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News This article is more than 3 months old

Celebrity Millionaire W. Brett Wilson Accuses Naheed Nenshi of Using ‘Race Card’ to Become Calgary Mayor

W. Brett Wilson blames Naheed Nenshi's 2017 election win on voters in ethnically diverse neighbourhood

June 3, 2020

Celebrity millionaire W. Brett Wilson, a former Dragon’s Den star and co-owner of the NHL’s Nashville Predators, is at the centre of another controversy, this time accusing Calgary’s mayor of playing “the race card” to win the last election.

Naheed Nenshi, who is of Ismaili Muslim descent, is the city’s first Muslim mayor.

Wilson got involved in a heated exchange on Twitter Wednesday about the city’s planned Green Line transit expansion — one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Calgary’s History — trading sharp responses with people who told him the issue had already been settled after Calgary’s 2017 municipal election.

“Hardly the issue that won the day,” Wilson replied to a local doctor.

“The (northeast) voting block that rose up when Nenshi play the race card was what won the day,” Wilson tweeted.

Calgary’s northeast quadrant has the highest proportion of residents that identify as visible minorities.

Twitter

Wilson’s comments echo a talking point floated by failed Calgary mayoral candidate Bill Smith in 2017, who accused Nenshi of “throwing the race card into the mix” after the mayor condemned racist trolls on social media.

It is unclear how those comments would have swayed the outcome of the election, which Nenshi won by a wide margin, carrying 12 of Calgary’s 14 wards.

Wilson did not respond to a request for comment from PressProgress asking him to clarify what he meant by his “race card” tweet.

His tweet prompted widespread criticism Wednesday afternoon.

Local publications often celebrate the celebrity millionaire as “one of Calgary’s greatest philanthropists” and someone who “helps build community.”

Earlier this year, a group of Calgary elites with ties to Jason Kenney’s UCP gathered at the Petroleum Club in an effort to “delay” construction of the transit project.

 


 

Correction: This story originally stated that a group of Calgary elites gathered at the Petroleum Club last month. In fact, according to CBC News, the gathering at the Petroleum Club occurred in February.

 

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Analysis

Ontario’s Five Biggest Police Boards are Overwhelmingly Male and White

Three-quarters of all police services board members are white, while two-thirds are male

June 2, 2020

Ontario’s civilian police services boards are supposed to represent and reflect the communities served by local police forces.

But a new analysis by PressProgress looking at the racial and gender composition of Ontario’s five largest police services boards, the independent bodies in charge of setting the priorities and policies of local police forces, suggests many Ontarians are not reflected or represented by the people who create the rules for the police.

In total, three-quarters (74%) of board members overseeing Ontario’s…