Calgary

Resolutions for Nenshi, Notley and Trudeau from CBC Calgary's political panel

Our CBC Calgary political panel offers a must-do list of resolutions for political leaders at city hall, our provincial legislature and Parliament Hill.

Jason Markusoff, Janet Brown and Zain Velji weigh in

Tips for Nenshi, Notley and Trudeau 8:19

Our CBC Calgary political panel offers a must-do list of resolutions for political leaders at city hall, our provincial legislature and Parliament Hill.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi

Maclean's Magazine's Jason Markusoff says the popular Calgary mayor has some tough choices for 2017.

"He is facing a really tough economy," Markusoff told CBC Calgary News at 6.

"Ten point three per cent unemployment — we have not seen that since the days Ralph Klein was mayor. There is a real temptation for him to pitch [an Olympic bid] as the thing that makes us feel better, race the economy, brings a lot of infrastructure but we will see whether his committee consulting on this says it's worth it."

Pollster Janet Brown said differentiating himself from provincial politics could give him a boost.

"He has got to show the empathy to Albertans and Calgarians that they may not feel they are getting from the provincial government right now. He needs to keep reinforcing that he gets how difficult it is," Brown said.

"Every politician needs a foil and I think if the mayor goes hard on Enmax and [power purchasing agreements] I think he will have the foe he needs to look strong to Calgarians.

Campaign strategist Zain Velji says there are two things he would recommend for the mayor.

"Clarity as to why he is running for the third term, not just because it is a great gig and I am a popular mayor but clarity as to what that future looks like for the next four years," Velji said.

"Candidates. One of the biggest things he has struggled with is passing some of his signature pieces of policy or legislation, secondary suites comes up. The right assemblance of candidates to get him the eight votes he needs on major issues, those are the two things he needs to resolve."

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley

Velji says the premier needs to move to the middle ahead of the next provincial election.

"You have set the blueprint with a really tough, political gut-punching year in 2016 — 2017 is when you execute and you move to the middle," he said.

Brown says Notley could benefit from pumping up her successes rather than putting out fires.

"That is a natural four-year election cycle and once she hits the two-year anniversary of her government, she has got to have all of the tough decisions behind her and then she needs to start repairing the damage," Brown said.

"They have got to get better at owning the victories. We are focused on the controversies and they are not doing a good job reinforcing what is going well. A handful of new schools opened up Jan. 1, it didn't make the news. They failed to grab that win."

Markusoff says finding a middle ground on finances is his recommendation.

"She has to deal with a very, very large deficit budget that is not going away despite the fact that oil is on the rise. Is she going to be on the middle or is she going to keep doing what she is doing?" he asks.

"If we see some middle ground finding on budgetary works that could help them."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

"He is got to come up with a strategy for how he is going to deal with Donald Trump," Brown said of Trudeau.

"He has tried to be politically correct through the whole thing, but he cannot hide his disdain for Trump. He has got to figure out a way to work with him."

Markusoff said the prime minister has a challenging year ahead.

"He also has to work with Aboriginals and a lot of bands are ticked off about the pipelines and they haven't really gotten the support they thought they were going to get," he explained.

"You also have newly ticked-off provinces. Seven of 10 have not signed on to the health-care deal, they feel kind of hoodwinked by what he was doing or caught off guard and they want more money and he doesn't have any money to give him. He has a lot more egos to cool and relationships to build."

But Velji would argue Trudeau needs to take some risks in the upcoming year.

"Signature pieces of legislation need to happen. He needs to make tough decisions and he finally needs to, and I say this with all due respect, alienate people," he said.

"May a move, stick with the decision and spend that political capital."


With files from CBC Calgary News at 6