Calgary should lead a more unified approach to demand additional provincial funding, says a mayoral candidate.

Kent Hehr, a provincial MLA. said yesterday Calgary city council should be doing more to access provincial government funding by teaming up with other Alberta municipalities from the Calgary-Edmonton Corridor (CEC).

“As mayor of Calgary, I would host a meeting of Alberta mayors along the CEC in January to share common concerns and develop a strong unified approach,” Hehr said, adding he would want the summit to be an annual meeting between Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer.

“Calgary is the largest city in terms of population and economic output in the region and is in a unique position to offer leadership. We need that leadership now.”

Hehr says the city is missing out of economic opportunities because of strained relationships between municipalities along the corridor and continued clashes with the provincial government.

“This council has not built strong relationships with its regional partners.”

Calgary’s population density of 1,000 persons per square kilometre is low on the list of major North American cites, yet traffic gridlock is regularly mentioned as a top concern of citizens, according to Hehr.