The Calgary Municipal Election

December 1, 2021

By Franklin Yuan 

On October 18th, there was a Calgary Municipal Election to elect the city’s new mayor, councillors, and school board trustees. Although outgoing Mayor Naheed Nenshi decided not to run again in this election, twenty-seven mayoral candidates ran for the position.    After counting the votes, Jyoti Gondek won the election.  I would like to congratulate Mayor Gondek on her win and I wish her an eventful and successful term. I would also like to thank outgoing Mayor Nenshi for always keeping Calgarians best interests at heart and for an overall successful eleven years in the mayoral position. Lastly, I would like to thank all the other voters and candidates without whom our community wouldn’t be the place it is today. 

The results of this election are promising.  After Mayor Nenshi was elected the first Muslim mayor of Calgary, Mayor Gondek is now our first female, Punjabi mayor. After 160 years of Calgary’s city council and 36 mayors, Mayor Gondek will be the first female to hold this position. This is a huge step towards gender equality and I hope it leads the path to greater gender equality in the future. 

In addition to electing a new mayor and city council, Calgarians also elected their public and separate school board trustees on October 18th. As a young Calgarian, I personally hope that our new school board trustees will prioritize education. . . There are a few main issues I would like to see addressed in regards to our schooling system. Firstly, I think we should focus on mental health concerns because the well-being of a student is just as important as their grades. As we live through unprecedented times, the young people in our education systems are going to be the ones building our future. Thus, I also believe we should allocate more funding to the education system and start more student success programs that focus on youth and children.

Another notable thing that happened during the municipal election was the plebiscite on the reintroduction of fluoride into our water. The results showed that 62% of Calgarians voted yes to adding fluoride to our drinking water, while the other 38% opposed this plebiscite. It has been over 10 years since the last time fluoride was added to Calgary drinking water. The goal of fluoride is to help improve our oral and dental health by preventing cavities. However, there are concerns around being exposed to fluoride at an early age because it can lead to fluorosis and poorer cognitive ability. 

Calgary hasn’t been the only place with a municipal election in the past month. There were also municipal elections in cities across Alberta including Edmonton, Red Deer and Lethbridge.  Although we are living through challenging times, I believe that with the election of our new mayor, councillors, and school board trustees – the next few years look very promising. I look forward to seeing where the future takes us!