Calgary Mayoral Election 2021

Since Naheed Nanshi has declared that he isn’t going to run for Mayor in 2021, it’s time to take a look at the list of who is running and decide who is worth considering.

The list of Candidates can be found on the City of Calgary website, as of July 19th, there are 20 candidates listed. The final official list of candidates will be made available after September 20, 2021.

The initial biographies of the candidates are from Sprawl Calgary.

There is also a good review of the candidates websites by glazerspoon on Reddit.

As in previous years I’ll be looking for candidates that have at least some experience in either politics or business. I’ll be eliminating anyone that seems to be a “one issue” candidate and I’ll also be be eliminating any that has a grand list of what they would like to do but fails to offer up any suggestions on how they plan to accomplish it.

The issues that I am interested in are:

  • The Green Line – I’m in favour of the Green Line, and improved public transit in general.
  • Bike Lanes – I’m also in favour of Bike Lane.
  • Covid Vaccinations – Any candidate that opposes Covid vaccinations will probably land in the Assorted Nuts group. I have a little more tolerance for an anti masking stance, depending on the reasoning, but it would definitely be a negative.
  • Police Budget – This is a tough one. I would only be in favor of this if the money was guaranteed to go to services that would move some responsibilities from the police to more appropriate services. It’s a tough issue

Unlike most of the posts I do on this page, I’m planning on going in and changing and adding to this one as things move along. I’ll be rearranging the list and adding additional information on the candidates as I discover it.

I will be assigning candidates to various categories as I review them, as well as adding my opinions on them. It’s quite possible that a candidate could change categories as the campaign goes along. The categories are:

  • Serious Candidates – These are candidates that seem to be invested in their campaign and have a reasonable chance of getting votes. All former Councilors land here and a few others as well.
  • Unreviewed – Candidates that I don’t know much about yet and haven’t reviewed yet.
  • Frivolous Candidates – These candidates are ones that have either put very little effort into their campaign, only address one or two issues, or don’t seem to have any realistic details on how to accomplish what they are proposing.
  • Assorted Nuts – Candidates that in my opinion are either nuts themselves or anyone voting for them would have to be nuts or have other even less desirable qualities.

The initial arrangement will simply be listing them in the order that they appear on the City website, which appears to be alphabetical. As things progress I may move people that I consider to be serious candidates to the top and others to the bottom. Note, just because someone is a serious candidate doesn’t mean I would consider voting for them. For example, It would take a minor miracle for me to vote for Farkas even though he has to be considered a serious candidate.

SERIOUS CANDIDATES

Jeromy Farkas

The rookie councillor for Ward 11, who was elected on a campaign of low taxes and fiscal restraint, declared his candidacy in September 2020. Prior to serving on council, Farkas was a senior fellow at the Canada Strong and Free Network (the conservative think-thank formerly known as the Manning Centre), and executive assistant for the Israel studies program at the University of Calgary.

The Sprawl

Website: jeromy.ca

Brent’s Thoughts: Jeromy Farkas seems to be the go to candidate for those who don’t like Naheed Neshi, I can certainly see why he appeals to a lot of voters. His four priorities listed his website sound good, Economic Growth, Financial Responsibility, Better Core Services, and Building Calgary for the 21st Century. However, as my Ward 11 Councilor, he voted against almost everything that I agreed with. He also violated the Code of Conduct at least once that I remember, and his whole stunt with starting a petition on the Dairy Queen rebuild issue was very likely a breach of his oath of office. In my opinion, he picks issues and stances that will bring attention to himself and I don’t believe he is sincere or trustworthy, but your mileage may vary.

Jyoti Gondek

The Ward 3 councillor was first elected to city hall in 2017. Prior to her political career, Gondek was director of the Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies at the University of Calgary and sat on various community boards. She says Calgarians should be seen as “investors” in the city and has described herself politically as “completely a centrist.”

The Sprawl

Website: jyotigondek.ca

Jeff Davison

After a single term on council, Davison is running for mayor and billing himself as a “pro-business” candidate who has worked with organized labour to freeze their wages, shifted the tax burden away from small businesses, and voted to constrain the city’s budget. He says his major accomplishment is passing the arena deal with an expanded event centre.

The Sprawl

Website: jeffdavisonyyc.com

Brad Field

Calgary businessman and self-proclaimed “serial entrepreneur,” Brad Field supports the construction of both the Green Line and the new event centre, as well as cutting taxes and services—including the police budget. Field says council should simply impose lower speed limits in Calgary, rather than put it to a plebiscite.

The Sprawl

Website: votebradfield.ca

UNREVIEWED

David oZone Clark

Clark announced his campaign on a snowmobiling forum website post. He says he wants to eliminate photo radar tickets and monthly recycling fees as well as “freeze” the Green Line and both property and commercial taxes. He also wants to make 17th Ave. a one-way street with a 40 km/h speed limit, but does not specify which way it would go.

