Calgary

Coun. Shane Keating won't run for re-election in 2021

Ward 12's Shane Keating, a former teacher who was first elected to Calgary city council in 2010, has announced he won't seek re-election in the next municipal election.

Calgary educator has held Ward 12 seat for 10 years

Ward 12's Shane Keating announced Monday via YouTube that he won't seek re-election to city council next year. He has been on council for 10 years. (CBC)

Coun. Shane Keating says he won't run for re-election next year.

The Ward 12 councillor, who has held his seat on Calgary city council since 2010, made the announcement on Monday via YouTube.

Keating told CBC News he decided to make his intentions known well ahead of next year's election so that potential candidates to replace him would have enough time to get organized.

"So that a really fabulous candidate can come forward and take over my spot," he said, going on to explain he's looking forward to returning to private life with his wife, children and many grandchildren.

"I think it's time now where I spend most of my time with my family," he said.

Keating says he's disappointed in how partisan and overtly political council has become, particularly since the last municipal election.

"It really has come down to, 'What can we do to make everyone look bad,'" he said.

"Unfortunately, I've seen that in this last term, and I think if it doesn't change, it's just going to get worse."

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said he's going to be sad to see Keating leave council.

"For 10 years, Coun. Keating has proven himself to be the very best kind of politician. Someone who leads ethically, someone who leads with integrity all the time," he said.

"I think that he has a  legacy that he can look back on very, very proudly."

Championed Green Line

Keating has lived in Calgary since he moved from Regina in 1991. He was a teacher for 18 years, and a principal for 13 years. 

As chair of the Green Line committee, he shepherded the largest project in the city's history until its long-awaited approval during a council vote last week.

Keating was also a cofounder of the charity Families in Remembrance of Military Members, which was established after his nephew Cpl. Shane Keating died in Afghanistan in 2006.

Conservative activist planning to run for seat

Long-time conservative political operative Craig Chandler had announced his intention to run for Keating's seat.

Chandler said at a Wexit rally in November 2019 that he planned to run a slate of right-wing candidates across the city, and would be supporting councillors Sean Chu, Peter Demong, Jeromy Farkas and Joe Magliocca. 

Keating described slates as the "worst" type of municipal politics.

"We don't have parties here. We should never have parties here. We should never have slates. Now there's nothing wrong with a group of individuals who want to run, but the moment you add slates in front of it, you're actually adding an independent party," Keating said in November.

Craig Chandler with the Progressive Group for Independent Business plans to run in Calgary's 2021 municipal election, along with a slate of conservative candidates. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

Chandler, the current director of the Progressive Group of Independent Business, has some controversies under his belt.

In 2016, Chandler stepped down from the Progressive Conservative party's board after accusing Earls restaurants of supporting terrorism by purchasing beef from a company that also offers halal meat for Muslim customers. 

In 2007, Chandler was forced to apologize as part of a Canadian Human Rights Commission settlement for anti-gay comments. He was rejected as running as a candidate for the PCs that same year.

With files from Scott Dippel and Sarah Rieger

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