Calgary city budget debates heat up
Ald. Diane Colley-Urquhart fires back at Mayor Naheed Nenshi over ATM remark
A Calgary alderman lashed out at Mayor Naheed Nenshi during the city’s fourth day of budget debates.
On CBC Radio Wednesday, Nenshi criticized some of his council colleagues for trying to add new spending to the city budget.
"A lot of the alderman, I’m sorry to say, seem to think in the second year of your mandate when the election is far away they can treat the taxpayer like an ATM," Nenshi told CBC Eyeopener host David Gray.
Nenshi said Ald. Gord Lowe, Ald. Diane Colley-Urquhart, Ald. John Mar, Ald. Druh Farrell and Ald. Brian Pincott tried to add $4 million a year for more tree watering without any analysis, something administration didn’t ask for.
Nenshi also made remarks to the media saying this council was slipping back into the bad behaviour of the previous council, a council he claims was toxic and always fighting with each other.
Mayor points out recent tweets
On Thursday, Colley-Urquhart rose on a point of privilege and told Nenshi that she found the comments disrespectful and dishonest.
She said she doesn't want an apology because the comments were made outside of council chambers, but does want the mayor to be more careful in his remarks.
Colley-Urquhart said she has a lot more respect for public office than to treat her constituents like an ATM.
Nenshi didn't apologize and said everyone on council should hold themselves to the same standard.
He countered that Colley-Urquhart had made some remarks herself in recent weeks on Twitter, including calling the mayor "petulant."
But in the end, the exchange was civil and both agreed they respect each other and council needs to work together.