ALBERTA

Alberta Election 2015: Nenshi Wants To Know How Calgary Will Benefit

04/16/2015 04:00 EDT | Updated 06/16/2015 05:59 EDT
CALGARY - Calgary's mayor says the public shouldn't read anything into his criticisms of Progressive Conservative Leader Jim Prentice during this election campaign.

Naheed Nenshi questioned the premier's decision to call an early election and wondered how the government could spend millions of dollars on an election after refusing to provide funding to help hire more investigators to look into the deaths of children in government care.

He also challenged the PC assertion that the province was holding the line on corporate taxes — Nenshi says when it's factored in with the municipal portion, it amounts to 5.4 per cent more for businesses in Calgary on this year's property tax bill.

"I haven't turned on anybody," Nenshi said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

"I have one horse in this race as I always do, and that horse is Calgary. During an election is a great time for Calgarians to ensure that they're holding all the parties to account and that each party is doing what's right for the city."

The city is launching a website in the next couple of weeks to ask each party what it will do for Calgary, Nenshi said, adding it will give residents the information they need to make an informed vote.

"None of the parties to date has yet released a full municipal platform," said Nenshi.

"I would expect that they will but even if they don't, the city's website will ask about everything from flood resilience, because we can't forget how important that is, to infrastructure funding, to transit, to 911 and their plans for the 911 system," he added.

Nenshi said he's a bit surprised that not one party has talked about flooding since Calgary has hundreds of millions of dollars of projects that need to be addressed.

"I really, really want to hear what all of the parties think about what they're going to do to prevent future flooding in Calgary."

Nenshi said he's also surprised that there aren't very many political lawn signs in Calgary since the campaign began. He said it's possible that the apathy amongst voters will lead to a new low in voter turnout.

The Calgary mayor said he will continue to ask questions of all the parties but is not going to endorse anybody this campaign.

"Some people do. We've had mayors do that in the past. Some members of my council are doorknocking with candidates of various political stripes and they're welcome to do that but I will not."

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