Blaine F. Calkins MP was born on December 25, 1968, and is a Conservative Member of Parliament in the House of Commons of Canada. He has been representing the Red Deer—Lacombe riding in Alberta since 2015, having previously represented its predecessor, Wetaskiwin since 2006. Calkins was born and raised in the Lacombe, Alberta area, and graduated from the University of Alberta in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science degree, specializing in zoology.
Before entering politics, Calkins became a tenured faculty member at Red Deer College. He began his political career as a member of the Lacombe Town Council and was involved in various committees such as the Lacombe Municipal Ambulance Society, Family and Community Support Services, the Municipal Planning Commission, David Thompson Tourist Council, and the Disaster Services Committee.
Calkins joined the Reform Party in 1996 and followed most of the party into the Canadian Alliance in 2000 and the Conservative Party in 2004. He served on the Candidate Nomination Committee for the Reform Party in Wetaskiwin riding in 1999 and joined the board of directors for the Alliance’s riding nomination committee in 2000. Since then, he has held various board positions, including president, vice president, and director of communications.
He was first elected to Parliament for Wetaskiwin in 2006, and when the riding was abolished in 2015, he ran successfully in Red Deer—Lacombe, which essentially combined the southern part of his old riding (including its largest city, Lacombe) with the northern half of the old Red Deer riding.
Calkins served as the Caucus Chair for the Alberta Caucus of the Conservative Party of Canada in both the 41st and 42nd Parliament. As the Caucus Chair, he was responsible for facilitating dialogue between all of the Conservative MPs from Alberta and presenting issues affecting the province to Regional Ministers while in Government and directly to Conservative Leadership while in opposition.
Calkins was the Chair of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy, and Ethics from February 4, 2016, to September 18, 2017. During his time as Chair, the committee undertook important studies, including a review of the Privacy Act, the Access to Information Act, and a review of the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act.
Calkins also helped found and served as vice-chair and is currently the chair of the Conservative Hunting and Angling Caucus (CHAC). As a former Park Warden and avid outdoorsman, he passionately defends the outdoor way of life and aims to ensure that future generations are able to continue this important way of life, and that Canadians have access to public lands to sustainably harvest wildlife resources.
Calkins has passed a Private Members Bill called the Employees’ Voting Rights Act to make union certification votes down by secret ballot, to help prevent intimidation tactics that have been reported during certification proceedings under the card-check system. The Act also set the threshold to trigger a certification or decertification vote at 45% of bargaining unit members indicating they wish to have a vote and standardized the secret ballot threshold for the successful creation or continuation of a bargaining agent.
Calkins co-sponsored legislation with Senator Yonah Martin to make the 27th of July each year known as “National Korean War Veterans Day.” He continues to pay homage to the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces both past and present who have given so much to preserve Canada’s freedom.
Calkins has been actively working on addressing the rural crime issue in Canada. In the fall of 2017, he co-chaired the CPC Alberta MP Rural Crime Taskforce
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