CALGARY- Fresh off the heels of being re-elected, Mayor Naheed Nenshi has promised that council will be united—despite a number of new faces.
“Not everyone voted for us, but I think what we got was a very clear message from Calgarians about this city being on the right track,” Nenshi said, standing on the steps of City Hall.
Despite the new dynamic in council chambers, he says they will work together for Calgarians.
“We will not be working for any specific special interest group, we’re working for the citizens of Calgary and I’m looking forward to the next four years.”
Still, it’s unclear what impact the so-called builders slate will have on their direction.
“It’s very difficult to label people, so people go in labelled, but after a few years you find out they’ve compromised and taken different positions,” explains political analyst David Taras.
Nenshi’s re-election, coupled with Don Iveson’s win in Edmonton, could also change the relationship between Alberta’s biggest cities and the province.
“I want to see more of focus with the ministry of municipal affairs on the needs of Calgary as well as of Edmonton, and I think with mayor-elect Iveson and myself, it’s really time to get that ball moving,” said Nenshi.
Minister Doug Griffiths agrees it’s time for everyone to work together.
“If Edmonton…as well as Calgary are united, then I think we’ll be able to assert our needs a little bit more on the province,” said Griffiths. “But I want to make sure we do that in a positive way that is helpful to the premier’s agenda for building an even more prosperous Alberta.”
Taras adds that the fact that Iveson and Nenshi have been friends for years, could prove problematic for Premier Redford.
“To have two young, popular, dynamic mayors working together and criticizing her, that’s a dangerous, even toxic equation.”
Council will be sworn in on Monday, before they get to work approving next year’s budget.