Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says he hopes current news regarding Toronto Mayor Rob Ford does not sully the way Calgarians view municipal politics.
Speaking to the CBC, Nenshi said Calgary's perception of politics is thriving following this summer's flooding, saying Calgarians "understood the role of politicians and of government in making the community different, making the community better."
"And I'm very proud of that," he added.
He went on to say that he's very confident in his recently elected council, reminding Calgarians that each person chose to run for council to improve the city.
"I always worry when I see anything that can increase people's level of cynicism in government and politics because I know that every single person who goes into politics does it because they love their place," Nenshi said.
Ford refused to step down Thursday after police confirmed that they have seized a video that media outlets have alleged appears to show him smoking crack cocaine.
Ford and Nenshi have long been contrasted since they both were elected mayor of major Canadian cities back in 2010.
Toronto joked that Nenshi, progressive and Ivy-league educated, was the mayor they deserve, while notoriously conservative Calgary should have gotten Ford, a man known for his right-leaning views and off-colour comments about minority groups.
National Post columnist Kelly McParland suggested just last month that the "good citizens of Calgary on behalf of the benighted folks in Toronto: Send us Nenshi."
Nenshi, Canada’s first Muslim mayor, was the first Calgary mayor to serve as grand marshal in the Pride parade in 2011, while Ford spent Toronto's Pride parade at his cottage - citing family tradition.
“Nenshi is the mayor that everyone in Toronto who lives south of Bloor Street wishes they had elected,” one Toronto political observer told the Huffington Post Canada in 2011.
“Ford is breaking the latte-sipping, Volvo-driving, granola-crunching Toronto stereotype. Nenshi is breaking the cowboy-boot-wearing, ass-kicking cowboy image and that is great.”
The two mayors have been friendly in the past - even betting on last year's Grey Cup (Nenshi lost the bet) - but the Calgary mayor told CBC he won't speak specifically about the allegations Ford is facing, as the matter is now before the courts.
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