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Back  |  May 11, 2018  | 


"Building a better economy for the benefit of all Calgarians is a priority for me and your City Council. Our economic development vision--to be Canada's city of choice for the world's entrepreneurs--is sound. And our strategy to get there is solid. We're working hard to ensure Calgary remains a great place to make a living and a life." - Mayor Nenshi

Read his full interview about the challenges facing Calgary and our strategy to rebuild.​​

Categories: Interviews; Better economy; Economic development

Back  |  February 02, 2018  | 


"On behalf of Calgary City Council, I will be part of the delegation participating in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics Observer Programme. The Programme is a unique opportunity to experience the Games first-hand to learn how we could host a successful Games in Calgary—if we pursue a bid. Over the course of my time in Korea (Feb. 6-14), I will have a full schedule of meetings with local and international officials and have many opportunities to get a behind-the-scenes look at Games operations. To make the most of my travel, I am also working with Calgary Economic Development to participate in a number of executive meetings to promote, and support investment in, Calgary. I look forward to sharing my findings with Council upon my return."

Mayor Nenshi's participation in the Observer Programme is paid through the Council-approved budget for the continued exploration of a potential bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. To learn more about the exploration phase, please visit​

Categories: Media

Back  |  March 08, 2017  | 


Since 2015, Administration has achieved $325 million in savings through efficiencies and reductions. Through these savings, Administration provided Calgarians with an additional $228 million in benefits in 2017 under the direction of Council. These benefits include a lower 2017 tax rate, a property tax rebate, the Municipal Non-Residential Phased Tax Program, user fee freezes and reductions, reduced utility rates, and other targeted initiatives.

Read more about these savings here.​

Categories: Budget; Even smarter City Hall

Back  |  May 17, 2017  | 



Council has approved an indicative tax rate of 0 to 2% for 2018. This range of property tax rate increases will help City staff prepare options for adjustments to 2018 business plans and budgets for Council’s approval in November 2017.

Here are some common questions related to this topic:

What is an indicative tax rate?

The indicative rate is Council’s direction on the tax rate that will guide Administration’s preparation of adjustments to the 2018 business plans and budgets.

What indicative tax rate did Council set?

In order to keep the impacts to a manageable level, Council approved an indicative tax rate increase in the range of 0 to 2% for 2018. This amounts to a minimum reduction of 2.7% from the previously approved tax rate increase of 4.7% in 2018 and will result in a reduction to the operating budget of at least $43 million.

How does Council set indicative rates?

Council considers the financial implications of various tax rate options and impacts on citizens. This includes things like changes in the economy and population, inflation, and changes in financial forecasts and risks.

What’s next?

Now that the indicative tax rate has been set, Administration will spend the next few months working together to propose adjustments to programs and services that fit within the indicative tax rate increase. The rates and fees will be finalized by the new Council in late November.

Questions about the indicative tax rates set by City Council? Visit this page for more information.

(cross-posted from Calgary City News Blog)​

Categories: Media; Budget; Video

Back  |  November 17, 2017  | 



Today, The City of Calgary shared its draft 2018 budget adjustments with Council and Calgarians. Click here to read through the proposal yourself.

Unlike other orders of government, the draft budget adjustments are created by City administration under the early direction from City Council. After the draft is presented, City Council discusses and debates the full budget in public before making any decisions to move forward. Of course, the public is also encouraged to participate by making presentations to City Council during the week of November 27th.

"I’m pleased with this draft budget," said Mayor Nenshi. "We’ve closed the budget gap while minimizing cuts in service and tax increases for Calgarians. We’re reducing landfill tipping fees and holding the line on taxes while continuing to build infrastructure and supply the services Calgarians need. I’m also hopeful Council will fund the ask from the police and adopt my proposal to rebate increases in non-residential property taxes."​

Categories: Media; Budget; Video

Back  |  January 26, 2017  | 


Mayor Nenshi wrote the following column for the  Globe and Mail. It appeared on January 26, 2017.

In announcing the Canada Infrastructure Bank, Ottawa has a historic opportunity to not just address Canada’s massive infrastructure deficit, but also to shape the future of Canada’s powerful financial services industry.

Locating the bank in Calgary would not only ensure it has the access to the resources it needs to be successful, but also would make a powerful statement about the role of Canada – all of Canada – as a global financial centre.

First, the case for Calgary is clear.

We have the talent and the players here. Calgary has long been the second-largest head-office centre in Canada, and we have long punched far above our weight in global financial circles. Every major global investment bank has a presence here and eight of the 10 largest banks in the world are here, along with major functions of every Canadian bank.

In 2014, Calgary firms accounted for 12 per cent of the deal flow in the energy sector worldwide – about four times our share of world energy production. From a Canadian perspective, 35 per cent of all private equity finances by value in this country happened in Alberta in 2015.

This level of activity is largely because we have an extraordinary level of not just banking talent here, but also top-quality legal, accounting, human resources, risk management, IT and other professional services.

And if there is a silver lining in the human pain of this economic downturn, it is that many of these brilliant people are in the process of reinventing their careers, and are available to start building the bank in Calgary.

(And, for the first time in decades, we have available office space downtown at very good prices!)

No surprise, then, that the financial services sector is an incredibly important part of the city’s economy and a major part of our 10-year economic strategy for diversification.

But what’s even more important is the creation of an environment where creativity can flourish. One of the reasons that so much deal flow in energy has come to Calgary is because we have developed and championed innovative financing tools here: things such as junior capital pools, royalty trusts and flow-through shares.

Calgary therefore offers the opportunity to get out of the financial sector bubble and look to creativity and innovation in financing.

That, above all, is the key factor Prime Minister Trudeau’s government should consider. The bank will be doing work that is without peer in the world, and the world is watching us.

The bank cannot rely on the same old solutions – traditional P3 models (public-private partnerships) can be very useful, but won’t get us where we need to go on massive investments in public transit and waste-water infrastructure, for example.

If we get this right as a nation – if we can figure out how best to leverage pools of private capital that are currently looking for investment to things that really help people live better lives, get to where they need to go, and protect our land, air, and water, we will have done something incredible not just for Canada, but for the world.

So, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and his team have an incredible opportunity: With one decision, they can help address economic diversification in a region of the country that is hurting and set this great experiment of the Canada Infrastructure Bank on a base of success.

In so doing, they could help solve some of the most pervasive problems in the Canadian economy – helping resource-rich regions build on the resource base to create new growth engines, and finally addressing our infrastructure deficit, helping Canadians live better lives.

The road starts in Calgary.​

Categories: Economic development; Better economy; National

Back  |  April 06, 2018  | 



On Friday, April 6, Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Finance Minister Joe Ceci announced the completion of the first phase of the City Charter.

This means more flexibility and autonomy for Alberta’s two largest cities to make decisions to better serve citizens.

As one example, Calgarians have long told City Council that pedestrian safety and speed limits on residential streets are a concern. Now, Council has the ability to work with Calgarians to find solutions and implement them (something that couldn't be done under older provincial regulation). That’s just one example of the many regulatory changes announced today. You can find further information here.

This is the first phase of the City Charters. The cities of Calgary and Edmonton will continue to work with the provincial government on a revenue sharing agreement and a long-term transit strategy for the cities.

Revenue sharing means that when the province is doing well, Calgary shares in that. Likewise, in hard times, we also share in the pain. It’s about having more stable and predictable funding so we can plan better for the future... and build the things Calgarians need.

Ultimately, the City Charter is about recognizing about half of our province’s population lives in Calgary and Edmonton and our cities have unique needs. We need to work collaboratively with the provincial government and bring decision-making home to Calgary. As Calgarians, we need the power to chart our own future.​

Categories: Provincial; Better economy; Even smarter City Hall; Stronger communities; Video

Back  |  April 11, 2017  | 



Following a meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to explain and discuss Council's decision to refund the provincial tax room for 2017 (resulting in a small tax decrease for Calgarians). Below is The City of Calgary news release about the decision:


Today, City Council approved the 2017 Property Tax Bylaw, which set the rates for 2017 property taxes for residential and non-residential properties.

"Council has heard many Calgary homeowners and businesses are experiencing financial stress and we are taking action to help," said Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

City Council approved the 2017 municipal property tax rate based on mid-cycle adjustments that were developed to support Calgarians during the economic downturn. Last June, Council reduced the previously approved a 4.7 per cent tax rate increase for 2017 to 1.5 per cent and approved a rebate from the Fiscal Stability Reserve to cover the 1.5 per cent increase.

The Province's tax requisition for this year was lower than The City originally expected, creating what is commonly called tax room in the amount $23.7 million. Council agreed to rebate the 2017 tax room as a one-time return to taxpayers in the amount and directed Administration to bring a recommendation to the business plan and budget process for the use and / or rebate of the tax room in 2018 and beyond.

As a result, residential property owners who own a median residential property valued at $460,000 can expect to see an annual reduction of $7 dollars or sixty cents per month in their 2017 property tax bill.

The City is taking action to support Calgary’s economy, keep Calgarians working, reduce the cost of local government and address financial challenges while finding innovative ways to continue providing quality services to citizens. "We are committed to making life better every day, responding to the needs of Calgarians, and demonstrating that we are a well-run City", said Fielding.

The City of Calgary collects property taxes from all property owners within the municipality to fund municipal services and the provincial property tax requisition.

Property taxes will be mailed May 26 and are due June 30. A late payment penalty of 7 per cent will be applied to any unpaid portion of property taxes on July 1 and October 1. The property tax deadline does not apply to property owners who pay monthly through The City’s Tax Instalment Payment Plan (TIPP).

More than 240,000 property owners pay their taxes monthly through TIPP. Property owners can join TIPP at any time by calling 311 or visiting tax to request an application.

Help is also available to assist eligible low-income homeowners who meet income guidelines and eligibility criteria, regardless of age. Visit for more information about the program and how to apply.

For more information on property taxes and The City’s budget visit or contact 311.​

Categories: Media; Budget; Better economy; Video

Back  |  June 09, 2017  | 


Thanks to prudent and smart management at The City of Calgary, DBRS Limited has reaffirmed the Issuer Rating and Long-Term Debt rating of The City of Calgary at AA (high), and the Commercial Paper rating at R-1 (high), with Stable trends.

The agency highlights several strength factors including:

  • Demonstrated fiscal prudence
  • Sizable financial reserves
  • Strong and stable tax revenue base
  • Leading economic and population growth in past decade.

In affirming the rating, DBRS says that "the ratings are supported by a low DBRS-adjusted tax-supported debt burden, a high level of liquidity and reserves, stability in key revenue sources and disciplined fiscal management amid a still-challenging economic climate in Alberta". The agency points out that The City has continued to post operating surpluses and maintains a relatively low municipal tax burden, despite sustained pressures for service expansion and spending growth. DBRS also notes "Calgary’s sound fiscal management and solid track record is evidenced by its use of multi-year budget planning frameworks, comprehensive capital investment plans and long-term municipal development strategies".

Mayor Nenshi's comment about this news are included in this Metro Calgary story.​

Categories: Better economy; Budget; Even smarter City Hall; Kudos

Back  |  September 15, 2017  | 



Today, Mayor Naheed Nenshi joined with members of Calgary City Council to share with Calgarians The City of Calgary’s funding proposal for a new arena / events centre in Victoria Park. For over a year, negotiators from The City have regularly met with the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) to come to an agreement to build a replacement for the Scotiabank Saddledome. After CSEC announced earlier this week that it would be discontinuing negotiations with The City of Calgary, Council voted to release the details of The City’s latest proposal that was under negotiation.

"City Council believes that we have before us a very fair proposal—a proposal that we were prepared to share with the public for engagement should CSEC agree to move forward," said Mayor Nenshi. "Given recent partial reports of the proposal and that CSEC has said it has left the table, we believe that it is important to share this proposal with all Calgarians now."

The total direct cost for the arena is estimated to be $555 million and The City has proposed a funding formula whereby The City, CSEC, and users would each contribute 1/3 of the direct costs—$185 million each.


The City’s contribution includes:

  • land valued at $30 million dollars,
  • interim maintenance and eventual demolition of the Saddledome valued at $25 million,
  • a $130 million cash contribution from non-property tax sources, and
  • facilitating development of adjacent land by CSEC

In addition to The City’s $185 million in direct costs, The City will incur indirect cost related to infrastructure to support the arena and redevelopment in Victoria Park in the amount of $150 million, excluding the cost of utilities and the LRT station, which will also be paid for by The City.

Users would cover the remaining $185 million through a user fee/ticket surcharge.

One of the key principles of the proposal is that CSEC would own the arena. As owners of the building, CSEC would pay property taxes on the building and land, as any other private property owner in Calgary is required to do. These property taxes would pay to support the services that citizens and business use everyday and they would partially defray the cost of delivering the services required to support the arena, like extra transit, police, street cleaning, etc. The City remains open to discussing the amount and the form of this revenue. For example, if it is better for CSEC to pay rent on a building owned by The City, or agree to revenue sharing, or provide an equity stake in the team, all of these things are open for discussion.

The City has been—and continues to be—willing to discuss all elements of this proposal, and everything remains on the table for negotiation.

"Throughout this entire process, The City has negotiated in good faith and always been very up front with CSEC," said Mayor Nenshi. "The City has not left the table and is prepared to continue negotiations. I’m very pleased that we are also sharing this with citizens, and I look forward to hearing feedback that I hope will also support future negotiations."​

Categories: Media

Back  |  January 30, 2017  | 



At an event about how university students can take personal actions to improve the community, Mayor Nenshi shared his sadness and heartbreak over the terrible news of an act of terror in Quebec City. Above is video of that statement and below are the notes on which his comments were based.

Like all Calgarians and Canadians, my heart breaks as we learned about the shooting in Quebec City.

J'aime notre ville jumelée, Québec, depuis que j'ai passé un été à Laval. Je pense aux victimes, leurs familles et à tous les Québécois.

This terrible act is a reminder that we are not immune to hatred in this country. But we will always stand up to it together.

We stand with Canadians from coast to coast to coast, with our political leaders of all stripes, and with people of all faiths and backgrounds.

We will not accept hatred and fear. We will not accept xenophobia. We will not tolerate those who spread it and those who commit atrocities out of cowardice and hatred. We will not let it break our collective spirit of openness and optimism and love for humanity.

When Muslims hear of a death, we say the words "We belong to God, and to him we return." I say that for Quebec today.

I say this not because the victims of this terrible act of terror were Muslim, but because they are our fellow citizens and because I am a person of faith. And true faith binds all people, no matter their spiritual perspective.

My heart doesn’t break because I am Muslim. My heart breaks because I am human.

Today, it is easy to feel the darkness of the world.

I know that it can feel like the world is broken and that we are helpless to fix it. But we are not helpless.

Every single one of us can heal the world. It starts in our own communities and with our own hearts and hands. Every single one of us has the power to create the light we so desperately need in times like these.

And so it is our responsibility today to take action. Actions that not only heal our community, but make it stronger. Actions that, at their core, bring us together.

Meet and know all your neighbours, host a community pot luck, donate to organizations that support refugees and immigrants and our communities, volunteer for events to celebrate who we are as a diverse and multicultural and pluralistic nation.

And, this one is important: denounce hatred and intolerance wherever you find it.

While Canada is a place of sanctuary, safety, welcome and opportunity, we must keep fighting to keep it as such.

When hearts and minds and borders close to humanity, we must take action to ensure ours are open. I applaud our prime minister, our premiers, and my fellow mayors for their words and actions these past few days, but we must also do all we can as citizens.

The world can be dark—and we will grieve—but we will also act to make sure our Canada is a light for ourselves and the world.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  January 01, 2017  | 



Happy New Year! I hope you spent yesterday celebrating with friends and family. I had an amazing time last night celebrating with thousands of our fellow Calgarians in the Municipal Building and Olympic Plaza.

As we look forward to this 2017, there is much on the horizon; it will be a busy year! But right now, I want to share with you my hope for our sesquicentennial—Canada's 150th birthday.

My hope is that every single Canadian give 3 gifts—three acts of service—to celebrate the sesquicentennial. We're calling it Three Things for Canada. Your "things" can be as simple as shovelling a neighbour's walk or as complex as joining the board of a nonprofit that is changing the world. Just do three acts of service for your neighbourhood, your nation, or your world.

And there's a not-so-secret fourth thing to do: tell everyone about what you're doing and get others to do the same. Let's make this viral! Share with your friends and family. Share on Twitter or Facebook using #3ThingsforCanada and tell your stories on

Just imagine if we all do three things this year? That’ll be over 100,000,000 acts of service! And our world will never be the same.

Once again, happy New Year! Let's make 2017 the best it can be!

- Mayor Naheed Nenshi​

Categories: Get engaged; Stronger communities; Video

Back  |  November 29, 2017  | 


The following column appeared in the Calgary Herald in support of the Calgary Herald Christmas Fund.

I often speak about the promise of Calgary. For thousands of years, people have come to this land to build community—a place of welcome, security, prosperity, and opportunity for all.

For many Calgarians, that promise rings true. This is a great place to make a living and a life. But for some, that promise hasn’t been realized. There are very real pressures getting in the way. Pressures of poverty, mental health, and addiction can hobble the strongest person. The challenges of major life changes can bring stresses for which we’re not prepared.

It is our collective responsibility to make the promise of Calgary a reality for every single person who lives here. It is not a nice-to-have or an idle dream—it is a very real commitment rooted in our history and demonstrated by Calgarians every day.

When I read through the list of the 12 agencies that will receive 100 per cent of the money raised from this year’s Calgary Herald Christmas Fund, I don’t just see 12 organizations providing important community services. I see the many hundreds of volunteers, professionals, and supporters who commit all they can to helping people in need. I see the thousands of Calgarians who receive these critical services and are moving beyond the pressures they face. I see children, families, adults, and seniors. I see friends, neighbours, and strangers. I see us realizing the promise of this community.

It’s not easy, but I know we’re up for the challenge. I know this because I’m lucky enough to see the strength of this community every day. From dedicated public servants to passionate professionals and volunteers in the non profit sector, Calgarians in every corner of the city are taking very real actions to make this a city of opportunity for all.

I love the Calgary Herald Christmas Fund because it makes it even easier for us to help. Every year, the team behind this project thoughtfully curates a group of really effective organizations that deserve even more community support. We can be confident a donation is going somewhere that will make a big difference.

Let’s use this holiday season to re-energize and recommit ourselves to realizing the promise of Calgary. Let’s take this opportunity make this place just a little bit better for those around us. And let’s celebrate that we live in a community where helping our fellow citizen comes naturally.

And this year, as we make our way through a fragile economic recovery, I encourage those of us who can afford to give to give a little bit more. Too many of our neighbours want to be able to help but just can’t do as much as they’d like to right now. Let’s all share the load.

From my family to yours: Merry Christmas and have a blessed new year.​

Categories: Columns; Poverty; Stronger communities

Back  |  November 29, 2017  | 



Over the course of three breaks during budget adjustment deliberations for City Council, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to answer questions about the conversations and decisions. Topics included The City's credit rating and debt, secondary suites, public transit, and the Calgary Police Service.​

Categories: Media; Budget; Video

Back  |  September 22, 2017  | 



Following a media Q&A on a variety of topics, Mayor Nenshi gave an update on the status of the closure of the Midfield Mobile Home Park.

Click here to read the latest update from The City of Calgary.​

Categories: Housing; Media

Back  |  April 04, 2018  | 


Fellow Calgarians, we need your help. The City of Calgary is just about to start preparing our service plans and budgets for the next four years, and now is your chance to add your voice to the process.

In the past, our budgets have been based on each City department, but this time around, we’re taking a close look at the individual services we deliver to make sure we are providing all Calgarians with the high quality of service they expect for the best value.

City Council will be deliberating and making decisions about the 2019-2022 budget in November. But before we get there, we need to know what it is that you value about your City services.

You can offer your input on as many or as few services as you’d like, or simply pick the ones that matter most to you. And, if you prefer, you can call my colleagues at 311 to participate.


Thanks in advance for weighing in – this is really important stuff. I look forward to hearing the feedback!​

Categories: Budget; Even smarter City Hall; Get engaged

Back  |  August 30, 2017  | 


The following article by Mayor Nenshi appeared in the September edition of Calgary's Child magazine.

Play. When I think of kids, that’s what I think of: play. Often that’s how I get to connect with so many of Calgary’s children and their families - at sporting events, at parks, and at community festivals (usually with bouncy castles... though my team always forbids me from going into them - so unfair!). The chance to join in play is the essence of childhood, and we have to make sure that all children have access to these opportunities.

Yet it seems as though being able to play isn’t as easy as it used to be. Sports like soccer, hockey, and dance are not an insignificant expense, and in these challenging economic times, some families have to consider cutting back. In September, Calgary is hosting the International Conference of Play where experts from around the world will gather to find ways to ensure that all children know what it means to get out and play. We want to make Calgary a city of play that is accessible to everyone.

But what exactly does that mean? Well, in 2018, The City of Calgary will open two new recreation facilities, one in Rocky Ridge in the Northwest and another in Seton in the Southeast. That’s after we opened two others over the past year-and-half: Great Plains Recreation Facility and the Remington YMCA in Quarry Park. These recreation centres were long overdue, and I am proud that your City Council and I were finally able to fund these projects. They are all critical parts of the community that serve all of our citizens.

We have also made investments in skateparks throughout the city - building new ones and enhancing existing ones. In most cases, these skateparks are providing recreational opportunities for youth in established communities that can sometimes be overlooked when it comes to building new infrastructure.

It’s very important that all children, no matter what part of the city they live in, have the ability to go out and play in their neighborhood. The past few years have seen significant upgrades to regional parks such as Confederation Park, Bowness Park, and Prairie Winds Park. The City has supported Parks Foundation Calgary with the establishment of the Rotary-Mattamy Greenway - the largest urban pathway in the world! It’s a 150-kilometre circle incorporating 13 unique parks and linking 55 different communities. I also love the new St. Patrick’s Island (a giant urban park) and the new jewels of the inner city: Barb Scott Park and Thomson Family Park. And then there’s the New Brighton Athletic Park, a refurbished Calgary Soccer Centre, and newly-renovated pools and arenas across the city.

But there is still a lot left to do. Despite an economic downturn, our city continues to grow - along with it, the need to make sure we remain one of the most liveable cities in the world; a city of opportunity for everyone. This includes promoting pedestrian and transportation safety around playgrounds and schools, as well as ensuring fields and equipment are accessible to all.

Community-building is not just about constructing roads or determining what should be built and where (although we do a lot of it!). It is about creating a place where all citizens, no matter their age, are valued and can enjoy a high quality of life. And when you’re a kid, what better measure than having the ability to play, whether through organized sports or having adventures with friends in your neighborhood.

I know The City of Calgary takes play very seriously, and that means a lot more fun for all of us!

Mayor Nenshi holds a Bachelor of Commerce (with distinction) from the University of Calgary, where he was President of the Students’ Union, and a Master in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he studied as a Kennedy Fellow. Keep up-to-date on the latest news and information regarding Mayor Nenshi and this great city at Feeling social? Follow the Mayor on Facebook,, and Twitter @nenshi.​

Categories: Columns; Stronger communities

Back  |  August 25, 2017  | 


The following is a joint statement from Mayor Naheed Nenshi, the Calgary Police Service and Commission, and Calgary Pride.

This year’s decision regarding the Calgary Pride Parade and the Calgary Police Service has presented an opportunity for further collaborative discussion.

Following the announcement in July that CPS members were asked to attend the parade out of uniform, the Mayor’s Office convened a meeting with representatives from Calgary Pride, the Calgary Police Service, including Chief Constable Roger Chaffin, the Chief’s Gender and Sexually Diverse Advisory Committee as well as members of LGBTQ+ community, and the Calgary Police Commission.

The intention of this meeting was to develop a better understanding of the legitimate issues and concerns raised by members of the LGBTQ+ community about how CPS works with their community. The outcome of the meeting was a commitment by the participants to work together over the next year to address those issues and concerns. The goal of the meeting was not to change Calgary Pride's decision with respect to the participation in the parade.

"I’m pleased that we’ve had the opportunity to continue discussions focused on creating impactful and inclusive solutions to positively enhance the relationship with all members of Calgary’s gender and sexually diverse community," said Jason Kingsley, President and Executive Producer of Calgary Pride. "There is clearly a desire on all sides to work together and find ways to develop the relationship between all segments of the GSD community, and we’re proud to be a part of a long term, positive outcome for everyone."

"I am extremely proud and appreciative of the work that both our members and the volunteers on our Sexuality & Gender Diversity Chief’s Advisory Board do every day to build relationships with Calgary’s diverse communities and openly discuss any concerns raised by those who feel marginalized," said Chief Constable Roger Chaffin with the Calgary Police Service. "We want Calgary to be a place where all people feel safe, especially when it comes to interacting with police officers. We look forward to ongoing conversations with those in Calgary’s LGBTQ+ community that have concerns so we can find ways to improve our relationship and address their concerns."

"The Chief’s Gender and Sexually Diverse Advisory Committee was happy to be engaged in the conversation, and looks forward to continuing to operate in an advisory capacity to continue fostering a positive relationship between Calgary Police and the gender and sexually diverse community," said Aaron Thorsten, member of the Chief’s Gender and Sexually Diverse Advisory Committee.

"As a civilian police commissioner, participating in this dialogue allowed me to see community policing in action,” said Commissioner Brian Thiessen with the Calgary Police Commission. “Continuing to respectfully engage with Calgary Pride is an essential part of upholding the trust and confidence of citizens, and will build on the momentum CPS has gained with diverse communities over many years."

"These conversations are not always easy, but they are incredibly important," said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. "It’s crucial that we have an open dialogue and I’m encouraged that Calgary Pride and CPS, with support from the Calgary Police Commission and the Mayor’s Office, are committed to building on this relationship to better serve all Calgarians."

Jason Kingsley, President, Calgary Pride
Roger Chaffin, Chief, Calgary Police Service
Aaron Thorsten, member of the Chief’s Gender and Sexually Diverse Advisory Committee
Brian Thiessen, Chair, Calgary Police Commission
Mayor Naheed Nenshi​

Categories: Media; Stronger communities

Back  |  December 20, 2017  | 



"On behalf of my colleagues at The City of Calgary, and from my family to yours: Merry Christmas and all the best for 2018!"​

Categories: Heritage; Video; Stronger communities

Back  |  January 23, 2017  | 



Today, Calgary City Council decided to use $45 million to cap property tax increases on non-residential (ie: business) properties. Following the decision in Council, Mayor Nenshi and representatives from the Calgary Chamber and Calgary Economic Development spoke about this significant investment to ensure Calgary is open for business.

Read the full story and get more information about this initiative at CityTalk.​

Categories: Media; Better economy; Even smarter City Hall; Video

Back  |  August 31, 2017  | 


There has been a lot of discussion and a number of misunderstandings around the Bowfort Towers art project in Calgary. We, the undersigned, would like to acknowledge what has happened, clarify some facts, and suggest some steps for the future.

The City of Calgary is located on traditional indigenous lands located in the region covered by Treaty 7 signed in 1877 between Canada, the Pikani Nation, Kainai Nation, Sikiska Nation (together the Blackfoot Confederacy), the Bearspaw Nation, Chiniki Nation and Wesley Nation (together the Stoney Nakoda Nations) and the Tsuu T'ina Nation. Today, the Treaty 7 Nations continue to come together on a regular basis to work towards the needs of their people, the protection of traditional lands and indigenous rights. As we continue to work towards reconciliation, the Blackfoot Confederacy, Stoney Nakoda Nations, Tsuu T’ina Nations and The City of Calgary will continue to work together to ensure the ongoing recognition within Calgary of the traditional territory of these great Nations.

We’d like to start by acknowledging that, in this time of reconciliation, The City of Calgary has taken steps to improve its relationship with its indigenous neighbours. The City of Calgary has demonstrated an interest in moving forward in reconciliation and common prosperity through actions such as permanently raising the Treaty 7 flag at City Hall to adopting an official Indigenous Policy. In addition, in 2015, The City was honoured that a traditional medicine wheel was constructed in Nose Hill Park by members of the Blackfoot Confederacy to honour the cultural and historical significance of the area. This landmark serves as tribute and an educational tool.

The arts can help to strengthen the relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous people. We point to Making Treaty 7—a theatrical presentation that tells the story of the events that took place at Blackfoot Crossing in 1877—as an example of how the arts can create a deeper understanding of our collective history and help to pave a path forward.

With regards to the Bowfort Towers project:

  • The City of Calgary commissioned this installation in 2015 as part of a larger interchange project, under its public art policy. The total cost of the art was about $500,000 or 0.7% of the total cost of the interchange project.
  • As is its usual practice, the City convened a committee made up of three volunteers from the arts community, three citizens-at-large from the nearby Calgary neighbourhoods, and one member of City administration.
  • The City opened the competition to bidders from around the world, as it is required to do pursuant to trade agreements on all projects over $75,000.
  • This was never meant to be an indigenous art work, nor inspired by indigenous themes. This was not part of the request for proposals that was sent out by The City.
  • However, given the significance of the land, and following the guidelines of The City’s new Indigenous Policy, The City asked the artist (late in the design process) to seek the expertise of a Treaty 7 traditional knowledge keeper to advise on the project. This particular knowledge keeper is a member of a Treaty 7 nation, with particular expertise in indigenous archeology, symbolism, and sacred sites.
  • When the art was unveiled, The City’s statements may have left the impression that this was meant to be "indigenous" or "indigenous-inspired" art.
  • While it was not The City’s nor the artist’s intent—he has been building similar structures around the world for many decades—some have interpreted the piece as traditional burial scaffolding used by indigenous people in this area. That was not the intent of the artist, and the traditional knowledge keeper did not identify that interpretation when the design was reviewed.
  • We therefore acknowledge that The City attempted to be respectful, but that there was a misunderstanding that has led to much discussion, debate and hard feelings. In this time of reconciliation, we believe that it is important to acknowledge what doesn’t work and to move forward with a better way, being always respectful of one another.

Therefore we suggest that:

  1. future art projects include more public input, including input from indigenous peoples; and
  2. the City of Calgary actively implement ways to involve more indigenous artists, particularly local indigenous artists in its procurement. We note with support the work that the Public Art Program has been doing in this area for the last several months in training artists in how to submit successful bids, and structuring some projects and proposals to be more attractive to emerging artists. We also support that The City of Calgary has set up a committee to explore sharing more indigenous public art in Calgary—a committee that was being developed before this issue was recently raised.

Art should create discussion. We hope that the difficult debate over this piece will strengthen our resolve on creating a more inclusive community for indigenous and non-indigenous people alike.


