As the thunderous applause and cheers by the Purple Army settled, Calgary’s re-elected Mayor Naheed Nenshi signalled it’s time to kick start the cause of making the city even better.
Then mayor-elect told his supporters that Calgary’s citizens showed in this election that they want better community.
He congratulated the newly elected council and told them that it’s time to start working for the city’s betterment.
“Calgarians expect no less,” he said.
“Calgarians expect every single one of us to work for every citizen.”
The 41-year-old mayor, who cruised to victory against eight challengers, said he wants to build on his work over the past three years and make Calgary an even better community, provide the city better transportation and better government and lead the municipality towards better growth.
Nenshi said he believes great cities are “great places to live for everyone,” which is why maintaining and improving people’s quality of life is a top priority.
Maintaining and expanding the city’s parks, recreation facilities and libraries and supporting arts and cultural sector are critical for enhancing everyone’s quality of life, he said.
“We must focus on making Calgary a more affordable place to live by tackling the housing crisis, including legalizing secondary suites.”
One indicator of a great city is that it’s easy to travel by road, public transit, bike or foot, which is why Nenshi wants to invest in smart traffic management solutions to reduce congestion.
Crucial to accomplishing that goal is the province and Ottawa funding the city’s 30-year, $13-billion RouteAhead plan, which aims to make Calgarians’ commute more convenient.
Nenshi, who was a university professor and a management consultant prior to his election in 2010, said he also wants to continue transforming city hall and make it “citizen-centric.”
“We must continue to make it easier for you to access the services you need from the city,” he said.
To achieve that, Nenshi wants to continue eliminating red tape and to reform the planning system.
“And we must continue to do it while keeping our property taxes amongst the lowest in Canada.”
To achieve an even better growth, the city must have more housing choices in more places, said the mayor, which is why he wants to put an end to what he calls “subsidies to development on the fringes.”
“We must make developers and builders pay for the cost of their growth and create a level playing field for all development,” he said.
“We’ve made great strides on making new suburbs easier to serve by transit while creating wonderful neighbourhoods, and we must continue to do this.”
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