Nenshi looks ahead after one year as mayor

This week marks one year since Naheed Nenshi became the mayor of Calgary in a stunning come-from-behind victory.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi said he'd give himself a B+ after one year in office. ((CBC))
This week marks one year since Naheed Nenshi became Calgary’s mayor in a stunning come-from-behind victory.

The business professor-turned-politician made a lot of promises during his campaign, which featured a mix of innovative social media techniques and old fashioned door-to-door legwork.   In a feature interview to mark the anniversary, David Gray, the host of CBC Radio’s Calgary Eyeopener, spoke with Nenshi about his first year in office and what lies ahead.

Interview with Mayor Nenshi

Watch exerpts on CBC Television:

Calgary at 5, 5:30 and 6

"I would give ourselves a very solid B+," he said when asked to grade his administration’s performance to date.

Nenshi said significant progress has been made on 11 of the "12 better ideas" he campaigned on. Among those were reducing poverty, making Calgary’s neighbourhoods safer, improving public transportation and bringing new transparency to city hall.

"The 12th one is campaign finance reform, which is a provincial responsibility, so I can only push so far," he said. "The new premier may make it 12 out of 12 by the end of the year."

Nenshi said he has three main goals as he begins his second year as mayor: a long-term plan for Calgary Transit, cutting red tape in the planning and development process and working with Alberta’s new premier to reform the relationship between the province and municipalities.

"I’m thrilled that both the new premier and her minister of municipal affairs have shown that they're really open to this so it's time to start writing a city charter for Calgary," he said.

Nenshi was also asked whether he'd ever consider running provincially or federally.    "I get to wake up every morning and look at my horrible schedule and my 11 meetings and say ‘wow, I have 11 opportunities today to make the community I love so much better.    "That's a great thing. So I can't imagine anything being better than this right now."