Chief Darcy Dixon
Chief Aaron Young
Chief Roy Fox
Chief Stanley Grier
Chief Joe Weasel Child
Chief Lee Crowchild
Chief Ernest Wesley
Mayor Naheed Nenshi​

Categories: Media; Indigenous

Back  |  March 20, 2018  | 



"We're still in the midst of a fragile economic recovery, and making sure we build a better and more resilient economy is a major priority for me. As part of that, I'm very pleased that Council agreed to continue to offer property tax relief for businesses hardest hit by dramatic changes in market value. With this, Council is ensuring the short-term resilience of our economy while we take actions to build a stronger long-term economy for all. You can learn more about this program at". - Mayor Naheed Nenshi​

Categories: Economic development; Media; Better economy; Video

Back  |  January 05, 2017  | 



The City of Calgary recognizes that the economic downturn has affected all of us. Council’s approved 2017 budget adjustments include nearly $200 million in total benefits to citizens and businesses with relief in taxes and fees, savings and targeted initiatives. Your City is also planning for the future with long-term investments focused on creating jobs, building and maintaining infrastructure, and continuing to attract and retain businesses and investment from around the world.

Get the whole story at​

Categories: Better economy; Budget; Even smarter City Hall; Video

Back  |  May 16, 2017  | 


Flooding can occur at any time in Calgary, although the period between May 15 and July 15 is when we are most likely to experience flooding. Historically, this is when we experience our largest widespread rainfalls.

The City of Calgary’s priority when planning for and responding to flooding is public safety and ensuring the sustainability of the city through protection of critical infrastructure, vital community services, the environment and the economy.

Every year The City of Calgary monitors precipitation levels, reservoir and lake levels, stream flow rates, snowpack depth, soil moisture and weather models. We work with partner organizations, irrigation districts, internal groups and other municipalities to understand watershed conditions that may impact Calgary. Depending on the watershed conditions, we may make changes to Glenmore Reservoir levels and work with partners such as TransAlta Utilities to respond to conditions. And if necessary, we will enact emergency response measures.

The City prepares annually for flooding by:

  • Developing and maintaining emergency response plans.
  • Conducting training sessions and exercises for City personnel.
  • Identifying those areas of the city and critical infrastructure that are most vulnerable to flooding.
  • Ensuring adequate emergency resources are in place.
  • Sharing information with Calgarians, businesses, stakeholders and other municipalities.
  • Operating existing infrastructure, such as dams, reservoirs and outfall gates, to reduce flow rates and mitigate flood damage.

The City strives to maintain all critical business functions and services to Calgarians during any emergency or disaster including flooding," says Frank Frigo, Leader, Watershed Analysis. "The City simply cannot prevent or mitigate all flood risk to all private properties. Property owners must also be prepared for flood season, and remain responsible for protecting their property."

The first step towards protecting yourself is knowing your flood risk and the sources of information available to you:

Understand, be prepared and stay informed by knowing your flood risk and how to prepare for flood conditions.

(Cross-posted from the City of Calgary newsroom)​

Categories: Environment

Back  |  December 19, 2017  | 



Mayor Naheed Nenshi takes a look back on 2017, highlighting Calgary’s collective achievements as part of his annual year in review video.

"At The City of Calgary, we have a simple purpose, to make life better every day for Calgarians,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “I’d like to share with you how in 2017 we worked hard every day to support our five priorities."

The City made significant strides to help make Calgary a prosperous city in 2017; a place where we attract top talent, where there is opportunity for all, and the best place in Canada to start and grow a business:

  • The City invested nearly $2 billion into the economy to build infrastructure, creating almost 7,500 direct jobs;
  • Supported 50 new businesses moving to Calgary and 8,000 new startups across Calgary;
  • There was over $4 billion from City partners in new building construction in Calgary;
  • The City invested in building new and renovated affordable housing; and
  • Implemented ‘Enough for All,’ an anti-poverty strategy that included building community hubs across the city and investing in Canada’s first sliding scale Transit pass.

The City worked to keep Calgarians moving; a place where people and goods can move well and safely throughout Calgary:

  • Twenty new transportation projects opened this summer, including four brand-new interchanges, one of which is Canada’s first diverging diamond interchange at MacLeod and 162 Ave S;
  • The full 46 kilometre vision for the Green Line was approved by Council, and funding commitments were made by all three levels of government; and
  • Work has started to address the congestion on Crowchild Trail over the Bow River.

In 2017, the following initiatives helped to maintain a healthy and green city:

  • The Green Cart program rolled out to all Calgarians in 2017, reducing garbage by more than 50 per cent, keeping 15 million kg of waste out of landfills (2,508 trucks loads);
  • Two new recreation facilities opened this year, with two more on the way;
  • Calgarians were able to enjoy mobile skate parks across the city; and
  • The City helped to encourage all Calgarians to incorporate physical activity into everyday life through Get Moving YYC and The Mayor’s Walk Challenge.

To be a city of inspiring neighbourhoods, The City worked on improvements to new and existing communities:

  • New fire halls and community infrastructure were built, helping to enable new neighbourhoods and revitalize existing ones;
  • Prairie Winds Park re-opened this year, a vital part of Calgary’s northeast communities; and
  • The City invested in the Main Streets program that will bring more shopping and living opportunities to 33 streets across Calgary.

The City strives to be a well-run city:

  • In October, Calgary had the highest voter turnout in over 40 years; and
  • Over the last four years, The City found over $325 million in efficiencies in our budget, helping to keep taxes low.

2017 was a great year for Calgary, and with a new year on the horizon, there’s exciting things in store for Calgarians in 2018.

"I want to recognize the efforts of all Calgarians in making Calgary a great place to live," said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. "Thank you for what you do every single day to make this community stronger and better. On behalf of my City of Calgary colleagues and from my family to yours, Merry Christmas and all the best for 2018.

Cross-posted from The City of Calgary Newsroom

Categories: Media; Better economy; Even smarter City Hall; Stronger communities; Video

Back  |  January 28, 2017  | 



Xīn Nian Kuai Le! Gong Hei Fat Choi! 恭禧发财! 新年快乐! Happy Year of the Rooster to everyone! May your new year be wonderful and prosperous.

Many Calgarians are celebrating the lunar new year this weekend. If you're looking for festivities, check out the Chinese New Year Carnival happening in Chinatown.​

Categories: Heritage; Stronger communities; Video

Back  |  February 16, 2018  | 



Xīn Nian Kuai Le! Gong Hei Fat Choi! 恭禧发财! 新年快乐! Happy Year of the Dog to everyone! May your new year be wonderful and prosperous.

Many Calgarians are celebrating the lunar new year this weekend. If you're looking for festivities, check out the Chinese New Year Carnival happening in Chinatown.​

Categories: Heritage; Stronger communities; Video

Back  |  May 07, 2018  | 



Welcome to the our very first live Q&A with Mayor Naheed Nenshi--an hour of "ask me anything" with Mayor Nenshi and host Zain Velji. We covered a lot of ground! From the Green Line to chicken wings to the Olympics to green bins. Thanks to everyone who participated on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to make this a successful event. We'll do it again in three or so months!

Click here to view the original Facebook Live discussion.

Categories: Media; Video; Better economy; Even smarter City Hall; Stronger communities

Back  |  August 29, 2017  | 



The following is posted on behalf of the volunteer committee...

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 – Today, the volunteer committee raising funds to donate to The City of Calgary concluded their activity by raising $284,835.07 (including a personal donation of $16,910.34 by Naheed Nenshi for donation to The City of Calgary. Mayor Nenshi will not receive a municipal receipt for federal and provincial tax purposes). This value is for the full cost for legal fees and disbursements associated with the defence of Mayor Naheed Nenshi in the lawsuit with Calvin Wenzel settled in 2016. As per the recommendations to Council from the Ethics Advisor, and the Mayor’s commitment to transparency, the committee is releasing the names of the donors.

The City of Calgary paid the original invoice in accordance with Council’s policy regarding indemnifying Council members acting within the scope of their duties. The City Solicitor decided early in the litigation process that Mayor Nenshi was acting within the scope of his duties and therefore entitled to the benefit of The City’s indemnity for members of Council. Therefore, under this policy, no reimbursement would be required.

However, Mayor Nenshi requested that Council also add a provision allowing Council members to fundraise to reimburse The City at their discretion, and he further requested Council to compel him to do so.

"It is vital that public servants are protected and able to do their jobs," said Mayor Nenshi. "However, paying legal bills is not the best use of taxpayer money and I am thrilled to have been able to reimburse every penny. I’m incredibly humbled that many people joined me in making a donation to The City of Calgary for this purpose. We can now put this matter behind us and move forward with an indemnification policy that is more consistent with other organizations across Canada."

The fundraising was done by a third-party committee of volunteers. As per the Ethics Advisor’s proposed guidelines, Mayor Nenshi was not directly involved.

"We strongly believe that all politicians should be free to speak their minds without fear of financially crippling legal action," said committee chair, Dean Koeller. "All members of the committee are proud of the work they’ve done to help citizens make this donation to The City of Calgary. Through this process, we’ve met many, many people who wanted to make this donation to support this democratic value."

Additional material:

Note: Original reports shared a total of $299,728.59. This was inclusive of GST, which The City, as a government, gets refunded. The total without GST is $284,835.07.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  November 28, 2017  | 



Over the course of three breaks in day two of a multi-day City Council meeting to discuss city budget adjustments, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to discuss elements of the budget including public transit, Calgary Parking Authority, and a variety of other adjustments. He also answered questions about an issue with a piece of temporary public art on the 4th Street underpass.​

Categories: Media; Budget; Video

Back  |  May 16, 2017  | 



On Monday, May 15, Calgary City Council took a major step forward to building the Green Line--Calgary's next LRT line. The 2026 opening day scenario for the Green Line will have it run from Crescent Heights, underground through downtown, all the way to the new rail yard and station in Shepard. At the same time, preparations will be made to extend the line further north and south with future phases happening as new funding becomes available. You can learn more about the recommendation approved by Council from this comprehensive blog post.


Some quick facts about the Green Line on opening day in 2026:

  • Includes construction of 20 kilometres and 14 stations, including the Centre City tunnel, and a new maintenance and storage facility, and a fleet of new low floor LRT vehicles.
  • Projected to serve 60,000 to 65,000 Calgarians on opening day.
  • This first stage of the Green Line is based on anticipated funding from the Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments for a total of $4.65 billion.
  • Stage 1 is projected to begin construction in 2020, pending approvals and funding, and is anticipated to open in 2026.
  • In the 10 years leading up to opening day, Stage 1 is estimated to create over 12,000 direct construction jobs and over 8,000 supporting jobs (engineering, planning, administration, etc).
  • An estimated additional 400 long-term operational jobs will be created to operate and maintain Stage 1.
  • It will reduce greenhouse gases by 30,000 tonnes, the equivalent of 6,000 vehicles being taken off the road on opening day.
  • Is the most technically complex portion of the Green Line due to the tunnel in the Centre City. Building it now creates the foundation for future extensions, which can be built station-by-station as additional funding becomes available.
  • The full 46 km Green Line LRT from 160 Avenue N to Seton in the southeast would be built out in subsequent stages in the future.

Categories: Media; Video; Transportation; Calgary Transit; Better economy

Back  |  September 22, 2017  | 



While visiting Calgary, Saint John Mayor Don Darling joined with Mayor Naheed Nenshi to reaffirm their support for the Energy East Pipeline.​

Categories: Economic development; Media; Video; Better economy

Back  |  February 27, 2018  | 



Following the release of the federal budget, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to share his thoughts on how it affects Calgary.

"For Calgarians, the real issues are around economic development, affordable housing, opioids, and cannabis legislation."

"We're still in a fragile economic recovery... I'm gonna really be pushing hard with the federal government to say 'you know, at a time when the rest of the country is doing really well, you really have to focus your economic development efforts, your innovation efforts, your foreign direct investment efforts, on Alberta. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to remake the economy--in a place where you already have a highly educated workforce, where you've got a lot of capital, where you've got a lot of talent--to really work hard on attracting new kinds of investment."

Watch the above video for more.​

Categories: Media; Video; National

Back  |  July 25, 2017  | 



Following a meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to discuss a variety of topics including: property taxes on private golf courses, private operation of public golf courses, the creation of an Indigenous relations office, work to ensure opportunity for all citizens, and City Charters.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  April 18, 2017  | 



Mayor Nenshi meets with journalists following a meeting of the Priorities and Finance Committee. Q&A was around proposed rules for Council members fundraising for third parties and related ethics and disclosure.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  April 10, 2017  | 



Mayor Nenshi meets with reporters during a break in a meeting of City Council. Topics include the provincial tax room, the Municipal Government Act, transit fare payment technology, and Mayor Nenshi's recent economic development meetings.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  April 25, 2017  | 



Over the course of two breaks in a Strategic Meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to discuss CalgaryNEXT and the Victoria Park events centre, creosote evaluation and cleanup in the West Village, service-based plans and budgets, and The City of Calgary's financial situation.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  April 24, 2017  | 



During a break in a meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to discuss the newly named Dale Hodges Park and Council's discussion about the Victoria Park events centre (as an alternative to CalgaryNEXT) that would be the new home for the Calgary Flames.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  April 11, 2017  | 



During a break of a meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to discuss a number of topics including economic development successes, the ongoing public hearing about development in Hamptons, and how the planning and public hearing process can be improved for citizens.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  August 01, 2017  | 



During a break in a meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi spoke with media on a variety of topics including: repairs to Prairie Winds Park's water park, the South Shepard Area Structure Plan, an approved development for Banff Trail, and information related to a Winter Olympics bid exploration.

Council decided to defer a decision on the South Shepard Area Structure Plan until 2018. During this discussion, questions were raised about Calgary's current fire protection policy. Mayor Nenshi was asked about this during a later break in the meeting.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  August 02, 2017  | 



During a break in a meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to discuss provincial funding of the Green Line and targeted grazing (ie: goat bylaws).

Later in the day, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists again to answer questions about Olympic bid exploration and possible new secondary suite regulations.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  December 11, 2017  | 



During a break in a meeting of City Council, Mayor Naheed Nenshi met with journalists to answer questions about Mainstreet Research's internal polling review, secondary suites, the Olympics bid exploration budget, and Federal cannabis excise tax sharing.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  August 29, 2017  | 



Following a Q&A about the mayor's donation to The City of Calgary, Mayor Nenshi spoke with reporters about anonymous, third-party municipal campaigning and the current flooding in Houston.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  December 18, 2017  | 



Over the course of a City Council meeting, Mayor Naheed Nenshi met with journalists twice to talk about municipal election practices, management departures at The City of Calgary (including the sad departure of our Chief of Staff, Chima Nkemdirim), revisiting the Midfield Mobile Home Park closure, and the creation of the Economic Development Investment Fund.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  February 13, 2017  | 



​During a break in a meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to discuss The City of Calgary's response to a recent snow event, a coming discussion about angle parking in cul de sacs, and the Green Line LRT project.

Later in the day, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to further discuss snow and ice control and the opportunity for Canada (in the context of the recent meeting between Prime Minister Trudeau and President Trump).

And, later in the evening... Following a statement by the Calgary Police Commission about complaints regarding a member of the commission, Mayor Nenshi spoke with journalists to answer their related questions.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  January 16, 2018  | 



Following a meeting of the Priorities and Finance Committee meeting, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to discuss an update on the Zero Based Reviews program and a visit by the International Olympic Committee.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  February 27, 2017  | 



During two breaks in a meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to answer questions on a variety of topics including:

  • A proposal to expand Repsol Sports Centre
  • A notice of motion to offer support to private golf courses
  • An update on the Green Line
  • His participation in a state visit to Sweden
  • The idea to have more public hearings
  • The future selection of a new council member for the Calgary Police Commission
  • A new Code of Conduct for Council
  • In camera meeting topics

Categories: Media

Back  |  July 03, 2017  | 



During a break in a public hearing meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to discuss secondary suites, respectful behaviour in Council Chambers, and the relationship between Calgarians and the federal government.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  December 07, 2017  | 



Following a meeting of the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to answer questions about cannabis legislation and the costs to municipalities, Olympic bid exploration, secondary suites, and a budget submission to the provincial government.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  January 29, 2018  | 



During a break in a meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to answer questions about the status of arena/events centre negotiations, fighting homelessness, Council members attending conferences, a proposal for term limits, and reaction to a Calgary Member of Parliament being out of cabinet.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  July 24, 2017  | 



During a meeting of City Council which featured discussion about a potential 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics bid, Mayor Nenshi met with reporters to answer questions about this topic. The above video was filmed prior to a decision by Council.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  July 04, 2017  | 



Following a meeting of the Priorities and Finance Committee, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to discuss changes to the procedure bylaw, Council Code of Conduct, and the National Energy Board.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  June 26, 2017  | 



During a break in a meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to discuss campaign fundraising and the approval of the Green Line LRT alignment. This also included discussion of a few other major capital projects.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  June 27, 2017  | 



Following a meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to speak about campaign fundraising and the potential for an Alberta-wide Olympics bid.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  June 12, 2017  | 



During a break in a public hearing meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to discuss the public hearing around an Attainable Homes project near the Genesis Centre. He also took a few questions about the city/province work to keep citizens safe from coyotes.

Later in the day, Mayor Nenshi also discussed the decision by Council on the Attainable Homes project, flood resilience projects, and Neighbour Day 2017.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  March 02, 2017  | 



Following a meeting of the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, Mayor Nenshi met with reporters to discuss a variety of topics including:

  • the re-keying of Calgary Housing units
  • infrastructure funding from the federal and provincial governments
  • the downtown economic summit
  • the developing response to the national opioid crisis
  • the coming municipal election

Categories: Media

Back  |  March 06, 2017  | 



During a break of a special meeting of Council, Mayor Nenshi met with reporters to discuss how The City of Calgary is moving forward with important infrastructure projects in Calgary.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  March 03, 2017  | 



Following Mayor Nenshi's speech at The City of Calgary's 100 Resilient Cities agenda-setting workshop (as part of Calgary's 100RC membership), Mayor Nenshi met with media to discuss what being a member of 100 Resilient Cities means for Calgary.

Following that Q&A, Mayor Nenshi answered questions on other topics including City Charters and the developing response to the opioid crisis in Canada.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  March 07, 2017  | 



Following a meeting of the Priorities and Finance Committee meeting, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to discuss the state of The City of Calgary's finances (and how management has been able to create millions of dollars in efficiencies and savings) and a recent report on public submissions related to abusive language or hate speech.

Visit to learn more about the state of finances at The City of Calgary.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  May 16, 2017  | 



During a break in a special meeting of Council, Mayor Nenshi spoke with journalists about:

  • setting the indicative tax rate
  • the proposed Green Line opening day scenario
  • a report suggesting moving the National Energy Board
  • disrespectful activity in Council Chambers

After the conclusion of the meeting, Mayor Nenshi spoke with journalists to discuss the decision to move forward with the Green Line proposal.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  May 01, 2017  | 



Following an announcement about the addition of 4-car trains on the Blue Line of Calgary Transit, Mayor Nenshi answered questions from reporters about the recent update report from the Olympic bid exploration committee, the state of Canadian / American trade relationships, and his position on the CalgaryNEXT / Victoria Park events centre discussion.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  May 11, 2017  | 



Following a Canada 150 media event, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to discuss a number of topics including:

  • Councillor-commissioned polling about
  • Green Line opening day scenario
  • Council indemnification policy

Categories: Media

Back  |  March 20, 2017  | 



During a break in a regular meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to talk about a coming debate around the Highland Park golf course development, the expansion of Airport Trail, airport noise complaints, and ways to improve accessible taxi service.

Following a decision to approve the Highland Park development, Mayor Nenshi met again with journalists to answer questions. (For the record, he voted against the proposed development.)​

Categories: Media

Back  |  May 25, 2017  | 



Following an announcement about Calgary's epic Canada 150 Canada Day celebrations (learn more at, Mayor Nenshi spoke with journalists about the new Council compensation report that will be discussed at the next City Council meeting and lawsuits facing Council members.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  May 09, 2017  | 



During a break in a meeting of Council, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to discuss why he's wearing an Anaheim Ducks hockey sweater (sigh) and his questions about traffic route changes associated with 17th Avenue construction.

Later that day, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists two more times on a variety of topics including:

  • Changing Calgary Parking enforcement
  • Accessible playgrounds
  • Public hearing etiquette
  • Future large projects and decisions close to an election
  • Green Line report

Categories: Media

Back  |  November 13, 2017  | 



Over the course of three breaks during a meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to answer questions on a variety of topics including:

  • An update on a potential Winter Olympic Games bid (decision coming Monday, Nov. 20.
  • Debate and decisions about public art projects and a review of the public art program
  • A Council decision to reject a delay on the Southwest Bus Rapid Transit project

Categories: Media

Back  |  November 27, 2017  | 



City Council is currently holding a public hearing on proposed budget adjustments for The City of Calgary's 2018 budget. Topics in this Q&A include proposed public transit cuts, the attendance of a councillor, debt limits, and customer service targets.

Mayor Nenshi met with journalists twice more later in the day to discuss topics including the budget process, working relationships between councillors, the low-income transit pass, a proposed budget increase for the Calgary Police Service, and public art.

(NOTE: Later in the second video, Mayor Nenshi is wearing a Toronto Argonauts jersey as part of his Grey Cup bet with Toronto Mayor John Tory.)​

Categories: Media

Back  |  November 20, 2017  | 



Following an extensive debate, Calgary City Council decided to continue to pursue exploring a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Above is Mayor Naheed Nenshi's Q&A with journalists on that topic.

Earlier in the day, Mayor Nenshi also met with journalists to discuss a variety of topics including a potential bid for a Winter Olympic Games, the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, an update on the Springbank Dam flood mitigation project, and green bin (compost) collection.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  May 08, 2017  | 



During a break of a meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to discuss:

  • Locating the Canadian Infrastructure Bank in Toronto rather than Calgary
  • Public hearing etiquette
  • Secondary suite reform
  • Centre Street Bridge shooting
  • Attainable Homes project near Genesis Centre
  • Tax room plebiscite proposal

Categories: Media

Back  |  September 11, 2017  | 



During a break in a meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to answer questions about a potential new arena as part of a cultural and entertainment district in east downtown and about a campaign to increase arts funding.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  November 06, 2017  | 



During a break in a public hearing meeting of City Council, Mayor Naheed Nenshi met with journalists to answer questions about secondary suites, the newly elected mayor of Montreal, Council compensation, and the Midfield Mobile Home Park.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  September 05, 2017  | 



Following a meeting of the Priorities and Finance Committee, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to discuss the latest City budget update, Silvera for Senior's financial review, Calgary Transit's support for students, and body-worn cameras for the Calgary Police Service.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  January 23, 2017  | 



During a break in a meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi met with media to explain Council's decision on a development in Highland Park, the coming report on the progress of the Calgary Olympic Bid Exploration Committee, and the notice of motion to rename Langevin Bridge to Reconciliation Bridge.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  February 02, 2017  | 



During a break between meetings at an economic summit organized by Calgary Economic Development, Mayor Naheed Nenshi met with media to discuss a wide range of topics including:

  • Canada's/Calgary's continuing refugee response
  • How Calgary may respond to the opioid crisis
  • The public resignation of a Calgary Police officer and cultural change at the Calgary Police Service
  • Economic openness and embracing diversity in the face of changing government policies around the world
  • Growing up in diverse Calgary (a personal story)
  • The continuing work of the Calgary Olympic Bid Exploration Committee
  • A future strategic meeting of City Council exploring pending marijuana legislation in Canada and it's effect on Calgary

Categories: Media

Back  |  February 06, 2017  | 



During a special meeting of City Council discussing and exploring future legalization of cannabis and the related regulations, Mayor Nenshi met with media to discuss the content of that meeting and The City's response to heavy snowfall.

Following the meeting, Mayor Nenshi met again with journalists to answer questions on what was discussed and what Council learned.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  August 10, 2017  | 


There's been much discussion about piece of public art that is being installed as part of the $71.7 million Trans Canada Highway / Bowfort Road NW Interchange project. The following is Mayor Naheed Nenshi's statement about this project and his support for changes to the way public art is selected at The City of Calgary:

"When I heard about the Bowfort Towers last week, I have to admit that my first thought was 'just once, can't it be a statue of a historical figure on a horse', but I don't get to decide that.

"For the past few days, I’ve been listening intently to this debate.

"I understand that City Administration followed all the applicable policies. The artist was chosen from an open competition by a panel of seven people, which includes six citizen volunteers. In accordance with the City's Indigenous Policy Framework, engagement with the Indigenous community was undertaken with a Blackfoot traditional knowledge keeper who is an expert in archeology and culture. Our Indigenous protocols are not about politician to politician consultation, rather they are about engagement with the traditional knowledge keepers as recommended by the Calgary Aboriginal Urban Affairs Committee.

"But I want to figure out how we wound up with art that many people don't like. The changes we made in 2014 to our Public Art Policy were designed to get more public input, but clearly it hasn't worked and we need to do better.

"I’ll refrain from commenting on the aesthetics of this project, particularly when it’s not complete.

"I don’t believe politicians should be responsible for selecting public art. We do need to find ways to get our citizens more engaged in selecting public art and I will support such changes. I look forward to seeing what my Council colleagues bring to the floor of Council in September.

"But really, sometimes statues of a guy or a gal on a horse can be really nice."​

Categories: Media

Back  |  January 16, 2017  | 



During a break in a meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi spoke with media about plans to mitigate increased assessments / property taxes for business and an ongoing public hearing on the Highland Park golf course redevelopment.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  May 29, 2018  | 



On May 29, 2018, the Government of Canada announced that it is purchasing Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Expansion Project and related pipeline and terminal assets for $4.5 billion. Mayor Nenshi spoke with media on two occasions that day (after a committee meeting and during a pothole-filling demonstration) and was able to share his thoughts on the deal.​​​

Categories: Media

Back  |  March 22, 2017  | 



Mayor Nenshi responds to the new federal budget released on March 22, 2017. It includes some significant funding for cities (specifically affordable housing and transit).​

Categories: Media

Back  |  April 24, 2017  | 



At an event in April 2017, Mayor Naheed Nenshi received an award presented to him by the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau on behalf of the Public Policy Forum.

"Each year at the Public Policy Forum's Testimonial Dinner in Toronto, more than a thousand leaders from all sectors of Canadian society gather to pay tribute to distinguished leaders who have made outstanding contributions to the quality of public policy and good governance."

This year's recipient included: Louise Arbour, Yaprak Baltacioglu, Dominic Barton, Johann Koss, and Margaret MacMillan.​

Categories: Even smarter City Hall; National; Video; Speeches

Back  |  April 09, 2018  | 


I’m deeply troubled that work has been suspended on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

I have been arguing for years across this country, including in BC, that this federally-approved project is vital to the economic well-being of all Canadians.

But today I want to remind the nation about why this is important to Calgarians.

While the rest of the country’s economy may be firing on all cylinders, Calgary is still in the midst of a very fragile economic recovery. Trans Mountain is more than just an energy transportation project—it’s one of the most powerful ways to ensure a full economic recovery felt by all our citizens. We are talking about 37,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs across Canada per year of operations. This isn’t fun and games; the value of this to Calgarians and all Canadians cannot be understated.

For decades, Calgary has been the engine of the national economy. We want to continue to be that engine—to support our neighbours coast to coast to coast with our ingenuity, our passion, and, yes, our wealth. But we need help—right now—to do that. We are not asking for a bailout or subsidy—we are asking the federal government to vigorously uphold its own rules and processes without delay. Certainly, the Canadian energy industry is as important to all Canadians as the aerospace and auto industries.

The sideshow of delays and frivolous court challenges in BC must stop. This is entirely within the power of BC Premier John Horgan who needs to understand he is now a leader—not an activist. I’m calling on him to stand down. Now. And he must take action to help us all move beyond the "economic and constitutional disaster" we've seen unfold here.

I support any actions to ensure this project moves forward.

- Mayor Naheed Nenshi

EDIT: Mayor Nenshi spoke about this in a Q&A with media on April 10

Categories: Economic development; Media

Back  |  October 05, 2017  | 



Following news of the cancellation of the Energy East pipeline project, Mayor Naheed Nenshi met with reporters to express his disappointment and explain how this would have been a transformative project for Canada.

Mayor Nenshi has long been an advocate for getting Canadian energy to market. Most recently, he and Mayor Don Darling of Saint John held a joint news conference to support Energy East.

Here is also an example of his advocacy from June 2013 in Ottawa (skip ahead to 14 minutes for his comments on energy).​

Categories: Media; Video; Better economy

Back  |  March 16, 2017  | 



Following the release of the provincial budget, Mayor Nenshi shares his initial thoughts about how it will affect The City of Calgary and Calgarians. He also answers a question about a recent meeting with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.​

Categories: Media; Provincial

Back  |  April 10, 2018  | 



During a break in a meeting of the Priorities and Finance Committee, Mayor Nenshi spoke with journalists about his support for the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. He also answered questions about the current debate about public engagement in a potential Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  April 05, 2018  | 



During a break in a meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to answer questions about the status of a 2026 Olympic bid, how black bin service will be funded, and the ongoing conversation at Council about new municipal cannabis bylaws in preparation for federal cannabis legalization for recreation use.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  April 23, 2018  | 



During a break in a meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to discuss Council's approval of an engagement plan and plebiscite (in principal) for a potential Winter Olympics and Paralympics bid. Also discussed was that state of negotiations for new arena/events centre in Victoria Park.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  February 20, 2018  | 



During a break in a meeting of Council, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to talk about the bid exploration process for a 2026 Winter Olympics. This was his first opportunity to speak with local media following his participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics Observer Program.

"We're going through this process because we want to make sure we are doing what's right for Calgary... If we move forward on this, we move forward on a bid that is honest, that is ethical, that is transparent, that is cost effective, that is quintessentially Canadian. And if that's not what people are looking for, then we won't win."​

Categories: Media

Back  |  May 17, 2018  | 



Mayor Nenshi meets with journalists three times over the course of a strategic meeting of City Council. Topics of discussion include how we pay for public transit, the low income transit pass, Reconciliation Bridge naming ceremony, pipelines and the economy, provincial infrastructure funding, field house funding, and Olympics bid exploration.​​

Categories: Media

Back  |  May 28, 2018  | 



During a break in a meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to answer questions about the creation of a new arena assessment committee, the Olympics BidCo, the coming Big City Mayors Caucus, and federal cannabis legalization.​​​

Categories: Media

Back  |  February 26, 2018  | 



During breaks in a meeting of City Council, Mayor Naheed Nenshi met with journalists to answer questions on a variety of topics including Olympics bid exploration, the coming federal budget, flood mitigation, support animals, water utility rates, and parental leave for members of Council.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  May 29, 2018  | 



Mayor Naheed Nenshi today visited Calgary road crews who are working across the city, filling potholes. Crews have been out repairing potholes since early April and have filled more than 3,500 in the past two months.

