Monday, April 16, 2012

The Race for Calgary-Fort

Created in 1997, Calgary-Fort has only ever been represented by one man: Wayne Cao, of the PC Party. A largely industrial part of the city, residents of this section of town are among the hardest-working in Calgary, and also the proudest. Even when they have the chance to move elsewhere, many choose to stay because of the unique character of the neighbourhoods. In the redistribution, it gained the downtown communities of Ramsay (from Egmont) and East Village (from Buffalo).

The Candidates:
Said Abdulbaki (LIB)
Wayne Cao (PC)
Janice Dixon (EVG)
Jeevan Mangat (WRP)
Don Monroe (NDP)

Said Abdulbaki may be better known to some readers as "The Sheik" - a character he portrayed on Stampede Wrestling. The businessman and pizza impresario was a Wildrose regional director for southern Alberta and ran for the party in Calgary-Montrose in 2008. After failing to secure the Chestermere-Rockyview nomination last year for Wildrose, he switched to the Liberals, listing Pierre Trudeau as a political hero of his (I'm sure that was a popular view in his former party. In wrestling, they call that a "heel turn").

Wayne Cao was elected MLA here in 1997, and the popular myth is that you can't build a garage in your back yard in Ogden or Dover without Cao showing up to cut the ribbon and celebrate (and sing). The IT Professional previously had a long career with Shell Canada before being elected. He lists healthcare, the economy, and social assistance as key areas of importance for the riding. His political hero is Abraham Lincoln - wonder if he's going to see this?

Janice Dixon is a graduate of the University of Toronto, where she majored in political science and international development. The well-travelled Dixon feels that redevelopment and urbanization are big issues in Calgary-Fort, which includes the soon-to-be-overhauled East Village area.

Jeevan Mangat is a graduate of Lord Beaverbrook High School in Calgary - but nobody's perfect (Go Grandin!). He went on to earn a civil engineering degree from U of C, and also ran a family restaurant. He is currently a commercial property manager, and places heavy emphasis on fiscal discipline being required in Edmonton. He won the nomination here that was triggered when the previously nominated candidate, Bob McInnis, withdrew in mid-2011.

Don Monroe is a City of Calgary employee and union organizer who fosters people with special needs in his home. An active member of the Metis Association of Alberta, Monroe lists health care access and public funding as his biggest issue. His roots are in Forest Lawn.

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