Calgary vote will be instructive

To understand just how unassailable Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi appears to be in this year’s civic election, consider the words of one of his greatest detractors.

In what was thought to be a confidential meeting of Calgary developers, Cal Wenzel, founder of Shane Homes, bragged about how he had raised $1.1 million to get the Manning Centre for Building Democracy on board a campaign to elect an anti-Nenshi slate of councillors. The mayor was undefeatable, Wenzel told the gathering, but eight councillors would have the power to block any Nenshi initiative.

That conversation was surreptitiously recorded and ultimately broadcast by the local Global station, which resulted in Wenzel backtracking and the Manning centre insisting that its only goal is to teach prospective candidates how to run effective municipal campaigns and “improve local government through free markets.”

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