Calgary-Centre candidates square off over arts funding, passport woes

Tory Contender Joan Crockatt speaks at a candidate forum at the Golden Age Club in the East Village as part of the Calgary-Centre by-election in downtown Calgary, Alta. on Nov. 17, 2012.

Credits: Stuart Dryden/Calgary Sun/QMI Agency


CALGARY — It was standing-room only Saturday as the four main candidates in the Calgary-Centre byelection traded barbs for the final time ahead of Monday's vote.

Around 150 turned up to hear from Conservative Joan Crockatt, Liberal Harvey Locke, Green Chris Turner and NDP Dan Meades.

With most polls showing the the Conservatives holding a roughly five-point lead over the Liberals, Crockatt and Locke butted heads on the issue of arts funding after Locke said Alberta has been shut out by federal government in terms of dollars spent in Calgary.

"Our arts are not supported by this federal government, not at all," he said. "You know how much money the Glenbow Museum gets from the province? A little over $2 million a year.

"You know how much we get from the federal government? Zero."
But Crockatt shot back, saying the city has been well served by the feds.

"You want to talk about arts? How about the National Music Centre — $25 million," she said.

"Mount Royal University the performance hall and conservatory — $20 million. Stampede Park — $25 million. There are all kinds of things the federal government is doing for Calgary."

Crockatt also intimated that having an opposition MP in Calgary-Centre could be detrimental to those living in the riding.

"If you're in Mexico and you lose your passport, do you want to call an opposition MP?" she said.

"Or do you want to call somebody who can walk across to the minister's office and go and get an answer for you?"

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