Calgary Councillor Shane Keating has announced he will not seek re-election in the October 2021 municipal election.
The Ward 12 councillor was elected in 2010 and on Monday explained his decision on YouTube.
Keating said he believes in some form of term limits and three terms is the right number for him to serve. He also said that unfortunately, the political scene on the municipal level has taken a down turn.
“It has become negative and accusational, sensational and in some cases, void of truth. I have seen a number of organizations and council in the last while to spew rhetoric and information that is not 100 per cent correct,” Keating said.
It’s a view that is shared by Mayor Naheed Nenshi
“He’s right,” Nenshi said. “Within the last few years we’ve seen more partisanship, more rhetoric and more bitterness at the municipal level and I think that’s really a shame and I think more of us could learn from his example.”
Nenshi was quick to praise Keating.
“Although this is not unexpected news, I’m still really sad about it. For 10 years councillor Keating has proven himself to be the very best kind of politician, someone who leads ethically, who leads with integrity all the time. When he came on, it was fair to say that his part of the city, the deep southeast, really had been underserved for a long time and thanks to his work, council has been able to build three recreation centres in that area as well as this week approve the Green Line.”
Keating also said family reasons played a role in his decision as his wife has been battling cancer.
“My wife was diagnosed in 2019 and has had several operations and is in the middle of chemo and radiation treatment. I believe that should be my priority.”
Keating’s legacy will be his work in pushing for the Green Line LRT project, something that went from near-unanimous support a few years ago to being in jeopardy until certain revisions were made before a city council vote last week.
“Although it didn’t get as far south as I would have liked, it is setting the stage for a fabulous LRT line in the future where we can add station by station both south and north.”
He also spearheaded two campaigns where city vehicles were decorated with ribbons honouring first responders in 2014, and most recently this year to recognize the efforts in the battle against COVID-19.
Colleagues took to social media to thank Keating for his service to the city.
Keating was elected in 2010, replacing Ric McIver who stepped down in a bid to run for mayor.