Mid-Sun community centre’s gymnasium was packed Thursday night, and transportation and neighbourhood development were the hot topics of the evening.

The Civic Camp forum for Ward 14 brought issues like appropriate transit links in some of the older Ward 14 neighbourhoods, problems with the Macleod Trail and 22X interchange and bridge, snow removal, and affordable housing to the fore.

What struck a Calgary political blogger about the event, however, was the size of the crowd on hand.

Shane Byciuk of Calgary Politics.com said the attendees, easily numbering over 300, were likely attracted to the event through a combination of engagement in the upcoming election, and dissatisfaction with their current representation.

“To have this many people means there’s some discontent,” said Byciuk. “People are searching for answers to some of their issues.

“This really bodes well for the upcoming election.”

The SE LRT also came up in discussion, and several candidates expressed disgust that the city put the West LRT ahead of the southeast leg.

“Why didn’t the city make the southeast LRT priority when a major hospital is being built in the deep south?” asked candidate Billy “the Butcher” Tummonds.

Janice and Ron, long-time Calgarians, say the turnout reflects the “the change underfoot” in the city.

“We’re just trying to get more value,” said Janice.

“I don’t see Calgary as a world-class city. (The candidates) talked of being visionary, but I never found anything visionary.”

Both liked the forum format and said it helped them begin formulating ideas about how they’ll use their votes. “It’ll certainly help me to focus on the candidates I like,” said Janice.

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