Calgary Minute: New Mayor, New Council, and a Climate Emergency Declaration
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
Calgary’s new Mayor will be sworn in today at 2:00 pm in a Swearing-In Ceremony at City Hall. Jyoti Gondek will be the City’s first-ever female Mayor and will be joined by five other women at the Council table - also a record. Congratulations to everyone who put their name forward for election, and especially to our new Council.
- Speaking of which, after being sworn in herself, Mayor Gondek will proceed to swear in her new Council colleagues. The ceremony is already set to be controversial, however, as Gondek has stated publicly that she will refuse to swear in Councillor Chu due to the recently revealed allegations against him (see below).
- Once the Swearing-In Ceremony is completed, there will be an Organizational Meeting of Council at 2:00 pm, to get the new Council term started. There is also a meeting of the Green Line Board scheduled for Friday at 1:00 pm, but no agenda for this meeting is available yet. A Strategic Meeting of Council that was scheduled for Thursday at 9:30 am has been cancelled.
Last Week In Calgary:
It was the election! Results, officially confirmed on Friday, showed Jyoti Gondek (45%) was elected Mayor, defeating fellow Councillors Farkas (30%) and Davison (13%). In Ward races, three incumbents were re-elected: Chu, Carra, and Demong, two familiar faces are returning after a term away: Pootmans and Chabot, and nine brand new councillors were elected for the first time: Sonya Sharp, Jennifer Wyness, Jasmine Mian, Raj Dhaliwal, Terry Wong, Courtney Walcott, Kortney Penner (who recently announced she’s changing her name from Branagan), Evan Spencer, and Dan McLean.
If you were under the impression the new Council was going to be boring, that probably didn’t last long. Literally Day 1 after the election, we broke the story that Mayor Gondek’s top priority, and first-order-of-business as Mayor will be declaring a Climate Emergency, and that she believes Calgary needs to "move past" oil and gas. Meanwhile, Jeromy Farkas made good on his promise to turn down his City pension and transition allowance, at an estimated personal cost to himself of more than $290,000.
- Despite serious allegations being revealed in the closing days of the campaign, Councillor-elect Sean Chu says he will not resign from Council. Mayor-elect Gondek, a number of his fellow Councillors-elected, and a variety of other public officials have called on him to do so, and Gondek has further stated that she will not swear Chu in as a Council member during today’s swearing-in ceremony. With the election results now finalized, however, neither she nor Council have any ability to prevent Chu from taking his seat, should he choose to do so.
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