In quotes: Nenshi makes Chamber address

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi made his annual address at the Calgary Chamber’s The State of Business in Calgary event today.

Here’s some of what the mayor had to say:

On the drop in oil prices

“Yes, we’re a little bit nervous about what’s going forward, about what will happen but I’ll remind all of you, we were also nervous at the end of 2008 and this city and this region, although we certainly had some pain, got through that better than just about everybody else in the world. And I think that that has a lot to do with the confidence and optimism of the people that live here.”

On the secondary suites debate

“The secondary suites discussion has become symptomatic of something more than what it is. It’s not going to solve the problem, it’s a small step towards solving the housing problem, but it’s an important one.”

“In creating a welcome, inclusive city for all, we have to ensure affordability of housing, and working on affordability of housing means working  throughout the housing spectrum. We have a situation right now where as you all know, the price to buy a house has gone up extraordinarily. The people who are renting are finding it extremely difficult to get the down payment, they’re staying in rental longer, forcing up the prices of rental housing. It means people who are working and should be in rental housing, but cannot afford market rent or cannot find a place in a city with sub one per cent vacancy are seeking subsidized, government or affordable housing.”

On living in Calgary

“We live in the best place in the world [and] that’s not just me saying that as a politician. It is the best place in the world and we are lucky to live here. But, there’s still poverty, there’s still lack of affordable housing, there’s still sometimes an unwelcoming environment, and we need to work together to make that happen.”

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