Hon. Kent J. Hehr, P.C., M.P, was born and raised in Calgary. Kent’s mom worked as a school principal and his father as the president of the Alberta Teachers’ Association, making education and public service part of the fabric of everyday life. Kent took an early interest in sports, especially hockey, with an eye to a career as a phys-ed teacher. In 1989-90 he played with the Calgary Canucks and helped win the Alberta Junior Hockey League Championship. The following year he attended Mount Royal College and played with the Cougars, his stick-handling getting better and better.
Then Kent’s life changed forever. In October 1991, while riding in a friend’s car, Kent was hit by a drive-by shooter. The injury left him paralyzed. He would never walk again.
Like thousands of Canadians with life-altering spinal cord injuries, Kent’s path changed, but his pace didn’t. In fact, if anything, it quickened. While still re-learning to use his fingers, Kent studied at the University of Calgary, and received a Bachelor of Canadian Studies followed by a Bachelor of Law in 2001.
Kent practiced law at the prestigious national firm, Fraser Milner Casgrain (now Dentons), and became an active community leader, working with the United Way and heading the Alberta branch of the Canadian Paraplegic Association. In 2008 he won the race to represent the constituency of Calgary-Buffalo in the Alberta Legislature, a seat he successfully defended in 2012.
In 2015 he was successful in a run to become the Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre in the House of Commons. He now proudly serves as the first Liberal from Calgary to sit in Cabinet since 1972.
Over the past decade of his political involvement he has become one of the most recognizable faces in Calgary. When not on the campaign trail or spending time with his nephews and partner, Deanna, Kent can often be found in the community chatting with constituents in the local Safeway or Co-op.
After the 2015 election he was appointed to the role of Minister of Veterans’ Affairs (2015 – 2017). Minister Hehr now proudly serves in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet as the Minister for Sport and Persons with Disabilities.