Calgarians react to new Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek’s first year in office

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It has been just over a year since Jyoti Gondek replaced Naheed Nenshi as mayor of Calgary, Alberta making her the first female mayor this city has ever seen.

Mayor Jyoti Gondek is now sitting at a 35% approval rating, down from 38% in the spring, while 55% of those polls disapprove of her performance in her first year.

Gondek was originally voted in with more than 45% of the popular vote. So why the drastic decline in approval?

Jyoti Gondek stepped into leadership in a conservative city which was run by a progressive liberal for 10 years, and ran it even further left with some of her proposals. One of these included declaring a climate emergency in her first week in office.

Some could say those efforts were wasted as we are about to head into Alberta’s coldest start to December in over 100 years.

As Calgarians face inflation and many are still suffering from lockdown related financial issues, we are seeing spikes in prices from the city in areas such as transit and property tax.

Hopefully the mayor and city council can work towards relief for Calgarians. Consequently, these are issues that Gondek and Alberta’s Premiere Danielle Smith must work together to address.

Jyoti Gondek was very quick to tackle the rapidly growing freedom protests in Calgary’s Beltline. She went on to say the protests are more like “parades” and aren’t about mandates because those have been removed. Furthermore, she says the standard response that this will ‘fizzle out’ is “shameful.”

Although the city had dropped almost all COVID related restrictions, citizens were still concerned with things such as the unvaccinated who were laid off due to mandates, the ties of our politicians to the World Economic Forum, worrying at the return of these harmful lockdowns and restrictions, and getting justice/raising awareness for the vaccine injured to name a few. 

Her attempts to minimize the efforts of those protestors is what turned and kept many of those in support of that movement against her leadership.

Many Calgarians were disappointed to see the fallout of the long-hoped for new Flames Arena deal. The corporation responsible for this arena saw great concerns in the risks of rising costs which mainly resulted from the city’s initiatives on addressing ‘climate change.’

Alberta continues to attract new films and TV shows with its beautiful landscape and wonderful film crews, Gondek took interest in Calgary’s film industry and sent a team of film industry officials to Los Angeles to help push Calgary in the film and TV market.

Motor Gondek is planning on creating an Indegenous gathering site in 2023. The city is planning on transferring a piece of land from Fort Calgary to a non-profit society, which will therefore use the site as a place for Indigenous ceremonies and be an effort on the city’s hand towards ‘truth and reconciliation.

Jyoti Gondek took what some would call a ‘rough start’ to her leadership. She was forced to pick up the pieces left by former mayor Naheed Nenshi and carry on in a city that is standing up against the liberal agenda in the streets.

Going forward, her effort to build a working relationship with Alberta’s new Premier Danielle Smith is crucial to setting this conservative city aside for success as the Premier seems to be one of the very few voices in the province for true conservatives.

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