CALGARY — The year was 1970 and the top song on the radio in Canada was The Guess Who’s “American Woman.” It’s also the year Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz was born in a northwest Calgary hospital.
Across the street from that hospital was his parents home – a three-bedroom walkout that is now owned by Mary Eggermont-Molenaar.
Her three-bedroom home is getting more and more attention as the political back and forth over Cruz’s birthplace heads up on the Republican campaign trail.
She gave Global News a tour of the home, saying the small room closest to the master bedroom was Cruz’s room.
“Oh sure, yeah, no other way,” Eggermont-Molenaar tells Global News.
At first she didn’t believe her connection to Cruz, but a search of land titles and phone book records confirmed the family called her house home.
His Cuban father, Rafael Cruz, and American mother, Eleanor, lived in Calgary and worked in the city’s oil patch.
Gillian Steward was friends with the Cruz family in the late 1960s and 70s, but only made the link to their son in the last few years.
She says it was clear Cruz’s mother was an American, but some still have some doubt over that.
Cruz’s campaign says his mother is an American – and so is he after renouncing his Canadian citizenship.
However, a preliminary voters list from 1974 casts doubt on that because both of his parents appear on the list to mark a ballot in that year’s federal election.
Elections Canada says it’s possible it was a mistake, noting it was a preliminary list.
The Cruz camp says it was and Eleanor never voted because she wasn’t a citizen.
Cruz’s citizenship has been cause for controversy on the U.S. campaign trail, where Cruz’s competitors – including national front-runner Donald Trump – are calling for the U.S. supreme court to weigh in on his eligibility as a natural born U.S. Citizen.
It won’t matter to Eggermont-Molenaar. She says she wouldn’t vote for Cruz even if she could, but she did extend an open invitation to return to Canada anytime.
“He would be most welcome here,” Eggermont-Molenaar says. But she knows that’s unlikely, because he has his focus on a different house.