Naheed Nenshi says 'optimistic resilience' will guide Calgary in 2017

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says he's hopeful about the city's economic outlook, and not just because the price of oil has started to recover.

Calgary mayor takes part in Q&A session with Chamber of Commerce president

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says his two words for 2017 are optimistic resilience. (CBC)

Mayor Naheed Nenshi thinks Calgary will be guided by two words in 2017 — "optimistic resilience."

Nenshi said he's hopeful about the city's economic outlook, and not just because the price of oil has started to recover, 

He made the remarks in a wide-ranging speech followed by a question-and-answer session during a town hall event Tuesday morning at the Hyatt Regency hotel, sponsored by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.

While the energy sector worked to readjust to new economic realities, city hall has been busy making sure Calgary is on solid fiscal footings, including a comprehensive zero-based review to find cost savings, Nenshi told the crowd.

"I'm very, very proud of the work that we have been doing in the last six years to make the city more efficient," he said. 

Nenshi said the thousands of layoffs in the energy sector have made it more important than ever to remember to help people who are struggling in Calgary.

He said he believes the source of Calgary's resilience is the simple truth that we're all in it together.

"Calgary's poverty reduction strategy, Enough for All, starts with a simple sentence, and that simple sentence is, 'My neighbour's strength is my strength,'" he said.

"But that also means that the failure of any one of us is the failure of every one of us," he said.

He encouraged businesses that are still thriving to think about how they can help in the fight against poverty, from supporting not-for-profit groups to buying goods and service from local entrepreneurs.

"Those of us that can afford to give this year, need to give just a little bit more than we have in the past," he said.

"Because too many of our neighbours want to be able to give, and just can't this year."