Calgary

Calgary Centre debate draws crowd in contested riding

Calgary is seeing a bit more attention in this federal election compared to past contests, and there's speculation that some local riding could be up for grabs in the Conservative heartland.

Widely seen as a contest between Liberal Kent Hehr and Conservative Joan Crockatt

Conservative Joan Crockatt (left) and Liberal Kent Hehr are the frontrunners fighting to represent Calgary Centre. (CBC)

Calgary is seeing a bit more attention in this federal election compared to past contests, and there's speculation that some local riding could be up for grabs in the Conservative heartland. 

One riding that's on everyone's radar is Calgary Centre, where Liberal and former MLA Kent Hehr is mounting a challenge against incumbent Conservative Joan Crockatt.

Residents of the riding packed the Inglewood Community Centre on Tuesday for a Calgary Centre all-candidates debate, which also featured the NDP's Jillian Ratti and Thana Boonlert from the Greens.

Cynthia Moore lives in the riding and attended the debate. She says she'll stick with the Conservative Party.

"I don't think people in Calgary Centre want Justin Trudeau as their prime minister," she said. "I wish Kent well, and we all know Kent and he's worked very hard when he was an MLA, but he suffers because the leadership of his party."

Of course, her opinion wasn't the only floating around the community hall. Janice Leduc says she's not sure who to support, but it won't be Crockatt. 

"I'm pretty much on the fence, but I do want change," she said.

Hard to predict

Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt says it's a toss-up in terms of predicting the outcome in Calgary Centre.

"There's enough of an appetite for a non-Conservative vote and they're mobilizing around the Liberals because they have the strongest candidates," he said.

Calgary has not elected a progressive candidate in Ottawa since 1968.

Stephen Harper, Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulcair are in Calgary this week and will face off in a debate on the Stampede grounds on Thursday.

Mobile users follow the live blog here.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.