"Every year, we get potholes thanks to the freeze-thaw cycle conditions that cause additional stress on our roadways," said Mayor Nenshi, adding potholes are a problem in all winter cities across Canada. "But, in Calgary, with the harsh winter we had, this year has been particularly difficult here. I am happy to say our crews are making great progress in getting them filled."

Potholes form when snow melts into cracks in the asphalt and then freezes, expanding in the cracks. The number of 311 reports of potholes this year is approximately 5,000 (including duplicate reports of the same pothole) which is slightly higher than what has been seen in previous years.

"As crews were not able to fix potholes throughout the winter this year due to extreme cold temperatures, they have been playing catch-up to get the work done," said Mayor Nenshi, adding crews are currently filling about 700 potholes a week. "They are making great progress but we still have some work to do."

Crews address potholes on a priority basis with major roads being completed first. To identify pavement in need of repair, The City inspects major roads twice a month and collector roads once a month. In residential areas, however, The City relies on citizens to report concerns.

The City encourages residents and motorists to help ensure that potholes are identified and repaired by reporting them by calling 311 or using the road repair form on the 311-online system at

Being responsive to neighborhood complaints, including filling potholes, is critical to improving residents’ quality of life, said Mayor Nenshi. "We appreciate the patience and understanding from Calgarians as our crews continue to work hard to improve the roads for them."

The City has budgeted $6.2 million this year for minor asphalt repairs which includes potholes.

Roads Director Troy McLeod is reminding drivers to slow down and watch out for crews working to repair potholes on city streets. "When driving, remember to always look ahead. If you can spot a pothole in advance, then you have time to steer clear of it safely, without leaving your lane, or by safely changing lanes," he added.

Some additional driving safety tips to remember during pothole season include:

  • Don’t tailgate: Leaving plenty of space between your vehicle and the one in front of you increases your odds of identifying a pothole with enough distance to avoid it.
  • Avoid puddles: Be cautious when driving through water as there may be potholes hiding in it.
  • Slow down: If you can’t safely avoid a pothole, slow down to help mitigate damage.
  • Check tire pressure: Ensure your tires are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. Under- or over-inflated tires can make pothole damage worse.

Categories: Media

Back  |  March 20, 2018  | 



During a break in a meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi spoke with journalists to explain a Council decision about emergency response times and his thoughts on a plebiscite for a possible Olympics bid.​

Categories: Media; Video; City planning

Back  |  July 21, 2017  | 


In 2013, Mayor Nenshi and Council agreed to a new ethics policy that includes the disclosure of gifts and benefits to members of Council (including event tickets and hosting given to their staff).

With this new policy, members of Council must disclose gifts they receive (physical gifts, event tickets, honoraria, donations, or event hosting) semi-annually. Although the policy states that this only applies to gifts over $150, Mayor Nenshi has chosen to disclose all gifts he and his staff receives.

Download and view the gift disclosure list for January - June 2017.​

Categories: Gifts; Accountability

Back  |  January 08, 2018  | 


In 2013, Mayor Nenshi and Council agreed to a new ethics policy that includes the disclosure of gifts and benefits to members of Council (including event tickets and hosting given to their staff).

With this new policy, members of Council must disclose gifts they receive (physical gifts, event tickets, honoraria, donations, or event hosting) semi-annually. Although the policy states that this only applies to gifts over $150, Mayor Nenshi has chosen to disclose all gifts he and his staff receives.

Download and view the gift disclosure list for July - December 2017.​

Categories: Gifts; Accountability

Back  |  January 02, 2018  | 


As of January 1, 2018, Mayor Naheed Nenshi's total salary is $200,586. This is a decrease from his 2017 total salary of $200,747.

City Council salaries are annually increased or decreased based on average wage inflation or deflation in Alberta from the previous year. This ensures that neither the Mayor nor Councillors are involved in setting their own salaries.​

Categories: Accountability

Back  |  January 31, 2017  | 


In 2013, Mayor Nenshi and Council agreed to a new ethics policy that includes the disclosure of gifts and benefits to members of Council (including event tickets and hosting given to their staff).

With this new policy, members of Council must disclose gifts they receive (physical gifts, event tickets, honoraria, donations, or event hosting) semi-annually. Although the policy states that this only applies to gifts over $150, Mayor Nenshi has chosen to disclose all gifts he and his staff receives.

Download and view the gift and benefits disclosure list for July - December 2016.​

Categories: Gifts; Accountability

Back  |  October 01, 2017  | 


All Calgarians stand with our sisters and brothers in Edmonton in the wake of last night’s terror attack. We all condemn this terrible act of violence and hatred.

We also stand with the Calgary Police Service as this was also an attack on those who protect us.

I have been in touch with Mayor Don Iveson, and I know that he and his colleagues are working around the clock to get to the bottom of this situation. We have offered Edmonton whatever assistance they may need.

I also know this: Albertans are resilient and this will not weaken the strong and diverse community that defines us.​

Categories: Media

Back  |  March 03, 2017  | 



To open a workshop on how to make Calgary a more resilient city (as part of it's new membership to 100 Resilient Cities), Mayor Nenshi spoke with over 100 community leaders about what makes a resilient city and what we need to focus on as we move forward.

Click here to learn more about The City of Calgary's resilience work.​

Categories: Better economy; Environment; Innovation; Stronger communities; Video; Speeches

Back  |  May 29, 2017  | 


The following is an email from Mayor Nenshi to his fellow members of Council in advance of the a Regular Meeting of City Council.

Due to a scheduling error on my part and required travel, I will not be able to attend the Council meeting on May 29, 2017. This is the first regular or combined meeting of Council that I have missed in nearly seven years of being Mayor. It's a relatively small meeting with few divisive issues, and Deputy Mayor Woolley will be great, but for what it's worth, here are my comments on some of the items on the agenda for that day.

  1. Consent Agenda. There is a relatively large consent agenda, which refers to items that were previously passed at committee. I concur with the committee recommendations in most cases, with the following exception:

    6.8 Downtown Parking Strategy Policy Revisions. I continue to disagree with the thrust of the new Downtown Parking Policy, which I feel does not increase supply of parking nor manage congestion well. I am also concerned that taking the construction of new parking facilities out of the hand of the Calgary Parking Authority and into private hands restricts the City's ability to manage evening, weekend, and short-stay parking which reducing future revenue. Nonetheless, Council adopted these changes, and the amendments being proposed today are needed to implement them. I am pleased that some of the money from the Parking Reduction Fee could go to improving parking in the core, and I stress that CPA must be entrepreneurial and bid competitively for the right to operate privately-constructed parking facilities.

  2. Temporary signs bylaw. I think this is by and large a very good piece of work, modernizing and updating an outdated policy. I have one question of clarification, and one small amendment that I hope a member of Council will propose.

    My reading is that metal stakes will now be permitted on public property, just not metal guide wires. This is a good change. The small stakes for temporary signs are both safer and less damaging to the turf than wooden stakes. Can Administration confirm this interpretation?

    I disagree with the proposed timelines for election signage for municipal elections. Since we have fixed-date elections and the official campaign period is very short, I think restricting signs to only after nominations have closed is not quite enough time. It's a very minor issue, but I have suggested an amendment that I hope a Member of Council will propose after First Reading but prior to Second Reading, as follows:

    AMEND section 8 of the Amending bylaw to read:
    • (c) for a municipal election or School Board election, the period beginning August 15 and ending after the close of polls.
    • Add a new (d), as follows:
    • (d) for a municipal or school board by-election, the period beginning two weeks before the close of nominations and ending after the close of polls.

  3. Final report of the Council Compensation Review Committee. While I have a few minor quibbles with this report (why didn't they include Montreal? Why don't they use the correctly grossed-up figures for Edmonton in their tables? Why didn't they add the regional pay for Mississauga, which is a big part of their work and is more than $50,000 for mayors and councillors, significantly changing the averages? Why are there a couple of small errors in the description of Calgary policies in the consultant report?), this is just me finding issues with consultant reports, as I generally do. I generally agree with their recommendations, with one exception:

    I'm fine with the reduction of the Mayor's pay. I've actually been saying for some years that I thought a previous committee had pegged the Mayor's salary too high; their rationale was that all salaries in Calgary are higher than in other cities – indeed the median family income in Calgary even in this economic downturn is $20K more than the national average. However, I also believe in the principle of respecting the volunteer citizen committee's recommendations, and that politicians should not set their own salaries, whether too high or too low. Therefore, I have been privately donating 10% of my base salary to charity, over and above my regular charitable contributions and tithing. While I find the rationale for this reduction a bit arbitrary (it's not based on the benchmark, which shows councillors at the same level but on an assertion of the "correct” differential between councillors and the Mayor), it achieves its objective of resetting the salary level, an objective I share.

    I am not, however, in favour of Council approving or rejecting the recommendation each year. I continue to believe that politicians should not set their own salaries except in exceptional conditions. Currently, Council has the power to adopt a different salary if it feels the need to do so, and this should not change. However, asking Council to approve the salary every year politicizes the process and undermines the principle of tying Council salaries to the average wage change in the province. I encourage my council colleagues to vote against recommendation number 3.

    I was myself unaware of the transition allowance until recently, and I don't disagree with the desire to remove it here. The language in the report is a bit vague though: would existing members of Council who are re-elected this fall get their transition allowance now in a lump sum? I would prefer that if it had to be paid out, that it be paid out when the Councillor leaves office. I also think that those who leave before the end of a term, except in unavoidable medical circumstances, should forfeit the allowance. However, I do think that if Council removes the allowance, it should clarify certain policies around continuation of benefits, recognition and managing the transition.

    Therefore, I would propose a Motion Arising, if any Member of Council would care to move it:

    • MOTION ARISING: To direct Administration to clarify and revise procedures, as needed, in relation to Council members who leave office after an election, including but not restricted to: continuation of health and dental benefits during a transition, outplacement assistance, assistance in physical moves, and continuing recognition of service, particularly for long-serving members of Council. These procedures do not need to return to Council unless in the view of the City Manager, they would result in undue cost to the City.

  4. Tax cancellation for Calgary Housing Company properties. This is a broader issue around the City Charter and the existing COPTER regulations, but from a common-sense perspective it seems odd for the city to be taxing itself in this way. I support a cancellation this year with the development of a longer-term solution.

Beyond that, the meeting materials look pretty straightforward. I know everything will go well – don't haze the sub too much!​​

Categories: Media

Back  |  April 13, 2017  | 


Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait are placing a mayoral bet on the outcome of the Flames-Ducks series on our road to the Stanley Cup.

The mayor of the team that loses has to:

  1. Wear the winning team's sweater at the next City Council meeting.
  2. Donate to a charity of the winner's choice $10 per every goal scored during the series. Mayor Tait will make his donation to the Calgary Food Bank and he's asked Mayor Nenshi to donate to the Anaheim public charter school GOALS Academy. Please consider making your own bets/donations too!
  3. Make a plush toy of the winning team's mascot unofficial "mayor for a day" and hang out at the losing mayor's desk.

Wherever you're watching and celebrating this playoff run, please be safe and let's make the playoffs fun for everyone.

Go Flames Go!

(As for the photo... poor Mickey has to stand in for Wild Wing this time. They're both from Anaheim after all.)​

Categories: Media

Back  |  July 31, 2017  | 



During a break in a meeting of Council, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to speak about the ability of City staff to volunteer on election campaigns, funding for arts organizations, secondary suites, and Olympic bid exploration.​

Categories: Media; Video

Back  |  March 08, 2017  | 


Following recent comments by the Tsuut'ina Nation about the progress of the Springbank Dry Dam flood mitigation project, Mayor Nenshi shared the below statement with media:

The Springbank Dry Dam is among the most critical elements of the flood mitigation infrastructure needed to protect Calgary. While we are working on many flood mitigation projects within city limits, the dry dam remains an important part of the solution. Calgarians have been very patient as both the provincial and federal governments conduct environmental reviews. I am confident that the provincial government and the Tsuut'ina Nation can work together to move forward on protecting all downstream communities from future flooding."​

Categories: Media; Environment; Provincial

Back  |  May 16, 2017  | 


Below are links to download and view the Mayor's Office budget and expenses for January 1, 2017 to April 30, 2017.

View operating budget for the Office of the Mayor
View expenses for the Office of the Mayor

The Office of the Mayor is currently under budget by $90,577.

Mayor Nenshi and his team sometimes travel for work. Travel costs covered by the Office of the Mayor budget are reflected in the above documents. However, to save taxpayer money, some travel is paid for by third parties. Below is a list of travel covered by other groups:

Date: February 20-24
Location: Sweden
Event: Governor General’s Mission to Sweden
Attendee: Mayor Nenshi
Paid by: Governor General’s Office/Office of the Mayor (shared costs)

Date: April 2-5
Location: San Francisco/Silicon Valley, California
Event: Calgary Economic Development mission
Attendee: Mayor Nenshi
Paid by: Calgary Economic Development

Date: April 6-8
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Event: Jury meeting, Centre for Global Pluralism
Attendee: Mayor Nenshi
Paid by: Centre for Global Pluralism

Date: April 19-21
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Events: Public Policy Forum – Conference and 30th Annual Testimonial Dinner
Attendee: Mayor Nenshi
Paid by: Public Policy Forum​

Categories: Accountability; Expenses

Back  |  July 11, 2017  | 


As part of accountability at City Hall, external visitors (ie: not City of Calgary employees) that meet with either Mayor Nenshi or members of his staff must be publicly listed.

Click here to view a list of meetings with Mayor Nenshi.
Click here to view a list of meetings with Mayor Nenshi's staff.

The details of the new disclosure policy can be found in the Ethical Conduct Policy for Members of Council. Here is the specific quote related to disclosing meetings:

"All visitors shall be encouraged to sign a form with appropriate language allowing release of their names as per Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy legislation. Members of Council and their staff shall disclose a list of those external visitors to The City (excluding Media), with whom they have met in their offices quarterly."​

Categories: Meetings; Accountability

Back  |  February 03, 2017  | 


Below are links to download and view the Mayor's Office budget and expenses for January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016.

View operating budget for the Office of the Mayor
View expenses for the Office of the Mayor

The Office of the Mayor was under budget by $220,622.

Mayor Nenshi and his team sometimes travel for work. Travel costs covered by the Office of the Mayor budget are reflected in the above documents. However, to save taxpayer money, some travel is paid for by third parties. Below is a list of travel covered by other groups:

Date: April 5-6
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Event: Cities Reducing Poverty Conference
Attendee: Nancy Close
Paid by: Office of the Mayor / Tamarack Institute (shared costs)

Date: April 20-23
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Events: Calgary Economic Development mission/Bits and Bricks Conference
Attendee: Mayor Nenshi
Paid by: Calgary Economic Development

Date: May 3-7
Location: Los Angeles/San Francisco, California
Events: Calgary Economic Development Mission/Milken Institute Global Conference
Attendee: Mayor Nenshi
Paid by: Calgary Economic Development/Canadian Consul General/Office of the Mayor (shared costs)

Date: June 15-17
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Events: Calgary Economic Development Mission/Advocates’ Society Dinner
Attendees: Mayor Nenshi, Chima Nkemdirim
Paid by: The Advocates' Society

Date: September 19-22
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Event: 6 Degrees Conference
Attendees: Mayor Nenshi, Chima Nkemdirim
Paid by: Institute of Canadian Citizenship

Date: October 12
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
Event: Wellness Matters - A Dialogue on Connection, Belonging and the Power of Well-being
Attendee: Mayor Nenshi
Paid by: Victoria Foundation

Date: November 16-18
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Event: Calgary Economic Development mission
Attendee: Mayor Nenshi
Paid by: Calgary Economic Development

Date: November 19-20
Location: Halifax, Newfoundland
Event: Nichola Goddard Annual Dinner
Attendee: Mayor Nenshi
Paid by: Nichola Goddard Foundation/Office of the Mayor (shared costs)​

Categories: Accountability; Expenses

Back  |  April 23, 2018  | 



"We're still learning about the tragic events in Toronto, and it's heartbreaking.

"Toronto is the city of my birth... it's the city of my twenties. I know the street where this happened very well, so this hits home. But it always hits home when we lose people in an act this senseless. I know that all Calgarians' thoughts and prayers are with the people of Toronto. I've been in touch with Mayor Tory and let him know we're happy to provide any assistance they may need.

"In the meantime, we will grieve for those lost and give all the support we can for those left behind, our first responders, and every single person who is working around the clock to help Toronto--and us all--heal."

- Mayor Naheed Nenshi​

Categories: Media

Back  |  April 15, 2017  | 


As part of accountability at City Hall, external visitors (ie: not City of Calgary employees) that meet with either Mayor Nenshi or members of his staff must be publicly listed.

Click here to view a list of meetings with Mayor Nenshi.
Click here to view a list of meetings with Mayor Nenshi's staff.

The details of the new disclosure policy can be found in the Ethical Conduct Policy for Members of Council. Here is the specific quote related to disclosing meetings:

"All visitors shall be encouraged to sign a form with appropriate language allowing release of their names as per Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy legislation. Members of Council and their staff shall disclose a list of those external visitors to The City (excluding Media), with whom they have met in their offices quarterly."​

Categories: Meetings; Accountability

Back  |  April 06, 2018  | 


As part of accountability at City Hall, external visitors that meet with either Mayor Nenshi or members of his staff must be publicly listed.

Click here to view the sign-in sheet for all visitors to The Office of the Mayor.

Note that this list includes redacted information. Names removed from the list include members of the media, personal (ie: family and friends) visitors, and City of Calgary staff.

The details of the new disclosure policy can be found in the Ethical Conduct Policy for Members of Council. Here is the specific quote related to disclosing meetings:

"All visitors shall be encouraged to sign a form with appropriate language allowing release of their names as per Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy legislation. Members of Council and their staff shall disclose a list of those external visitors to The City (excluding Media), with whom they have met in their offices quarterly."​

Categories: Meetings; Accountability

Back  |  January 30, 2018  | 


As part of accountability at City Hall, external visitors that meet with either Mayor Nenshi or members of his staff must be publicly listed.

Click here to view the sign-in sheet for all visitors to The Office of the Mayor.

Note that this list includes redacted information. Names removed from the list include members of the media, personal (ie: family and friends) visitors, and City of Calgary staff. (We have added comments to each instance to clarify why a name was redacted.)

The details of the new disclosure policy can be found in the Ethical Conduct Policy for Members of Council. Here is the specific quote related to disclosing meetings:

All visitors shall be encouraged to sign a form with appropriate language allowing release of their names as per Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy legislation. Members of Council and their staff shall disclose a list of those external visitors to The City (excluding Media), with whom they have met in their offices quarterly.

Note: due to the disruption of the 2017 election, the file included here includes six months of meetings with Mayor Nenshi and his team.​

Categories: Meetings; Accountability

Back  |  January 27, 2017  | 


For the next few weeks the Calgary Awards nominations are open. The Calgary Awards began in 1994 to commemorate Calgary's 100th year as a city and to recognize outstanding citizen achievements. This program gives The City the opportunity to acknowledge these contributions.

I am extremely proud to be the Mayor of a city where so many remarkable individuals and organizations willingly give their time and effort to make Calgary better. Calgary is amazing because of the people – they make our city a dynamic, compassionate and environmentally friendly place to live.

We need your help to identify these awesome people in our community. Visit and nominate a person or an organization that deserves to be honoured. Nominations close on March 1.

Categories: Get engaged

Back  |  December 11, 2017  | 



Today, City Council voted to move toward allowing safe and legal secondary suites throughout Calgary. This is an important step forward to reduce red tape and restore dignity to renters and homeowners. Above is Mayor Nenshi's conversation with media following the decision.

Click here for a video of Mayor Nenshi describing what this means in more detail.​

Categories: Media; Better economy; Even smarter City Hall; Housing; Stronger communities; Video

Back  |  January 31, 2017  | 


As part of accountability at City Hall, external visitors (ie: not City of Calgary employees) that meet with either Mayor Nenshi or members of his staff must be publicly listed.

Click here to view a list of meetings with Mayor Nenshi.
Click here to view a list of meetings with Mayor Nenshi's staff.

The details of the new disclosure policy can be found in the Ethical Conduct Policy for Members of Council. Here is the specific quote related to disclosing meetings:

"All visitors shall be encouraged to sign a form with appropriate language allowing release of their names as per Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy legislation. Members of Council and their staff shall disclose a list of those external visitors to The City (excluding Media), with whom they have met in their offices quarterly."​

Categories: Meetings; Accountability

Back  |  February 09, 2018  | 


For the next few weeks, the Calgary Awards nominations are open. These awards honour outstanding citizen achievements. With a total of 13 awards in categories including Citizen of the Year, arts, education, accessibility and youth; this program gives The City the opportunity to acknowledge these contributions.

I am extremely proud to be the Mayor of a city where so many remarkable individuals and organizations willingly give their time and effort to make Calgary better. Calgary is amazing because of the people – they make our city a dynamic, compassionate and environmentally friendly place to live.

We need your help to identify these awesome people in our community. Visit and nominate an individual or organization that deserves to be honoured. Nominations close on February 28.​

Categories: Get engaged

Back  |  March 21, 2018  | 



On March 20, 2018, Calgary City Council discussed the latest update on a possible bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. In short: Council agreed to move forward with creating a bid company only if the other orders of government confirm their participation. Creating a bid company allows for the creation of a bid should Council decide to move forward with a bid in the summer of 2018. That decision would be made after collecting more information about the full impact of hosting a Games and more fulsome citizen engagement. You can read the full report here.

Get the latest on this file at

Categories: Media; Video; Olympics

Back  |  March 13, 2018  | 



Late yesterday, your City Council had the courage to stand up for the right of all citizens to have a safe and decent place to live.

This is a big deal. (Check out my post-decision media Q&A above)

Prior to last night, Calgary was the only major city in Canada that continued a process of forcing people to come to City Council meetings to ask for the right to do something with their own property--to put a stove in their basement. Today, we've created a system is much more dignified, fair, and consistent.

I continue to be focused on building a better economy, stronger communities, and an even smarter city hall. By changing the way we do secondary suites throughout Calgary, we are taking a big step forward in all three of these areas.

Better economy: we're making it easier for Calgary homeowners to create a safe and legal secondary suite as a way to pay for a mortgage, achieve home ownership, or create an important source of income.

Stronger community: We're adding housing stock at different price points throughout the city and increasing affordable housing options.

Even smarter city hall: With this decision, we've cut red tape and created a much more efficient and dignified process for Calgarians.

Making this change has been a passion of mine since before I was elected as mayor. I'm proud that this council was able to make this important decision.

Also, credit to my friend Sam Hester for this great illustration.

Categories: Media; Better economy; Even smarter City Hall; Stronger communities; Video; City planning; Housing

Back  |  January 23, 2017  | 



On Monday, January 23, 2017, Mayor Nenshi championed a notice of motion to rename The Langevin Bridge as The Reconciliation Bridge. Above is his speech in Council introducing the topic and answering questions. Click here to view the notice of motion.

Below are some of the notes on which his speech was based.

For the past few years, I've been beginning every speech with a Blackfoot greeting which translates as "Hello, my relations."

While this greeting is a simple gesture, I believe it's a powerful symbol. This is exactly what we’re discussing here today--a gesture that, we hope, will be the beginning of something bigger.

Calgary lies on ancient land--traditional land of the Treaty 7 people, and of the Metis Nation of Alberta Region 3, and the home of Urban Indigenous peoples.

The Langevin Bridge stands near the confluence of our two great rivers. It is at this confluence where people, for thousands of years, have lived, loved, and thrived. This has been a meeting place for many cultures for an untold number of years. This place holds significant meaning in Calgary's story.

We are in a time of reconciliation, forging new relationships between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Canadians, and we are doing so through the guidance and recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee. The TRC's final report summary points to principles adopted by the United Nations which outline that the state has a duty to remember.

It says, "A people's knowledge of the history of its oppression is part of its heritage and, as such, must be preserved by appropriate measures in fulfillment of the State's duty to remember.... On a collective basis, symbolic measures intended to provide moral reparation, such as formal public recognition by the State of its responsibility, or official declarations aimed at restoring victims' dignity, commemorative ceremonies, naming of public thoroughfares or the erection of monuments, help to discharge the duty of remembrance."

Through those recommendations, the Calgary Aboriginal Urban Affairs Committee created the White Goose Flying Report, which is a beautifully written report that every Calgarian should read.

Amongst the many recommendations made in White Goose Flying, CAUAC suggested "For The City of Calgary to consider re-naming the bridge to a name that signifies building communities rather than dismantling them is a powerful symbol of mutual respect for the future."

The Langevin Bridge was, as we know, named for Sir Hector-Louis Langevin, the Minister of Public Works at the time who authorized the funding for the first bridge's construction in 1888.

Langevin was one of the Fathers of Confederation, and he was almost certainly the first federal cabinet minister to visit the Town of Calgary. There is no doubt that Langevin made significant contributions to Canada, but he also played a foundational role in the establishment of the residential school system.

Renaming the bridge is not about vilifying one person in our country's history, nor is it about washing over our past. Our history is more complicated than that.

In fact, the argument has been made to change the name before. Almost 100 years ago to the day, The Albertan, which later became the Calgary Sun, published an editorial on January 22, 1917 arguing that because the bridge built by Langevin's department in 1888 was demolished, there was no need to name the 1910 replacement bridge after him.

As my friend Harry "the Historian" Sanders has said, history is not static. This moment in time is no less significant than the moment the bridge was built. We are at a point in time that also deserves a place in our history.

This renaming is also intended to spark a discussion. As the TRC summary states: "Reshaping national history is a public process, one that happens through discussion, sharing, and commemoration. As Canadians gather in public spaces to share their memories, beliefs, and ideas about the past with others, our collective understanding of the present and future is formed."

The symbolism of this bridge is, in my opinion, the perfect way to begin the discussion in our community about reconciliation.

I am truly grateful for the thoughtful conversations that have led to this notice of motion. I'm grateful for the leadership of members of Council, the Calgary Aboriginal Urban Advisory Committee and Treaty 7 traditional knowledge keepers who have helped to shape this idea. I'd also like to recognize Harry Sanders for providing for valuable context and background.

I'm also thankful that, as a community and as a nation, we are at a point in time where we are not only willing to have this conversation – we know it's necessary. This is not about erasing the past, it's about building a hopeful future, together.​

Categories: Indigenous; Video; Speeches; Stronger communities

Back  |  April 01, 2017  | 


In response the recent comments in the media by Ken King of the Calgary Sport and Entertainment Corporation regarding a new arena for the Calgary Flames, Mayor Naheed Nenshi has the following statement:

"I am confident that a new project that has public benefit for public money exists, and I know both sides are working very hard on that. The owners of the Calgary Flames have repeatedly assured Calgarians that they would not threaten to move the team, and I assume that they have not shifted from that position. I plan to enjoy the playoff run while letting the conversations continue!"​

Categories: Media

Back  |  May 10, 2018  | 


I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Frank King. Modern Calgary bears many of Frank’s fingerprints. His passion and selfless commitment to our city and Calgarians resulted in the sports and athletic legacy that has become an intrinsic part of who we are. He was a booster (in all the best sense of the word) and an inspiration. He understood the potential of our city and fought hard to make it a reality. Personally, I’m so grateful to Frank for his friendship and advice. He was incredibly generous with his time and lessons from his amazing lifetime of experience. He’ll be well-missed and never forgotten.

- Mayor Naheed Nenshi​​

Categories: Media

Back  |  March 23, 2017  | 



Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Treaty 7 traditional knowledge keepers, Chiefs, and representatives joined together in a ceremony to raise the Treaty 7 flag at City Hall today.

The ceremony acknowledged that Calgary, traditionally known as Moh'kinsstis, meaning "The Elbow" in Blackfoot, is a neighbor to a number of First Nations in the area. The ceremony also blessed the shared journey between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous peoples with principles of mutual recognition and respect of our shared history, and affirmation and renewal of the relationship between The City of Calgary and The Treaty 7 Nations.

"At the confluence of two rivers, the lifeblood of our city, our cultures converged and our modern story began," said Mayor Nenshi. "In a time of reconciliation, the inclusion of this permanent flag reinforces our common history and our commitment to move forward and build a common future of prosperity."

The City of Calgary responded to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action through the adoption of the Calgary Urban Aboriginal Affairs Committee's 2016 White Goose Flying report. White Goose Flying provides The City of Calgary with 25 recommendations that will help create a more equitable and inclusive society. One of the recommendations is flying the Treaty 7 flag at City Hall. In November 2016, Calgary City Council agreed to fly the Treaty 7 flag at City Hall to recognize that Calgary is traditional territory of the people of Treaty 7.

The Treaty 7 flag will be one of five flags flown permanently at City Hall. It will be flown alongside the Canada, Alberta, Royal Union (Union Jack) and Calgary Flags.​

Categories: Indigenous; Stronger communities; Video

Back  |  March 01, 2017  | 



On Thursday, February 16, Mayor Nenshi sat down with Shaw TV's Erin Strate to answer questions from citizens on live tv. The above video is the full hour Q&A ranging in topics from snow clearing to Mayor Nenshi's political future.​

Categories: Interviews; Media; Better economy; Even smarter City Hall; Stronger communities; Video

Back  |  October 20, 2017  | 


After a tough election campaign, one filled with bitterness and divisiveness, Calgarians did what we always do. We chose to move forward together. And today, I simply want to say thank you.

Thank you to all the candidates and every single volunteer and donor who put themselves on the line.

Thank you to all of you who spoke about your love and hope for this community, with your neighbours and coworkers, at the Thanksgiving table, on social media and in real life.

Thank you for voting, in larger numbers than ever before.

And thank you for supporting me. Seven years ago, I could not have dreamed about having such humbling support from people from all walks of life who share a dream of an even better Calgary, a place of dignity and opportunity for all. I am honoured to have your trust, and I guarantee that I will work hard every single day to keep that trust and make this great city even greater for every single citizen.

We’ve got a lot of work to do together over the next four years. We have to sustain the fragile economic recovery and heal our divisions. We have to ensure all our neighbourhoods are safe and strong. We have to make city hall even smarter, Our challenges are big, but our opportunities are much bigger.

With deep gratitude,


Categories: Better economy; Even smarter City Hall; Stronger communities

Back  |  September 22, 2017  | 



After the Calgary Sport and Entertainment Corporation publicly released its proposal for how a new events centre / arena would be paid for, Mayor Nenshi met with reporters to explain and respond to the proposal. Click here for further context on the status of negotiations and The City of Calgary funding proposal.

