Calgary’s city council mask zealots

Despite COVID-19 infections being in a total freefall in Alberta and despite the rest of the province dropping all restrictions on July 1, Naheed Nenshi and his usual gang of fartcatchers decided to keep Calgary’s mask bylaw intact as it is set to expire at the end of 2021.

This spiteful and pointless move was done simply to give the middle finger to Premier Jason Kenney. Kenney has invested a lot of political capital into what he is calling “the best summer ever”. Nenshi and company want to make sure that Calgarians remain miserable and hope that this will ensure that Kenney gets no bounce in support from people happily shedding their masks and getting back to normal living for the summer.

Unfortunately, it will be Calgary businesses who bear the brunt of the cost for Nenshi’s posturing as people choose either to shop outside of the city boundaries or to stay home rather than shop and go out while wearing stifling masks in the heat.

City council will be revisiting the mask bylaw on July 5. They may choose to finally get rid of the law and catch up with the rest of the province at that time or they may not. Clearly need and science aren’t behind their choices so it is hard to say right now.

Most of those who voted to keep us all masked will be running for one elected office or another this year. I want to document them below so that voters can be reminded just who decided to arbitrarily restrict their rights and return to normal in order to try and score petty political points.

Below are the seven council members who voted to keep you sweating and gagged this summer.

While Naheed Nenshi won’t be running for Mayor again, it is clear that he is far from being done in politics. He may be appointed to the senate or as Governor General. He may also run to become a Liberal MP if indeed he has his eye on the Prime Ministerial throne down the road.

Jyoti Gondek is Naheed Nenshi’s preferred successor. Nenshi’s former top man Stephen Carter is even managing her campaign. You may be familiar with her campaign signs polluting streets throughout the city as she takes advantage of a sign bylaw loophole in order to campaign for mayor while purportedly simply promoting a townhall meeting.

Diane Colley-Urquhart was past her electoral best-before date a decade ago. Unfortunately, voter apathy has allowed her to continue to keep her seat. Let’s hope her zeal in masking citizens finally encourages enough voters to send her out to pasture this fall.

Giancarlo Carra found life as a city councilor to be more lucrative than being an urban designer. While within the city, he could nudge developments into compliance with his density dreams. Carra consistently follows Nenshi’s lead and will happily swing left and become Gondek’s second on council if she becomes mayor. Let’s get Carra back into the private market so he can try pursuing his design dreams again. It will be for his own good (and ours).

You may not have heard of councilor George Chahal. That is because as a first term councilor, George has taken the tact of doing little and not making waves in order to keep his job secure. It worked well for Hodges and Jones for decades. George wants to keep you masked for the foreseeable future however thus he really should be eased out of his seat and replaced with a councilor who will be less lacklustre and who will put the needs of constituents ahead of those of the mayor’s agenda.

Druh Farrell has long been the queen of the looney left on city council. It was no shocker that she voted to keep citizens suppressed. Farrell finally won’t be running for re-election but she may surface elsewhere. I am sure the Notley NDP would welcome her with open arms. Let’s ensure that voters don’t.

Evan Woolley is the Hipster in Chief for council. Consistently left and happy with high spending. He was gleeful in voting to keep the mask bylaw. Woolley isn’t running for re-election but he has been known for electoral waffling for years. His eyes have always been on the mayor’s chair but he just couldn’t make that leap. Best that we help his indecision by making sure that he remains in the political dustbin of Alberta.

This fall’s municipal and federal elections will be important ones.

Here are seven people who no longer should be in elected office. Let’s remind voters of that this fall.

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