Calgary, Alberta , Canada
Jan 05, 2010 08:00pm
|Info||Heather Forsyth was first elected MLA for Calgary-Fish Creek in 1993. On March 16, 2001, she was appointed Solicitor General for the province and continued to devote her considerable energies to promoting childrens interests by launching the high-risk offender website and establishing the countrys first Amber Alert program. She also brought forward the Integrated Response to Organized Crime (IROC) initiative, among others. |
On November 25, 2004, Mrs. Forsyth was sworn in as Minister of Childrens Services. As minister she focused on building strong families and communities. She brought forth groundbreaking legislation which was passed to protect drug-endangered children (DECA). DECA was the first law of its kind to be passed in Canada. She also partnered with Microsoft to create the Bad Guy Patrol, a website dedicated to teaching children Internet safety. As Minister of Childrens Services she also worked on many initiatives concerning bullying and family violence. In 2007 she was appointed as the Chair of the Crime Reduction and Safe Communities Task Force which travelled the province meeting with Albertans and stakeholders regarding crime in their communities. She reported back to the Minister of Justice with recommendations on what the province should do to address the issues that she heard.
Dedicating most of her life to community service, especially in aid of children and youth, Mrs. Forsyth is best known for championing the issue of child prostitution, which resulted in the Protection of Children Involved in Prostitution Act, the first of its kind in Canada to recognize that children engaged in prostitution are victims of sexual abuse and require protection. As well, she saw through legislation to provide the right of court-ordered access of grandparents to their grandchildren. As a result of her work with children, in 2002 she was named Readers Digest Canadian Hero. One of her greatest honours was being bestowed the Blackfoot name Aahsoikinnah-kaiki, which means healing woman.
Prior to becoming an MLA, Mrs. Forsyth worked as a sales and marketing manager in the advertising industry for 15 years, during which she received the Silver Marketing Award and the 1989 Presidents Award.
Prior to entering provincial politics she also volunteered with community groups, the Childrens Wish Foundation, the provincial Youth Justice Committee, the Alberta Social Services Appeal Advisory Board and the Calgary Board of Health.
Mrs. Forsyth is an avid reader and enjoys playing golf, gardening and spending time with her family and friends. She is also the founder and current Chair of the Peanut Butter Classic Society, a non-profit organization which puts on a golf tournament yearly to raise much needed funding for charities that help women and children. A native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, she lives in Calgary with her husband, Gordon, and has two sons.