Below is a comparison of the two proposals on the table for negotiation:


The following is a series of questions and answers provided to Calgary media following the news conference:

Question: What is the total cost of the arena project?

Answer: The full cost of the arena is estimated at $555 million. This includes $30 million for land and $25 million for Saddledome demolition and interim maintenance. The Flames state the arena cost is $500 million.

Question: How much are The City and the Flames each proposing to contribute?

Answer: The City proposal includes the following contributions: $185 City, $185M Flames, $185M Users (ticket surcharge) for a total of $555M. The City portion is comprised of $130M cash, $30M land, and $25M Saddledome demolition and interim maintenance. The Flames portion is cash. The user fee portion is a ticket surcharge on all arena events over 35 years, financed by the Flames.

The Flames proposal includes the following contributions: $225M in City cash financed by CRL, $275M Flames for a total of $500M. The Flames portion consists of $100M cash from the Flames, $150M ticket surcharge (financed by The City) and an additional $25M, the source of which was not clarified. The Flames proposal does not include the cost of land.

Question: Can the CRL be used to fund $225M?

Answer: Projected CRL revenue is not sufficient to fund a new arena. The East Village/Victoria Park CRL has been in place for 10 years and is supporting the current redevelopment of East Village (e.g. 4th Street underpass, flood proofing, RiverWalk). Due to the downturn in the economy and with only 10 years remaining on the CRL (conclusion in 2027 as per provincial legislation) only $150 million of additional CRL remains. Earlier this year, CMLC determined the balance of the CRL would go toward infrastructure improvements in Victoria Park (e.g. 17th Avenue extension, street improvements, RiverWalk extension).

Question: How much incremental property tax (CRL revenue) will be generated and is this a Flames contribution?

Answer: The Flames indicate that there will be $243 million in incremental property tax (CRL revenue) and that this funding is provided by the Flames. CRL revenue comes from the property taxes paid by owners of new development in the area, not from the Flames. CMLC is projecting $150 million in CRL revenue for the remainder of the CRL timeframe (2017-2027). The Flames have not committed to any development that would pay property tax.

Question: Is this a public arena as indicated in the Flames September 21 advertisement in local newspapers?

Answer: As proposed by both The City and the Flames, the arena would not be managed or programmed by The City. The City would not receive any revenue (ticket revenue, sponsorship revenue, naming rights revenue, etc.) and Calgarians would not be able to freely access the arena like they do with other public buildings.

Question: Can you compare the Calgary proposals to the Edmonton arena deal?

Answer: According to the City of Edmonton website, Rogers Place cost $613.7M without financing costs. The Katz Group owned the downtown land beside the arena and committed to $100M of development that would contribute property taxes in the new CRL district that covers a large portion of downtown Edmonton. Calgary initiated a CRL 10 years ago and the successful redevelopment of East Village is the result. Redevelopment in Victoria Park benefits from that same CRL and future urban renewal is already on track. Unlike Edmonton, the Flames have made no development commitments.

Question: Would the Flames pay The City back in either proposal?

Answer: In the Flames proposal, the Flames would not pay rent or property tax, and The City would not receive direct revenue from them. The Flames would also receive all revenues associated with the arena including hockey games, concerts, special events and concessions.

In The City’s proposal, the Flames would pay property tax (if they owned the arena) or rent (if The City owned the arena). We have never discussed final amounts, and The City has indicated we are open to discussing this with the Flames.

While some would see this as a partial pay back of The City’s contribution, it is intended, like all property taxes and City revenue to defray The City’s operating costs. This would include extra transit service on game nights, extra police within the surrounding area, street cleaning after the event, etc.​

Categories: Media; Video

Back  |  June 11, 2018  | 



During a break in a meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi spoke with reporters about a confidential whistleblower report from 2014 and the changes that have been made since that time to make Councillors more accountable and make City Hall a better workplace for Council staff.

Later in the day, Mayor Nenshi answered questions about Calgary Pride and it's relationship to the Calgary Police Service.​​

Categories: Video; Even smarter City Hall; Media

Back  |  June 20, 2018  | 


​It’s 2 in the morning. It’s dark. The electricity has been turned off as a precaution. All I can hear is one thing, and it scares me.

I’m standing on the north bank of the Bow River, in Sunnyside, near the Peace Bridge.

I’ve been up for 23 hours, and I'll be up for 20 more. The noise I hear is the noise of the river. I've grown up here, I cross this river every single day, and I have never seen it this loud, this fast, or this angry. For the first time since the start of this crisis, I feel a bit scared. Scared for my city.

A few minutes later, I’m in Chinatown. We are evacuating a senior’s building. These folks have been awakened in the middle of the night, there is a language barrier for many of them, and they don’t know when, or if, they will be able to return home. I speak with the police officers in charge of the evacuation. They’re exhausted.

Like everyone else, they had gone to work that morning with little idea of what was about to happen.

But they did it. They kept these citizens safe, while treating them with kindness, compassion, and love.

I started to feel a little less scared as I saw the amazing work of our incredible public servants.

Over the days that followed, I saw that the incredible humanity of our public servants was matched by that of all of our citizens. Thousands of people showed up at McMahon Stadium with only two hours’ notice, only because they wanted to help. Tens of thousands cleaned out strangers’ basements, hugged when needed, and generally tried to make life a little bit better.

I’ll never forget Bev and the thousands of quilts she and many others made to replace family heirlooms, or Sam and his mum and the shepherd’s pie that strangers brought over.

I’ll never forget my colleagues at the Bonnybrook Wastewater Treatment Plant risking their lives to keep the plant operational and safeguard the water supply downstream. I’ll never forget the endless lemonade stands set up by kids across the city to raise money for flood relief.

I’ll never forget being chastised by a woman, who, when I asked “were you affected by the flood?” replied that she lived in a place that was high and dry, but “mayor, we are all affected by the flood. Because we all live here.”

And of course, I’ll never forget Lorraine Gertlitz. Sitting at the back of the Salvation Army Temple during her funeral, I realized that I could have been great friends with her had circumstances brought us just a bit closer. I deeply regret that our community missed so many more contributions from this incredible woman. Just as communities and families nearby mourn Jacqui Brocklebank, Amber Rancourt, Dominic Pearce and Rob Nelson.

Now, five years on, having just celebrated Neighbour Day in neighbourhoods across the city, I think about how far we’ve come and how far we yet have to go.

First, I think about protecting the city from future flooding.

Much work has been done. But much remains.

We need to continue our work within the city, like the Upper Plateau separation project, which will prevent Sunnyside from being the catch basin for drainage from the North Hill, to building up berms and hardening riverbanks across the city.

But the real protection comes from upstream mitigation efforts. Many studies have shown that the Springbank dry dam is the best option on the Elbow, and we must get on with building it as soon as possible. To their credit, the Government of Alberta has been unwavering in their support of this project, and I look forward to seeing shovels in the ground soon.

Similarly, we need a commitment to major upstream work on the Bow River, which will help us in times of drought as well as flood.

But perhaps even more, I think about that extraordinary power and resilience that we showed in 2013. How can we take that humanity and apply it to all the silent floods we face in our community every day? To addiction and mental health, to true reconciliation with our indigenous neighbours, to environmental stewardship and economic prosperity?

Ultimately, the single image that is most burned into my mind is that message tacked to a tree on Bow Crescent: “We lost some stuff. We gained a community.”

Categories: Columns; Stronger communities

Back  |  June 21, 2018  | 



​On Monday, June 18, Mayor Nenshi joined with elders, traditional knowledge keepers, City Council colleagues, and many other VIPs to proclaim Aboriginal Awareness Week and kick off festivities. You can learn more about what's happening this week at

It was also an opportunity to honour Grand Chief Wilton Littlechild for his contributions to human rights in our country. He is truly a leader for all citizens and a reason to be confident that we are on a path to a future of shared prosperity and opportunity for all Canadians (indigenous and non-indigenous alike). If you're just hearing about Wilton for the first time, here's a great biography from when he was inducted into the Alberta Order of Excellence.​

Categories: Indigenous; Stronger communities; Video

Back  |  June 27, 2018  | 



​Prior to a discussion in City Council about the New Community Growth Strategy (held on June 28, 2018), Mayor Nenshi spoke about smart growth that preserves quality of life and lower taxes for Calgarians.

"This is by far the most important thing The City is working on right now. By far. Because it's about how we grow.

"This is important for two reasons.

"The first reason is strictly financial. Sprawl is expensive. Building density saves The City billions in infrastructure costs. Everything else we talk about--when we argue about a million dollars for this or public art, for example--it's not even peanuts, it's not even the shell of the peanuts, it's the dust of the peanut shell compared to the cost of growth in the community. So we gotta get this right to save future taxpayers from the burden of debt and the burden of higher taxes.

"The second reason why it's so important is because it's all about the quality of life... being thoughtful about the patterns of growth in the city really allows us to focus on areas where we can build out the infrastructure quickly... It means you get to live in a neighbourhood that (even if it's a new neighbourhood) you don't have to worry about fire and ambulance coverage. Where you have recreation facilities either under construction or planned in the near future. And where you and your family can have a good quality of life. And I think that's really critical."​

Categories: Better economy; City planning; Even smarter City Hall; Housing; Media; Video; Stronger communities

Back  |  June 28, 2018  | 



Following a meeting of the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee of Council, Mayor Nenshi spoke with reporters about the importance of campaign finance reform in the context of proposed changes and public engagement on the topic by the Government of Alberta.​

Categories: Accountability; Even smarter City Hall; Media; Video; Provincial

Back  |  July 04, 2018  | 



​During a break in a special meeting of Council, Mayor Nenshi spoke with journalists about The City of Calgary's financial position and important considerations as The City prepares its next four-year service plan and budget (AKA: One Calgary)

This included an explanation about how potentially hosting the 2026 Winter Olympics would affect capital budgets.​

Categories: Budget; Even smarter City Hall; Media; Video

Back  |  July 06, 2018  | 


As per the City Council gift disclosure policy, members of Council must disclose gifts they receive (physical gifts, event tickets, honoraria, donations, or event hosting) semi-annually.

Download and view the gift disclosure list for January 1 - June 30, 2018.​​

Categories: Accountability; Gifts

Back  |  July 06, 2018  | 


​It's that time of year again--where we host the world and celebrate our western culture in every corner of this great city! Have a fantastic and safe Calgary Stampede!

Categories: Stampede; Heritage

Back  |  July 10, 2018  | 


As part of accountability at City Hall, external visitors that meet with either Mayor Nenshi or members of his staff must be publicly listed.

Click here to view the sign-in sheet for all visitors to The Office of the Mayor.

Please note that this list includes redacted information. Names removed from the list include members of the media, personal (ie: family and friends) visitors, and City of Calgary staff.​​

Categories: Accountability; Meetings

Back  |  July 26, 2018  | 



​Mayor Naheed Nenshi and six councillors are sponsoring a notice of motion to create a much-need community-wide mental health, addiction, and crime prevention strategy for Calgary.

The notice of motion will be debated at the July 30 meeting of City council.​

Categories: Stronger communities

Back  |  December 23, 2016  | 

The following article was published in the Calgary Herald on December 22, 2016.

It’s Christmas time and time to reflect on the year we’ve had. There’s no denying it - 2016 has been rough. Too many of our neighbours are feeling the pain of unemployment and the uncertainly of not knowing what the future holds.

The pain can be even sharper over the holiday season. Imagine the stress of not knowing if you’ll make your mortgage or rent payment this month or of not knowing how you’ll pay the kids’ school fees. Now imagine the additional stress of the holiday season: not knowing how you’re going to afford gifts or if you can host family for a holiday meal.

This is the reality of too many of our neighbours today.

But we can help. We are a resilient place. We are a place where we look after each other. Now, more than ever, we need to be there for each other. We need to be there for our fellow citizens: our friends, our family, and our neighbours.

At the City of Calgary, we’re working hard to lessen the pain-from freezing property tax rates to investing in new jobs to ensuring public services remain accessible to all. But government is only one piece of this puzzle.

Another piece is our strong and active non-profit service sector-the professionals and volunteers who are there for us when we need them. I think of the folks at the Distress Centre who are available 24/7 for citizens in times of crisis. I think of the Canadian Mental Health Association that bridges the gaps in our mental health care. I think of the dedicated women and men at Alpha House who are there in bitter cold and blazing sun helping people struggling with addiction, homelessness, and mental health. I think of the YWCA, there for women and children at the hardest points of their lives.

The power of the Calgary Herald Christmas Fund is that it brings us together to help those that help our fellow citizens most in need. Every dollar donated goes directly to a dozen powerful community organizations that need our support. And, since 1991, over $24 million has been donated.

This year, those of us who can afford to give need to give just a little bit more. So many of our neighbours want to give, but just can’t this year. Let’s be there for them.

Next year, in keeping with this spirit of giving, I want to do something special. It’s Canada’s 150th birthday, and my dream for this sesquicentennial is that we all give a birthday gift to the nation: three acts of service for the community. We’re calling it Three Things for Canada. Please take a moment to consider two questions: "what am I passionate about?" and "what can I do to help?" And then just do it.

It can be as small as shovelling a neighbour's sidewalk or as complex as serving on a board of directors for a nonprofit organization. It can be whatever you see needs doing in this world.

However, there’s more than just taking action. There is a secret fourth thing: talk about your service to inspire others to do the same. Please visit to learn more.

Our community is resilient. It’s a resilience built on the actions every one of us takes to help our fellow? citizens. This holiday season, let’s commit to doing even more, starting with a donation to the Calgary Herald Christmas Fund.

From my family to yours: have a merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!


Categories: Columns; Poverty; Stronger communities

Back  |  October 06, 2016  | 


The following column was published in the Calgary Herald on October 7, 2016.

You may have heard about the conversations about city charters. It may sound a bit esoteric and technical, but the creation of a city charter for Calgary is one of the most fundamental changes we can make to improve our future. Getting this right means less bureaucracy, less red tape, less buck-passing, and better services for citizens.

Over the last several years (and five premiers!), Calgary, Edmonton and the Province have worked to modernize the legislation and regulations under which we operate. Currently, Calgary, which has more people than each of five provinces, operates under the same rules and restrictions as Betula Beach, population 10.

The good news is that we all agree that we have outgrown the Municipal Government Act that guides the legislation for all of Alberta’s 344 municipalities. Our local decisions need to be made locally. Tailored legislation like the city charter will allow us to do that. The city charter is essential to ensure our long term success.

Here’s an example: Currently, something as simple as a basic municipal bylaw offense like a transit or parking ticket is managed through the provincial court system. Through the charter, The City of Calgary could create our own administrative tribunal system to manage our own municipal bylaw offenses. It just makes sense. Streamlining the ticket process like this to reduce provincial justice system costs by bringing this to a local level is innovative and efficient for everyone involved.

Another area is in better planning for new communities. Last week, I was thrilled to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Calgary Board of Education and the Calgary Catholic School District on future school sites. The charter will allow us the flexibility to ensure new schools are co-located with important community services like recreation facilities or seniors’ housing.

Examples like these can be found throughout the detailed City Charters Overview Package at The ultimate goal is to dramatically improve how we serve our citizens, and we will do that by improving administrative efficiency; collaborating better with the Province; supporting community well-being; planning communities smartly; and empowering local environmental stewardship.

One more thing: You may have noticed an opinion piece by the Manning Centre on this page about inclusionary zoning for housing. This is a great move by the Province to provide Alberta municipalities with an important tool that has worked very well in jurisdictions across North America to provide market-based affordable housing. The opinion piece contained not just the usual cherry-picking of data, weird math, and unsubstantiated ideological conclusions, but a small factual error: the issue of inclusionary zoning is not part of the consultation on the Charter, but mostly part of the discussions around the Municipal Government Act, which applies to all towns and cities in Alberta. Regardless, it's a bold move on the part of the Province and could help a lot of people.

I’m very excited about the progress we have made, but we are not done yet. Please help us by letting us know what you think. Visit the website and join us in person at open houses on October 11 and 12.

In this moment in our history, we face many challenges. We can meet those challenges. Calgary and Edmonton need to stay diverse and economically vibrant to ensure Alberta competes in the global market and that we continue to attract investment, business, jobs and people. Not only are we charting Calgary’s future, but we are charting Alberta’s as well.​

Categories: Columns; Get engaged; Provincial; Even smarter City Hall

Back  |  January 26, 2017  | 


Mayor Nenshi wrote the following column for the Globe and Mail. It appeared on January 26, 2017.

Mayor Nenshi

In announcing the Canada Infrastructure Bank, Ottawa has a historic opportunity to not just address Canada’s massive infrastructure deficit, but also to shape the future of Canada’s powerful financial services industry.

Locating the bank in Calgary would not only ensure it has the access to the resources it needs to be successful, but also would make a powerful statement about the role of Canada – all of Canada – as a global financial centre.

First, the case for Calgary is clear.

We have the talent and the players here. Calgary has long been the second-largest head-office centre in Canada, and we have long punched far above our weight in global financial circles. Every major global investment bank has a presence here and eight of the 10 largest banks in the world are here, along with major functions of every Canadian bank.

In 2014, Calgary firms accounted for 12 per cent of the deal flow in the energy sector worldwide – about four times our share of world energy production. From a Canadian perspective, 35 per cent of all private equity finances by value in this country happened in Alberta in 2015.

This level of activity is largely because we have an extraordinary level of not just banking talent here, but also top-quality legal, accounting, human resources, risk management, IT and other professional services.

And if there is a silver lining in the human pain of this economic downturn, it is that many of these brilliant people are in the process of reinventing their careers, and are available to start building the bank in Calgary.

(And, for the first time in decades, we have available office space downtown at very good prices!)

No surprise, then, that the financial services sector is an incredibly important part of the city’s economy and a major part of our 10-year economic strategy for diversification.

But what’s even more important is the creation of an environment where creativity can flourish. One of the reasons that so much deal flow in energy has come to Calgary is because we have developed and championed innovative financing tools here: things such as junior capital pools, royalty trusts and flow-through shares.

Calgary therefore offers the opportunity to get out of the financial sector bubble and look to creativity and innovation in financing.

That, above all, is the key factor Prime Minister Trudeau’s government should consider. The bank will be doing work that is without peer in the world, and the world is watching us.

The bank cannot rely on the same old solutions – traditional P3 models (public-private partnerships) can be very useful, but won’t get us where we need to go on massive investments in public transit and waste-water infrastructure, for example.

If we get this right as a nation – if we can figure out how best to leverage pools of private capital that are currently looking for investment to things that really help people live better lives, get to where they need to go, and protect our land, air, and water, we will have done something incredible not just for Canada, but for the world.

So, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and his team have an incredible opportunity: With one decision, they can help address economic diversification in a region of the country that is hurting and set this great experiment of the Canada Infrastructure Bank on a base of success.

In so doing, they could help solve some of the most pervasive problems in the Canadian economy – helping resource-rich regions build on the resource base to create new growth engines, and finally addressing our infrastructure deficit, helping Canadians live better lives.

The road starts in Calgary.​

Categories: Columns; Economic development; Better economy; National

Back  |  April 15, 2016  | 


The following letter from Mayor Nenshi was published in the Globe and Mail as part of a series to mark the publication of

The Idea of Canada, a new book by Governor-General David Johnston

Dear Canada,

As we approach your 150th birthday, I’ve never been so proud of you – of your energy, of your kindness and humanity, about the possibility and opportunity you embody for all.

I recently had the great fortune of taking part in a welcome ceremony at Calgary’s City Hall where more than 1,000 newcomers to Canada filled the atrium. They were greeted with a traditional First Nations drumming circle and blessing, welcoming them to the land we now all share.

As I sat onstage, watching this blessing from one of our community’s elders, I looked out into the crowd and was moved to tears when I saw two men holding two large signs. One read, “Thank you, Calgary,” and the other, “Thank you, Canada.”

I thought to myself: This is Canada. This is exactly who we are. The people who have lived and loved on these lands for thousands of years are welcoming those who have just landed looking to start a new life. Our greatest strength is each other, and we are strongest together.

Canada, you have been good to the people of this nation for the past 150 years. For your birthday, I think you deserve a really big gift – or rather, 100 million tiny gifts for you and for the world.

In Calgary, we’ve started something called 3 Things for Calgary.

It’s a simple idea that asks each Calgarian to do three things each year to make our community even greater. It could be something as small as cleaning up trash, or hosting a barbecue for your neighbours in your front yard, or something big like joining a non-profit board.

Now, imagine 3 Things for Canada. Imagine everyone of us doing 3 things next year to make our community and our world stronger.

I hope you’ll like that birthday gift. Because, Canada, you deserve it.

– Naheed​

Categories: Columns; National; Get engaged; Stronger communities; Heritage

Back  |  January 14, 2016  | 


The following column appeared in the January 14 edition of the Calgary Herald.

On Monday, your City Council made one of the most important decisions of our term when we decided to adopt a new off-site levy bylaw. This is big. It will fundamentally change how we pay for growth in this city, mostly ending what I’ve been calling a “sprawl subsidy”.

Despite the current economic situation, Calgary is growing… fast. Over the last four years, we added more than 130,000 people. That’s like adding the entire city of Red Deer and half of Medicine Hat. All those new people need roads and transit and emergency protection and libraries and recreation centres and access to safe clean water.

Growth is good, but it has to be well-managed to create a financially, environmentally, and socially sustainable future. For too long, we’ve been mortgaging our future – either building new neighbourhoods without the facilities and infrastructure needed to be complete communities, or taking out debt to build things without a solid plan on how to pay it back.

When a new community is built, the developer pays for the infrastructure that is specific to that community. This includes the roads, street lights, water, and sewer systems (among other things) inside the community. Most developers pass these infrastructure costs along to the home buyer, which essentially results in residents paying for the community in which they live. People who live in other parts of the city are not affected by these costs.

However, each new community or development has an impact on infrastructure outside of its specific borders – causing more demand on things like major bridges and interchanges leading into and out of the neighbourhood, wastewater lift stations, wet and dry ponds, and traffic signals on major roadways. For many years, all Calgary taxpayers, regardless of whether or not they were directly affected by the development, bore the cost of growth on much of this off-site infrastructure and these costs were distributed among all taxpayers.

This is why, for example, your water bills have increased; for ten years, the City did not ask developers to contribute to our water and wastewater costs, meaning we all had to foot the bill for very expensive infrastructure.

I didn’t think that this kind of subsidy was fair and so, in 2011, shortly after taking office, I asked Administration to work with industry to come up with a way to recover some of these costs. We came to an agreement and started collecting some of these funds at that time.

But this was only a first step in recovering the true cost of growth. All Calgarians continued to subsidize the development of new suburban communities. In 2012, this subsidy cost Calgarians approximately $33,000,000 annually in lost revenue. That’s why I based a large part of my 2013 re-election campaign on this very issue.

For the last year, many people have worked hard to create a new method of calculating off-site levies to ensure that we can keep up with the costs of serving all of our new citizens. City Administration collaborated with industry to find a process that was fair to everyone—especially all citizens. And on Monday, Council unanimously passed these changes.

This means that we have fundamentally ended the development subsidy. For the first time, growth in all parts of the city will now compete on a level playing field, allowing for the market to work and homebuyers to see the true costs of their homes. It also means that, pending further Council decision, we will be able to mitigate future increases in your water and wastewater bills.

It took a lot of work from a lot of people to get here. Thanks to the development industry for coming to the table with open minds and open hearts, and helping craft a new, better relationship. And, as always, my gratitude goes to my colleagues on Council and in The City for their excellent work on this file and on making this place better for citizens every day. ​

Categories: Columns; Transforming Government; City planning; Better economy; Even smarter City Hall; Stronger communities

Back  |  January 06, 2016  | 

​​The following column appeared in the Calgary Sun on January 6, 2016.

Many of us are happy to see the back of 2015, and there’s a lot of concern about 2016 and what the future holds. I don’t have a crystal ball, but I know that we as a community are about a lot more than the price of a commodity. More important, I know we continue to look after one another and to build a strong, resilient community.

Despite the economic uncertainty, there’s great potential in Calgary. Last year, we were once again ranked as one of the top five most liveable cities in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit. People continue to want to move here-drawn by our vision of being a great place to make a living and a great place to make a life.

We continue to have the second-largest numbers of head offices in Canada. We continue to diversify: when I graduated from the University of Calgary over 20 years ago, oil and gas accounted for 50 per cent of our economy. Now, even after hundreds of billions of dollars of investment in our energy sector, it accounts for just 30 per cent of the economy.

Services, retail, tourism, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, and the creative industries are all other sources of strength for us. In fact, Calgary actually created more jobs than we lost from November 2014 to November 2015, with all of the growth in the service sector, and our average wages were up very slightly. However, our unemployment rate, for so long among the lowest in Canada, is now just above the national average, as people continue to move here for opportunity.

But we all know somebody who has lost their job, and the pain that many of our neighbours are feeling is very real. Times are tough, and many families are hurting.

It’s always important that your city government is there for you, but it’s particularly important at this time. That’s why I was so pleased that Council agreed with my proposal to create an economic resiliency fund. We have frozen transit and recreation fees so citizens can continue to get around, stay active, and have fun. We are looking after non-profit organizations facing tough times so they can keep people employed and continue to provide essential services. We are redoubling our efforts on housing so those in need can have a decent place to live. We are working to help small businesses get through the downturn.

And we continue to invest in the right things, with the right money, in the right places. As one of the largest employers in the region, and as the provider of services that we need every minute of every day, your city government is committed to doing the right thing.

For 2016, I’ve asked my nearly 20,000 colleagues to recommit ourselves to a number of New Year’s Resolutions:

  • We will make continue to make decisions that are thoughtful, considered, public and deliberate. We will engage the community as we make tough decisions and we will maintain your trust.
  • We will make choices that invest in Calgary, improve the quality of life, and create jobs as we diversify the economy and keep people employed.
  • We will build things we need at a time when people are unemployed and construction costs are low. We will invest $2.5 billion this year in capital like roads, bridges, transit, water services, flood mitigation, fire halls, parks and recreation facilities. And, should the provincial and federal governments want us to build more, we will be ready.
  • We will continue asking ourselves, every day, "how is what I am doing right now making it better for people to live and do business here?"

We continue to provide great services for amongst the lowest property taxes of any big city in Canada. In the latest Citizen Satisfaction Survey, 80 per cent of Calgarians expressed satisfaction with city services (up from 68 per cent in 2009). But we will continue to do better. Every day.

From my family to yours: all the best for 2016! ​

Categories: Columns; Economic development; Better economy

Back  |  November 09, 2015  | 


The following column by Mayor Naheed Nenshi appears in the November 9, 2015 edition of the
National Post .

It feels odd to still be writing about the federal election, but now is the time to reflect on promises made during the campaign. Unlike some recent elections that weren’t about anything, this one was about too many things. Yet they were often either the wrong things — such as the irrelevant, angry debate about a cloth square — or the right things framed in impossibly partisan terms — the Syrian refugee crisis should have united us as Canadians rather than divided us.

It’s into this environment that Canada’s big city mayors attempted to bring some focus on areas that really matter, such as how we reduce congestion and cut peoples’ commutes; how we help Canadians find decent places to live; and how we can build the infrastructure we need to make sure our cities can continue to attract the investment necessary to create jobs.

That’s why I launched the Cities Matter survey during this election, which asked all the major political parties to commit to their promises regarding cities.

Every party responded, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that all the major parties had a good depth of understanding of the issues that face OUR cities. As they should: 80 per cent of Canadians live in cities, while 72 per cent of Canada’s GDP is generated in cities. The issues facing cities are truly Canadian issues.

But what was more important was that the Liberal Party of Canada, our new governing party, put its cities platform on paper for Canadians to review and return to . Believe me: I intend to revisit many times over the next four years to review those election promises.

So, what are those promises for our cities and the citizens who live in them?

The Liberals made bold commitments for major investments in public transit and infrastructure, including continuing the previous Conservative government’s $1.53-billion commitment to Calgary’s Green Line LRT project. The new federal government’s spending will not only be focused on “traditional” infrastructure projects like transit, ports, bridges and roads, but widened to include social infrastructure like affordable housing, facilities for seniors, early learning and child care centres, cultural and recreational infrastructure, as well as “green infrastructure.”

The Liberals differed from the other parties in terms of how they promised to deliver infrastructure funding. While the NDP and the Conservatives wanted to invest in infrastructure while balancing the budget and letting the provinces and municipalities take on the debt, the Liberals plan to spend $125 billion over the next decade and they are willing to take on debt up front to do it — by running modest $10-billion deficits over the next three years.

The Liberals also said that they will automatically transfer any uncommitted federal infrastructure funds near the end of any fiscal year to municipalities, through a temporary top-up of the Gas Tax Fund. This funding mechanism provides one of most efficient and flexible ways of transferring funding to cities.

It’s clear that under the Liberal plan, Canadians can expect more rapid-transit lines built in our largest cities, along with comprehensive investments in a wide range of infrastructure needs. It is an ambitious plan that, if implemented well, will keep many Canadians employed fixing our infrastructure deficit for years to come.

The most significant opportunity to improve quality of life in our country is through affordable housing. I was thrilled that the leaders’ debate on the economy included a question about this issue, but not as thrilled when all three leaders present seemed surprised to be asked the question.

To be fair, the Liberals did promise to develop a National Housing Strategy and set aside $20 billion over 10 years for social infrastructure like affordable and seniors housing. They are also proposing tax incentives to encourage construction and renovation of market rental housing.

The Liberals are vague on how exactly these mechanisms would work. They are equally vague on how they would modernize the existing Home Buyers’ Plans, or how much of that $20 billion will be used on affordable housing, as the same fund is already committed to invest in child care spaces, cultural, recreational and other priorities. What is clear, however, is that we need new approaches and new ideas on housing across this country and Canada’s big city mayors are committed to being at the table as partners with this government.

The Liberals have shown that they have considered municipal issues and have proposed a variety of different policy solutions. There’s a lot more in our survey — from urban aboriginal issues and immigration, to poverty and economic development — and I hope all Canadians have a look at it at

The next step: all citizens have to hold this government accountable for the commitments it has made and ensure that it lives up to its obligation to build a better Canada for all. ​

Categories: Columns; Housing; National; Calgary Transit; Transportation

Back  |  November 25, 2015  | 


One thing that’s true about Calgarians is that we love to talk about real estate. Over the past ten years, casual conversations almost always included a reference to how much prices have gone up, how people were either lucky to get into the market when they did, or lucky to find a place at all (ask anyone who bought a house here in 2007).

Lately though, the conversation has turned. The changing economic climate in our city means that people don’t just feel lucky to have a home, but to be able to make their mortgage payments. Housing is top of mind in a completely different way.

