12/10/2012 10:45 EST | Updated 12/11/2012 09:23 EST

#NenshiLive: Naheed Nenshi Talks Transit, Affordable Housing, Calgary Flames Arena And More


Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi appeared on Shaw TV for an hour-long live Q&A session on Monday. While answering a question about a new arena in Calgary, he said he was open for a proposal from the Calgary Flames but he would really need to be convinced.

"You can't convince me by saying Lady Gaga doesn't come to Calgary," he said. "I don't think that public funds necessarily need to go to bring Lady Gaga to Calgary."

Viewers called in during the live show and many asked questions via Twitter, using the hashtag #NenshiLive.

Some inquired about Calgary's Oil and Gas industry:

"What are we doing to transform Calgary from just O&G to an industrial mecca of all types of newer, greener energy?" asked @Tie_Won_Yuk.

While others couldn't resist throwing out a topical joke:

"When is Calgary getting an IKEA monkey?" asked @MEKowalski.

Representatives from a few non-profit agencies in Calgary were also in the audience, including Habitat for Humanity who inquired about affordable housing in the city.

Nenshi said he was pushing hard to get Secondary Suites approved in the city, and that he still didn't have approval from eight of his council members.

He said legalizing the suites would allow for "common sense" regulations to be put in place and would be the right thing to do morally and ethically.

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When asked about the controversial airport tunnel being built in Calgary, Nenshi said, "It was cheaper to build it than not build it," as the alternative of building a full expressway would have been more expensive.

The tunnel cost five per cent of the cost of an extension to the city's transit line to the southeast, he added, addressing those who wondered why he didn't build the transit extension instead.

"We're going to build it," he said about the southeast LRT extension that many Calgarians have been lobbying for.

" I just have to find three billion dollars."

Calgary's newest transit extension, the west LRT, opened on Monday.

"We anticipate that come Dec. 10, more than 30,000 people will choose to ride the new LRT," said General Manager of Transportation Mac Logan.

"We want to provide all Calgarians with the opportunity to make Calgary Transit their preferred transportation option and this project is a major step towards that goal."

The popular Calgary mayor also announced in November of this year that he would run for office again in 2013.