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A look at council’s past and future

With the coming election just over a month a way, Calgary will soon have its 100th city council in place and a number of issues to tackle, according to one expert.

With the coming election just over a month a way, Calgary will soon have its 100th city council in place and a number of issues to tackle, according to one expert.

Calgary’s first municipal general election was held on Dec. 3, 1884, where four councillors and the mayor were elected, according to information from the city.

Since that time council has faced countless issues, but one in particular is the most significant, according to Max Foran.

“The redevelopment plan involving the Canadian Pacific Railway and the city in 1962, 1964 … that was the biggest issue ever to hit the City of Calgary, or city council, easily,” said Foran, a professor in the communication and culture department at the University of Calgary.

While that may have been the biggest issue council has faced in the past, political scientist Bruce Foster said there are more challenges to overcome for the upcoming council.

“This last city council with Bronconnier at the helm has sort of been in some ways, they’re a bricks-and-mortar kind of council, they’ve always been about building, about expanding,” said Foster.

“In many ways, I think the most pressing thing for this city now is how to define itself and how to manage its growth.”

Foster said he believes Calgary has yet to establish an identity, adding that it has a small-town feel but is expanding at a rapid rate.

“In some ways, the city sort of lacks a focus and a political culture beyond the white hat (and) Stampede,” he said.

 
 
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