ALBERTA

Naheed Nenshi's Campaign Donors Includes Developers, And Some Very Wealthy Folks

09/25/2013 05:39 EDT | Updated 09/26/2013 10:06 EDT
CP

Some supporters of Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi's upcoming campaign come from an industry that hasn't always been on good terms with the popular mayor.

A list of campaign donors released on Tuesday include financial donations from the development industry, the same industry that was involved in a high-profile scandal earlier this year, and multi-millionaires, including JR Shaw, W. Brett Wilson and Lois and Richard Haskayne.

"The vast majority of the development industry is hugely supportive of the direction this council has gone," Nenshi told CBC, adding that only a few developers, who he has never met, seem keen on electing aldermen who don't support the mayor.

A video leaked in April showed prominent Calgary developer, Cal Wenzel, seemingly declaring war against city council and boasting that money was in place to make council more "developer-friendly."

Nenshi also urged other candidates to disclose their list of financiers to give voters a fair outlook on who's support a candidate has.

It's no secret that running a campaign requires a lot of money, said Nenshi, on his campaign website.

"It’s also no secret that certain groups in Calgary are financing candidates for councillor with the explicit hope that the candidate will vote “their” way on development matters."

While candidates can accept contributors from anyone, Nenshi said it's only fair for voters to have the full picture.

Campaigners have until three months after the election to disclose their financial contributors but Nenshi and other candidates who published donors list mid-campaign in 2010 changed the game.

According to the Calgary Herald, of the 40 council candidates the newspaper has asked, only six haven’t said that they will release that information before the election.

Over a thousand supporters of Nenshi's campaign donated under $100, with donations of a $100-$500 making the second highest group.

Corporate sponsors include Walton Developments, Aspen Property Management Ltd. and Trinity Developments.

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