Calgary’s mayoral candidates have been turned into superheroes,  ready to save the day whatever the obstacle.  In our Calgary Journal/Calgary Herald/Calgary Sun survey, the mayor hopefuls are plunged into thorny scenarios, including the destruction of the city. What do they restore first?  What superhero powers do they choose? How do they keep their trusty sidekicks from slacking off? 

Jason (GoGo) Atchymichuk

Andre Chabot
Brent ChisholmEmile Gabriel
Larry HeatherDavid Lapp; did not respond
Naheed NenshiCurtis Olson
Bill SmithStan (The Man) Waciak; did not respond

The good news is that you get to choose your superhero power. What is it?

Achtymichuk: Teleport, fight apathy through technology.

Chabot: Invincibility.

Chisholm: To do what the community associations would like to have completed in their area. If an alderperson doesn’t respond to an individual in their ward I will respond in a timely fashion and have the problem fixed and taken care of.

Gabriel: Direct democracy, more power to the people, more power back from the people. I would like to add that I was forced to answer the fluoride question to continue the survey, but my answer is to educate and inform the people first, then make the decision.

Heather: Knowledge Applied Wisely.

Nenshi: Superspeed. Though I know I would just overbook myself and still be late all the time.

Olson: First off, my superhero name is ‘CPlan Man’ and I’m able to predict the future.

Smith: The ability to fly.

You don’t have much time. But you must quickly build your ideal superhero squad. What is the #1 quality you look for in your teammates?

Achtymichuk: Dynamic.

Chabot: Human compassion.

Chisholm: Open minds and a desire to do what’s best for the citizens and city.

Gabriel: Their sincere commitment to serving their commutes. Not focusing on making a career out of politics. For that reason I am committed to term limits.

Heather: Ability to research apart from fake news and polling.

Nenshi: Integrity, combined with empathy.

Olson: Commitment to action.

Smith: Loyalty – Because it is an intangible quality. Loyalty is tough to measure but you know when you have it.

Disaster! Much of the city’s infrastructure has been destroyed by an evil-doer. The roads, public buildings and transit are a mess. All the citizens are safe and basic necessities are still intact (food, water, shelter, etc.). But there’s so much work to do. You’re in charge of a lightning-speed rebuild. What gets top priority, and why?

Achtymichuk: Communication (internet and phone), roads/transit, animal shelters.

Chabot: Public transit.

Chisholm: I and council members go to all of the different community associations and absorb what we have been told in each ward and devise the best way of getting the most important problems fixed and onto the next ones on our list so everything gets completed and the citizens of this city satisfied and proud of where they live.

Gabriel: If it happens in winter, restoring power, otherwise, helping people who are not able to help themselves (disabled, or sick people in hospitals, to insure their safety), keeping an opened line of communication with the residents.

Heather: The road network to enable commerce to recover and provide the economic base to rebuild public services.

Nenshi: Transit, because we need to move people around as efficiently as possible in a disaster recovery situation.

Olson: Building IT architecture so that my team has relevant data to prioritize decisions and improve city operations #ForCalgarians.

Smith: Transportation. We have to get people moving again and on the road to recovery. It is vital that our roads, transit and bridges are in working order so that the necessary goods, services and materials get where they are needed most.

You’ve restored infrastructure. Things are going well! Suddenly, the city is being overrun by crime. Given your superhero abilities, how do you deal with this spike in criminal activity?

Achtymichuk: Dispatching help instantly to locations in need (people have to touch him to be teleported), therefore dispatching assistance where needed and also helping to infiltrate the underground with undercover agents. In addition I would deputize food trucks and open the bike lanes for emergency vehicles.  

Chabot: Engage the Public to assist in prioritizing highest need.

Chisholm: All the time we stay in touch with the CPS to stay informed of the whole picture facing the city and deal with the more problem areas on a tighter and continual base so things don’t have the opportunity to get out of hand.

Gabriel: By keeping an opened line of communication with the residents, altering them to be prepared and encouraging them to watch and protect each other while reporting to the police any suspicious activity.

Heather: Stop affirmative action hiring and forced equalization. Hiring based only on merit. Free unnecessary shackles and paperwork of officers to be able to respond quickly and effectively. Educate and Advocate for tough penalties up to and including capital punishment.

Nenshi: We hire more police officers to do community based policing work. But we also address the social and economic determinants of crime by addressing the need for community safety measures, affordable housing, addiction treatment (to prevent fentanyl overdoses), and tackling poverty together as a community.

Olson: Given that I can predict the future I will send police resources to locations prior to crimes occurring.

Smith: Being able to fly, I can oversee all of the crime occurring below and direct police resources where they can best address the immediate need.

There is just too much to do on so many fronts. You go to Superhero Headquarters to ask for help from your squad. But they’re slacking off! How do you persuade your fellow heroes to come to the city’s aid?

Achtymichuk: To persuade your team you understand the reason for the them slacking, take into account the views of all stakeholders and then explain the significance of their niche to help save the city.  Often times motivations comes from a sense of worth, you have built the team with specific powers and abilities, you need to express the importance of each and give them specific task based activities that only they can do (specialists) to save the city.

Chabot: By creating teams, praising them for their human compassion and leading by example.

Chisholm: Motivational speaking and ask for their opinion on if it was them that was behind the 8 ball so they could relate and become involved.

Gabriel: As a former office, we have always learned and practice readiness. My squad will always practice how to respond in case of an emergency, in order to make it their second nature to respond when the real challenge arises.

Heather: Privatize non mandate City Services. Get the City out of competing with the private sector. Fire communications department, return feedback duties to Councillor’s staff. Discontinue fake satisfaction polling.

Nenshi: I remind them of the importance of what we are doing for other people and remind them of Uncle Ben’s lesson: with great power comes great responsibility. And then I would promise them yummy samosas when we get back.

Olson: I’m going to remind them of the #CPlanYYC and that the work we’re doing is #ForCalgarians! I’m sure they’ll get my energy and together we’ll get our city back on track.

Smith: My goal would be to find ways to pull the team together to identify and coordinate the appropriate response. I would encourage and motivate my superhero colleagues to understand their roles and responsibilities in achieving the agreed upon goals.

All responses have been edited for typos, but not for grammar and wording.

Survey produced and edited by Amber McLinden, Kennedy Enns, Shaunda Lamont, Arianna Korbett, Robyn Welsh and Andi Endruhn.