Kent Hehr

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Kent Hehr
Taft at Holy 2008-02-20 25a.jpg
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
Assumed office
2008 election
Preceded by Harvey Cenaiko
Constituency Calgary-Buffalo
Personal details
Born (1969-12-16) December 16, 1969 (age 44)
Calgary, Alberta[1]
Political party Alberta Liberal Party
Alma mater University of Calgary
Profession Lawyer

Kent Hehr (born December 16, 1969)[1] is a lawyer, community leader and the current Liberal Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for the riding of Calgary-Buffalo.[2]

Personal life[edit]

As a teenager, Hehr was extremely active in sports including both baseball and hockey. These are interests which Hehr is still passionate about to this day. He played for the Alberta Junior Hockey League champion Calgary Canucks in 1989-90 and for the Mount Royal College Cougars the following year.

He had a goal of becoming a physical education teacher. However, in October 1991, Hehr was shot as a bystander in a drive-by shooting and became a quadriplegic.[3] His injuries ended his plans, and instead Hehr pursued post-secondary studies at Mount Royal College and then at the University of Calgary, from which he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Canadian Studies and a Bachelor of Laws. Upon graduation he was named graduate of the decade and ranked among the top 40 graduates in 40 years. Prior to being elected Member of the Legislative Assembly, Hehr practiced law at Fraser Milner Casgrain.

Hehr also became active in the community, leading various groups, such as the Alberta branch of the Canadian Paraplegic Association. In 2008, he was listed as one of "20 Compelling Calgarians" by the Calgary Herald.[4]

Hehr has also been active in numerous community groups within Calgary. He has served on the following boards in the past few years:[5]

  • National Education Association of Disabled Students, president
  • Calgary Advisory Committee on Accessibility, chair
  • Canadian Paraplegic Association (Alberta), chair
  • Calgary Downtown West Community Association
  • United Way of Calgary Leaders Committee
  • Calgary Canuck Alumni Association

Political career[edit]

In June 2006, Hehr won the Calgary-Buffalo Liberal nomination in a contest with Keith Purdy, a gay rights activist.[6] It was the first time the Alberta Liberals had had a contested nomination in Calgary since 1998.[6] He was subsequently elected to the legislature in the March 3, 2008 general election.[2]

Kent Hehr and David Swann at the Calgary Stampede

After the election, Hehr was chosen to be the Shadow Minister for Justice and Solicitor General for the Alberta Liberal Caucus.[7] As the Shadow Minister, Hehr has been working to tackle crime in the province while focusing on other justice issues.

In the legislature, Hehr serves on the following committees:[8]

  • Special Standing Committee on Member Services
  • Standing Committee on Community Services (deputy chair)
  • Standing Committee on Resource and Environment

Hehr was campaigning for mayor in the 2010 Calgary municipal election but withdrew prior to the vote.[9]

LGBT Rights[edit]

In 2014 Hehr proposed a private member's bill into the Alberta Legislature that would urge public schools to support students who wished to create gay-straight alliances[10]. The bill, while supported by the Liberals, NDP and some Progressive Conservatives, was voted down by a majority of PC and Wildrose MLAs in April[11].

Gun violence[edit]

For Hehr, himself a shooting victim, a major focus has been on gun violence in the province. Soon after he was elected, the City of Calgary became trapped in a gang war, which has claimed the lives of many young individuals.[12]

Hehr has been putting pressure on the government to help reduce these numbers. He started by calling on the province to increase the number of police officers on the beat in downtown Calgary. The Mayor and the Police Chief have also joined in his call to increase the number of police officers.[13]

Hehr’s most recent call has been to give police the power to seize vehicles that contain unregistered firearms, along with the gun.[12] Bill 201 was defeated in second reading March 9, 2009 with no Conservative MLA support.[14]

Federal politics[edit]

In July 2014 it was suggested that Hehr would seek the federal Liberal nomination in the riding of Calgary Centre[15].

Electoral record[edit]

2012 Alberta general election Turnout 50.37% Swing
Affiliation Candidate Votes % Party Personal
     Liberal Kent Hehr 4,744 42.02% % +161
     Progressive Conservative Jamie Lall 3,505 30.61% % *
     Wildrose Mike Blanchard 2,413 20.31% % *
     NDP Rebecca Eras 541 4.95% 71.5% *
     Alberta Party Cory Mack 230 2.11% % *
Total '11,433 100%
Rejected, Spoiled and Declined '
Eligible Electors
     Liberal Hold Swing %
Alberta general election, 2008[citation needed]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
     Liberal Kent Hehr 4,583 48.92
     Progressive Conservative Sean Chu 3,646 38.72
Greens Stephen Ricketts 611 6.52
     New Democrat Robert Lawrence 387 4.13
     Social Credit Antoni Grochowski 158


External links[edit]