At a public forum on Tuesday night, a potted plant was placed where no-show Conservative candidate for Calgary North-Centre, Michelle Rempel, would have sat. (Courtesy James Maxim)

A potted plant was used as a stand-in for a Conservative candidate who didn't show up for a debate with her rivals for the Calgary Centre-North seat on Tuesday evening.

Michelle Rempel was the only candidate in the riding who missed the forum held at a church in the northwest.

The Tory candidate also skipped an all-candidates forum last Thursday at the University of Calgary.

Rempel could not be reached for a comment on Wednesday.   But her campaign manager, Sean Snell, said she was busy with other voters.

"It just comes down to scheduling sometimes, and we can't have the candidate everywhere all the time. But we sure try," he said.

Rempel's absence was widely booed by the audience at the public forum, which drew a crowd of over 200 people, according to Liberal candidate Stephen Randall.

He added that such events are especially important in this election because Calgary Centre-North voters are replacing popular outgoing Conservative MP Jim Prentice.

"To assume that anyone, then, can come along and replace Prentice without establishing their credentials, I think, is frankly very insulting. It's insulting, frankly, to the other candidates as well," he said.

Rempel's campaign team rejected the notion that she is ducking or insulting the competition. The Conservative will be at an all-candidates meeting next Monday night, Snell said.