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With the recent recovery in oil prices, Calgary has woken up from a long economic slumber, and its new mayor wants to help the city reduce its dependence on oil by pioneering new sources of energy.

Jyoti Gondek holds a Ph.D. In urban sociology, was a member of the city’s planning commission and a city councillor. She promotes policies that put her at odds with the city’s conservative establishment, which is tied to the oil industry.

last fall of oil, in 2014–15, gave Calgary a city of 1.3 million, a problem most cities now face: finding new uses for vacant downtown office towers. As has been the case in many cities since the start of the pandemic, Calgary also has a growing number of people, many suffering from serious mental health and drug problems, living on its streets.

I met Ms. Gondek, the city’s second consecutive mayor of South Asian heritage, at City Hall earlier this week, days after the city and province announced they would both spend a total of $867 million to build a new arena. Will contribute Canadian dollars. For the Calgary Flames. The announcement was widely seen as a move to boost the re-election hopes of the premier, Danielle Smith, who has often championed Ms Gondek’s political agenda in the current provincial election campaign. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

What do people get wrong about Calgary?

People who don’t live here and haven’t been here have been sold a stereotype of who we are. It’s like this cartoon image of Calgary. And I think we’ve done a remarkably poor job of properly telling our story as Calgarians.

The narrative developed that we were only interested in oil and gas – and that was about it. We let it slip away from us and now we are trying to get it back. The investment we need here is very important. We need to talk about who we really are.

How has Calgary’s growing ethnic diversity changed the city?

It’s the third most diverse city in Canada, and yet many people don’t know this about us. But if you spend some time here, it’s quite obvious.

The capacity building that many ethnic communities have done allows newcomers to come here and actually settle here and not just make it a landing place. People come to Calgary and they stay.

It comes with a few things. There is economic benefit. If it’s easier to get a job, the better the income levels, the more affordable your housing – all these factors certainly play a part. But when you see people who look like you, when you are out there and you hear your mother tongue, when you are taking part in a cultural activity and you get a piece of your history in it – all this gives you a sense of belonging. Makes you feel like the place makes you feel like you belong here. It has taken a long time to cultivate it.

There have been many booms and busts related to oil and gas. Is the cycle doomed to continue?

We are now at a remarkable point where real energy transformation is possible, but we need to make some significant investments. So we have an energy transition center in town that is taking some big, bold steps in partnership with a lot of our oil sands companies. We have people actively looking at hydrogen and critical minerals strategies.

So we have a really big interest in the future of energy generation. While we were the center of oil and gas, we remain the center for the new face of energy.

  • Dan Bilefsky meets with another mayor of Canada’s new big cities: Ken Sim, First Chinese mayor of Vancouver. Mr. Sim is caught up in the current political storm caused by claims of Chinese government interference in Canadian elections.

  • Canada expelled a chinese diplomat which it accused of intimidating a Conservative member of parliament and gathering information. Soon after, China retaliated by sending home a diplomat from the Canadian consulate in Shanghai.

  • Wildfire Season in Alberta And British Columbia has started, covering an unusually wide area of ​​the province. Warmer weather forecast for the weekend has prompted officials to watch for more fires to spread.

  • Striker Samoyed stole the show at last year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, only to lose in the final round. He’s now retired, and Sarah Lyall reports from her home in Toronto that the striker is “still a champion, and he’s still busy — playing, romancing, posing and shedding Is.”

  • canada is Expanding its training program for Ukrainian forces to a NATO base in Latvia where about 800 Canadian military members are now stationed. Canada has had a presence there since 2017 as part of a battle group to bolster the coalition’s security efforts in the Baltic region.

  • “Blackberry,” a comedy about Canada’s onetime tech giant Directed by Matt Johnson, is the New York Times Critics Pick. In her review, Janet Catsoulis writes that it is “a tale of a rise to success that blends its humor with a strangely moving wisdom.”

  • A Canadian actor is the subject of another critic’s choice. “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie” is a biographical documentary that reviews the actor’s career and explores his experiences learning to live with parkinson’s disease,

  • After 27 years of performing and recording, Canadian The Band Is Breaking Up 41 Its act.

  • Canadian tennis player Denis Shapovalov, currently ranked 27th, has been among those to criticize some of the tournaments, including the National Bank of Canada Open. still giving less prize money to women much as they do for men.

  • Connie Walker, a Canadian journalist who is a member of the Okeanese First Nation in southern Saskatchewan, was selected by the Pulitzer Prize jury for her work in a. Podcast about residential schools,

A native of Windsor, Ontario, Ian Austen was educated in Toronto, lives in Ottawa and has reported on Canada for The New York Times for the past 16 years. Follow him on Twitter at @ianrausten.

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