Calgary's mayor is firing back at a provincial cabinet minister who likened him to a peacock.

After Naheed Nenshi said on the weekend that the province treats Calgary's city council like it's the junior league of politics, Minister of Municipal Affairs Doug Griffiths shot back Monday.

In an interview with the Calgary Herald, the minister said Nenshi thinks he's always right and is puffing up like a peacock because it's an election year. 

The war of words is related to the drafting of a city charter for Calgary and the ratification of the Calgary Metropolitan Plan.

That plan would see municipalities in the Calgary area work together on decisions about future roads, transit and water in the region. Fourteen municipalities are on board with the plan but three districts do not support it.

Nenshi has complained the province has been slow to get the municipal plan ready to be legislated.

But Griffiths claims Calgary’s mayor hasn’t called him in months.

"One of the challenges that the city has on this is that we're being marginalized and frankly abused in a lot of this and I think the minister's comments today are simply proof of that," Nenshi said.

"You know, rather than responding to a legitimate concern raised about a file that he's mishandling, what we get are personal insults."

For months, Nenshi has been calling for a meeting with the premier but, so far, nothing has been arranged.

Nenshi said he was surprised to hear Griffiths say the province would now lead a mediation process.

"It's the first I've heard of that," he said.

"The conversations with the rural partners have been going on for many, many, many years, with lots of different facilitators. And I'm not sure that a new government appointed mediator is really going to make any difference, given that the government has already signalled that they will give the rural municipalities whatever they want."