fbpx

Politician Profile

Kent Hehr

Kent Hehr

This election is a referendum on what kind of city we are, and what kind of city we want to be. We believe Calgary is a progressive city, with forward-thinking voters. It’s time to vote for how you want the future to look.

Policy cards

Economic

Economy, collection & spending of city revenue

Progressive property tax

Kent supports implementing a progressive tax system that shifts the burden from middle-class families and small business onto homeowners with high property values. 

Calgary Innovation Hub

Kent advocates for growing Calgary’s innovation ecosystem by increasing support for co-working spaces, and is particularly aiming for blockchain companies as an emerging industry.

SME support

Kent wants to support small and local businesses through exemptions, incentives and other tools to encourage resilient and sustainable development. 

“Calgary businesses have been leveled by exponential increases in property tax, as much as 400% in some cases.”

Social

Stance on trending social issues & public policy

Gender-responsive urban design

Kent wants to build Calgary with an eye towards safety for women, by (i) increasing lighting where people walk outdoors, (ii) increasing access to transit, and (iii) housing women and girls escaping abusive. 

“Women in Calgary face risks to their safety when simply commuting through Calgary alone. […] That’s why gender-responsive urban planning is gaining traction in cities around the world.”

Addressing homelessness

Kent wants to address homelessness by (i) identifying service gaps and expanding city programs and services, ii) harmonizing service delivery with organizations that help Calgary’s homeless, and (iii) eliminating barriers to receiving assistance. 

innovative policing

Kent supports a police model that focuses on de-escalation and mental health, by: (i) creating a call line for mental health crises, (ii) implementing a new public safety response for mental health cases, and (iii) enhancing training for police on neurodiversity. 

Environment

Plan to address climate, energy & resources

Prioritize transit

Kent supports further investment in transit, to allow Calgarians to participate in city life more fully, make Calgary more accessible, help retain young people and attract more tourists. 

“Investment in transit can yield 49,700 jobs per $1 billion invested, and offers 5 to 1 economic return.”

Leadership

Governance philosophy & guiding principles

18-hour city

Kent wants Calgary to flourish outside of the 8-5 timeframe by turning Calgary into an 18 hour city: (i) a city with population growth, particularly among young people, (ii) job growth, particularly in tech, (iii) good transit, (iv) a vibrant, densely populated downtown, (v) low crime, (vi) regional distinctiveness, and (vii) 24-hour amenities. 

Expand public forums

Kent wants to modernize city council’s approach to being available to Calgarians, and expand the ability for Calgarians to provide input on city issues. 

MORE ABOUT Kent

If you happen to spend any time at all in downtown Calgary, you probably know Kent already. You’ve seen him zipping down 6th Ave in his wheelchair, grabbing a coffee at Tims, or walking along the river path with his wife Deanna.

Kent didn’t always plan to be in politics. At one time, he thought he was headed for a career as a gym teacher. He was a talented hockey player with a bright future ahead of him when he was shot in a random act of violence at 21 years old. He became a C5 quadriplegic, with no use of his legs and limited use of his arms.

The incident that could have taken his life instead shaped his life. Determined not to let fate steal his bright future, Kent went back to school. He completed his degree and went on to law school.

In 2006 he ran to become a provincial MLA. During his time in provincial government, he built productive relationships with the leaders of all parties. He continued this reputation for collaboration as the sole Calgary MP in federal cabinet.

Kent is a devoted volunteer in his community. Organizations he’s served include: (i) Calgary Advisory Committee on Accessibility; (ii) United Way of Calgary Leaders Committee; (iii) Spinal Cord Injury Alberta;  and (iv) Calgary Downtown West Community Association.

One of his proudest political achievements is introducing the concept of protecting Gay-Straight Alliances in schools through a private member’s bill. The move sparked a long overdue conversation about LGBTQ+ protections in Alberta.

Education & work experience

University of Calgary 

  • L.L.B., Law

University of Calgary 

  • B.A., Canadian Studies

 

Principal (2020 - present)

  • When navigating the choppy waters of government relations, no team understands the intersection of policy and politics better than HSC and Associates.

    With a combined half-century of know-how, our team is uniquely positioned to provide strategic counsel on government relations.

 

Counsel (2020 - present)

  • In the context of legal practice, I prepare people to weather unexpected and difficult situations that inevitably come our way in life. The emotional toll legal files can take on clients is significant, so I ensure that the plan and likely progress of a file is presented and understood at the outset.

Member of Parliament (2015 - 2019)

  • First Liberal elected in Southern Alberta in 48 years.
  • Identified stakeholders and managed reputation issues through engagement and collaboration
  • Served on the Natural Resources Committee.
  • Lead a staff of eight between two offices (in Ottawa and Calgary) and managed a budget of $340,000. The team excelled at community building and stakeholder relations.
    • Built one of the largest political organizations in Canada, with a volunteer team of over 400 people and was in the top 1% of political fundraisers in the nation.

 

Minister of Sports and Persons with Disabilities (2017 - 2018)

  • Was one of 30 cabinet ministers who guided the political agenda of the nation, made top-level decisions on the direction of government, and engaged in high-level policy making that impacted millions of Canadians.
  • Brought forward to Parliament the Accessible Canada Act, the biggest advancement of human rights legislation in over 40 years.

 

Minister of Veteran Affairs (2015 - 2017) 

  • As Minister of Veterans Affairs I oversaw a wholesale rework of veterans programming, from form simplification, increasing benefits, hiring 400+ new caseworkers, and engaged with passionate and engaged stakeholder groups.
  • My team and I delivered over $5 billion in programming changes that systematically reworked the way we deliver services to our ill and injured soldiers.

Board Member (Former Chair) (2000 - 2017) 

Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) (2008 - 2015) 

  • Developed a reputation as a hardworking representative, who spoke passionately about issues facing the Alberta public.
  • Served on the Special Standing Committee on Member Services, Standing Committee on Community Services, and Standing Committee on Resource and Environment.

Lawyer (2001 - 2008) 

  • Practiced law at a prestigious law firm, working with clients on civil litigation matters and legal research.

Accessibility Advisory Committee (1998 - 2006)

In the news