Conservatives Keep Calgary Seat in By-Election

Conservatives Keep Calgary Seat in By-Election
The Canadian flag flies near the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on June 17, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Doug Lett

The Conservatives easily held the riding of Calgary Heritage in a federal by-election on July 24.

Conservative candidate Shuvaloy Majumdar took the riding early, with a commanding lead nearly five times greater than his nearest challenger. And that lead did not change much the entire evening, hovering around 65 percent of total votes, with 186 of 192 polls reporting.
His victory is not unexpected—Calgary Heritage was held by former Prime Minister Stephen Harper from 2002 to 2017, although its boundaries have changed somewhat. It used to be known as Calgary Southwest.

Since 2017, the riding has been held by Conservative MP Bob Benzen, who stepped down at the end of December as an MP, prompting the by-election.

Elliot Weinstein of the Liberals and the NDP’s Gurmit Bhachu were very close throughout the evening at around 14 percent each, although Mr. Bhachu edged ahead in total votes as the counting drew to a close.

They were followed by the PPC’s Kelly Lorenzc with around 2.7 percent and the Green Party’s Ravenmoon Crocker with 1.7 percent.

There were also candidates from the Christian Heritage Party, Maverick Party, and an Independent, and each of them got less than 1 percent of total votes.

The results are similar to previous elections, where the Conservative candidates typically got anywhere from 57 percent to 71 percent of the total vote.

Mr. Majumdar has a significant resume, according to the Canada Strong and Free Network, where he worked with former Reform Leader Preston Manning. The network used to be called the Manning Centre for Building Democracy.

Most recently, he’s been working at Harper and Associates, in energy, technology, and investment in the business world.

Up until the end of 2022, he was also a Munk Senior Fellow with the Macdonald Laurier Institute, a think tank, and from 2011 to 2015 he served as a policy director to the minister of foreign affairs in the government of Mr. Harper, as well as being a senior policy adviser to the minister for international development.

From 2006 to 2010, he was based in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he led the International Republican Institute, described as a nonpartisan organization chaired by U.S. Sen. John McCain, dedicated to advancing democratic development in developing countries.

In a press release announcing his departure from the MLI, he is credited with making a significant contribution to the think tank’s foreign policy work.

“Shuv has been instrumental in MLI’s rapid growth and influence on public policy,” said Managing Director Brian Lee Crowley.

“His quick mind, worldwide contacts and encyclopaedic knowledge will be sorely missed by all of us at the Institute. He leaves with our good wishes, thanks and gratitude for a peerless contribution to making MLI one of the top think tanks in Canada.”

Doug Lett is a former news manager with both Global News and CTV, and has held a variety of other positions in the news industry.
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