On Saturday, February 10, a rally took place at Calgary City Hall calling for the removal of Calgary's current mayor, Jyoti Gondek, from office.
Mayor Gondek, also the city's first female mayor, was elected in October 2021 with 45% of the vote share. As of December of last year, her approval rating had slid down to 30%.
Upon taking office, she quickly saw a dip in support which is perhaps unsurprising as Calgary is in a traditionally conservative province. The previous mayor, Naheed Nenshi, was a progressive liberal.
Picking up where he left off, Gondek took this city even further left with some of her policies. One of those policy decisions included declaring a climate emergency in her first week. She also put restrictions on protests, specifically on those which oppose drag shows for children and also freedom demonstrations.
After two years of dwindling support for this mayor, Calgarians have decided they want to see a change. A site has been posted titled RecallMayorGondek.com, which is designed to collect signatures and promote other actions such as public protests.
As of late this week, the site slightly changed and is now asking folks to fill out a Google form which will then be used to send people petition packages straight to their homes to ensure the process remains legal.
In order to sign you must be at least 18 years old, a Canadian citizen, and a resident of Calgary. You must also have a witness. Before the petition can be considered valid, they must gather a minimum of 514,284 eligible signatures within a 60-day period, constituting 40% of the city's population as of 2019.
As I walked through the crowd, asking them what issues they had experienced under this leadership, the most common complaint was high taxes, especially those placed on small business owners. After the lockdowns and mandates that struck with Covid-19, small businesses were already in a pit of struggles. It is no surprise that businesses are upset with increased taxes as they are still trying to recover from the financial losses of the lockdowns.
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