Homelessness is no longer seen as something that happens to "other" people. At last count, there were over 3,500 homeless Calgarians. That number has stabilized over the years as Calgary has championed a Housing First strategy to fight homelessness, but it doesn’t mean our fellow citizens--our friends and neighbours--are immune to it. Who knows how many more of them are worried about their ability to continue to provide a warm, safe, home for their family?

Housing First is the belief that all people deserve housing and that the challenges that led to homelessness can best be dealt with once that person is off the street. Providing someone with a home actually saves taxpayers money - to the tune of as much of $34,000 per person annually. Once a person is housed, they spend 85 per cent fewer days in jail and 67 per cent fewer days in hospital. We know this approach works and we have experienced its success in our own community. But people can only be housed if we have somewhere for them to go.

This past Sunday, Calgarians, like others across Canada, lobbied and rallied on National Housing Day. Every year since 2000, National Housing Day has helped raise awareness about the importance of finding sustainable housing solutions for healthy communities.

The economic downturn we’re facing brings this to light even more. More than 14,000 Calgarians are at risk of homelessness in our city, and as a result of this current economic climate we expect to see even more households at risk. Many of these vulnerable citizens also face mental health problems, addiction, mobility issues, are the working poor or have simply experienced a sequence of unfortunate events.

These people need more than just a place to call home. They need help in coping with the life challenges that led them to becoming homeless in the first place. I am proud that many of my colleagues at The City of Calgary are on the front lines in this regard. We have also introduced programs like Fair Entry to help low-income Calgarians access public services in a compassionate way.

The City of Calgary has also taken the lead in creating a community strategy to address affordable housing in our city. For the past several months, stakeholders from across the housing spectrum have been meeting to figure out how to best address our housing challenges. Their answer was almost too simple: Together. But while simple in concept, its successful execution will require a commitment from our entire community to support endeavours to build more affordable housing for those in need. We have to support those who want to provide affordable housing for Calgarians - even if it ends up right in our backyard.

That brings me to private industry’s response to the challenge, which is something I don’t think enough Calgarians know about.

The RESOLVE Campaign is a Calgary-born and Canadian-first collaborative campaign. Its goal is to raise $120 million from the private sector to build the homes needed to help push Calgary’s Plan to End Homelessness over the finish line. It aims to increase safe, affordable, accessible, and appropriate rental housing throughout Calgary with the goal that everyone who needs a home has a home.

RESOLVE is a unique partnership of nine established, experienced, and respected Calgary social service agencies that have come together with business and government in pursuit of a single goal: create affordable and supported rental housing for 3,000 vulnerable and homeless Calgarians. The eleven Calgary homebuilders who have contributed to RESOLVE were recently honoured by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (Calgary & Area Chapter) with the Philanthropic Group award at the 2015 Generosity of Spirit Awards. It’s exactly the type of collaboration we need, and I hope to see more innovation like it as we continue to try to meet our housing challenges.

Everyone involved in RESOLVE is participating because it makes good sense, both economically and socially.

That's good for the whole community. On National Housing Day, it certainly gives us something to celebrate.

The above article appeared in the Calgary Herald . ​

Categories: Columns; Housing; Poverty; Stronger communities

Back  |  December 29, 2015  | 


The following was published in the Calgary Herald on December 29, 2015.

At this time of year, it’s natural to reflect back and think on the future. Certainly, 2015 has been a tough year for many of us and the job losses cannot be denied.

Yet Calgary is weathering the downturn better than many expected — we actually created more jobs than we lost from November 2014 to November 2015 and people continue to come here for opportunity.

Nonetheless, many of us are hurting, and it’s important for all of us to think about how we can help. I would argue there are two things that we need to do, now and throughout 2016.

First, let’s find our inner angels and remember to be decent to one another. The last six months or so, I’ve noticed a certain mean-spiritedness sneak into the edges of our discourse. Most of it comes online — people are particularly awful when staring at a screen rather than at a face — but I have noticed it in real life as well. Conversations at coffee shops and in line at the grocery store, are starting to be tinged with an “us-and-them” tone, whether the target is a politician or someone of a different faith or a newcomer to this country.

While there’s nothing wrong with disagreeing or letting off some steam, and while we all agree that violence and death threats are unacceptable in any context, we should remember that the way we treat others has real consequences on their ability to live happily and well in our community.

We are facing a mental health crisis — some sources show that suicide rates are up an unimaginable 30 per cent — and part of the solution is simply being kind and looking after one another.

Second, looking after one another also means giving. In this time of need, those of us who are able to give should consider giving just a little bit more — not only because demand is up for all charities and non-profits, but because so many of our neighbours want to give and just can’t this year.

And the Calgary Herald Christmas Fund is a great way to give. For 25 years, the fund has been carefully curating an annual list of non-profit organizations where your dollars can have the most impact, and this year is no different. Some of the 14 organizations are well-known; others less so. But each of them is doing important work in the community every day: helping our neighbours battling cancer, those escaping from violence and abuse or arriving hungry to school, those who need a safe and stable home, those who need a helping hand and a friendly smile.

Every one of these organizations performs miracles every single day. Every one of them deserves our help. Thank you for giving. And thank you to the Calgary Herald for helping make these miracles happen for 25 years.

From my family to yours: Merry Christmas and all the best for 2016!

Click here to learn more about the Calgary Herald Christmas Fund.​

Categories: Columns; Poverty; Stronger communities

Back  |  October 15, 2015  | 


The following article by Mayor Nenshi appeared in today's Calgary Herald.

That’s why, on behalf of Calgary City Council, I once again launched the Cities Matter survey during this election, asking all major political parties to commit to their promises regarding cities. It’s a big survey, 24 questions, and the four major parties have put a lot of time and effort into their responses, which are posted verbatim at

The results are fascinating, and well worth a look. First, it’s clear that the parties have understood that the issues of those of us who live in cities are truly Canadian issues: 80% of us live in cities, after all, and 72% of Canada’s GDP is generated in cities.

All four parties are committed to major investments in transit, including Calgary’s Green Line LRT. The Conservatives have also jumped on the C-Train - their announcement of the Public Transit Fund in the last budget is the first time we’ve ever seen a permanent commitment to transit from a federal government in Canada.

The parties differ in form: where the Conservatives will require the provinces and cities to take on debt while contributing one-third of the payments over many years, the Liberals will likely take on the debt up front. The New Democrats would create a 20-year public transit fund and increase the existing federal gas tax transfer by the end of their mandate.

While all of these plans would get more rail transit built in our largest cities, there are differences in timing, debt, and financing costs.

The same applies to the parties’ overall infrastructure plans. The Liberals would like to spend a lot of money now, while the NDP don’t provide very many specific dates, likely hamstrung by their balanced budget promise.

The biggest area of opportunity is housing. I was thrilled that the Globe and Mail debate included a question about housing, but not as thrilled when all three leaders present seemed surprised to be asked the question.

The survey results are interesting. The Conservatives are essentially defending their record, while the NDP is promising to reverse the Conservatives’ cuts as Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation agreements expire, and provide $500 million in incentives for new affordable and market units, along with an Affordable Housing Act. The Liberals, for their part, don’t go quite as far, but have some interesting ideas on tax incentives for market rental housing (the NDP prefers grants and loans).

What is clear is that we need new approaches and new ideas on housing across this country, and Canada’s big city mayors are committed to being at the table.

All parties have shown that they have considered municipal issues and have proposed a variety of different policy solutions. There’s a lot more in this survey - from urban aboriginal issues to immigration to poverty. It is up to citizens to read and judge, within the context of their own values, which set of policy solutions they feel are best.

I encourage you to check out and cast your vote for the Canada we need-on the issues that matter.

Categories: Columns; National

Back  |  May 02, 2015  | 


There’s an election coming. And your city council has once again surveyed all the parties and posted their full answers at

This year, we asked about broad issues like city charters and future funding, as well as specific questions on items like the closure of the Calgary Young Offenders Centre and the building of the Calgary Cancer Centre. Five out of the six parties (all but the Liberals) responded to our survey before the deadline, and the results are a must-read for those deciding on their vote.

While the parties differ on specifics, the good news is that all who responded have ideas on the major issues facing the city, and I believe all of them would work with Calgary in order to help us address many of our challenges.

None of the responses is perfect and none exactly reflects the needs of Calgary, but they give citizens a lot to think about as they determine who deserves their vote, and highlight that there is a real choice facing Calgarians.

First, all parties have committed to developing new city charters for Calgary and Edmonton, as they did in 2012. The difference is that they all commit to concluding this process by 2016, following the timeline that we have been working on with the current government. None give details on what they would like in the charter, and there is some evidence that special interest groups are gathering to oppose any legislative change, but I am confident all parties would work with your city council to get this done.

As for the individual parties, the Progressive Conservatives, unsurprisingly, don’t promise any change beyond what we have today (they are the present government, after all). This means we will continue work on charters that was put on the front-burner by Premier Jim Prentice, have another conversation on new funding models, close the Calgary Young Offenders Centre, and build the new cancer hospital in two phases, on two sites: Foothills and the South Health Campus.

The Wildrose have the most specific plan for municipal funding — the same 10-10 plan they proposed in 2012, where 10 per cent of tax revenues and 10 per cent of surpluses would flow to municipalities, with the new twist of a regional infrastructure fund. Many questions remain about how this would work, but it’s an intriguing new idea. Their answers on other questions seemed a bit vague, but they seem open to discussion.

The NDP responses are similar and do suffer from some lack of detail, particularly around future financing. However, they do seem to understand urban issues well and commit to working closely with Calgary in the future to get the answers right.

As for the smaller parties, the Greens are still working through their municipal policies, and the Alberta Party, being Calgary-based, understands Calgary issues very well and had a number of good answers.

Two areas were disappointing: no party seems willing to take the needed leadership on regional issues, helping Calgary and our neighbours craft a sustainable future.

The most surprising, though, was that no party (with the possible exception of the Alberta Party) has a comprehensive flood plan. We must protect Calgary, particularly downtown Calgary, from the devastation of future floods on both rivers.

The PCs commit to more discussion, but only confirm the Springbank dry dam. The NDP and Wildrose would potentially cancel Springbank, but it’s not clear what they would replace it with (the NDP seem to like McLean Creek). All parties have to understand how important this is, and commit to develop a real plan, quickly.

Overall, though, what the survey results show is that Calgarians have to vote. There are good choices and options there, and you should vote for whomever you think has the right answers to the questions that are important to you. Calgarians aren’t afraid of anything: vote for the party you believe in and the future you want. But vote.

- Mayor Naheed Nenshi ​

Categories: Columns; Provincial; Environment

Back  |  January 21, 2015  | 


In my latest column for the Calgary Herald, I wrote about the success of our Cut Red Tape program. Here's what I had to say:

Back in 2010, when I was first running for mayor, I kept hearing stories of how The City was not as customer-friendly as it should be. From the restaurant who finally received their permit to operate a patio just in time for winter to the single mum operating a home-based massage therapy business finding herself subject to humiliating inspections and onerous annual fees, many felt the city was inhibiting rather than facilitating their success.

Since that time, we have been engaged in a massive program called Transforming Government to make the City administration more transparent and more accountable, and above all, to put the citizen at the centre of everything we do. Indeed, I often remind my City colleagues that we should be asking ourselves, multiple times a day, “how is what I am doing right now making it better for someone to live in Calgary?”

An important part of Transforming Government has been the Cut Red Tape program, which has been operating out of my office. It’s Red Tape Awareness Week in Canada, sponsored by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, and as the program transitions out of my office to become a permanent part of City management, I thought it would be a good time to share some successes.

Since launching in 2011, and with a modest investment (not quite two staff members), we’ve launched over 40 formal and countless informal Cut Red Tape programs, and saved Calgarians at least $12.7 million dollars (including time and money).

Interestingly, many of these ideas came directly from my City colleagues. Phase one of the program consisted simply of asking City staff what ideas they had to cut red tape and improve customer service. They had nearly 300 ideas, from every department, and these ideas still form the core of the program.

Future phases included ideas from the business community, with the assistance of a Business Advisory Group, and from the general public. Some ideas were very easy to implement, while some took some work or a little bit of money to get them in place. Some examples include:

  1. Making it easier for citizens to use the Animal Licensing website by removing redundant, inaccurate, and confusing information. Citizens save time and effort by having a more streamlined process for licensing their pet.
  2. Making it easier for citizens to report graffiti on City of Calgary public spaces by streamlining the 311 reporting process and adding the service request to online forms and the 311 mobile app.
  3. Making it easier for Calgary Housing clients to make the transition to their subsidized housing unit with no unexpected costs.
  4. Making it more efficient for home designers and builders to submit plans for single houses and duplexes homes by creating easy-to-understand guidelines.
  5. Making submitting and reviewing construction drawings faster and more efficient by allowing online submission of plans – saving time and money for the applicant but also allowing for many areas to review the submissions simultaneously.

There are many other examples – parents will appreciate a better system for signing up for recreation programs, allowing you to register your child for the next swimming level while you’re at the pool.

And yes, it’s much easier for a restaurant to open a patio now, and new rules make it simpler for legitimate massage therapists to conduct their business.

So, as we celebrate Red Tape Awareness Week, I want to thank all those who have made this program work: the small but mighty secretariat, the volunteers from the business community who helped on the advisory group, my Council colleagues, particularly Peter Demong, for their unwavering support, and particularly the thousands of my City colleagues for their innovation and their hard work.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi is a national finalist for the CFIB’s Golden Scissors Award for the Cut Red Tape program.

Categories: Columns; Cut Red Tape; Better economy; Even smarter City Hall

Back  |  December 05, 2014  | 


I haven't written an op-ed in the Calgary Herald for over a year, so the passing of The City of Calgary's new four-year budget and business plan seemed like a perfect opportunity to return. Here's my column as it appeared in today's newspaper.

This week, after six days of pretty intense debate, your city council passed its four-year business plan and budget, with a final vote of 14-1. Before I tell you a bit about what the budget means to you, it's helpful to step back and take a look at the process.

First, why is it that you never see such intense scrutiny of a federal or provincial budget? After all, over 90 per cent of the taxes you pay go to the provincial and federal governments (and Calgarians, as a whole, send nearly $4 billion a year to the provincial government, and over $11 billion a year to the federal government, than we get back from either of those governments).

The answer is two-fold: first, your municipal government holds itself to a very high level of transparency and accountability. We started discussing this business plan and budget in January, and more than 24,000 of you participated in helping to build it - online, at public events, even on the Engagement Bus. You told us what you wanted more of, what you wanted less of, and how we should pay for it.

Second, the city calculates our taxes and budgets differently than other governments. Our only source of tax revenue is the property tax. I'll save the lecture on why this tax is regressive and unfair for another time, but allow me to explain that the city uses a revenue-neutral process, meaning that we don't get any benefit from increases in property values - the tax rate is reset every year to ensure that the dollars raised are the same as last year.

This means that, to cope with inflation and growth, we must explicitly change the tax rate. This is unlike the other governments, who automatically get more: if your income goes up, your provincial and federal taxes go up. If more people buy stuff, the federal government gets more GST.

Your city council has also chosen to have the budget discussion in public, live on TV and the web, with every senior manager coming to council to defend every budget line - talking about what they do and what value they add to the community.

And do they ever add value. In the recent city satisfaction survey, 79 per cent of you were satisfied with city services (up from 68 per cent in 2009) and 65 per cent said you get good value for your tax dollar (up from 49 per cent in 2009).

So, what's in this budget? First, know that your city is lean and efficient. The budget is full of benchmarks comparing our work to other governments and to the private sector.

A few random examples: Calgary's labour cost in fleet services is 20 per cent below the Calgary market. The number of water main breaks is the lowest of any major city, and our wastewater treatment costs are far lower than places like Toronto and Winnipeg. Our road costs per lane kilometre are the lowest of any major city.

But we can be better. We are undertaking zero-based budget reviews of all our departments and are already seeing savings in places like roads and parks. In addition, this budget contains over $50 million in efficiency savings. We continue to make structural changes to reduce energy use and create a more financially sustainable city.

In this budget, you'll see a number of positive changes, including the launch of the Green Line Transitway and introduction of four-car CTrain service, replacement of two major bridges, building three interchanges, and the widening of McKnight Boulevard, new fire stations, and new police, fire and bylaw officers, as well as new and refurbished parks, recreation centres and arenas to keep up with growth.

And you get all that for the lowest property taxes of any large city in Canada.

- Mayor Naheed Nenshi ​

Categories: Budget; Columns; Better economy; Even smarter City Hall

Back  |  December 25, 2014  | 


Most years (even before I was mayor!) I write a column for the Calgary Herald to support the newspaper's Christmas Fund. Here's my article about finding the Christmas spirit during an unlikely time of the year.

It might be odd to find the spirit of Christmas on a weekend in June, but that’s exactly what happened to me earlier this year.

On June 21, Calgarians held our first annual Neighbour Day. At block parties, work bees, parades, and bbqs, in every quadrant of our city, we celebrated what makes our communities great.

Strength, resilience, compassion. While it may have been the anniversary of a certain natural disaster, the common refrain that day was "we’re going to do this again next year!" Not because we must commemorate a flood, but because we must acknowledge that special spirit we hold dear: the belief that this is a city of opportunity for all and the truth that, regardless of where we live in this city, we are all neighbours who share in each other’s hardships and success.

Supporting our fellow citizens when they need our help the most. Providing the opportunity to live a great Canadian life. Is that not also the spirit of Christmas?

We are blessed to live in a city where that spirit is held in the hearts of many and shown throughout the year. Yet, this does not mean we are free from the social ills that plague society. Too many of us experience hunger, poverty, homelessness, addiction, and family violence. Many more are affected by mental illness.

So let’s take this opportunity to remind ourselves of the need that surrounds us and the role we can all play during this Christmas season.

The beauty of the Calgary Herald Christmas Fund is that it helps us spread our donation dollars between 12 worthy non-profit organizations to maximize our reach on issues that matter to Calgarians. Your donation will go to the Distress Centre to make sure we have support for our neighbours when they are experiencing crisis. But it will also go to the local Canadian Mental Health Association to provide important health programming for Calgarians. And it will also support the YWCA’s Mary Dover House to help women and children fleeing domestic violence.

I’m proud that The City of Calgary also plays a role in funding many of the important non-profit organizations that serve our citizens. Through the recent budget debate, your City Council reaffirmed our support for Family and Community Support Services and the granting work it does in the community. But we know that government support is not enough to tackle every challenge we face. In most cases, government grants only cover a fraction of the need.

So, this holiday season, I encourage you to extend that Calgarian spirit of generosity. We are lucky to live in this great city for so many reasons; it should be our responsibility to give back as much as we can.

May all Calgarians have a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

- Mayor Naheed Nenshi​

Categories: Columns; Poverty; Stronger communities

Back  |  September 05, 2014  | 


Like many Albertans, I was excited about the Progressive Conservative leadership race. The battle to be our next premier had attracted three good candidates with very different philosophies. And it would unfold over many months, giving Albertans plenty of time to see the candidates interact, and for the candidates to share their visions for the province and the policies to make those visions real.

As we know, the experience has been quite different. There have been few debates, and the policy announcements have ranged from the irrelevant to the bizarre. I’ve heard few specifics about the issues that Albertans consistently rank as most important to them whether it be education funding, significant improvement to the health care system, or (of course) Alberta’s big cities.

Nonetheless, I have a lot of respect for all three candidates. I had the chance to sit down with all three earlier this summer and had great meetings with each. They listened and engaged intently as I highlighted the issues of concern to The City of Calgary.

All do agree that the relationship between The City and The Province was broken, and that the funding model—under which Calgary taxpayers send $4 billion more to The Province than we receive in all provincial services every year—needed to be addressed.

We have to have these conversations because they matter so much to the lives of Calgarians. For example, the creation of the Green Line (the north-central and south-east LRT) is a priority for our citizens, but if we can’t figure out how to cover the $5 billion price tag together, it will not get built. We need that and so much other infrastructure because the growth of our cities—and the needs associated with that growth—is very real. In the last three years, Calgary gained more people than the entire population of Red Deer. We need to act now to find solutions to that and other topics ranging from providing front-line services to eliminating homelessness and poverty in our cities.

With this in mind, I asked the candidates to respond to a survey called Cities Matter. We’ve done this before. In the last PC leadership race and in the last provincial election, we asked each candidate or party specific questions on how they would address city issues, and they all did so. We published their results verbatim to help voters make up their minds.

This time around, all the campaigns responded to the survey without any prodding, and we’ve once again posted the results at

I will admit that I am a bit disappointed. No candidate staked out any bold positions. The answers ranged from vague (at best) to taking us backward (at worst).

We’ve been working diligently on a city charter, for example, through three premiers and four municipal affairs ministers. The PC Party in the last election highlighted the need for these charters. However, all three candidates would take us a step backward on this, something that Calgarians and Edmontonians can ill afford.

None of the candidates offered a clear way forward on the stalled Calgary Metropolitan Plan, and none talked in any detail about how they would assist cities with the cost of growth, infrastructure, downloaded social servicing or policing. None could even muster up the ability to say that abruptly cutting all funding to Calgary’s Performing Arts Centre (a tiny amount for this government but huge for the arts community) was a mistake.

What I am looking for is specific policy ideas that we could debate and discuss with citizens. Even if the policy positions were “the Mayor is wrong and here’s why”, we’d have a place to begin.

There was some good news: all three candidates will review (and hopefully reverse) Alberta Health Services’ decision to make unnecessary, costly changes to a 911 system that is working very well as it is. All of them were willing to work with the cities as partners, not as enemies. If we’re going to ensure the prosperity of this province and its citizens, we must work together to build the cities we need—cities that move, that are affordable, and where people want to live and thrive.

All five parties in the last election agreed that the current system doesn’t work and that change is needed. The Opposition parties have, in varying degrees, developed plans, policies, and commitments to fix the problems. Some are good, some are bad, but they exist.

Our new Premier will have a short period of time to catch up and prove to all Albertans that cities matter. And I sincerely look forward to working with him to help make that happen.

- Mayor Naheed Nenshi ​

Categories: Columns; Provincial

Back  |  August 14, 2018  | 


After being repeatedly ranked by the Economist Intelligence Unit as the fifth most liveable city in the world, Calgary is now fourth making it the most liveable city in North America according to the annual global study.

The Economist’s 2018 "Global Livability Index" surveyed 140 cities around the world and ranked them on 30 factors in five categories: stability (weighted 20 per cent), healthcare (20 per cent), culture and environment (25 per cent), education (10 per cent) and infrastructure (20 per cent).

Read the CBC story here.

Download the full report from the EIU here.

"This is a very big deal. We are ranked the best city to live in North America and fourth best in the world. Let’s shout that from the rooftops!

"We live in a time when some politicians and grumpy people on social media would have us believe that this is a place with nothing but problems. While we always work to be better, let’s remember what an amazing community that generations of Calgarians (public servants and private citizens alike!) have built for us all to enjoy.

"Calgary is an extraordinary place where people from around the world have come--and continue to come--to invest, to raise their families, and to build great lives. I’m very proud, and we all should be too! "Calgary is an extraordinary place where people from around the world have come--and continue to come--to invest, to raise their families, and to build great lives. I’m very proud, and we all should be too!"

- Mayor Naheed Nenshi​

Categories: Better economy; Stronger communities

Back  |  October 11, 2016  | 

The World Economic Forum recently asked Mayor Nenshi (and four other leaders from around the globe) about the best piece of advice they ever received. Here's Mayor Nenshi's response:

WEF quote.jpg

See the good in others and give them a helping hand Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary, Canada

I grew up in a family without much money, but with a lot of opportunity. My parents always reminded me, though, that no matter how little we had, there were others with less, and it was our responsibility - and our joy - to help wherever we could.

And we were helped by others: I graduated from excellent public schools; I spent Saturday afternoons haunting the public library; I was helped by a community that had a stake in me and in my success. And in all of that I learned an important thing: that all people matter, that people are smart, that people are inherently good.

And that is the core of my political and personal philosophy: when given the right information, people will do the right thing for themselves, their family, and their community.

In a political world too often guided by spin, where many leaders appeal to fear and hate and indifference, I try to remember that lesson. I try to appeal to kindness and community, and to the desire of every one of us to do what’s right - for ourselves and for others. ​

Categories: Interviews

Back  |  August 26, 2016  | 



In this episode of Hello-Bonjour Alberta, a bilingual community television program, Mayor Nenshi speaks (in French and English) about a variety of topics including Calgary's Francophone community and his plans for the future. The French interview is above while the English version of the interview is below.​

Categories: Interviews; Video; Stronger communities

Back  |  October 01, 2016  | 


The following interview appeared on the Canadian Museum for Human Rights blog.

Not that long ago a friend of mine moved from Toronto to Calgary. Shortly before heading West, she tweeted about her moving plans and less than an hour later, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi had replied to her tweet and welcomed her to Calgary.

My friend’s story is not an isolated one – there are many stories about Mayor Nenshi’s savvy ability to navigate social media and of the energy and enthusiasm he brings to his job as mayor. His ability to speak in an intelligent and accessible way, both in person and online, has helped make him a popular public figure not just in Calgary, but across Canada.

I recently had the chance to speak with Mayor Nenshi and he was his usual engaging and energetic self. We discussed everything from his Muslim heritage to how he wants to get more women involved in politics to why human rights must matter to cities to why he believes the world needs more Canada.

October is Islamic History Month in Canada. What does that mean to you?

Well, it’s a good opportunity for us to look at the long history of Muslims in Canada and their contributions to this community and this nation. To be honest with you, I wasn’t sure I knew that October was Islamic History Month, because for me every month is Islamic History Month, but I think it’s always good to take a moment to step back and just think about the power of diversity in this community and how we are all richer for it.

You identify as an Ismaili Muslim. Can you tell us a little bit about that identity and what it means to you?

I am – as is everyone – the combination of all of the factors that have contributed to my upbringing. The fact that I grew up in Northeast Calgary, the fact that I went to excellent public schools, the fact that I have a business degree and a graduate degree, the fact that I am a son and a brother and an uncle and a cousin, and my faith are all integral parts of me. I was recently at a conference in the United States where I was introduced as Canada’s first Muslim mayor and I remarked on it saying that I’m never introduced that way in Calgary and very rarely anywhere in Canada. But when I travel, I’m always introduced that way. It doesn’t bother me, because it gives me the opportunity to have a conversation about just that. It’s not correct to say my faith doesn’t matter – it’s not correct at all. But it is correct to say that we are lucky enough to live in a community where we accept the fact that people state this part of who they are and it doesn’t prevent us from sharing the opportunities our community has with those people. For me, as an Ismaili Muslim, it really is a very, very important part of my identity – the fact that the ethics of that faith, which include the necessity of service and the dignity of every human being, are absolutely important to me in my decision-making, but I’m open and transparent about that and I think that people accept and appreciate that.

In 2010 you became the first Muslim elected mayor of a large North American city. What message do you think this sent to Canadians, both Muslim and non-Muslim?

The most important part about my election is that my faith was not an issue in the election. When Sadiq Khan was elected the mayor of London earlier this year, his faith was a giant issue in the election, both pro and con. When I was elected in Calgary, the couple of times that my faith came up in the conversation, Calgarians didn’t like it. They kept saying “You know, we already know about his faith – we’re more interested in what he wants to do with transit.” I think that speaks a lot to who we are as Canadians. It’s something that we take very much for granted – the fact that we truly believe that everyone deserves equal opportunity in this place. That is uncommon – it’s not true everywhere in the world; it’s not even true in other great democracies, always. For me, I think that’s a very Canadian story; it’s the story of a place where multiculturalism and pluralism work better than just about anywhere in the world. But it is also a tale which I think can be used as an example. We need to be proud and loud about Canada’s embracing of diversity and of pluralism, because in this broken world of ours, we could actually use more of that. It is one of those cases where it is true that the world needs more Canada.

You’ve spoken out about the importance of ethnic and gender diversity at Calgary’s city hall. Why do you think this issue is important?

I think it is important that in our communities, we are forever living the value of opportunity for everyone. We need to make sure that people have opportunities everywhere and for public sector organizations, it’s particularly important that we reflect the communities that we serve – because then we do a better job. Because if we really are reflective of the people whom we serve, then we are better able to anticipate their needs and to offer them services that make a difference to them. One of the most important ways to do that, in my opinion, is to encourage women in public office. One of the things that I don’t like about Calgary is that on my city council there are 15 of us and there are only two women. It’s the lowest number of women on our council in decades. We are seeing a small trend towards that in other cities – in Edmonton, they’ve only got one woman on their council now. We have to look at what, if any, systemic barriers are preventing women from running for public office and from getting elected. It’s not just that we have the lowest number of women on council, because it’s a democracy – people vote for who they like. But we had the lowest number of women candidates in many, many years in the last election. So we have to ask ourselves, what is preventing women from putting their names forward? That’s just one example. It’s always fair to be constantly asking ourselves what implicit and explicit barriers are getting in the way of people’s full participation in society – regardless of what they look like or where they come from, or how they worship, or whom they love.

Do you think cities and civic government have a role to play in protecting and upholding human rights? What do you think that role is?

No question! Every single one of us has a role to play in protecting and upholding human rights. I always say that real change in our community comes when everyday people use their everyday hands and everyday voices to advocate for real change. So every one of us has a role to play. As for politicians and people in civic government – I think that everyone who is lucky enough to have a microphone or the ear of others needs to use that in a way that upholds the dignity of every human being. When we give rise to voices of fear, intolerance, division or xenophobia, or in these days particularly, Islamophobia – and we give rise to those voices either by playing to those concerns if we’re politicians that think that will help us, or by not standing up against those voices in little ways and big ways – then we make those voices stronger. It’s really, really important that every one of us really fight for the rights of every other one of us. If we see someone being the victim of abuse on the bus and we don’t do anything, and we are a bystander, then we make those voices of division stronger. So I really believe every one of us needs to do that. Sometimes when I speak out on issues of diversity around the country and the world, people say: “Hey, are you swimming outside of your lane a little bit?” But I don’t think so. I think every one of us has a responsibility to stand up for human rights. And we have to do it using whatever tools we have –my microphone just happens to be a bit bigger than other people’s.

I should just say that I’m also crazy about cities. And one of the reasons that I’m crazy about cities is because they are where human beings intersect. So by their very definition, cities have different kinds of people in them. They have people who are richer than others and poorer than others; they have people who come – especially in this country – from every corner of the earth. Cities are the living labs for pluralism – and so if cities don’t work as instruments to share opportunities and uphold everyone’s rights, then nothing else will work. No other unit of government or organization will work, so it really comes down to successful cities.

You visited the Museum this past summer and told us your favourite gallery was Actions Count, which tells stories of Canadians who have taken action for human rights. Why?

