Raised on a farm in Lacombe, Alberta, Blaine Calkins was first elected to the House of Commons in 2006 with more than 75 per cent of the vote. A former member of the Reform Party, he has won each subsequent election with a higher vote percentage every time.
Calkins has a Bachelor of Science with a specialization in zoology from the University of Alberta. He worked his way through university as a fishing guide on Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories. Upon completing his degree, Calkins began work as a fisheries technician collecting data for Alberta Fish and Wildlife. He went on to complete a certificate in Conservation Law Enforcement at Lethbridge Community College. He then worked as a National Park warden before returning to Alberta Parks, where he had been a summer park ranger, and became Ranger-in-Charge at Red Lodge Provincial Park. During the winters Calkins worked in the oilfield.
In 1997 Calkins returned to school again, getting a diploma in computer systems technology from Red Deer College. He then started work at the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation. In 2001 he took on a faculty position at Red Deer College where he worked until his election to the House of Commons in 2006.
During this time Calkins was also involved in politics. He was a member of the Reform Party, served on the Board of Director for the Canadian Alliance and was elected as a town councillor in Lacombe in 2004. He served on the town council until his federal nomination in 2005.
Calkins has served on several Standing Committees, including National Defence, Environment, Fisheries and Oceans, Natural Resources, and Justice. He is also the chair of the Conservative Party’s Alberta Caucus as well as a member of Conservative Party of Canada Energy Caucus, Conservative Party of Canada Grain and Oilseed Caucus, Conservative Party Rural and Agriculture Caucus and the Outdoor Caucus.
Calkins is married with three children.