Blaine F. Calkins
|Chairman of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics|
|Assumed office |
February 4, 2016
|Preceded by||Pierre-Luc Dusseault|
|Member of Parliament|
for Red Deer—Lacombe
|Assumed office |
January 23, 2006
|Preceded by||Dale Johnston|
|Born||December 25, 1968|
|Profession||computer technician, park ranger, college instructor|
Calkins was born and raised in the Lacombe, Alberta area. He graduated from the University of Alberta in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science with specialization in zoology. He later became a tenured faculty member at Red Deer College. He began his career in politics as a member of the Lacombe Town Council, and as such has been involved with the board of directors of the Lacombe Municipal Ambulance Society, the board of directors for Family and Community Support Services, The Municipal Planning Commission, David Thompson Tourist Council and the Disaster Services Committee.
Blaine Calkins has been involved in the Reform/Canadian Alliance/Conservative Party since becoming a member in 1996. He served on the Candidate Nomination Committee for the Canadian Alliance Wetaskiwin riding in 1999, and joined the board of directors in 2000. Since then, he has held various board positions, including president, vice president and director of communications.
|2015 Canadian federal election: Red Deer-Lacombe|
|New Democratic||Doug Hart||7,055||11.4||-2.89||–|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||61,662||100.0||$221,802.13|
|Total rejected ballots||176||–||–|
|Source: Elections Canada|
|2011 Canadian federal election: Wetaskiwin|
|New Democratic||Tim Robson||5,281||11.39||+2.77||$1,718|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||46,363||100.00|
|Total rejected ballots||122||0.26||+0.01|
|2008 Canadian federal election: Wetaskiwin|
|New Democratic||Tim Robson||3,636||8.62||-0.70||$6,371|
|Liberal||Rita Katherine Dillon||2,362||5.60||-3.58||$8,762|
|Canadian Action||Shawn Mann||249||0.59||–|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||42,170||100.00||$90,704|
|Total rejected ballots||105||–|
|2006 Canadian federal election: Wetaskiwin|
|New Democratic||Jim Graves||4,441||9.32||+2.1|
|Total valid votes||47,604||100.00|
|Total rejected ballots||105||0.22|
CPC Alberta Caucus Chair
Blaine 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, Blaine has been responsible for facilitating dialogue between all of the Conservative MPs from Alberta and helping to coherently present issues effecting the province to Regional Ministers while in Government and directly to Conservative Leadership while in opposition. Given the size of the Alberta Conservative Caucus and the various Ministers and prominent Members of Parliament from Alberta, previously including Premier Jason Kenney and former Interim Leader of the Official Opposition the Hon. Rona Ambrose, Alberta Caucus continues to be an important voice in the Conservative Parliamentary Caucus.
From February 4th, 2016 to September 18th, 2017 Calkins was the Chair of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics . 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 
In January 2017, while Chair of the Ethics Committee, Calkins wrote a letter   to then Ethics Commissioner, Mary Dawson, highlighting a number of concerns he had about a trip Prime Minister Trudeau had accepted to the Bahamas. On December 20th, 2017 the Ethics Commissioner released her report, finding that the Prime Minister had violated multiple sections of the Conflict of Interest Act, including sections that Calkins had raised in his letter.
Conservative Hunting and Angling Caucus
Blaine helped found and served as vice-chair and is currently the chair of the Conservative Hunting and Angling Caucus (CHAC). The CHAC was founded in order to help ensure that hunters, anglers, trappers and all those who participate in the outdoor way of life are robustly represented in the Conservative Party and in parliament. As a former Park Warden and avid outdoorsman, Blaine passionately defends the outdoor way of life, in order 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 as Canadians have since first contact, and First Nations people have since time immemorial.   
Support for Labourers
In the 41st Parliament, Calkins 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. While the Employees’ Voting Rights Act passed and became law under the Conservative Government, one of the first acts of the Trudeau Government was to repeal these protections for workers.
Honouring Korean War Veterans
Calkins co-sponsored legislation with Senator Yonah Martin to make the 27th of July each year known as “National Korean War Veterans Day.” The Korean War is also known as the Forgotten War, receiving much less attention than other conflicts in which Canada played a vital role. Calkins and Senator Martin believed Canadians have a duty to recognize the sacrifice of over 26,000 men and women who courageously defended the principles of peace, freedom and democracy in the Korean peninsula, in particular the 516 who made the ultimate sacrifice. Calkins 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 our freedom.
Calkins has been actively working on addressing the rural crime issue in Canada. In Fall of 2017 Calkins co-chaired the CPC Alberta MP Rural Crime Taskforce. This was in partnership with United Conservative Party MLAs who conducted a similar study. The task force met with residents from rural Alberta, including community groups and law enforcement to hear about concerns of residents province-wide and compiled a report  making recommendations to the government of Canada to address the issue of rural crime. The report was submitted as a brief to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness during their study on M-167  about rural crime. The Liberals on the committee rejected all of the recommendations, causing the Conservative Members to submit a dissenting report.
Calkins put forward a Private Members Bill, C-458, which seeks to make remoteness an aggravating factor at sentencing, in response to what he called an “insulting” report from the Committee on Public Safety. While the bill was unable to be advanced past first reading in the 42nd Parliament, Calkins committed to reintroducing it if re-elected. Alberta Justice Minister Dough Schweitzer wrote a letter supporting Calkins PMB.
According to a December 14, 2018 recording by a Radio-Canada reporter of a talk given by Calkins to students in grades 7 and 8 in Red Deer, Calkins responded to a question about the carbon tax by saying that he was a biologist and that CO
2 was plant food not pollution. He told students that he understood there was an impact on the environment from burning fossil fuels but he questioned whether burning fossil fuels "caused extreme weather events". Calkins told them, "There's just more people now than there was before. So, when we have a major weather event, more people get affected, because the chances of it affecting people are that much higher."
In a follow-up article on December 18, Conseil Scolaire Centre-Nord's (CSCN) superintendent, Robert Lessard, responded by saying that these comments were Calkins' own personal opinions, whereas in CSCN, they teach facts about the "biological cycle of carbon", and "ecological impacts [of environment on the planet] that need to be taken care of."
Shawn Marshall, who is a University of Calgary Geography professor as well as a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Climate Change, said that Calkins' "half truths" without context, are typical examples of "climate misinformation" used by politicians who oppose the carbon tax, "to paralyze us a little bit". His concern was that they were introduced to junior youth. Marshall said that Calkins failed to add that humans are generating more CO
2 than plants can take up, and that while we do have a larger population vulnerable to extreme weather events, "there's also this huge overprint of climate change on these extreme weather events."
- Official Web Page Biography
- Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Red Deer—Lacombe, 30 September 2015
- Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine
- Release Media https://www.ponokanews.com/news/rural-crime-task-force-results-released-at-agri-trade-luncheon
- "Climate change professor accuses Alberta MP of spreading 'climate misinformation'". CBC News. December 18, 2018. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
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