It’s pretty straightforward. Because it just makes a huge difference when everyday people work to make change. I found that gallery so touching because it really was everyday people – like I said before – using their everyday hands and their everyday voices and their everyday hearts to make extraordinary change in the lives of others. It reminded me why I do what I do and that people everywhere have the power to make that kind of change and I just loved that. It was wonderful to see the pictures of the big leaders – to see the Aga Khan there, for example – but it was also really great to go into that gallery to see just what everyday people can do. ​

Categories: Interviews; Heritage; Stronger communities

Back  |  February 03, 2016  | 



On February 2, 2016, Mayor Nenshi had a bit of fun with the crew of This Hour Has 22 Minutes while talking about pipelines and getting Canadian resources to global markets. The video is definitely humour, but this is a serious issue.

Over the next couple of days, Mayor Nenshi will be in Ottawa to discuss this and other critical economic issues with business and political leaders. He will be presenting at the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and meeting with federal politicians with his Big City Mayor colleagues. ​

Categories: Economic development; Interviews; Video

Back  |  January 05, 2016  | 


As 2015 came to a close, Mayor Nenshi did some year-end interviews with local media. The interviews are wide-ranging with lots of time to give answers without having them clipped for the news--a great example of "politics in full sentences". Here are some of the interviews we collected:

NewsTalk 770 Part 1
NewsTalk 770 Part 2
CBC TV Part 1
CBC TV Part 2
Global TV

Categories: Interviews; Video

Back  |  December 15, 2015  | 



On December 10, 2015, Mayor Nenshi was part of an hour-long Q&A with citizens hosted by Shaw TV Calgary. Questions came fast and furious from Twitter, Facebook, phone, and a live studio audience.

Together, these three videos are the full hour of "Live! with Mayor Nenshi". ​

Categories: Interviews; Video

Back  |  August 24, 2015  | 



Enjoy tour of the Mayor's Office courtesy Mayor Naheed Nenshi himself!

The Office of the Mayor is one of many spaces you can visit during Doors Open YYC (just in case you want to visit it in person). ​

Categories: Interviews; Video

Back  |  July 08, 2015  | 


Well, this is new. At the beginning of the 2015 Calgary Stampede, Mayor Nenshi did an interview with Marci Ien on Canada AM about this year's Stampede. Near the end of the interview, he speaks about the true meaning of Stampede and how this year's Grandstand Show is one of the best yet.

You can view the whole interview here.​​

Categories: Interviews; Stampede; Video

Back  |  June 06, 2015  | 


The following is an excerpt from " Calgary's wind-powered LRT incredibly successful", which appeared on Green Energy Futures.

It is overwhelmingly popular with residents, boasting an average weekday ridership of 325,000. It has kickstarted smarter, denser development around its stations. And, best of all, it and the City of Calgary’s operations are 100 per cent powered by renewable energy.

"It's hugely important to me. I wish I could take it every day, but it's an incredibly successful transit system," says Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi. "It has amongst the highest ridership of any LRT system anywhere - about 50 per cent of the people who travel downtown every day come downtown by public transit, and the majority of those use the CTrain system."

But it's when you compare Calgary to the other transit systems in Canada that it starts to get really interesting. The Pembina Institute has compiled some fascinating data, released in its Fast Cities report last year.

Calgary takes home the top spot when it comes to the amount of existing rapid transit lines per million residents; over the past ten years it has laid the most track out of any other city in the report. Continual investment in the system is an important factor that too many cities ignore.

Read the full story at here.​

Categories: Calgary Transit; Environment; Interviews

Back  |  June 02, 2015  | 


Mayor at Bloomberg radio.jpg

Mayor Nenshi is currently on a three-day economic development tour in New York City to encourage businesses and investors to Be Part of The Energy of Calgary. Below is an excerpt from a Bloomberg Business article based on an interview with the mayor. You can read the full article here.


The oil price downturn is creating a building opportunity for commercial real-estate developers in Calgary, home to Canada’s petroleum industry, rather than deterring investment, Mayor Naheed Nenshi said.

"Our downtown commercial market is very strong and we’re getting a lot of folks saying they had been priced out of Calgary and now here’s their chance," he said Monday in an interview at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York. "I’m told by these very, very large skyscraper builders and commercial property developers, mostly backed by pensions, that they are patient money, and they make their money by building at this point in the cycle."

Nenshi has recently met with a property developer planning a new C$600 million ($478 million) tower for the city, and there are two or three others with similar plans, he said, declining to name the investors.

Skyscrapers including the Bow, designed by British architect Norman Foster and the tallest building west of Toronto, have sprouted in Calgary’s downtown in past years as an oil boom supported a surge in employment. While the slide in crude prices over the past year resulted in thousands of job losses in the city, commercial and residential construction has continued as the population grows.

Last year, Calgary’s population increased by 40,000 people, contributing to a 16 percent gain in the past five years to about 1.2 million, while the growth in energy, manufacturing and retail jobs kept unemployment below the national average. About a third of Calgary’s $116 billion economy is dependent on the petroleum industry, down from about 55 percent 20 years ago, Nenshi said.

Calgary’s commercial vacancy rate has risen to about 11 percent, a "healthy" level, after years of tenants having a difficult time finding space, he said.

Cushman & Wakefield’s latest quarterly report showed Calgary’s office vacancy at 8.5 percent in the first quarter, up from 6.3 percent last year. The rate compares with 7.7 percent in Toronto in the first quarter. Vacancy in Toronto’s financial core is the lowest in the city at 4.8 percent, compared with 9.8 percent in Calgary’s central core, Cushman and Wakefield said.

The city expects the value of building permits this year to decline to C$5 billion from C$6.5 billion in 2014, according to Calgary Economic Development, a city agency.

"We’re now moving in a world where there’s a little bit more breathing room," Nenshi said, adding that he sees little chance of a property bubble, either in Calgary or in other cities in Canada, including Vancouver or Toronto.

Continue reading...

Categories: Economic development; Interviews; Better economy

Back  |  June 02, 2015  | 


Between May 29 and June 2, Mayor Nenshi conducted an intense economic development mission to encourage businesses and investors to Be Part of The Energy in Calgary.

The interview (recorded on Friday, May 29) covers the current state of business in Calgary, diversity of the Calgary economy, and the future of the energy industry. In it, Mayor Nenshi also shares this thoughts on market access for our energy industry in Alberta.

Mayor Nenshi also appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe"
Read his interview in Bloomberg Business
Listen to his long-form interview on Bloomberg Radio

Categories: Economic development; Interviews; Video; Better economy

Back  |  May 13, 2015  | 


Canadian Living Magazine is running a series of articles about what makes our cities great. Here is what Mayor Nenshi said:

Festival city
Most people know about The Calgary Stampede -- The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth -- but, we Calgarians love getting together, year-round, to celebrate good food, good music and each other. Neighbourhoods like Inglewood (voted #1 neighbourhood in Canada by the Canadian Institute of Planners), Hillhurst/Sunnyside, Victoria Park, and Marda Loop host very successful community festivals. And our music festivals are emerging as some of the best in the world. Last year, Sled Island was one of TIME magazine's top festivals of 2014. I have a soft spot for the Calgary Folk Music Festival; every July, I participate in the "tarp run" and soak in the awesome atmosphere at Prince's Island Park. Every weekend between May - September, you can find a festival somewhere in Calgary.

We put on an act (or two)
Calgary is home to several vibrant theatre companies and I have enjoyed plays at pretty much every one. The innovation and creativity that I've witnessed on stage are as good as anything I've seen in New York or London or Toronto (often better). If you happen to be in Calgary in January, you must check out the High Performance Rodeo -- Calgary's International Festival of the Arts -- it is the largest of its kind in Western Canada and brings together many of Calgary's major arts organizations.

Our community spirit
Calgarians love their city and they aren't afraid to show it. The citizens of Calgary received the Governor Generals' Commendation for Outstanding Service to recognize how we helped each other recover from the 2013 flood, and it's something we are all very proud of. But the reason Calgarians responded to that disaster in such an incredible way is because they care about what happens here every day -- in both big and small ways. A few years ago, we launched a program called 3 Things for Calgary that calls on each Calgarian to first think about three things they can do to make their community better, do those three things, then encourage at least three friends to do the same. It's had tremendous uptake and communities across Canada are welcome to steal the idea!

So much good food!
Calgary is home to many cultural communities and nearly all of them have set up small restaurants where you can find authentic cuisine from around the world. A number of them can be found in a strip mall called -- no lie -- Short Pants Plaza, just northeast of downtown Calgary.

Since we started licensing food trucks in 2011, many Calgarians have taken advantage of this opportunity to chase their dream and start their own business. We now have trucks that offer Asian, Ukrainian, Cajun, Greek, East African street food -- to name just a few. For those who prefer a more traditional culinary experience, Calgary is just the place. Our chefs and restaurants are among the best in the world. ​

Categories: Interviews; Columns; Stronger communities; National

Back  |  April 02, 2015  | 



In March 2015, Mayor Nenshi was the keynote speaker for an event with Springtide, a Nova Scotian group interested in improving democracy. He spoke about his own experiences running for office and encouraging others to do the same--the challenges, the barriers, and the things the worked. Above is the full playlist of topics he covered during that event.

For anyone interested in politics, this is a must-see set of videos.​

Categories: Interviews; Transforming Government; Video; Stronger communities; Even smarter City Hall; Speeches

Back  |  March 26, 2015  | 


Categories: Interviews; Video

Back  |  March 15, 2016  | 


On February 2, 2015 Mayor Naheed Nenshi was named the winner of the 2014 World Mayor Prize awarded by the City Mayors Foundation.

When the top 3 mayors from around the world were selected, City Mayors Foundation offered those citizens who participated the opportunity to pose some questions to Mayor Nenshi. The foundation selected the top 16 questions. Below are Mayor Nenshi’s responses.


By Chris R, New York City, USA
Question: Given your background as well as your progressive social and political views, did you have to think long and hard before entering local politics in a conservative province like Alberta?

Mayor Nenshi replies: I reject these terms - 'progressive' and ‘conservative’. I think they are meaningless to the vast majority of people, who just want good government at a decent price. As the former Governor of Washington and Senator, Dan Evans, wrote in 2002, "There are no Republican schools or Democrat highways, no liberal salmon or conservative parks." I really believe that this kind of categorization alienates people and keeps them from participating in the political process. So, the answer is no. I know my community and I had a good sense of what people want and need. What I did think long and hard about was the personal cost: was I willing to give up my personal life to be in the public eye? Could I do better on the inside than as an academic and pundit-as an ideas guy? Could I develop a thick enough skin to deal with really mean people on the internet? Could my family? These are questions that I still think about: how can we remove some of these barriers to get more good people entering politics? I think not pigeon-holing folks before they even get there might be part of it.


By Vivian H, Calgary
Question: In the University of Calgary alumni magazine (Spring 2011) you are quoted as saying, "To this day I still don’t really think of myself as a politician. I see myself as continuing to be a community advocate, just trying to build a better city." I would hope that the aim of most politicians is to build a better city, province or nation. In your experience, is this the case? Or do most enter politics for less altruistic reasons?

Mayor Nenshi replies: This is a really tough question. I deal with politicians in various orders of government every day, and I can say that the vast majority of them do this job because they truly believe in a better community. Indeed, I can’t imagine why anyone would get into this business for any other reason. The costs are too high - there are easier ways to make money, and many would argue that there are even easier ways to influence decisions. That said, citizens often see acts by politicians that are inexplicable when viewed only through the lens of public service. Citizens can be forgiven for asking "who benefits from this decision? Who are these politicians working for? Who are they listening to?" I do it too. I’m not naïve enough to say there’s no self-interest or even corruption in politics. But I’m also not willing to say that these factors influence the majority of politicians or the majority of decisions. However, the systems we have created tend to amplify some voices - the echo chamber is very real. As public servants, we have to work hard to listen to the community in a deeply authentic way, invite people into our decision-making process, and ultimately, apply a decision based on our values, our judgment, and our best view of the future. Some people, mostly in media and political science, find my attitude not only a bit unsophisticated, but ultimately self-defeating, since it flies in the face of current political thinking about micro-targeting groups of citizens. I reject that. I think people are fundamentally good, and fundamentally smart, and can be trusted to support us when we do the right thing.

By Ian R, Calgary
Question: Calgary's wealth is largely due to the oil and gas industry in Alberta and you've used this wealth to bolster the city's infrastructure and transit with continued success. We know oil is a finite resource, and an addiction we have to wean ourselves off if the city is to prosper after the oil is gone. What steps are you taking to ensure Calgary diversifies its industry and wealth, ensures its future, and sets and example to the rest of the world for life without oil dependency?

Mayor Nenshi replies: I often discuss the need for us to monetize the resources we have while we have them and to ensure that we are using the proceeds to secure a legacy for future generations. There are, I think, two ways of doing this: save cash and build infrastructure. We can’t do too much about the first one: that really is up to the provincial government. But we need to manage our debt and build up cash reserves now, as best we can, to ensure that future Calgary governments have flexibility in providing services and are not crippled by interest payments, for example. This is one of the reasons I’m pushing hard for full cost-recovery in suburban development. I’d rather have the costs covered up front than recovered from all taxpayers over decades. The second one - infrastructure - relies on a lot of funding from other levels of government, and we continue to advocate hard for it. Transit is a great example: It’s incredibly expensive, but has extraordinary positive externalities for many decades to come. Finally, and somewhat out of my authority, the best way to diversify an economy is not for government to pick winners and losers, but for us to invest in education at all levels, and in continuing a vibrant entrepreneurial environment.

By Nauman S A, Calgary
Question: Would you support a provincial sales tax in Alberta that provides a certain percentage to local municipal government infrastructure projects?

Mayor Nenshi replies: I don’t think we will ever have the political will for a provincial sales tax. That said, we need to diversify municipal revenue sources in a way that allows cities predictable, stable, long-term revenue to invest in infrastructure. I’m agnostic on what this looks like, but I think our new Premier understands the issue and will help us find better ways of sharing revenue.

By Sadruddin N, Chicago, USA
Question: What is your plan to bring international tourists to Calgary to allow the city to have global name recognition, and most importantly generate revenue through tourism.

Mayor Nenshi replies: I encourage everyone to check out Our tourism programs in Calgary are getting better and better, since we have such a great product to market - arts, culture, great restaurants, and, of course, landscapes that are amongst the most beautiful on the planet. Come visit soon!


By Deborah McC, Calgary
Question: You have often spoken of the different challenges that large cities face compared to smaller ones, as well as the significant issues facing cities that are rapidly growing. Can you please tell us what some of those challenges are and how you propose to deal with them?

Mayor Nenshi replies: We have created a system of diseconomies of scale - where it is more expensive to serve a larger population than a smaller one, and where the property taxes new residents pay don’t cover the costs of the services they need. Transit is a good example. In a smaller centre, transit is sometimes seen as a necessary evil: you have to have it, but you can get away with a minimal level of service. In a larger city, it’s absolutely necessary as you simply can’t afford to build roads to accommodate cars for everyone, and not everyone can afford a car. But once you build rail, you’re in a completely different world of cost and it’s impossible to cover capital costs with property taxes alone. Social issues such as homelessness are another example. People in need tend to congregate in larger centres, and so dealing with social issues becomes a regional issue, where the big city is managing the issues for the smaller towns. To address this, we need to fundamentally rethink how we fund cities. We need to be able to access revenue sources beyond the property tax and carefully delineate the responsibilities of the city with that of the province and federal government, and fund it appropriately.

By Nauman S A, Calgary
Question: The next major issue in Calgary appears to be housing costs. With developers not responding very positively to your ‘build vertical’ instead of urban sprawl, what are your next steps to make housing affordable for current and future residents?

Mayor Nenshi replies: Actually, we are well on our way to achieving a better balance between growing outward in new communities and infilling established neighbourhoods with greater density. Since I took office, we’ve seen about one-third of our population growth occur in established communities; this is a substantial shift from less than a decade ago when established communities were losing population and new communities comprised over 100 per cent of growth. I’d also suggest that our new communities are much denser today than in the past, and they are more mixed use and provide a better variety of housing choices. Within the development industry (with a few notable exceptions) we also see many builders who traditionally only build new single family homes now developing more multi-family projects as well as infill in older communities. To make housing more affordable, we need to provide more housing choice and greater housing supply across the entire housing spectrum from new rental housing stock through entry-level home ownership.

By Vicki W, Calgary
Question: Considering the amount of damage to property during the Calgary flood because so many of the areas were close to the river what would you like to see done to prevent future destruction to and flooding of Calgary?

Mayor Nenshi replies: We have already taken a number of practical steps at the municipal level to better protect individual properties and communities. This includes things like local flood protection through the construction of berms and regulations for individual properties to ensure that buildings are more flood-resilient. The province is also working on better regulating water levels of upstream dams, and examining a ‘Room for the River’ approach to make floodplain development more resilient. As you may have heard, we are also looking at three very large capital projects: a dry dam at McLean Creek, the Springbank Reservoir (or dry dam) and the Glenmore Diversion tunnel. Work on analyzing all of these is proceeding. It is likely we will need multiple projects to protect the city from the kind of damage we sustained in the 2013 floods (or even worse flood events).

By Edward A, Calgary
Question: Hello. What is the current value of Calgary’s municipal debt? How is it being paid off?

Mayor Nenshi replies: Current debt is about CAN$4 billion. This is relatively high compared to other Canadian municipalities, but we do have a sound plan to reduce our debt-load in the coming years. A substantial portion of this debt was accumulated during the 2000s as a result of a development levy agreement for new growth in The City that failed to collect money to pay for water and wastewater infrastructure (in particular). As a result, City Council had to make the very difficult, but necessary, decision to increase utility rates to pay off this debt. The current development levy agreement does help cover more of these costs, but it is not enough. We are establishing a new development levy agreement this year and one goal of that agreement is to ensure that growth better pays for itself so we don’t accumulate debt and burden future generations. Another substantial portion of our debt is short term and was used to develop major projects like the West LRT. Our debt (and its carrying costs) were negatively affected by a slower than anticipated payment of the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) grant by the provincial government. Once those MSI grant dollars finally flow to The City in the next few years, our debt load will be greatly reduced.

By Cheryle C, Calgary
Question: When do you estimate that homelessness will be eliminated in Calgary?

Mayor Nenshi replies: Calgarians should be proud that we’ve shown great leadership using a "housing first" strategy to eliminate homelessness. Cities around North America are now following our lead. The Calgary Homeless Foundation is responsible for implementing our 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness with a deadline of 2018. I’m not naïve - it’s not going to be easy to eliminate homelessness by the deadline we’ve set for ourselves. During our last count in October 2014, there were 3,531 homeless in Calgary. That’s a lot of people, but I am optimistic because - given our record population growth over the past few years - that number has stayed relatively static when it could easily have gone up. I’m confident we are on the path to eliminate homelessness. Over the past seven years, we’ve helped house nearly 6,000 people. And we continue to worth with other orders of government to create more affordable housing for our citizens. I’m optimistic because we are seeing the success of other housing programs like the Attainable Homes Calgary Corporation (which helps middle-income Calgarians purchase their first home) and the RESOLVE Campaign (which brings together homebuilding companies to create affordable housing for 3,000 vulnerable and homeless Calgarians).

By Azim J, Toronto, Ontario
Question: We have seen high racial tension in many major cities in Europe and the United States. Toronto, has reached the point where foreign-born residents outnumber locally-born ones. Do you think Canada's policy of multiculturalism is heading towards disaster, and how would you, as Mayor, ensure that racial harmony is maintained.

Mayor Nenshi replies: Calgary is often held up as an example about how a community can thrive in a multicultural and pluralistic society. Our city continues to benefit by being an attractive place for people from around the world who want to live and work. I can’t speak for the realities of other communities, but I know that Calgary will continue to work hard to draw smart, passionate people our city. Even during the current economic downturn, Calgary business needs more skilled workers to succeed. I believe that our success with multiculturalism is linked to a history of true meritocracy. In Calgary, few people care about where you come from, what you look like, whom you love, or how you worship - they care about what you bring to the table. Certainly, we all have our cultural differences, but Calgarians have created a unique Calgarian culture that is influenced by all cultures which come to our city. If we continue to resist insularism and close-mindedness in all communities, and actively fight intolerance in all its forms, we will continue to be a successful multicultural city.

By Kimm R, presently in India
Question: Community Association membership can include individuals who do not actually live or have a business in the community. Where there is rapid development, this can lead to an imbalance in how the voice of the community is represented when major new developments are proposed. What do you believe is the role of the Community Association in municipal affairs and how will you ensure that they are equipped to fulfill that mandate?

Mayor Nenshi replies: Especially in dealing with development or redevelopment, we’ve ended up in a situation where Community Associations are a de facto fourth order of government. In my opinion, this is inappropriate and unfair to the members of the community association. While we have some Community Associations in dealing with development and planning matters that are well equipped, experienced, well governed, and highly representative, there are some tha not as experienced or even not well governed or not representative of the community as a whole. We need to both better define a meaningful role for the Community Associations and move to more authentic consultation with people who live in communities. We have a lot of work to do in this area, and I look forward to working with community members and my colleagues at The City on solutions moving forward.

By Lori R H, Calgary
Question: Your passion for the arts and especially literacy are always at the forefront of your civic activities. Why is literacy so important to you, and how do you feel it impacts the economy of a city?

Mayor Nenshi replies: Canada is one of the most educated countries in the world, and Calgary’s levels of post-secondary completion are among the highest in Canada. We are, by definition, a well-educated community. Undoubtedly, that is part of why our economy and our community is so successful. Literacy for everyone is an important foundation for our community - a point from where we build great places to live, great cultural institutions, and great businesses. It allows people to participate in civic life and in their community. It’s not just about kids, either. While early childhood development is vital to community health, we need to ensure that literacy programs are available for all adults and particularly for new Canadians. That said, focusing on children is also important. That’s one reason I started a regular series called ' Mayor Nenshi Reads' where I read books to children in person and online. Another reason: it's lots of fun!

By Jennifer D, Calgary
Question: What urban or social initiatives have you seen in other cities that you would really like to see implemented in Calgary?

Mayor Nenshi replies: I am constantly looking for good ideas to borrow or shamelessly steal, and I encourage others to shamelessly steal from us. Here’s one interesting example: under the leadership of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, New York City has seen a lot of success through their Vision Zero initiative in reducing collisions and fatalities in their streets. There are a lot of things that we can learn from their work and implement in a Vision Zero initiative of our own to make Calgary safer for everyone - drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.

By Marian Z, Calgary
Question: What is your vision for Calgary in 2020? What do the citizens of the city need to do or understand to help achieve your vision?

Mayor Nenshi replies: My vision for Calgary is that of a city of opportunity for all - a place where every Calgarian has the chance to thrive. That requires a lot of hard work from both the government and its citizens. From a government perspective, this involves:

  • Building great neighbourhoods - new suburbs with a choice of housing and amenities and thriving established neighbourhoods with thoughtful redevelopment and renewed infrastructure.
  • Creating a complete transportation system that makes it easy to move around the city, regardless of what mode you choose: car, transit, bike or foot.
  • Ensuring all communities are safe, attractive, and vibrant with housing options and services for people of all walks of life.
  • Continually improving municipal government to keep it citizen-focused and efficient.

But, of course, government can’t do it alone. To be successful, we need the involvement of citizens for every step along the way. We have a good start with ImagineCalgary - our citizen-created vision for the future of Calgary - and that continues to guide The City of Calgary in all it does. But citizen engagement and feedback as we move forward will ensure we are on the right track and nimble enough to adjust to serve Calgarians better. Finally, our community is only as good as its citizens. Every act of volunteerism, large or small, is an act of community-building that makes Calgary even better. When we started the 3 Things for Calgary project to encourage every citizen to do at least three things to improve their street or neighbourhood or even the entire city, we wanted to help prompt every Calgarian to action. Thousands of actions later, I’m inspired by the power of everyday Calgarians, and I hope we will continue to make our city better together.

By Kris S, Lethbridge, Alberta
Question: You are an outspoken proponent in many areas that matter to a great number of social democrats in Alberta. Would you consider a future career as a national or provincial representative of the people?

Mayor Nenshi replies: I have the best job in Canada, if not the world. I get to serve the people of this great city every single day with all I’ve got. And I have at least three years left in my mandate. Why would I want a demotion?

By Janet W, Calgary
Question: You are a recognizable, popular and highly visible personality not just in Calgary but also across Canada. How and when do you get private time away from the office? Is there ever a time when you can be somewhere where nobody recognizes you and you can just be yourself for a little while? How do you feel about living in the spotlight?

Mayor Nenshi replies: This is likely the biggest surprise of my job. I really didn’t expect this level of notoriety. Even when I took a rare holiday with my family recently, I was recognized everywhere I went - even on a remote rural road in the jungle! I have a rule in the office - I try to keep one of Saturday or Sunday free of meetings or events so that I can read, think, refresh, and prepare for the upcoming week. I only succeed one out of every three weeks or so, but it makes a difference. My family and friends are kind of used to it. They all know how to use every camera phone on the market and put up with interruptions. But they, like me, always remember that even if this is my 50th selfie of the day, it’s this person’s first picture with the Mayor, and I need to make sure it’s special for them. So, while it can be weird and tiring when every trip to the supermarket becomes an open house on snow removal (when all I want is to get my loaf of bread and go home) it’s also gratifying that people take such an interest in politics and feel comfortable talking to me. In 2015, I hope to try something new: maybe a long weekend in a big city, where it might be easier to be anonymous as I explore a cool urban vibe.

By Ross B, Calgary
Question: What do you think of the idea that mayors should rule the world?

Mayor Nenshi replies: I believe people should rule the world. Mayors are in a unique political position. We are closest to the people we serve. The work of cities affects people’s daily lives from clean water to transportation to recreation and culture. A mayor knows (or, at least, should know) the real needs and wants of their citizens and has the opportunity (much of the time) to make the lives of citizens better every day. So, yes, I can understand why some people should say mayors should rule the world. Compared to other politicians at other orders of government, we’re able to have a more direct impact on people’s lives. It wouldn’t hurt if mayors were listened to a bit more by other orders of government. As the voice of our citizens, we definitely have something important to say. I wish, for example, the federal government would make more investment in transit infrastructure across the country. If mayors ruled the world, perhaps we’d fix the problem. But ruling the world is a bit much. Plus, I don’t look good in a crown. ​

Categories: Interviews; Even smarter City Hall; Get engaged

Back  |  March 06, 2015  | 


The following is part of a larger story about small business in Canada's four largest cities. It appeared in the Globe and Mail on March 5, 2015.


Alberta's largest city might be known for its oil industry and corporate headquarters, but that's not how Mayor Naheed Nenshi sees it.

"The core business success in Calgary is not that there are some carbon atoms somewhere in the ground nearby," Mr. Nenshi says. In fact, the oil sands are actually quite far away. "You have to fly there," he says. "Those head offices could be anywhere." Instead, he says, "what we've created here is a true meritocracy."

It's not just big business, he says Calgary is "home of the largest number of startups per capita" in Canada. "People are always shocked about that." But they shouldn't be, he says.

Cutting red tape has been a priority for Mr. Nenshi and he takes pride in being recognized for it by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. His goal is to make "it much easier for small businesses to do business with the city," he says.

That means getting city staff to think "I am successful as a city employees, if the small business I'm working with is successful," Mr. Nenshi says.

He's also moving forward on a plan to gradually consolidate the city's standalone business tax with its non-residential property tax. "It's an administrative advantage," he says. He also calls the business tax unfair, saying "it was based more on assets than income."

But small business in Calgary do have some challenges. "We're absolutely facing a labour shortage," he says, "regardless of the price of oil." Because small businesses can’t necessarily compete on wages, the shortage hits them even harder.

The answer to that, Mr. Nenshi says, attracting people to the city and keeping them there through a high quality of life. "Great public spaces and great public transit are actually hard-nosed economic development strategies," he says.

*image courtesy of Calgary Economic Development (using Statistics Canada data) ​

Categories: Economic development; Interviews; Better economy; Cut Red Tape

Back  |  January 16, 2015  | 


In a case of imitation being the highest form of flattery, Mayor Nenshi was thrilled to be on CBC Toronto's Metro Morning radio show to talk about... Two Things for Toronto. It seems CBC Radio liked our Three Things for Calgary so much, they made their own version!

Mayor Nenshi called in to chat with host Matt Galloway to discuss how Three Things for Calgary got started and how Calgarians have taken up the challenge.

You can listen to the interview here.

So the next question is: What are your Three Things for Calgary? ​​

Categories: Get engaged; Interviews

Back  |  February 27, 2015  | 


Every year, Mayor Nenshi sits down with some of Calgary's media outlets to discuss the year that was and what's coming up in the new year. Here are some of those interviews from December 2014:

Metro Calgary
CTV Calgary with Tara Nelson
660 News
NewsTalk 770
Global TV

Categories: Interviews; Video

Back  |  February 27, 2015  | 



On Wednesday, February 25, 2015, Mayor Nenshi met with Radio-Canada's Celine Galipeau for a bilingual interview covering his approach to politics and public service. Here is the full interview as it appeared on television.​

Categories: Interviews; Video

Back  |  August 21, 2018  | 


​When my City Council colleagues and I sit down to make decisions in the Council Chamber and Committee rooms, we look for guidance from our Boards, Commission and Committees (BCCs).

The Public Members who volunteer on these Boards, Commissions and Committees bring invaluable expertise, input and enthusiasm, and we truly value that here at City Hall.

Please visit to view the listing of BCCs with current vacancies as well as the eligibility requirements. Although some positions have specific eligibility requirements, most Public Member positions require only your enthusiasm, interest and commitment.

The deadline for applications is Friday, September 14, 2018.​

Categories: Even smarter City Hall; Get engaged

Back  |  May 28, 2018  | 



In the spirit of Reconciliation, on Saturday, May 26 at 1 p.m., the City of Calgary, alongside Elders, Traditional Knowledge Keepers and youth from Treaty 7 first nations, the Métis Nation Region 3, and the Inuit community, will conducted an official naming ceremony of the Reconciliation Bridge. The event began with a prayer circle and a solemn walk across the bridge, followed by flag songs, drumming, messages from the Indigenous community, and a traditional Round Dance.

