Calgary city councillor George Chahal will run for the Liberal Party of Canada in the next federal election, withdrawing as a candidate in Ward 5.
Chahal made the announcement via Twitter on Thursday evening. He will run as a candidate in the Calgary Skyview riding. There have been ongoing rumours that a federal election will be called this fall, right around Alberta municipal elections.
“I’ve been honoured to represent the residents of Ward 5 at city hall since 2017,” Chahal wrote in a release.
“These haven’t been easy years in Calgary. As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, our city needs strong leadership and representation at the federal level now more than ever.”
Chahal ran and won in the 2017 municipal election, scoring a convincing win in that ward. In a six-candidate race, he emerged with nearly double the second-place candidate, Aryan Sadat.
Chahal has been a champion for equity in northeast Calgary, pushing for more services and amenities in that quadrant of the city. He took the lead on the creation of the public safety task force to address serious gun crime in the northeast.
The Ward 5 councillor also led the charge to help residents in northeast Calgary hit hard by the devastating 2020 hailstorm. That led to the creation of a roofing rebate for homeowners looking to upgrade to more resilient material.
Strong Calgary representation
In his release, Chahal said that northeast Calgary is growing rapidly and needs effective representation.
“I want to represent our diverse and underserved communities at the federal level and advocate for the investment needed to make life better for those living Calgary Skyview and beyond,” he said.
Chahal offered encouragement to current and future candidates, to continue the strong northeast representation.
“Thank you to the residents of Ward 5 for placing their trust in me as City Councillor,” he said.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Calgary for the $5 billion Green Line announcement. PM Trudeau dodged questions about being on an election wind-up tour and whether Canadians should prep for a summer election.
“Canadians should be and can be expecting that their elected leaders work hard for them every single day,” PM Trudeau responded.
Chahal’s departure from the race now ensures that Calgary will have only five or six councillors that could potentially return this fall. Right now, Ward 2’s Joe Magliocca hasn’t yet announced a campaign.
Four other candidates remain in Calgary’s Ward 5: Tariq Khan, Aryan Sadat, Anand James Chetty and Raj Dhaliwal
Calgary’s municipal election is Oct. 18, 2021.