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Calgary

Will Nenshi Seek a Fourth Term in the 2021 Calgary General Election?

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After a tumultuous 2020, characterized by public outcries and wavering political leadership, the Calgary General Election is scheduled to take place on October 18, 2021. Nominations opened on January 4, and will close on September 20, one month before the election. 

The Calgary race currently features 9 prospective candidates who have announced their intentions to run for the position of mayor in October. The majority of these announcements were expressed on social media, however, the City of Calgary website currently lists only 2 official mayoral candidates who have submitted their forms. 

James Desautels announced his candidacy early, in August 2020. 

Ward 11 Councilor Jeromy Farkas announced his candidacy in September 2020, along with Emile Gabriel and previous candidate Larry Heather.

Brad Field announced his intent to run on November 18th, 2020. 

Chibunna Theodore Ogbonna, who goes by Teddy, also announced his intent to run in November 2020. 

Shaoli Wang shared his intent to run in December 2020. 

 Most recently, Ward 3 Councilor Jyoti Gondek announced her intent to run on Wednesday, January 13th, along with former president of the Kerby Centre for seniors, Zane Novak, who announced his intent to run on Wednesday morning. 

Naheed Nenshi, who has held the position of Mayor in Calgary since his election in 2010, has yet to announce his intentions for this year’s race. He has expressed uncertainty regarding running for a fourth term in the city, and was reported by Global News in December simply stating, “It’s bad procrastination on my part, but we are dealing with a pandemic and nobody’s got time for politics right now. We have to be focused on public health.” Officials are expecting Nenshi to announce his plans soon.  

Similar to the Canadian Federal model, Calgary’s current political structure does not impose a term limit on government officials, meaning the mayor can hold office as long as he maintains the popular vote. Councilor Joe Magliocca proposed introducing term limits in 2018, which would restrict mayors and city councilors to serving a maximum of 3 terms. However, following a controversial debate, the motion was defeated by council. 

Following the havoc of 2020, this year’s race promises to be an interesting one. The candidates advocate for disparate approaches to economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19’s detrimental effects on the local business landscape and Calgary communities. It is unclear whether Calgarians desire for strong political leadership in the midst of deeply uncertain times will manifest in the re-election of our current mayor should he choose to run once again, or in the election of a new candidate to lead Calgary into a prosperous future. Only time will tell.

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.

Alberta

Mangiapane nets 3-year deal, $17.4 million from Flames, avoids salary arbitrati

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CALGARY — Andrew Mangiapane of the Calgary Flames was rewarded on Monday for setting career highs in goals, assists and points this past season.

The Flames signed the 26-year-old forward to a three-year contract worth $17.4 million.

Mangiapane set career highs in goals (35), assists (20) and points (55) during the 2021-22 NHL season. The winger, who played all 82 regular-season games, finished the season with the fourth-most goals on the Flames and tied for the sixth most road goals in the NHL with 23.

He had three goals and three assists in 12 Stanley Cup playoff games.

Selected by Calgary in the sixth round (No. 166) of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Mangiapane has 132 points (78 goals, 54 assists) in 260 regular-season games, and 12 points (six goals, six assists) in 27 playoff games.

Mangiapane was a restricted free agent and avoided a salary arbitration hearing scheduled for Friday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 2, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Sentencing arguments for Calgary man who ran down and killed his wife with U-Haul van

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By Bill Graveland in Calgary

A Calgary judge reserved his decision Tuesday on a sentence for a man who deliberately drove over his wife with a U-Haul van during an argument and left her to die alone on a snow-covered street.

Ronald Candaele was convicted of second-degree murder a year ago in the February 2020 killing of Melissa Rae Blommaert.

Candaele already faces a life sentence but the Crown wants him kept in custody for 18 years before he’s eligible for parole due to his long history of domestic violence.

“He was violent. He was unpredictable. He dismissed court orders put in place to separate him and Ms. Blommaert for her safety. The murder of Ms. Blommaert on Feb. 10, 2020, was not an isolated incident,” said Crown prosecutor Robert Marquette.

“It was part of a long, terrible cycle of domestic violence which culminated in the offender committing the most heinous offence against Ms. Blommaert, taking her life.”

Candaele and his wife had been arguing when she got out of the vehicle in the Bowness neighbourhood of northwest Calgary and her husband got behind the wheel.

As she stormed away, Candaele drove the U-Haul into his wife. After running her over, he turned around and drove past her as she lay dying in the street.

The couple had been evicted from their subsidized housing apartment earlier in the day.

Marquette said Candaele also tried to hide his role in her death. When he was first questioned by police, he denied being with his wife and told officers she was missing, had maybe been kidnapped or committed suicide.

Candaele’s lawyer, Kim Ross, said his client should only have to serve the minimum of 10 years before being eligible for parole, saying the murder was not planned.

Ross said it happened at 4:10 a.m. and occurred in less than two minutes. He called the relationship a tumultuous one.

“This was a spontaneous, impulsive situation,” Ross said. “Two minutes changed the lives of a great many people.”

A victim impact statement from Monique Blommaert, the victim’s cousin, was presented in court.

In it, she said she has been suffering from anxiety and depression and worries the victim’s two children will eventually find out how she died.

“I still have a hard time believing that she’s dead and talk to her as if she’s still here,” said the cousin. “I still can’t believe that she was left to die alone in the street, run over and squished like nothing.”

Justice Blair Nixon has set the sentencing date for Aug. 31 and asked Candaele if he wanted to address the court.

“I’m sorry about the things that have happened. It was out of my control. I never seen her. She wasn’t in front of me at any moment in time,” Candaele sobbed.

“I’m a truthful person, sir, but I never seen her. I feel like this isn’t right. I maintain my innocence and I know God knows the truth. So does Melissa. So do I. I love her with all my heart and I always will.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 26, 2022.

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