Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, the winner of the 2014 World Mayor Prize, is the most admired mayor of any large Canadian city. His vision how a city should plan for its future has attracted the attention of urban thinkers from across North America. Since taking office in 2010, he has become the most admired mayor of any large Canadian city. He is an urban visionary who doesn’t neglect the nitty-gritty of local government. For many in North America and indeed Europe, Mayor Nenshi is a role model for decisive management, inclusivity and forward planning. He has also demonstrated strong leadership during disasters like the Alberta floods of 2013 and last year’s power outage, which affected large parts of the downtown area of the city. While Mayor Nenshi rejects being labelled progressive or indeed anything else – in the World Mayor interview he said: “I really believe that this kind of categorization alienates people and keeps them from participating in the political process.” – he has not shied away from challenging conservative views from some members of Alberta’s provincial government.
Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey congratulated Nenshi over Twitter. Mayor Jeffrey and Mayor Nenshi have at least one practise in common; unlike the mayors of Peterborough, ON and Mississauga, ON, who despite an Ontario Court of Appeal decision, allow the Lord’s Prayer to be recited at the beginning of council meetings, Nenshi and Jeffrey do not.
The City Mayors Foundation describes Mayor Nenshi as an “urban visionary” and “a role model for decisive management, inclusivity and forward planning.” Mayor Jeffrey has a vision for Brampton: “to put the city of Brampton in a different place, to be not an outlier, to be leading edge.”
Both Nenshi and Jeffrey lead their councils and their cities without help from “Our Father, Who art in heaven.” Now that’s decisive management!