Calgary

Former PC president Bill Smith announces plans to run for mayor of Calgary

Former PC President Bill Smith has added his name to the list of hopefuls running for mayor in the municipal election next fall.

'We have a lack of leadership in our great city,' he says

Calgary lawyer and former PC president Bill Smith announces his run for mayor at Fort Calgary on Monday. (Shannon Scott/CBC)

Former PC President Bill Smith has added his name to the list of hopefuls running for mayor in the municipal election next fall.

Calgary-born Smith is a former fire fighter and now owns a small law firm. He was president of the PCs during Ed Stelmach's time as leader. He launched his run for mayor on Monday at an event at Fort Calgary.

"We have a lack of leadership in our great city," he said. "We face a historic change in our economy.

"Many of the junior oil companies that brought so many jobs and tax revenue to our city no longer exist, and it is entirely possible that we won't see those days of $100 barrel oil ever again. It's up to leaders at all levels to ensure a balanced economy and a positive quality of life, regardless of the price of oil."

He also shared his concerns about crime, neighbourhood businesses closing, high taxes, and increasing fees and charges on utility bills.

Smith has the name recognition to make this a difficult race for Nenshi, said Lori Williams, an associate professor of policy studies at Mount Royal University. His run could deter others from coming forward, she said.

"If too many others are in the race they might just split the anti-Nenshi vote and [Nenshi] will be able to waltz up the middle," she said. "So with really strong candidates against Nenshi that might mean some people say, 'well, I'm not sure that too many of us will have a shot at this.'"

The current Calgary mayor, Naheed Nenshi, is seeking a third term in office. Also running for mayor are Emile Gabriel (EGJ), Shawn Baldwin, Andre Chabot, Paul Hughes and David Lapp.

The Calgary municipal election will be held on Oct. 16 this year. 

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