News / Calgary

Nenshi apologizes for ‘math is difficult’ comment, Rempel asks mayor to move on

Apology was met by an ‘lol’ from the MP, according to Calgary’s mayor

Calgary's mayor is looking to Michelle Rempel for any ideas she has on fixing the city's tax situation.

Metro /The Canadian Press

Calgary's mayor is looking to Michelle Rempel for any ideas she has on fixing the city's tax situation.

Michelle Rempel want’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi to stop talking about their Twitter exchanges, and get to the real issue: increased taxes need to be acknowledged and rectified.

Earlier this week, the mayor was quoted by the public broadcaster after he made the remark “math is challenging,” directed at MP Michelle Rempel, with whom he was sparring on Twitter over remarks she’s made about the city’s property taxes.

“I was frustrated you know on Sunday night she had said some things that weren't true,” said Nenshi. “Although I explained the situation she continued to say things like the city's policy is to increase the taxes on small business and not acknowledge that we're actually trying to solve this problem.”

He’s talking about the city’s plans to dish out $15 million from the city’s rainy day funds to small businesses who will be facing more than 30 per cent increases as the downtown core faces a 30 per cent vacancy rate – driving down values. This move was approved back in November, but hasn’t been put into action yet.

According to the mayor, bylaws currently in place mean the city can’t give one business relief over another, so the city is currently working out exactly how to dole out cash.

“When the comment ‘math is challenging’ is being made, and the issue of increased taxes as having an effect on the economy is being dismissed as misinformation, I think it really does a disservice to the gravity of the situation,” said Rempel at her Alberta Jobs Taskforce Community Meeting. “I have a room full of close to 100 people here, almost every comment at every table is: ‘my taxes are too high.’”

On Wednesday, the mayor apologized for his words, which were taken as a sexist remark. But Nenshi noted he’s heard nothing but an “LOL” in response from the MP.

“She spent hours tweeting and re-tweeting the most vicious personal attacks and insults against me,” the mayor told reporters. “I've never seen a politician in Canada do anything like that before, you know, calling me an A-hole, calling me pathetic for hours.”

Nenshi added it didn’t seem like Rempel wanted to hash things out with him.

According to Rempel, she did request a meeting with the mayor about these issues months ago before their Twitter war, but never heard back.

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