Mayor Dave Bronconnier of Calgary will not run in October's election. Photo: Canwest
Calgary has big shoes to fill. You’ll notice I said ‘shoes’, not ‘cowboy boots’, the clichéd footwear so often associated with Calgary. That’s because, thanks largely to the innovative vision and get-it-done cojones of three-term mayor, Dave Bronconnier, Calgary has gone from being a western Canadian boomtown to a sophisticated city that’s as well regarded for its environmental policies and programs as it is for the strength of its economy.
No doubt to the surprise of many eco-conscious Vancouverites, Calgary is recognized as a world leader in many areas of greenhouse gas reduction; water management; urban forest and wetlands protection; sustainable energy development; and for its wildly-successful light rail transit system.
And by the way, this system is the only one in North America to be 100 percent wind-powered. Again at the urging of Mayor Bronconnier, Calgary became the first city in the country to commit to having all municipal services and facilities operating entirely on green energy by 2012.
Not bad for the city that fossil fuel built. Mayor Dave has moved Calgary forward on all fronts.
In the past decade, as the population soared, and newcomers arrived at a rate that was compared to Shanghai or Dubai, the stresses and strains on Calgary’s infrastructure were starting to show.