 45.3%
Affiliation Candidate Votes %
     Progressive Conservative Heather Forsyth 6,829 57.8%
     Liberal Tore Badenduck 2,845 24.1%
     Alberta Alliance Mike Kuipers 781 6.6%
     NDP Eric Leavitt 793 6.7%
Greens Chris Sealy 561 4.8%
2001 Alberta general election results ( Calgary-Fish Creek ) Turnout 57.9%
Affiliation Candidate Votes %
     Progressive Conservative Heather Forsyth 9,716 74.5%
     Liberal Marc Doll 2,853 21.9%
     NDP Ryan Todd 465 3.6%
1997 Alberta general election results ( Calgary-Fish Creek ) Turnout 54.7%
Affiliation Candidate Votes %
     Progressive Conservative Heather Forsyth 8,274 66.6%
     Liberal Marie Cameron 3,020 24.3%
     NDP Muriel Turner-Wilkinson 348 2.8%
     Social Credit Jeff Willerton 778 6.3%
1993 Alberta general election results ( Calgary-Fish Creek ) Turnout 64%
Affiliation Candidate Votes %
     Progressive Conservative Heather Forsyth 7,855 54.7%
     Liberal Marie Cameron 5,346 37.2%
     NDP Kerin Spaargaren 558 3.9%
     NLP Darlene Holt 70 0.0%
     Independent Roy Carey 544 3.8%


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Wildrose MLA critic portfolios". 
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ "Biography". Legislative Assembly of Alberta. Retrieved 2013-08-26. 
  5. ^ "2 Alberta MLAs join upstart Wildrose party". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 4 January 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "Calgary stays Tory blue". CBC News, April 24, 2012.
  7. ^ "Forsyth's Legislative Assembly of Alberta biography".