Is this a surprise to anyone at all? Naheed Nenshi was re-elected mayor in Calgary last night. Heck, I’m not ever all that surprised that he won with 74 per cent of the vote. How’s that for a mandate?
Nenshi’s closest competitor was former alderman and Tory MLA, John Lord, a serious contender. But even he couldn’t put a dint in the Nenshi magic taking only 21 per cent of the vote.
Here’s a piece on the Nenshi win that includes a good summary of the election campaign and some of the issues Calgary is facing. It’s written by our favourite Calgary Herald writer, former Star Phoenix reporter, James Wood.
Back in 2011, I covered the first National Infrastructure Summit in Regina and a highlight of those three days was interviewing Mayor Nenshi. Here’s a direct link to that mp3 file (it’s only 4 min long). He was the rock star of the event, completely over-shadowing the celebrity they’d hired to MC it (some CBC reality-show person I didn’t know and mostly ignored).
People attending the Summit hung on Nenshi’s every word and retweeted his every tweet. And that was pretty cool considering he was there trumpeting his anti-sprawl agenda, which was reflected in the best quote I got from him…
Sprawl is the killer of efficiency. It’s so hard to serve by transit, to build those rec centres. So make sure that you’re being thoughtful about intensifying your greenfield and brownfield neighbourhoods. And really make sure that your new suburbs are built as complete communities where people can live, work and play in close proximity and they’re well served by transit.
Meanwhile, up in Edmonton, Don Iveson was elected mayor and he also scored a huge mandate, taking 61.9 per cent of the vote. Iveson was a city councillor and calls outgoing mayor, Stephen Mandel, a hero and a mentor.
I don’t know a lot about Iveson except that he’s really young. And that’s kind of annoying because I was up in Saskatoon this weekend hanging out with a couple friends of mine who are from Edmonton. They know I cover city hall here and yet for some reason they didn’t even mention that there was a municipal election going on back home. I’d have been curious to hear all about it. But apparently my friends don’t share my obsession with city politics.
What’s wrong with them? Oh right… they probably didn’t want to get me talking about city politics. That was smart.