The renaming of the Reconciliation Bridge was supported unanimously by City Council following a notice of motion submitted by Mayor Naheed Nenshi and a majority of Councillors. It is one of many acts of reconciliation The City has planned with the Indigenous community in and around Calgary. These acts are outlined in the White Goose Flying report drafted in 2016 to address recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

For more information, visit

Categories: Stronger communities; Indigenous; Video; Speeches

Back  |  August 01, 2018  | 



On July 31, 2018, a strong majority of City Council voted to create a community-wide mental health, addiction, and crime prevention strategy. This work is incredibly important. In this video, Mayor Nenshi shares stories that explain why this strategy is so needed and what the next steps will be. By working together, we can all make this a better and safer community for every single Calgarian. Stay tuned for how you can be a part of it.​

Categories: Stronger communities; Video

Back  |  July 09, 2018  | 


​"Not long after the Stampede Parade, we had a big announcement with the prime minister at the airport. We now have funding from all three orders of government and YYC Calgary International Airport to do phase 2 of Airport Trail! (Phase 1 was the tunnel under the new runway... a project that was completed on time and on budget.) The completion of Airport Trail is a critical piece of Calgary’s transportation network and fully realizes the value of the Airport Trail Tunnel—a new east-west connection between Stoney Trail and Deerfoot Trail in a city that needs more east-west connections. With this one project, we are making it easier for people and goods to get to Calgary International Airport and strengthening the transportation and logistics sector of our economy. It also sets up a future rapid transit connection to the airport--a project that is on our long term plan for Calgary Transit.

This is a project I’ve been passionate about since before I was elected in 2010, and it’s incredibly special to finally see it happen."

- Mayor Naheed Nenshi​

Categories: Airport Tunnel; Better economy; Calgary Transit; Transportation; National; Provincial; Video

Back  |  August 30, 2018  | 


​Today, the Federal Court of Appeal made a judgement about the next steps required before the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project can move forward. Below is Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s statement in response:

"To say I’m disappointed in this decision and related delay to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is an understatement. This pipeline is a critical piece of infrastructure for our nation, and it will provide important benefits to our economy from coast to coast. It is also part of building a better, stronger, more resilient economy for all Calgarians. I will be very supportive of all future actions to move this project forward. Important, nation-building projects like this deserve a fair, consistent, and transparent process, and I expect the advancement of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will continue to follow such a process."​

Categories: Better economy; Media

Back  |  September 04, 2018  | 



​Following a meeting of the Olympic and Paralympic Bid Assessment Committee, Mayor Nenshi spoke with journalists to explain what the public can expect on September 10, 2018. He also spoke to next steps and the possible plebiscite in November.​​

Categories: Olympics; Media; Video

Back  |  September 04, 2018  | 



"What we have is a conversation over the next two weeks about what service priorities people are looking for... we're in very good financial shape, especially considering the economic problems we've had."

- Mayor Naheed Nenshi

During a break in Priorities and Finance Committee meeting, Mayor Nenshi spoke with journalists to explain the next steps for creating a four-year service plan and budget for The City of Calgary.

Calgarians can follow the ongoing budget process at​

Categories: Media; Budget; Video

Back  |  September 10, 2018  | 



​During a break in a meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi spoke to journalists about a variety of topics including: retirement bonuses for City staff, The Ontario Government moves to cut Toronto City Council, ward boundaries in Calgary, a proposal to limit residential speed limits to 30km/h, and a future public conversation about Calgary's potential bid for a Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.​

Categories: Media; National; Video

Back  |  September 12, 2018  | 



Mayor Nenshi speaks with journalists about Calgary 2026's draft hosting plan for a Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games bid and the future plebiscite for Calgarians.

Here are some quotes from his Q&A with media.

"I'm excited that we've taken the wraps off of Calgary 2026's plan... there is a ton of thoughtful and pragmatic work that has been done."

"Let's use M$500 for argument sake - that means that the City would be putting in M$200, and in return we'd be getting several billion dollars of capital infrastructure - that's a pretty good deal... It's a huge leveraging exercise... to renovate legacy facilities, if Calgary still wants to be a winter games powerhouse as we've been for so long, will require $500 million. You add to that a need for a fieldhouse (that's $300 million), which we have to do, that's been on our capital list for a long time, that's M$800 that kind of has to be spent anyway. But if we can get that money from other places, and also get all the benefits of an Olympic games, that sounds really interesting to me."

"We are ready to go to a plebiscite, and the province has promised that they will come forward with those provincial numbers in plenty of time for the vote... More conversation about this topic than anything has been going on for 24 months. I don't' think the public would say are not engaged in this discussion.The single best thing you can do for engagement: let people vote."

"The City of Calgary is unbelievably good in the last nine years at bringing projects in on time and on budget - we're among the best in the world at it. I'm very confident that those expense numbers are as high as they'll ever be... This is a very Canadian approach -- It's frugal, cost effective, and it's still going to be extraordinary."​

Categories: Olympics; Video; Media

Back  |  September 07, 2018  | 


In early September, Mayor Nenshi went to New York City for an intensive economic development tour that included meeting with investors, site selectors, and companies from many different industries. Part of that tour also included meeting with American business media to share the Calgary story and remind the world that Calgary is very much open for business.

One of those interviews with with Bloomberg TV. In the interview, Mayor Nenshi sheds light on Canada's strong commercial relationship with the U.S. as well as his confidence in future NAFTA negotiations. The mayor highlights Calgary as a "terrific place for global companies that want to grow globally," even calling out that Calgary was recently ranked by The Economist as the Fourth Best City to Live in the World. What's more, Mayor Nenshi spotlights Calgary's efforts to diversify beyond the energy sector and emphasizes global talent attraction as well as tech and innovation, especially in the finance sector and agribusiness. He calls out several unique statistics about Calgary, including that the city is one of the top 25 finance hubs in the world, and it also accounts for more Oscars than any other jurisdiction outside of the U.S.​

Categories: Better economy; Economic development; Interviews; Video

Back  |  September 14, 2018  | 



​Following a meeting of the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, Mayor Nenshi spoke with journalists about a number of topics including concerns about Ontario's use of the notwithstanding clause to affect the Toronto municipal election, the future of public consumption of cannabis, voter turnout in the coming Winter Olympics bid plebiscite, and economic development work.​​

Categories: Better economy; Economic development; Olympics

Back  |  September 14, 2018  | 



​To support Calgary's economic development strategy, Mayor Nenshi is participating in a number of missions around the globe to draw increased investment and business to Calgary.

During a recent trip to New York City, the mayor met with investers, site selectors, and interested companies about Calgary.

In his coming trip to China, Mayor Nenshi will be travelling with Calgary Economic Development and representatives from Calgary-based companies to meet with Chinese companies and organizations to create more opportunity for a stronger, more resilient economy.​

Categories: Better economy; Economic development; Video; Media

Back  |  September 24, 2018  | 



​During a break in a meeting of Council, Mayor Nenshi spoke with media to answer questions about what happens when confidential information is shared, the potential location for an Athletes' Village for a potential Olympic/Paralympic bid, legal indemnification for members of Council, and his recent economic development work in China.​

Categories: Economic development; Olympics; Media; Video

Back  |  September 24, 2018  | 



​During a break in a meeting of City Council, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to explain Council's direction to lower speed limits following more a future recommendation from Administration.​​

Categories: Media; Video; Transportation

Back  |  September 25, 2018  | 



​During a break in a special meeting of city council discussing ongoing service plans and budget development​, Mayor Nenshi met with journalists to discuss The City's debt, revenue needs from the Government of Alberta, and a review of non-union compensation at The City of Calgary.​

Categories: Budget; Media; Video

Back  |  June 19, 2014  | 


In June 2014, New Canadian Media met with Mayor Nenshi do discuss diversity in our community and his personal story of growing up in Calgary. Here is the full test of the resulting article:

Naheed Nenshi's meteoric rise - from relative obscurity to being the new face of Western Canada - was fodder for international media when he first became Calgary's mayor in 2010. Since then, he has orchestrated the city out of last year's devastating flood, winning him accolades, trending hashtags, and a second term in office.

Yet four years ago, political pundits wondered: how could Canada's arguably most conservative city elect a non-white Muslim mayor?

Nenshi - a former Harvard-educated academic - says Calgarians didn't care much about his background or his skin colour. In fact, they bristled at anyone who did.

"The issue of my faith came up exactly twice [in Calgary], and both times there was a huge backlash against people even talking about it," says Nenshi, his first term evidenced from the multiplying grey hairs in his messy mop of trademark curls.

"People would phone the newsrooms and say, 'Why do I care? I want to know what he wants to do about transit. It was only after I was elected - immediately after I was elected, within hours - that I suddenly found myself being very famous. And people from outside of Calgary wanted to know about this Muslim mayor."

Nenshi says he was reluctant to discuss his heritage at first, deeming it irrelevant to his work as the city's mayor. Today, he admits it's "an incredibly important part of my identity and the way I see the world."

Personal story

His story is not unlike that of countless other Canadians, who left their home countries in search of brighter prospects. For the Nenshi family, it meant leaving their native Tanzania in the early 1970s while the mayor's mother was still pregnant with him.

He says he grew up wondering why his family had "big fancy citizenship certificates" and all he had was a "lousy birth certificate," realizing later in life those pieces of paper were deeply meaningful. It was a sentiment that snowballed and soon morphed into a profound sense of appreciation for what makes Canada a beacon for immigrants.

"As minority communities, we often focus on things that could be better, such as the discrimination or lack of equal opportunity," says Nenshi.

"We need to focus on the extraordinary place in which we live," insisting that every child, regardless of where they come from or what they look like, has the opportunity to realize their Great Canadian dream.

"I believe I'm one of five non-white city council members ever, in history," acknowledging his own Great Canadian dream realized.

Nenshi wants to see other newcomers looking to fulfill their own ambitions - not just for their children. In order for that to happen, he says, more groundwork needs to be done, be it through offering incentives to quit their jobs and return to school, improve their English skills or acquire accreditation in the professions for which they've already been trained.

"People have to be able to understand that it's possible here and it isn't possible everywhere," says Nenshi. "For many of us, it isn't possible in the countries we came from."

Success stories

He rattles off some success stories with a deftness that hints he'd told them many times before: a man who immigrated from Colombia after being mayor in his own hometown, and found work in Calgary as a house painter, only to quit his job, enroll in college and take on an internship in city hall, which would soon lead to work in Mayor Nenshi's office.

Nenshi then recalls meeting a woman from India who worked as an assistant manager at McDonald's, who was able to put her son and daughter through college, yet still continued working at the restaurant for 27 years simply because she liked working there and wanted to ensure other newcomers who came after her could have the same experience.

The stories - albeit uplifting - may perhaps be a way to offset the negative publicity some of the country's immigration programs have garnered. Chiefly, the Temporary Foreign Worker program which continues to get mired in controversy. The TFW program was designed to be a two-way street: an avenue for foreigners seeking work and a pathway to eventual Canadian citizenship, all while filling a void in the country's labour market. Today, Nenshi says, the public perception of the program has changed.

"Now what you have is people saying Temporary Foreign Workers are not well treated, that we've created a second class of Canadians - people who don't have the right to stay here," says Nenshi.

"Those are very deep moral issues that we have to talk about."

He says the success of Canada's immigration system hinges on three levels: policy, programs and people.

"The [federal] government has to get the policy right - how many people do we let in? What kinds of people do we let in?" he says, adding the other two facets are even more important than getting policy right.

Settling in

Newcomers can't walk that road alone. Nenshi says non-profit agencies, government, and immigrant-serving agencies all have a role to play in offering programs to assist immigrants settle in, from accessing language training to getting a foreign degree accredited.

Nenshi admits he may not be politically correct, but integration entails "fluency in English, reducing accents, [and] being able to get more in the workplace." He says confronting that issue can mean wiping out other social problems that arise from it, such as generational poverty.

Yet, at the heart of it all, people can make all the difference in assisting newcomers and prove to be the most vital element.

"It really is about those human linkages and human beings helping one another think about better ideas," he adds.

He says he's "very optimistic" the community will tap into its full potential and continue to welcome immigrants, in spite of "little strains of xenophobia that have crept into the conversation."

Case in point: Quebec's controversial Charter of Values, a bill that was famously proposed by the former Premier Pauline Marois in 2013, which restricted government employees from wearing religious symbols, such as turbans and hijabs.

"The fact that the 'Charter of Racism' (as I call it) was voted down soundly in Quebec says a lot about who we are as a community," says Nenshi. "It's because people fought against it and stood up and said, 'That's not right. That's not the Quebec we live in, that's not the Canada we live in, that's not the world we want for our kids.'"

"We have to keep doing it every single day or we risk sliding backwards," he adds.

Nenshi says he's heartened by the strides made in Calgary, suggesting the city may truly be colour blind - or at least partially.

"Those of us who are minorities learn to live with it and we learn to overcome it," he says, citing his own Member of Legislative Assembly, Manmeet Bhullar. "[Bhullar] is a large man with a beard and a turban, and nonetheless is the Minister of Human Services."

"I think that speaks incredibly well of our ability to move forward."​​

Categories: Interviews; Video

Back  |  May 30, 2014  | 



In the spring of 2014, Mayor Nenshi chatted with Alumni Connections for the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary, his alma mater. You can view that article on page 3 using this link. The full text is below:

Reflection on student life: It's all about getting involved

When Mayor Naheed Nenshi (BComm'93) thinks back to his time at Haskayne, he thinks of connectedness.

Not surprising from an alumnus who did everything from joining the ICBC team four years running, to serving as President of the U of C Students' Union, to editing the Scurfield Squire (with his current Chief of Staff, Chima Nkemdirim (BComm '94), who also served as Vice President External on the SU), down to simply taking the time to catch up with people in Scurfield Hall. All this involvement grounded the Mayor, and lay the foundation for the high level of involvement and disclosure he brings to everything he does. He has also maintained some key university connections.

Before becoming mayor of Calgary, Mr. Nenshi worked in the private, public and non-profit sectors including a stint at McKinsie & Company and starting his own consulting firm. He enjoyed spanning the three worlds, as they each had specialized processes. His consultancy was equally effective for retail as it was for the arts, proving that he had armed himself with the right tools and an attitude for success.

"It's about more than transparency," he explains, "it's inviting people into decision making, and giving them the full information to make decisions."

As for his love of Calgary and his alma mater's role within it, Mayor Nenshi has some great advice. The university has done a good job of attracting talent, but he feels it is poised to do even more with undergrads. Calgary can keep the talent here with all it offers in quality of life-it has the arts, nature, and is an entrepreneurial, dynamic home for families to grow. It is no accident that so many head offices are in Calgary, especially when telecommuting is possible the world over. It's simply a great place to be.

However, as alumni, we could do more. Mayor Nenshi asks his fellow graduates to advocate with our governments for accessible post-secondary education. "Post-secondary education is not an ivory tower, it's the ticket to a great life for everyone."

The Mayor encourages all University alumni to use the skills acquired to take up his "3 Things for Calgary" challenge. Bring your creativity and knowledge into what you pay forward. Everyone has the power to change their community, in their own way, within their abilities. Haskayne alumni have a special opportunity to use their management skills to make many improvements in the community.

Take up the Mayor's challenge: "If everyone did at least 3 Things for Calgary, we'd have more than 3 million actions that would make this an even better city." Join the board of a non-profit, help audit the books, use your management skills to improve public services. Do so with U of C pride!

Categories: Interviews

Back  |  February 28, 2014  | 

Mayor Nenshi is currently visiting Ontario for a few days as part of the Be Part of the Energy campaign to attract people, business, and investment to Calgary. Prior to arriving, he did an interview with The Torontoist. Here's the full text of that story:

As Toronto's mayoral race heats up, the question of what makes a good mayor is on many minds. Canadian cities have answered it in different ways: Ottawa, for example, elected the reliable Jim Watson, and Edmonton opted for promising new mayor Don Iveson. Yet no mayor in recent memory has attracted more envy from residents of other municipalities than Calgary's Naheed Nenshi, who won re-election last October with 74 per cent of the vote. Nenshi, the first Muslim mayor of a major North American city, will be in Toronto for multiple events tomorrow.

We spoke with him about what he's learned since taking office, why he loves civic engagement, and why mayors should always use a washroom when they see one.

Torontoist: You've been mayor for just over three years now. What did you think the job would be like when you went into it, and how has it been different from those expectations?

Mayor Naheed Nenshi: I followed City Hall pretty closely before I became mayor. I guess I was mostly surprised by how well the job matches what people think it is. It really is about representing everyone in the city. Remember that in the Canadian system, mayor is the only job in the whole Canadian political system where you are elected by everyone you represent, not by just one ward or one constituency. In most of the country [at the municpal level], we don't have political parties, so that means that it's just you. It's your name and your face, and people will vote for or against that. And everyone has a bit of ownership of you that way, and I think that's a really good thing. It certainly means that every trip to the grocery store becomes an open house on public transit, but it also means that citizens feel you are there to represent them, and that's been really terrific for me. Certainly overwhelming, but also very humbling in that you have the opportunity every day to make a difference for so many people.

So then you see a mayor as someone who facilitates conversations and connects people with their city and each other?

Absolutely. Our legislative role is very small. I am just one vote out of fifteen on my council, and we have no parties. So I can't get anything done legislatively unless I get some of my colleagues to agree with me-at least seven of them. That's not such a bad thing. When I have proposals or ideas, they have to actually stand on their own. They have to be able to be stress-tested in the public realm. I really appreciate that. Although I will tell you that by noon most days, I wish I just had a Parliamentary majority. But overall I think it makes it better. I think it makes it better for us to be successful that way.

As mayor, you've focused on getting the public more involved and more interested in taking ownership of issues-through initiatives like Three Things for Calgary. What kind of results have you seen from this?

I'm a huge, huge advocate of civic engagement, which is simply a more complicated way of saying "getting people more involved in their communities." I think every single one of us has the power in our own hands to make the community better. Three Things for Calgary is a simple example. It's a movement that asks every citizen of Calgary every year to do three things for the community. Tens of thousands of people have signed up to do everything from shovelling their neighbour's walk to joining their local community association, and those are the things that really make a difference, in my opinion. Certainly politicians have power over policy, but the rest of us have the power to actually make our community better.

What's the best advice you've received on being mayor, and what advice would you pass along to others?

Probably the single best piece of advice I received was right when I was elected, when an old politician told me, "Never walk by a washroom, couch, or plate of food without taking advantage, because you never know when the next one will come." Which is true! Beyond that, I always say that I don't really know how to be a politician-I never bothered learning that part. I just believe in being reasonable, being authentic-even if it gets me in trouble sometimes. Always just be focused on the best thing you can possibly do for everyone else in the community.

Categories: Interviews

Back  |  January 10, 2014  | 


Over the past month, Mayor Nenshi has participated in two hour-long Q&A-style shows that took live questions (by Twitter, Facebook, email, and phone) directly from citizens.

The first was Shaw TV's "Live with Mayor Nenshi" special in mid-December 2013. Here are all five-parts:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

More recently, Mayor Nenshi joined Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson on CBC's Alberta @ Noon. You can listen to the full show here.

- Posted by Daorcey from Mayor​ Nenshi's team

Categories: Interviews

Back  |  December 21, 2013  | 


It's been a heck of a year for Calgarians. As we wrap up 2013 and look ahead to 2014, Mayor Nenshi took time out of his busy schedule to sit down with local media for some year-end interviews.

Here is a collection of those interviews:

CTV News
Global TV
Calgary Herald ( Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3)
CBC Radio
News Talk 770

- Daorcey from Mayor Nenshi's team​

Categories: Interviews

Back  |  September 04, 2013  | 


At the 2013 Pride parade (photo on Twitter by @cbcRosa)

Earlier today, Mayor Nenshi spoke with the CBC Calgary Eyeopener to discuss Quebec's proposed Charter of Quebec Values.

You can listen to the full interview by clicking this link.

Mayor Nenshi was recently quoted in the Globe and Mail on this story as well. Here is an excerpt from that story:

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi used his city's Pride parade Sunday to criticize the Quebec government's controversial plan for a secular charter - and invited Quebeckers dissatisfied with their government to move west.

Speaking to a crowd of thousands at the downtown end point for Calgary's 23rd annual Pride parade, Mr. Nenshi referenced "a certain part of this country" and a national debate about "how people should be restricted from certain jobs because of their religious faith."

Mr. Nenshi continued with a message touching on both religious and Pride-event themes. "We need, together, to show Canada and to show the world that here in Calgary it doesn't matter who you are, it doesn't matter what you look like, it doesn't matter what you worship, it doesn't matter who you love."

After his speech, Mr. Nenshi told reporters he was referencing Quebec's proposed Charter of Quebec Values, which would ban turbans, kippas, hijabs and visible crosses from the bodies of all public employees. He called the policy "short-sighted."

The charter is "an absolute violation not just of Canadian morals and ethics, but of what has made our country successful. If we are not able to attract the very best people from around the world to want to work and learn and invest and raise families in this country, we don't have a future as a country," he said.

"It is important for people across Canada, and particularly in Quebec, to know that if they don't feel welcome in that community, they're certainly welcome in this one," he added.

For those who speak French, here's an interview the Mayor did with La Presse:

- Posted by Daorcey from Mayor Nenshi's team​

Categories: Interviews

Back  |  June 29, 2013  | 

Recently, Mayor Nenshi had an interview with L'Arche Canada publication "A Human Future" to discuss how political leadership can encourage community-building in our cities. Here is the latest edition of that publication featuring this interview.

- Posted by Daorcey from Mayor Nenshi's team​​​

Categories: Interviews

Back  |  February 23, 2013  | 


Recently, Mayor Nenshi met with Metro Calgary to participate in a national feature about innovation in Canada. In this video, he discusses encouraging innovation in The City of Calgary (through programs like Transforming Government) and in the broader community (through programs like Cut Red Tape and the support of partnerships like Innovate Calgary.

- Posted by Daorcey from Mayor Nenshi's team​

Categories: Interviews; Video

Back  |  February 23, 2013  | 


Next week, leaders from around the globe will come together in Davos, Switzerland. And from there, they will get a closer look at Calgary.

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting is an opportunity for leaders from government, industry, and non-profit organizations to share experiences and exchange ideas that will improve the state of the world. This year, I was invited to attend as part of the community of Young Global Leaders, and it is an honour to share some of the creative and imaginative work that is being done in our city.

As one of only three mayors (London, Mexico City, and Calgary) attending the Annual Meeting, I will be participating in a number of cross-sector events including moderating and participating on panels on the current and future status of government, cities, and the energy industry.

Other participants include politicians (from the Prime Minister of Great Britain to the Premiers of Alberta* and Quebec) business leaders (CEOs of major corporations), and other leaders from around the globe (including Bill Gates and Kofi Annan). It will be amazing to showcase Calgary to this group.

My goal at this conference is to share some of the innovative initiatives that have been developed in our city and to learn about creative solutions that are being implemented by other organizations that could also be applied here in Calgary.

Over the next week, I'll try to be active on Twitter with updates from Davos. The time change might make instant communications an interesting challenge, but I am known to stay up late...

- Mayor Naheed K. Nenshi

*Edit: although invited, Premier Alison Redford decided not to attend.​

Categories: Interviews; Video

Back  |  December 30, 2012  | 

In mid-December, Mayor Nenshi sat down with CTV's Tara Nelson to conduct a long-form interview about the 2012 and the year ahead.

Click here to watch the video.

- Posted by Daorcey from Mayor Nenshi's team​

Categories: Interviews; Video

Back  |  December 21, 2012  | 


In early December, Mayor Nenshi chatted with Yahoo! Canada about a variety of topics. The full interview is here, but here are a few of the questions and answers:

Y! Canada News: You just recently celebrated your second anniversary as Calgary's mayor. Since coming into office, what accomplishment are you most proud of?

Mayor Nenshi: Probably the biggest thing - is the engagement and excitement about the city.

There was a survey done earlier this summer in which they asked people in Canada's largest cities to talk about how they felt about their cities. And Calgary came first in quality of life in six out of seven measures.

And, when Calgarians were asked [if] your city on the rise, an incredible 90 per cent of them were optimistic and said their city on the rise.

To me that's the biggest thing. Calgarians are feeling great about their community. They're feeling great about the level of service their municipal government gives and [they believe] only better things are on the horizon.

Y! Canada News: Cities across the country have asked for a long-term funding commitment from the federal government. You have spoken out about become less reliant on property taxes. So is there another way to fund city infrastructure?

Mayor Nenshi: Property taxes are one of the worst forms of taxation imaginable. It's regressive, it's particularly unfair to seniors and you simply can't use them to fund capital and infrastructure.

Calgarians send about $4 billion a year more to the province than we get back in all provincial services. The federal government of that number is $10 billion. And our entire operating budget is only $3 billion.

So when I talk about funding from other orders of government, I talk about tax rebates on what we already pay because in order for people to want to live here, to invest here and to pay taxes here, the city has to be a great place to live.

And in order for it to be a great place to live we have to invest in things like public transit, sports facilities, recreation and so on.

I think that's what the federal government needs to start.

Y! Canada News: You were in eastern Canada last year to head-hunt for 'workers.' You have a long-term labour crunch in your city. What's your pitch to Canadians in other provinces to get them to come to Calgary?

Mayor Nenshi: This is an amazing place to live. It's a city where as our official mission says 'It's a great place to make living, it's a great place to make a life.'

Yes it's economically doing great right now. But don't come here just for a job. Come here because this is a place where you can be at the top of your profession, where you can live an amazing life and raise your family and also be doing world-leading things at work.

If that's the kind of person you are - if you are willing to work hard and you bring a lot to the table, come to Calgary. Because, as I always say, here in Calgary nobody cares what you look like or who your daddy was or what your last name is or where you come from. They care about what you bring to the table. And if you have that drive to succeed, this community will help you succeed.

Read the full interview here.

(Photo courtesy of Big Rock, available online on Flickr)

- Posted by Daorcey from Mayor Nenshi's team

Categories: Interviews

Back  |  October 14, 2012  | 


In this edition of Shaw TV's City Matters, Mayor Nenshi speaks with Phoenix Phillips about The City of Calgary's Cut Red Tape initiative.

To share yo?ur own experiences with red tape and your suggestions on how to cut it, please fill out this survey before November 15, 2012.

- Posted by Daorcey from Mayor Nenshi's team​

Categories: Interviews; Video

Back  |  October 14, 2012  | 


In early October, Toronto Star reporter Christopher Hume visited Calgary and had a chat with Mayor Nenshi. In this video, Hume suggests that Calgary may just be the Canadian city of the future. His discussion with Mayor Nenshi includes talk about the greatest challenge facing all Canadian cities: paying for the infrastructure we need to support the more than 80% of Canadians who live in cities.

Here's a quote from Mayor Nenshi in this interview:

When you have a great city, people invest in it and you actually grow the economy. And if we can't continue to provide cities that are attractive for people to live in, then we lose that economic engine.

- Posted by Daorcey from Mayor Nenshi's team


Categories: Interviews; Video

Back  |  September 16, 2012  | 


In early September, Mayor Nenshi sat down with Calgary is Awesome to chat about, well, why Calgary is awesome. In a just a short time, the interview covered a wide range of topics from the importance of citizen participation, 3 Things for Calgary, chicken wings, The Avengers, and the year ahead in Council.

You can read the full article here, but here's an excerpt:

Q: You’ve lived in a variety of different cities. What do you find unique about Calgary and Calgarians among the places you’ve lived?

A: One of the things that’s really great about Calgary is that we’re at a really interesting size and a really interesting point in our evolution. You can do anything in the city. The arts scene is amazing, the cultural scene is amazing, but you can still kind of get your head around it - get a sense of what’s the great stuff going on, which I think is particularly exciting.

I was at the Betty Mitchell awards recently, the theatre awards, and I said something I really believe - which is that the quality of the work we put on stage in this city is as good as anywhere in the English-speaking world. It’s something that we can be very, very proud of. So, that’s just part of the great things that are going on in this city.

You know, a survey was done recently that said something like 91 per cent of Calgarians thought the city was on the rise. That sort of optimism is actually pretty unique to Calgary. Those of us who live here don’t always see it, and don’t always see how incredibly welcoming the city is, how easy it is for people to succeed as something unique, but it’s very unique and something we should celebrate.

Q: Speaking of that survey, you guys have done a number of public-input surveys recently - the Route Ahead survey, the food trucks survey, the parks and recreation questionnaire, to name a few. That kind of interaction is very new to Calgary - what has public feedback been like?

A: Really, really, really good. We just won a big international award for the work we’re doing with the budget feedback stuff. To me it’s really important. I always say, "Look. The 13 or 14 people sitting around city council table don’t have all the answers. The 15,000 people working for the city don’t have all the answers. But the 1.1 million people who live here really are the experts." Everyone’s an expert in their own life, an expert in living in a great city. So I think reaching out to those people, asking "How can we make the city work for you?" is really important.

Q: Do you have any advice for the average citizen who wants to improve the city or their community?

A: We have to stop relying on government, or business, or non-profits, or somebody else to make our communities better. Every single one of us has the power in our own hands, our own hearts, our own souls to make the community better. That was really one of my first principles when I started here.

During the 2010 election, people got really engaged in politics, a lot of people for the first time. One of the things I was trying to figure out was "How do we keep that going? How do we keep that positive energy moving?" So I pulled together a group of volunteers and they called themselves the "Mayors Committee on Civic Engagement" - terrible name. They came up with this great idea. I always wear this number three for Three Things for Calgary.

The whole idea behind Three Things for Calgary is that every Calgarian has the power to make the community better. This is the year for every single person to do three things for the community. Maybe big things - you might take on a new volunteer role, join a non-profit, join a board of directors. Or they could be small things. My favourite example is the guy who said "I’m gonna have a barbecue. But I’m going to have it in my front yard instead of my back yard. And I’m going to invite my neighbours who I don’t really know."

Kids across schools have adopted three things. "I’m going to pick up litter in my school yard, I’m going to be nice to my little brother." It really matters. If we get this right - these three things by the way, there’s actually a fourth thing. And the fourth thing is that when you finish your three things, you talk about it. Tell people about it. Encourage three other people to do the same. If we do this right, that means there will be three million acts of city building - big ones and small ones - over the course of this year in Calgary. Things that change the city forever. And I think people have the opportunity to say, "Look, if you see something wrong, don’t expect anyone else to fix it. Just fix it. Use your own skills and your own resources and your own past to make things better."

Q: One question that people wanted to know was what is your favourite movie, or if you ever get the chance to go out to the theatre?

A: I’m actually a huge film buff! One of the real problems in this job is that I haven’t had as much time to see as many movies as I normally do. When I was a professor, one year I saw 30 plus movies at the Calgary International Film Festival. So it’s been hard for me.

But this year’s been a little lacklustre! I sort of liked the Avengers. There haven’t been a lot of huge, intellectually stimulating stuff yet. We’re getting into Oscar season now, so it might be a bit better.

I will say, though, that I’ve seen a lot of superhero movies lately and there’s one thing I want to know - what is with all the destruction of urban infrastructure?! I feel like the evil aliens, or warlords, or demigods just don’t think! You have to deliver clean water. How are you gonna do that when you’re blowing up the water mains? When you’re blowing up the streets? How is that subway going to keep going?!

