Alberta’s municipal affairs minister had his first meeting with Calgary city council members in July but it was a meeting only certain councillors were invited to.
It took place in Calgary on July 9.
A spokesperson for Kaycee Madu’s office said while the meet and greet was open to all, “invites were extended to members who want to see pro-business, pro-growth policies brought into effect.”
Madu’s office said the minister will organize another meeting for the rest of council soon, where “he will impress the need to give Calgary families and businesses a break.”
Coun. Jyoti Gondek was one of the councillors who received an invitation. She cautions about reading too much into who was invited to the meeting.
“I believe the message that council should have received is that we have a government that is willing to talk to us,” Gondek said.
“I find it very intriguing that people are trying to come up with some kind of conspiracy theory. I can remember times when members of council who were very close with the NDP government were able to get meetings with the ministers or their assistants and we valued that. Those of us who didn’t have ins were very thankful that some of our colleagues were able to get those meetings. I don’t see this as being any different.”
According to Coun. Sean Chu, the councillors at the meeting were Joe Magliocca, Jeff Davison, Peter Demong, Ward Sutherland, Jyoti Gondek, Jeromy Farkas, George Chahal and Gian-Carlo Carra (who was not invited but did show up).
“We talked about how we can work together,” Chu said. “I think it’s great that the new minister reached out to us because the previous government never did that.”
A spokesperson for Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s office said the mayor was away on city business that day, which was communicated to Madu’s office.
The UCP had a strong showing in Calgary in the provincial election, winning all but three of the city’s ridings.
Nenshi and Premier Jason Kenney have not yet had an official meeting since the government changed in April. A spokesperson for the mayor’s office said the mayor and premier are currently working to set a meeting date with the hope that it will take place before the end of July.