Preston Manning says he's worried that Calgary city planners are stifling the growth of the local housing market.

The Reform Party founder said Calgarians want more free choice when it comes to development In a speech Wednesday night to the University of Calgary School of Public Policy.

Manning said the Western dream has always been home ownership.

"Now, will the next generation be able to realize this dream? I think there's a real danger that excessive land-use regulation could kill it,” he said.

Manning said he wants Calgary to be the best governed city in North America.

"The challenge is how to get there. By centralized, political planning or by informed consumer choices in the marketplace,” he said.

There have been accusations that home builders and developers are trying to sway the outcome of this year's municipal election.

It was revealed earlier this year that members of the industry raised more than $1 million to help more developer-friendly candidates get elected to council.

Roughly half of that money went to the Manning Centre, a non-profit corporation that focuses on conservative-oriented activities, and the other half went to the Manning Foundation, a research centre that operates as a registered charity. 

The foundation has produced a series of studies on the issues facing Calgary.

Incumbent mayor Naheed Nenshi said those studies are partisan, but Manning denied it.

"These are not partisan. We just invite people to look at the studies themselves. Don't take the mayor's word for it, don't take my word for it, look at the studies themselves."