The Sprawl

Website: snowandmud.com

Jan Damery

Damery is a vice-president at the YWCA. Before that she worked at United Way, and in the oil and gas industry. Damery wants to encourage business activity, use a life-cycle cost analysis for city planning to reduce costs, expand the city’s parks system and start construction on the Green Line.

The Sprawl

Website: jandamery.com

Emile Gabriel

Gabriel, who previously ran for mayor in 2017, says he’s running against the “career politicians” at city hall. He says his first act as mayor would be to establish a two-term limit on the office. Gabriel’s website is still under construction. His Facebook page lists him as a civil engineer with a PhD in management, however he isn’t registered with APEGA, the province’s official engineering professional body.

The Sprawl

Website: emile4calgarymayor.com

Zac Hartley

A businessman and one-time Dragon’s Den contestant, Hartley promises to donate half his mayoral salary to local charities and cut costs at city hall if elected. He also wants to scrap the Green Line, end funding for “terrible art installations” and establish a municipal tax on corporations.

The Sprawl

Website: zacformayor.com

Dean Hopkins

Hopkins is a British veteran who received the General Commanding Land Forces Bosnia Commendation for his service in the former Yuglosavia. He settled in Calgary about a decade ago. Besides supporting term limits for councillors and mayors, Hopkins wants to ban single-use plastics and ensure recycled materials get sorted and diverted from landfills.

The Sprawl

Website: deanhopkinsyyc.ca

Zane Novak

Former president of the Kerby Centre for seniors and current president of ZKO Oilfield Industries, Novak is calling to upgrade the city to “Calgary 2.0”. He wants the city to work more closely with developers to create a growth plan and is concerned about the costs of the Green Line’s northern portion.

The Sprawl

Website: zane4mayor.ca

Teddy Ogbonna

A Nigerian immigrant, Ogbonna is the founder of Youth for Transparency International, an organization aiming to get young people civically engaged. Ogbonna’s LinkedIn page identifies him as a former board member of the Calgary-McCall UCP constituency association. On Facebook, he accused the Calgary Police Service of adopting a “Marxist world view” after Chief Mark Neufeld acknowledged systemic racism.

The Sprawl

Website: teddy4calgary.ca

Mizanur Rahman

Rahman ran for the Alberta NDP in Calgary-West in 2015, placing a distant second, but currently sits on the board of directors of the UCP constituency association in Calgary-Currie. Rahman, who speaks Bengali, English, French, Italian, Hindi and Urdu, immigrated to Canada from Bangladesh in 1988. He supports the Green Line and arena deal, but opposes the downtown revitalization plan.

The Sprawl

Website: mizanurrahman.ca

Shaoli Wang

A geologist by trade, Wang ran as an independent in last year’s federal election in the Calgary Rocky Ridge riding. He wants to bring property taxes down to 2015 levels by 2025, and to “tie the police budget to the crime rate reversely.”

The Sprawl

Website: shaoliw.com

Grace Yan

A commercial real estate agent by trade, Yan wants the city to attract investment through tax breaks and other incentives for big and small businesses, and turn vacant downtown buildings into housing as part of a broader revitalization effort. She expresses skepticism about the Green Line and bike lines, while supporting increased police funding.

The Sprawl

Website: graceyanformayor.com

FRIVOLOUS CANDIDATES

Ian Chiang

The first thing I noticed about Ian Chiang is he is one of three candidates that don’t have a website listed, or any other social media connections. I have no idea who he is, what his views are or why he is running for mayor.
All I found was one completely uninformative YouTube video.

Grant Prior

The second candidate without a webpage or social media presence listed.

Sunny Singh

The third candidate without a webpage

ASSORTED NUTS

Paul Michael Hallelujah

The primary plank of Hallelujah’s platform is to use fMRI technology to screen for a predisposition to pedophilia among people in positions of power. A bitcoin mining equipment salesman, Hallelujah claims eating meat causes cancer and wants to build a signal for detecting alien life in space based on geometric shapes on Jupiter and Saturn.

The Sprawl

Website: hallelujah.news

Larry Heather

Billing himself as a fiscal and social conservative, Heather is involved in efforts to issue an injunction against the city’s mask bylaw. He ran for mayor in 2017 and notoriously sued to have the election results overturned, relying on an 1877 Supreme Court decision to accuse Mayor Nenshi of exercising “undue influence,” which was rejected.

The Sprawl

Website: larryforcalgary.co

Kevin J. Johnston

Johnston, who is currently in jail awaiting trial on charges of causing a disturbance at the Core Centre in relation to his anti-mask agitation, also faces an assault charge in B.C. and hate crime charges in Ontario. He previously ran in the 2018 Mississauga municipal election and placed a distant second with 13.5% of the vote. Calgary city council opted against releasing a voters’ list for candidates this year after Johnston threatened to reveal the private information of healthcare workers.

The Sprawl

Website: kevinjjohnston.ca

Brent’s Thoughts: Kevin and anyone who votes for him should be smacked with a mostly frozen tuna.

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