An all candidates forum was held Saturday afternoon in the East Village, and for the first time in the campaign, the Conservative candidate was in attendance.  

A federal by-election will be held in the riding of Calgary Centre on November 26 to replace Lee Richardson, who stepped down earlier this year to accept a position working for Alison Redford.

Conservative Joan Crockatt has been criticized for ignoring all of the public forums until Saturday’s.

Crockatt was at the forum, taking questions, and telling voters why she is the best choice to represent Calgary Centre.  She emphasized the Conservative party are responsible for the strong economy.

Crockatt says she was pleased with her performance at the forum but, not surprisingly, her opponents were not impressed.

“It was fun,” says Crockatt.  “I like performing in front of the cameras, it's kind of what I've been doing for the past 10 years.”

“It was interesting hearing what the other people up at the podium today had to say.”

During the two hour forum the other candidates all took aim at Crockatt.

 “It was nice to have Joan come out,” says Dan Meades, the NDP candidate.  “The trouble is, I just didn't hear her defend the record of the Conservative party.  I didn't hear her stand up for Calgarians.”

Crockatt's opponents took exception to a number of comments the Conservative candidate made, most notably that "The U.S. is a basketcase financially."

Liberal candidate Harvey Locke says that's no way to refer to Canada’s greatest trading partner.

“Just because the United States is a different culture than us, that does not make it a basket case,” says Locke.

Crockatt also raised eyebrows when she answered a question about funding of the CBC.  She asserted the broadcaster had funded a porn channel on the web.

“It's always gonna be an issue for Canadians,” says Crockatt.  “Is every nickel of the billion dollars that's going to the CBC being well spent?”

Green party candidate Chris Turner was asked if he's worried about splitting the left wing vote.

“I'm not worried about voter splitting,” explains Turner.  “Voters have to decide.  The voters of Calgary Centre have to make this choice.”

Crockatt says she'll attend one more all-candidates forum prior to the by-election, but she's too busy talking to voters directly to attend any additional forums.

Crockatt says she's already knocked on more than 10,000 doors, and she plans to continue to canvas the riding.