Hon. Kent J. Hehr, P.C., M.P, was born and raised in Calgary Centre. The son of two school teachers, Kent, from the beginning, has understood the importance of the role of government in our lives. Public education and health care matter to ensure equality of opportunity. Whether you were born from a rich family or one that struggles, you should get every opportunity to build a life. Kent looks at and analyzes all public policy through this lens.
Kent took an early interest in sports, especially hockey, with the intention of becoming a phys-ed teacher. In 1989-90 he played with the Calgary Canucks and helped win the Alberta Junior Hockey League Championship. The following year he attended Mount Royal College and played with the Cougars.
On October 3, 1991, Kent’s life changed forever. While riding in a friend’s car, Kent was the victim of a random act of gun violence. The injury left him a quadriplegic. He would never walk again. Like thousands of Canadians with life-altering spinal cord injuries, Kent’s path changed. However, while still recovering, Kent studied at the University of Calgary and received a Bachelor of Canadian Studies, followed by a Bachelor of Law in 2001. He was named the graduate of the decade and ranked among the top 40 graduates in 40 years.
Kent practiced law at the prestigious national firm, Fraser Milner Casgrain (now Dentons), and became an active community leader, working with the United Way and heading the Alberta branch of the Canadian Paraplegic Association. He also served on the following boards:
In 2008, Kent was listed as one of “20 Compelling Calgarians” by the Calgary Herald:
"One thing that is certain — whether as an elected official or not — he will always be advocating for the citizens of Calgary and contributing to their welfare."Calgary Herald, 2008
In March of that year, Kent was elected the Liberal MLA for Calgary-Buffalo, a seat he successfully defended in 2012. While serving in the legislature, Kent proposed important legislation, like the need to create gay-straight alliances in our schools. Here, he served on the Special Standing Committee on Member Services, Standing Committee on Community Services, and Standing Committee on Resource and Environment.
On October 19, 2015, Kent was elected to the House of Commons, becoming the first Liberal to represent Calgary Centre there since 1968. Since that time, Kent is proud of the work our federal Liberal government has done to help improve the lives of Canadians.
Kent sees his job as bringing Calgary’s voice to Ottawa, and, in many ways, this has led to more successful outcomes for our city. Kent always thought that when the city had only conservative Members of Parliament, that party took Calgarians’ votes for granted. Kent points to the Canada Child Benefit, which has cut child poverty in half in Alberta since 2015 as a major accomplishment of the Liberal government. Further, Kent’s representation has led to Calgary receiving its fair share of infrastructure investments. In just four years, the Liberal government has invested twice the amount of money into Calgary projects. These include the Green Line LRT, housing for seniors, and venues to support arts and culture. Additionally, Liberals lowered the eligibility age for OAS and GIS benefits from 67 to 65. This is real change under the federal Liberal government.
Kent also understands the challenges many Albertans face because of the economic downturn. He is a passionate advocate for getting oil to new markets the right way – in particular the Trans Mountain Pipeline. And yet, he knows that for our oil patch to be successful, we have to embrace environmental stewardship. Kent understands that climate change is real and supports putting a price on pollution.
When not on the campaign trail or spending time with his nephews and wife, Deanna, Kent can often be found in the community chatting with constituents in the local Safeway or Co-op.
© 2019 Kent Hehr. All rights reserved.