Q: Anyway, the question we always like to end off on is - what makes Calgary awesome?

A: So many things make Calgary awesome! The physical environment, the built environment, the public space - but of course, the thing that makes Calgary the most awesome is the people. The attitude of Calgarians about being welcoming, about being open, about helping other people succeed, and just about building a great place together.

Check out the full interview (including a peak at Mayor Nenshi's bobblehead) here.

- Posted by Daorcey from Mayor Nenshi's team
- Photo by Angie Hung (included because it's also awesome)


Categories: Interviews

Back  |  September 16, 2012  | 

Globe and Mail illustrator and journalist Anthony Jenkins interviewed Mayor Nenshi earlier in 2012 on the non-municipal issue of "the death of cash". The result is some amusing musing about the disappearance of the penny and the predominance of plastic and electronic payment options. What follows is an excerpt, but I recommend reading the full interview here

The penny has recently been abolished. Will you miss it?

I don’t think I’m going to miss the penny. I think people will get used to it, but I don’t know how I will ask people for their thoughts any more.

What are your thoughts worth now?

At least two pennies. I guess we’ll have to go to a nickel.

How much cash do you have on you right now - change and bills?

I don’t have any change in my pocket. I usually throw it into the cupholder in my car. In my wallet, I have 700 pesos from a recent conference in Mexico, $50 U.S. from a recent trip to Houston - and absolutely no Canadian cash.

Remind me not to ask you to lunch!

I have always been like this. I’m a guy who never has any cash in his wallet. I’m a debit and credit kind of guy and, if I suddenly have to use cash only, I find myself scrambling in my cupholder.

Is change a bother?

The problem is I tend to jingle it in my pockets. When I’m in public or making speeches, the people I work with have made it very clear that I am not to have anything that jingles in my pockets. They take away my keys and any change and they usually take my wallet, too.

Sounds like robbery without a gun.

They are usually pretty good about giving it back, but I do notice one staff member is wearing pretty nice ties these days.

In other countries, Japan and Australia to name two, cash is less prominent. Debit and credit and digital transactions are more the norm.

I have always been a gadget guy. I’m interested to read about some of the stuff that is under way right now. Ebay and PayPal were doing a pilot project where it is Bluetoothed to your phone, but your phone never leaves your pocket. Your photo shows up on the till and they determine if it is really you and it just gets charged to your phone. Interesting. I don’t know how well it would work, but I’m willing to try new technology...

Read the complete interview (including the surprise ending!)

- Posted by Daorcey from Mayor Nenshi's team
- Illustration by Anthony Jenkins


Categories: Interviews

Back  |  June 09, 2012  | 


In May 2012, the editors of Readers' Digest Canada called Mayor Nenshi one of the most trusted people in Canada. This amazing distinction came with a full story about Mayor Nenshi's ideas on politics and citizen engagement, where he's been, and where he's going. Below is an excerpt from the story by Calgary writer Marcello Di Cintio; you can read the full story here.

... As Take Our Kids to Work Day draws to a close, the teens scramble to get their photos taken with Nenshi. His election has given him exposure enjoyed by few Canadian mayors. He was one of CNN’s Intriguing People, and was interviewed by The New York Times and Al-Jazeera. The attention was heady, even if the reporting sometimes rankled. Many of the international stories focused on how Calgary, famous for its conservatism, elected a member of a visible minority for the city’s top political office. The Indo-Asian News Service declared that "Naheed Nenshi, a Harvard-educated Ismaili Muslim, defeated two white candidates to become the mayor of Calgary Monday night."

Nenshi argues that the real story about his election isn’t about his race or religion-which, he’s quick to remind reporters, hardly came up during the campaign-but about Calgary’s colour-blindness. "It’s about what Calgary does right in a world desperate for role models on making multiculturalism work."

The media attention has also sharpened Nenshi’s skills at staying on message. He answers questions before reporters have finished asking them-answers that rarely vary. Nenshi is renowned for giving speeches without notes, yet those who’ve watched him know his interviews follow a familiar script.

In other areas, though, Nenshi exhibits an impulsiveness that has drawn criticism. Last November, in the midst of budget negotiations, he lost a series of votes that resulted in a higher than expected property tax hike; frustrated, he informed CBC Radio that some of Calgary’s aldermen think "that we can treat the taxpayer like an ATM." The comment earned Nenshi public rebukes from fellow council members and a dressing-down in council chambers by alderman Diane Colley-Urquhart. Nenshi reminded Colley-Urquhart that she had tweeted he was "petulant" the week before. If Nenshi’s shine has dulled at all, it’s partly due to his grumpiness when things don’t go his way.

Yet Nenshi continues to engender goodwill elsewhere. Recently a series of new campaign-style buttons were spotted on coats downtown. The mayor’s office claims it didn’t commission them-they appeared spontaneously. For Ward 9 alderman Gian-Carlo Carra, such signs point to the fact that there is still enthusiasm in Calgary for Nenshi. "He’s doing a really great job," says Carra, an urban designer who left his practice in 2010 to run for city council. "I’d be less happy to have entered public service if Nenshi wasn’t at the helm leading a culture shift away from politics-as-usual."

Nenshi believes the excitement will stay as long as he shows himself to be more than a politician. "If people see you trying to do good things for their community, they will trust you." For him, that includes engaging directly with Calgarians. "I’m trying to establish a culture of risk-taking. That means we’re going to try a lot of stuff. That also means we’re going to fail at stuff," he says. "But citizens see we’re trying to make this city a better place, and I think they have responded to that."

The recent budget put that risk-taking strategy to the test. Most city halls, including Calgary’s previous councils, impose budgets on their citizens, with little debate or public input. "This year we turned the process on its head," Nenshi says. Months before the budget was tabled, the city kicked off an outreach program called "Our City. Our Budget. Our Future" that solicited Calgarians’ input through surveys, online interactive programs and open houses. "We asked what the city should do more of-what are you willing to pay for?" says Nenshi. The creation of a comprehensive cycling strategy, aimed at getting more Calgarians to ride bikes, turned out to be one of the priorities. As a direct result of citizen feedback, the city opted to fully fund the three-year $27-million plan-one of the largest single additions to the budget. "It sounds straightforward," says Nenshi, "but it was a new way of thinking."

Carra welcomed the budget consultations, but is lukewarm about a process that cost taxpayers $800,000 and drew the participation of only two percent of the population. "I think the results weren’t as helpful as they could have been," he says. "But most innovative ideas will always have a rough start."

For his part, Nenshi thinks the nuts and bolts of the budget process can be tweaked and its costs lowered. Sparking the public’s interest in civic participation, however, isn’t something he wants to give up on. "What’s important," he says, "is to shed the bias that there is only one way of doing things."...

You can read the full article in Readers' Digest


Categories: Interviews

Back  |  September 13, 2012  | 

Earlier this year, Mayor Nenshi sat down with journalist Isabelle Gregoire from the current events (the French-language Canadian news magazine) for an interview in English (and some French) about His vision for Calgary. The full article can be viewed at I've included it below in full before it disappears online.

- Daorcey from Mayor Nenshi's team

Naheed Nenshi: a visionary in Calgary

This is already a small revolution for the capital of the Cowboys have elected a Muslim mayor. And Naheed Nenshi has not finished to amaze with its new ideas in urban development!

We imagine the head of Toronto or Montreal, but it is Calgary which elected mayor in October 2010. Bouille smiling, black curls and clear speech Naheed Nenshi, bachelor 39, surprised everyone by becoming the first Muslim mayor of the country. Its ambition: to reconnect people in municipal life. Bet partially won since the last municipal elections, it has increased the participation rate from 33% to 54%. Available in "12 better ideas" (see box below) to improve the lives of Calgarians, the program plans to abolish bureaucracy, to densify the city center, to fight poverty, improve access at the airport, etc. Clichés about cowboys and rednecks right, son of immigrants, of South Asian descent, embodies an increasingly cosmopolitan city, that Canada has not seen change. Informed user of Facebook and Twitter, which contributed to his election, he has translated in 23 languages brochures and videos (all on YouTube) with its program.

"Progressive Conservative tax" Nenshi supports the cause of the poor, but wants to be a wise manager of taxpayer money. His CV has something to rival many elected: after a Commerce degree at the University of Calgary and an MA in politics at Harvard, he was a professor, entrepreneur, columnist, author of a study on urban development... He is a lover of the arts and a committed Francophile, who spent a summer immersion at Laval University in Quebec City in 1998. The news met this workaholic at his office in City Hall Calgary, where he answered several questions in French.

*** You make the lie to the cliché that your city is composed of "right-wing rednecks." Calgary is it changing?

This shot was never based! My parents, of Indian descent, came from Tanzania 37 years ago when I was a baby, and I've never felt something preventing me from being what I am. That said, this city is changing like the rest of the country. It becomes more cosmopolitan, more diverse and more interesting. And I am happy that people are beginning to understand it.

If you had to describe Calgary to Quebecers who know only the Stampede and cowboys, what would you say?

In Calgary, nobody cares about your gait, your last name or your father was... a bit different in Quebec, right? [Laughs] No one seems odd that a man who comes from an ethnic community and who grew up in an immigrant family working-class east of Calgary becomes mayor. All that matters here are your ideas and going to implement them. Calgary is a breeding ground for innovation and entrepreneurship. Yes, it was cowboys. But Calgary is much more than that! The arts and culture, for example. I am a theater lover, I assure you that we have the most flourishing theater scene in English Canada. More innovative than Toronto!

Is there politics differently when you are an immigrant or immigrant son?

I live every day with the values that were instilled during my childhood: the determination, the importance of working safe, not to waste money. I often joke that, to know what a "fiscal conservative", he must have grown up in an immigrant family of middle-class east of Calgary! But my sister and I were raised with the idea that he had to share. We were not rich, my father was purchasing manager at a company that manufactured boxes and bags, and my mother was a lottery kiosk. But respect for human dignity and the need to take care of the less fortunate part of our lives.

What does mean to you to be a Canadian Muslim? Is it different to be an American or European Muslim?

Someone once asked me if I was first or Canada first Muslim. It's a ridiculous question! There is no dichotomy between these two states. We can be faithful to our beliefs while being of Canadians believe. Canadian Muslims living in this country for a hundred years. And for a hundred years, they are good neighbors, good citizens, who helped build this country while practicing their faith. As Catholics, Protestants, Hindus, Sikhs... That's how we are as Canadians, and if we can export this behavior elsewhere, then it must be done! A cliché says that the world needs more Canada, and in that sense, I think it is true.

Some European leaders - Nicolas Sarkozy in France, David Cameron in Britain and Angela Merkel in Germany - have recently said that multiculturalism was a failure in their country. Similar concerns arise here too. What does that inspire you?

I do not question the reality of these countries, but I believe we Canadians can create a different model. What worries these three leaders is ghettoization and narrow-mindedness. In Canada, we do not have this problem, at least not in English Canada (I do not know enough about the Quebec reality to judge). Otherwise, I would not be sitting in this chair! But we must ensure that this remains so. I say to the different ethnic groups that I meet: live with your neighbors, contribute to the life of your neighborhood. The majority community also has a responsibility to remain open and welcoming. Having ridiculous debates about the kirpan, for example, sends the message that we, the host community, are bounded.

Why did you choose municipal politics rather than provincial or federal?

Because I love cities and I'd like to understand how they work. The services provided by municipalities are needed every day and every hour. I often joke by saying that if the federal government disappear, it would take a week or two before realizing it, and surely one or two days for the provincial government. But if the city administration disappeared, you would have no roads, no lights, no water...

You say do politics in "full sentences". What does that mean? You refuse to give 15-second clips to the media.

It is difficult for me to respond to the media in 15 seconds; I can not even say my name so fast! [Laughs] It's important for me to talk to people of their concerns, clarify the issues. This is why the 12 better ideas of my election campaign were so detailed. I do not believe in the so-called citizen apathy. I have never met anyone who was not interested in the future of his city. It's true that people do not vote, they do not participate enough, but it's not because they do not care. What they lack is the relationship between institutions supposed to help them and their daily lives. My job is to rebuild this link, to empower the citizens and involve them in decisions.


By listening! For example, an extensive consultation with Calgarians is underway to determine which services are essential to them to improve their quality of life. Which we must strengthen and how. Which we can eliminate. In this way, the City will develop a budget in line with the values and priorities of the people.

As during your campaign, you encourage people to communicate with you in Facebook and Twitter. How does it profit you? And how do you find time to "twitter" each day?

The great thing about Twitter is that messages do not count as 140 characters; so it is easy to answer! And usually I reply late at night. What's interesting, it's not the tool is to engage people in a conversation about their city. For they are not mere spectators and to take part in the changes taking place.

You work to change the culture of the city administration, which has 14,000 employees. How do you take it?

I want to change the way this administration works daily. We are in the process of transformation, with the goal of getting rid of bureaucracy. A process that will be long and difficult! Rather than regulate people's behavior, this administration must endeavor to facilitate their success. To become a positive force. Each frontline employee has to say. "My job is to help people succeed," not "My job is to enforce the regulations".

In the cities of Quebec, the blue-collar unions often have a bad reputation, their relationship with the mayor are difficult. Do you have this problem in Calgary?

Public unions here have, for the most part a good relationship with the City. We are currently negotiating with them and, of course, discussions can sometimes be a bit strained. But we treat our employees with respect and, overall, our unions are respectful of the fact that their employers, the taxpayers. That said, there is there room for improvement? Of course!

How do you transform Calgary into a green city, while a majority of Calgarians will work in the car?

That's a persistent myth about Calgary. In fact, the proportion of Calgarians who use public transport is one of the highest in North America. However, we have some way to go to improve service within the city through new light rail lines and an extensive network of express buses.

And outside of transportation?

We must do better in treatment waste. We were the last city in Canada to offer a collection service curbside recyclable products and we are currently studying ways to introduce composting organic waste. However, it is urban sprawl that has the greatest environmental impact at home. We absolutely must reduce. We need to provide more housing to downtown and densify existing neighborhoods by encouraging young families to settle there. We must also build living environments full service in the new neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city. The districts we are building are very different from those of five years ago. Much denser, they are designed to accommodate people of different income and can be more easily served by public transport.

So you also manage the suburbs?

Actually, we do not have many suburbs: Calgary has developed following the concept of unicity: one city [Editor's note: administered by a central municipal authority]. A concept rarely used in Canada. This way of working allows us to be masters of our destiny.

What other cities, in Canada or elsewhere, inspire you?

I'm a big fan of redevelopment of Melbourne, Australia. And how the city of Curitiba, in southern Brazil, uses express buses. In Canada, there are also many ideas that we can borrow: how Vancouver is densified while preserving its natural environment. Or one that Montreal has incorporated the use of bicycles, despite the harsh climate. All this is very inspiring!

*** Some better ideas of Nenshi

  • Limit urban sprawl and densify the city center. Taxing more real entrepreneurs who are building on the periphery. Encourage, through financial incentives, entrepreneurs who choose the city center.
  • Fighting poverty by providing more affordable housing; unify the different services of assistance to the poor to make them more effective.
  • Strengthen the independence of the city auditor.
  • Improve services to entrepreneurs, including removing unnecessary approval steps.
  • Facilitate the creation of local dedicated to the arts and other workplaces for emerging artists.

*** A look at Calgary

In 2010 population: 1,320,000 inhabitants (the third of Canada's most populous cities)
Estimated population in 2020: 1.52 million inhabitants
Average annual salary: 49,100 dollars (highest in Canada)
Median age: 35.5 years (39.5 years in Canada)


Categories: Interviews

Back  |  June 02, 2011  | 


On June 1, 2011, the Calgary Herald published a feature article about Mayor Nenshi's passion for the arts as an important part of our healthy community. Here is an excerpt from that article by journalist Heath McCoy.

- Daorcey from Mayor Nenshi's team

Portrait of a passion: Even from his early days, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi has been an ardent supporter of the arts

It made perfect sense that the Calgary arts community championed Naheed Nenshi when he was elected mayor in an upset victory last fall.

After all, the 39-year-old, Harvard-educated Mount Royal University professor had been a part of that community for years. He was one of them.

A lifelong theatre lover and an amateur actor in his younger days. A "tarpy" at the Calgary Folk Music Festival who lined up every summer with the faithful to claim a spot in front of the mainstage.

An insatiable film buff who would typically take in 30 to 40 art house films at the Calgary International Film Festival, while, at the same time, unabashed in his excitement for such unpretentious popcorn fare as the upcoming Green Lantern flick.

The former (and youngest ever) chairman of the Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts.

Nenshi wasn't merely passionate about the arts, notes past Epcor president Colin Jackson, he was also highly proactive in the field.

"He's a participant, he's engaged," says Jackson. "He doesn't just buy a ticket. He's put personal time in."

The leader of the purple wave is up front about where his heart lies.

"Every mayor has had their own pet (cause) and, for me, it's always been Calgary's arts community," Nenshi says.

That's no secret to those who know Nenshi best. According to his sister, Shaheen Nenshi Nathoo, her younger brother gravitated toward the arts from a young age.

The son of working class South-Asian immigrants from Tanzania, Nenshi taught himself to read at the age of two.

"He learned to read the TV Guide so he could help my gramma find her shows," says Shaheen.

Soon, Nenshi could be found hiding under the kitchen table in the family's Marlborough home, devouring comic books. "That was his first foray into the arts," jokes Shaheen.

By the time he was in junior high, Nenshi had developed an interest in theatre and began appearing in productions both at school and within the IsmailiMuslim community.

Among his roles were Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Reverend John Hale in The Crucible.

He continued acting into his first year at the University of Calgary where, while working on his commerce degree, he had a minor role in a campus production, The Government Inspector.

"I was standing onstage with these talented actors... and I realized: 'Oh, I'm really bad at this,' " Nenshi says. "I thought I'd better stop before I embarrassed myself."

But instead of giving up on the arts, Shaheen says her brother began to channel his passions, serving the community the best way he knew how -as a business administrator.

As president of the U of C student's union, he took an active role in the campus arts scene and found a summer job doing marketing for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. "I helped write the first radio ads for Mozart On The Mountain," he recalls.

Even when he moved away, earning his Master's degree in public policy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, Nenshi's heart belonged to Calgary. Making a connection with Harvard alumni Jackson, Nenshi focused his thesis project on creating a strategic business plan for the non-profit Epcor Centre. Jackson was so impressed with Nenshi's work that the plan was adopted.

"It was pretty substantial," says Jackson. "It was called Thinking Like A Business and he was respecting the spirit of the arts, but bringing a business rigour to what we were doing. It was most welcome."

Jackson remembers Epcor's chairman at the time commenting: "Mark my words... that Nenshi has a great future in public service and politics."

When he returned to Calgary, Nenshi joined Epcor's board of directors, becoming chairman in 2004.

Today, with Calgary on the cusp of becoming a cultural centre - one with a serious bid to be declared cultural capital of Canada - Nenshi is the ideal man to be leading the city, Jackson believes.

"He understands how arts and culture fit into the bigger picture of economic prosperity," he says.

Excitement over Nenshi has bubbled over into the arts community outside of Calgary, too. No less a pundit than author Margaret Atwood rhapsodized about our hip new mayor on Twitter, offering to trade him for his Toronto counterpart, that branded enemy of culture vultures, the conservative Rob Ford.

Indeed, when Nenshi spent a week in Toronto earlier this year, giving speeches and promoting Calgary, he was feted as nothing less than a political rock star, the media declaring "Nenvy" that, of all places, Cowtown elected the first Muslim mayor of a major Canadian city.

There did seem to be a certain rock 'n' roll element to the Nenshi mystique. He campaigned at popular music venues such as Broken City and utilized social media to create a buzz with the do-it-yourself deftness of the cleverest indie rock bands.

He often appeared to be an outsider. An underdog, non-establishment candidate out to clean up City Hall. The punchy politician in purple who took on the cops over police budget.

When he won the election, many of Nenshi's supporters posted the Prince song Purple Rain on their Facebook pages, a tribute to his campaign colour.

The mayor acknowledges all of this, but he stresses: "We have to tread carefully... You did see a bit of DIY ethic. But it wasn't rebellious or irresponsible... While an outsider, I wasn't someone who was breaking all the rules. I was saying 'I understand how to make the system work better.'"

And he's got the inside track on being a traffic cop at the intersection of economics and arts and culture. He calls it "the ballet factor."

"Everyone wants to live in a city where there's a ballet, even if they themselves never go to the ballet," he says. "Even if I hate the ballet... when I read that (Alberta Ballet's) Joni Mitchell production was reviewed favourably in the New York Times, I gain pride in my own city...

"You need to build a city that is attractive to live in and that means investing in the things that make life worth living. Yes, that means snow removal, but it also means sports, public transit, parks and recreation. And it means arts and culture. too."

On this front, Nenshi feels Calgary has already achieved "critical mass." He rejects the oft held belief that as a conservative city it's a struggle to get people to support the arts here. But, he's also quick to add, "we've still got a lot to learn."

There's more to this story. You can read the full article at the Calgary Herald.


Categories: Interviews

Back  |  April 01, 2011  | 

Calgary's making international news with a recent article in The New York Times. Headlined "From Canada: Lessons on Revolution", the story gives an outsider perspective of Calgary and its political climate through a conversation with Mayor Nenshi. It's written by New York-based (but Alberta-born) Chrystia Freeland who is global editor at large at Reuters.

You can read the article here. I wanted to share it today because, well, it's not all that often Calgary's held up as an example in The New York Times. (And, since my job here at the Mayor's Office is to communicate, I might as well do just that.) Here are some of my favourite quotes from story:

"Calgarians were really interested in having a conversation about the future of their city," the mayor told me...
Mr. Nenshi found in Calgary was a passionate desire to be involved in the real, physical life of the city - and one which could be most effectively tapped by using cybertools. What Mr. Nenshi did, he told me - and remember the guy is a former business school professor - was to adapt the classic marketing and political adage that you have to "go to people where they live" to the Internet age...
"I am very happy to let the Four Seasons tribe do their work on global prosperity," Mr. Nenshi said. "I’ll do my work on local prosperity."

Mayor Nenshi met with Ms. Freeland on the morning of Friday, March 25 between events at the Inter-American Development Bank annual meeting hosted in Calgary.

UPDATE: The print version of this article appeared in the International Herald Tribune (on Page 2, pictured here) and across Canada in the Globe and Mail.

- Daorcey from Mayor Nenshi's team


Categories: Interviews

Back  |  February 18, 2011  | 



While visiting Toronto, Mayor Nenshi did a half-hour interview on The Agenda covering topics of citizen engagement, building great cities, and hockey. Here's how they describe it:

Cowtown no more. Calgary is Canada's fastest-growing city. They've also just elected Canada's first Muslim mayor. Naheed Nenshi joins The Agenda to tell us how Calgary is changing, and how he intends to make Alberta's largest city, a city of the future.

Welcome to Calgary 3.0!​​

Categories: Interviews; Video

Back  |  December 24, 2010  | 



In this year-end interview with the Calgary Herald, Mayor Nenshi discusses the future growth of Calgary and some of the important decisions we will have to make in the coming year.​​

Categories: Interviews; Video

Back  |  October 02, 2018  | 



​Following a meeting of the Priorities and Finance Committee, Mayor Nenshi spoke with journalists about The City of Calgary's response to the current significant snow event and ongoing activities.

Learn the latest about Calgary's snow clearing plans (and even see plows in real time!)​

Categories: Media; Transportation; Video

Back  |  October 18, 2018  | 



​Mayor Nenshi speaks with reporters regarding the legalization of cannabis.

Learn more about The City of Calgary's approach to cannabis legalization here.​

Categories: Media; Video

Back  |  December 17, 2018  | 


It's been quite the year, Calgary!

I always appreciate the opportunity at the end of every year to reflect on what we've accomplished together. There have been ups and downs, and we certainly have a very busy year ahead of us, but before we dive into the new year, it's important to take the time to look back on all that's happened in 2018. Watch this video to see all the great things that have happened, and visit for more information.

I wish you all a very merry Christmas, happy holidays and a wonderful new year!​

Categories: Better economy; Even smarter City Hall; Stronger communities; Video

Back  |  January 25, 2019  | 

Happy New Year! (I know January is almost over but we can still say Happy New Year, right?)

I began our first Council meeting of 2019 with a very simple New Year’s resolution. My goal for this year is to reject negativity and focus on the positive opportunities in front of us. It seems to be very fashionable these days to hone in on what’s going wrong instead of what’s going right, but that doesn’t get us far.

When I look back at 2018, it really was a remarkable year. There were so many great things; renaming the Reconciliation Bridge, launching the MAX Rapid Transit network and the opening of the new Central Library, just to name a few. This past summer, The Economist Intelligence Unit named us the best city in North America and the fourth best in the world in which to live. Despite all the challenges we face, this place is truly incredible.

Of course, 2018 was also a tough year, particularly in the last few months. Too many of our neighbours are feeling the pain of unemployment and the economic recovery feels stalled out. Many of us are impatient, frustrated, and even angry. How can we take that and channel it into a positive view of our future?

My sights for 2019 are squarely focused on the future of our city. There are a number of very complex economic and social issues we have to address. We have to create, attract and retain jobs. We have to help small businesses prosper. We have to fix the challenge in the downtown. We need both immediate and long-term solutions to improve our downtown and mitigate the impact of the shift of non-residential property taxes on businesses outside of the core. And we need community-focused solutions to combat social disorder, addiction and mental health issues. We need to find ways to build much-needed infrastructure across this city.

I have been asking our partners at both the provincial and federal governments to work with us on what I’m calling a Calgary Strategy. We need our government partners to come to the table to work with us on solutions to these issues. But it’s not just governments that will need to come together in 2019 – it’s the entire community. It’s by all of us working together, using our everyday hearts and our everyday hands, that we will truly be able to fulfill the promise of our city.  

We can’t allow down talk about Calgary and our economic challenges to dominate the narrative about who we are. We are so much more than that. We all need to be selling Calgary – to Calgarians, to Canadians and to the world. We all know how amazing this place is and we know the potential that’s just on the horizon.

I hope that you’ll join me in taking on this resolution to focus on opportunities for Calgary in 2019, to look forward, and to be grateful for the chance each of us has to build a life in this beautiful place. It’s going to be a great year.​​​​​​

Categories: Columns; Better economy; Even smarter City Hall; Stronger communities

Back  |  March 22, 2019  | 

​The following was published by Postmedia on March 22, 2019:

And we’re off.  Over the next few weeks until Election Day, you’ll be bombarded with ads and messages, fresh-faced candidates will appear at your door, and on April 16, you’ll get to make your choice.  I hope you’ll make it with Calgary in mind. We need to ensure our voices as Calgarians are heard and the critical issues facing our community are acknowledged and addressed
In previous provincial and federal elections, I’ve asked questions on your behalf to all the parties based on their plans for Calgary, and we’re doing it again.
Last week, my City Council colleagues and I launched YYC Matters –  a campaign getting political parties on the record on their plans for Calgary.
We sent a series of questions to the various parties asking them specifically how they will honour the commitments made to Calgary, how they will promote economic recovery in this city, how they will support Calgarians through this economic recovery, and how they plan to help close Calgary’s infrastructure gap. We’ll post all the results from every party verbatim in early April at, and you can go there now to see the survey we’ve sent.
Of course, the number one issue on the minds of Calgarians is the economy, jobs, and growth. We need tools, investments and partnership from the province in promoting our economic recovery. Alberta’s economy is hurting but Calgary is at the epicenter of that pain. How will each party support business? Will they follow the lead of the City is supporting small business and investing in growth? What’s their plan for helping businesses seeing massive increases in property tax due to the assessment shift? What are their plans to attract more investment and business to Calgary?
Some other examples of commitments we are seeking on your behalf: we need a firm commitment to build the Springbank Dry Dam – our best option for protecting Calgary from flooding on the Elbow River, as well as commitment to upstream mitigation on the Bow River.  
We are in the middle of the largest investment in public transit in our history, and we can’t take our foot of the gas.  We need to confirm commitment to Phase 1 of the Green Line and talk about how and when we will get the rest of the line built: from north of Country Hills to Seton. The current government is funding the Green Line though revenue from the carbon tax; if parties promise to remove the levy, they need to tell us how they will fund (or not fund) this transit investment.
We need to know if they’ll support Calgarians through this economic recovery by fully funding the Low Income Transit Pass used by 60,000 Calgarians. We need to know how they’ll help us fund affordable housing for the 1 in 5 Calgarians that need it.
We also need the province to commit to closing the infrastructure gap in Calgary. In addition to affordable housing and the Green Line, big projects like the field house and Arts Commons expansion need provincial support as well.
I love politics and I love elections.  I’ve been following elections on volunteering on campaigns since I was young, and now I have a rare vantage point on this election, one that I will share with all of you.  I have to say, though, that I’m not really looking forward to this campaign.  It seems to be about who can sling more mud, about dragging down rather than lifting up, on dividing rather than uniting. As Calgarians, let’s reject that and get the candidates talking about real issues that matter to Calgarians. About how Calgary Matters.
Naheed K Nenshi is Mayor of Calgary. The survey can be seen at

Categories: Better economy; City planning; Columns; Economic development; Even smarter City Hall; Stronger communities

Back  |  April 05, 2019  | 

The results are in!
Last month, my Council colleagues and I launched YYC Matters - a campaign asking the political parties running in the upcoming election what their plans for Calgary are. We sent a questionnaire asking a series of questions related to honouring commitments, promoting economic recovery, supporting Calgarians through the recovery, and closing Calgary’s infrastructure gap. We received responses from the Alberta Party, the Liberal Party, the NDP, the UCP, and a short statement from the Green Party.
So, what did we hear? Let’s start with the good. Across the parties we saw commitments on really important projects like the Green Line and the Springbank Reservoir.
On the not so good, the level of understanding about municipal issues that could have a big impact on Calgarians seems to be lacking. For example, the province receives most of the revenue associated with the sale of cannabis, but the City bears most of the enforcement costs. There were no strong commitments to share in those costs.
Ultimately, we haven’t seen a comprehensive Calgary strategy from any of the parties. We really need a deep understanding of the issues we’re facing and we need localized solutions. We need strong plans for our economy, not just platitudes and slogans.
In the days before the election, I urge all Calgarians to visit to get informed on the key issues that will impact our city in the years to come. Read the parties' responses and discuss, debate and question the candidates who come to your door. Discuss these issues with your friends, family and colleagues, whether its online or in person. Most importantly, educate and inform yourself on these issues before marking your ballot on election day.
Remember when you go to the polls on April 16 that, no matter your political stripe, we’re all Calgarian. I encourage you to vote with our city in mind.
You can see the Mayor's full analysis here. 

Categories: Better economy; Economic development; Provincial