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Calgary mayoral candidate Naheed Nenshi. (Chris Bolin/Chris Bolin for The Globe and Mail)
Calgary mayoral candidate Naheed Nenshi. (Chris Bolin/Chris Bolin for The Globe and Mail)

Verbatim

Nenshi acceptance speech Add to ...

Today, Calgary is a different place than it was yesterday. It's a better place.

And not because of me, but because of you. All of you. I want to thank all of the other candidates in this election for making politics in Calgary exciting again. I want to thank you all. Trustees, aldermen, [candidates for]mayor, for running campaigns of integrity, and inviting all Calgarians to believe in government again and to believe that government can be a good force in our lives. Our visions may differ, but all the candidates share something in common - a deep, deep love for our city and a strong hope for the future.

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No one expressed this better than Barb Higgins. We have to thank her for everything she's done for this city. I also want to give a special thanks to Kent Hehr and Wayne Stewart [candidates who endorsed Mr. Nenshi] But in particular, I want to thank Ric McIver. If you had told me six months ago that I would have gained so much in respect, in admiration for this man, for everything he's done for this city, I'm not sure I would have believed ya. But I have. He has been an outstanding leader for this city and I hope that he will continue to be an outstanding leader for this city. Thank you.

The great gift of this campaign is the movement that we've started. You know, the Purple Army was never about winning an election - it's a good thing. It was about revitalizing the level of conversation in the city. It was about talking to the person next to you on the bus, it was about taking an extra minute with the cashier at Safeway, and now it is about doing the work to build a better Calgary that we all dream of. Building that better Calgary - a Calgary that is innovative, that is risk-taking, that is not afraid of change, that is diverse and strong and proud of its diversity. A Calgary that is sustainable financially, ecologically and socially. A Calgary that is the best place in Canada to start and grow a business, and a Calgary that is the best place in Canada to raise a family. And a Calgary where city hall works.

So, to the new city council: congratulations on your election. I am so excited about working with you. We are going to be such a fantastic team for this city. To the good people who work for the City of Calgary, know that I am committed to make this a place where you are proud and happy to go to work every single day, where you are proud and happy to be spending every day serving this great city.

And to all Calgarians, to all Calgarians, thank you. Thank you for your support, and thank you for your willingness to have the tough conversations, to share your hopes and dreams, your challenges and fears for this great city. Thank you for your willingness to roll up your sleeves and start doing the hard work - starting tomorrow.

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