Naheed Nenshi Apologizes To Kathleen Wynne Over Wildrose Comments

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NENSHI WYNNE
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi apologized to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne over comments made by the Wildrose Party. | Getty/Reuters
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EDMONTON — Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi apologized Friday to Ontario's premier for the way she was ridiculed by the Wildrose party's finance critic in the Alberta legislature.

"The first thing I did this morning was apologize on behalf of the people of Calgary for the childish, petulant behaviour in the legislature yesterday,'' Nenshi told reporters after meeting with Wynne.

"Albertans are more polite than that.''

Wynne was in Calgary to meet with Nenshi and Calgary business leaders.

"Albertans are more polite than that.''

On Thursday, she sat in the gallery as a guest of the legislature and listened to Wildrose finance critic Derek Fildebrandt mock her province as a failed, debt-bloated enterprise.

As Wynne looked on, Fildebrandt also chastised Premier Rachel Notley for inviting Wynne before she had invited Premier Brad Wall of Saskatchewan.

Fildebrandt chastised Notley for running up billions of dollars in deficit and debt in recent budgets to pay for operations and spending.

kathleen wynne
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley hold a media availability in Edmonton on Thursday. (Photo: Codie McLachlan/CP)

He told the house "Will the premier stop following the example set by (Wynne's) Ontario Liberals, put a cap on borrowing and get control of our out of control spending?''

"Currently Ontario has the largest subnational sovereign debt on the planet. They're now even receiving equalization payments. It's an example of what happens when a government fails to get its spending under control.''

Nenshi said he was surprised by Fildebrandt's conduct.

"I was quite shocked to see the so-called shadow finance minister who has yet to reveal any shadow budget or really any ideas what-so-ever about the province treat a guest in that manner.''

"I was quite shocked to see the so-called shadow finance minister... treat a guest in that manner."

Fildebrandt could not be immediately reached for comment. A spokesman for the Wildrose caucus declined comment.

Wynne has yet to comment on the criticism, but Nenshi said she was fine.

"But I think that we can have some common courtesy regardless of politics. That is something we should strive for, especially if we strive for leadership.''

Wildrose dissatisfaction with Wynne was evident before the questions.

When she was officially introduced as a guest minutes earlier, politicians on both sides of the aisle stood to applaud her, but only about half the Wildrose caucus did so.

"I think that we can have some common courtesy regardless of politics."

Wildrose Leader Brian Jean stayed seated, but all members of his caucus were seen to be either clapping or pounding on their desktops in a show of welcome.

The lone Liberal in the legislature, David Swann, also apologized to Wynne Friday.

"The behaviour of some members of the official Opposition leaves me shocked and saddened,'' Swann said in a statement.

"The treatment of Ms. Wynne — the legislature's guest of honour — showed the worst form of partisan politics and was utterly against not only tradition, but common decency.''

Swann said the Wildrose behaviour has ramifications outside the house, given that Alberta needs the support of Ontario for the Energy East pipeline to take Alberta crude to ports and refineries in New Brunswick.

On Twitter, Government House Leader Brian Mason agreed, writing, "Do Derek Fildebrandt and the Wildrose party realize that we need Ontario's support to get Energy East built? Is this how they would go about it?''

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