Kent Hehr to announce mayoral race and joins crowded pitch – .

Kent Hehr to announce mayoral race and joins crowded pitch – .

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Former Liberal MP Kent Hehr said he would file documents Tuesday morning to officially join the Calgary City Hall race, confirming months of speculation that the former cabinet minister has his eye on the post the highest at the town hall.

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Hehr told Postmedia he kept hearing from Calgarians who felt there was no “true progressive” in the mayoral race and urged him to get into the race.

“Heeding that call, that’s what I did today,” Hehr said.

“I think we’ve had a division board over the last few years and I think it’s time to turn the page on this and try to support a vision and direction that will see our best days yet to come. . “

Hehr is making the leap to municipal politics from the federal scene after losing his seat in Calgary Center in the 2019 election to Conservative Greg McLean. He previously served in the Liberal cabinet as Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of Sports and Disabilities before resigning over allegations of harassment.

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The former Calgary MP has been accused of making inappropriate sexual remarks to a former staff member of the Alberta Legislature when he was a Member of Provincial Parliament ten years ago. He was also charged with tampering with an employee in Ottawa.

Hehr has previously said he does not recall making sexually inappropriate comments when he was an MP.

He said the incident of improper touching on Parliament Hill was the result of unintentional contact; Hehr became quadriplegic following a car shooting in 1991 and said he had no sensation in his hands and very limited control of his arms.

When asked again about the allegations on Monday, Hehr said he had taken a “deep personal journey” over the past three years to understand what had happened.

“In my case, distance and time brought perspective to the complaints,” Hehr said. “I want Calgarians to feel comfortable with my decision to run for public office again. I would encourage them to google my name, find out about the account, and decide for themselves. That’s all I can ask for.

There are already 27 people registered to run for town hall. Hehr will join the race just six weeks before the election.

Hehr’s entry into the race angered some progressives who fear left-wing voters will be divided over who to support – many of them took to Twitter on Monday evening to urge the former liberal to reconsider.

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Hehr said he saw “marked differences” between his views and the current leaders in the mayoral race.

Hehr said the current council erred in voting to approve more than a dozen new suburban developments on the outskirts of the city in 2018. He also said the council should not have agreed to provide 287, $ 5 million in public money for the construction of a new arena for the Calgary Flames.

“We are now giving $ 300 million and relying on the owners of the Calgary Flames to build a new arena, and every study I’ve read says there is little to no economic benefit to the city for the money. invested, ”said Hehr, who said he would have advocated for those dollars to go to affordable housing.

“Politics is about choices and what you do with limited resources. “

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Twitter: @mpotkins


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