Veteran city councillor Keating says he won’t be seeking re-election in 2021
Coun. Shane Keating will be leaving his Ward 12 seat open next year.
In a statement Monday, Keating said after three terms in office, he won’t run for re-election in 2021. The news comes after last week’s vote to approve the Green Line LRT project, which Keating has championed throughout his time on council.
“I feel that the torch should be picked up by someone else,” he said.
He’ll keep representing Ward 12 for the remainder of his term.
Keating, a former teacher and school principal, was first elected in 2010, beating four other candidates to replace Ric Mciver, who unsuccessfully ran for mayor that year.
Getting LRT service to Keating ’s southeast ward was a priority during that election, and 10 years later, his city colleagues praised his efforts to make the Green Line a reality. Last week, a nearly unanimous vote gave the go-ahead to begin building the first stage of the
LRT expansion next year, running from Shepard to 16th Avenue N.
“The biggest thanks here go to Shane Keating,” Mayor Naheed Nenshi said during that council meeting. “Shane has made (the
Green Line) his heart and soul since the moment he was elected.”
Nenshi and Coun. Gian-carlo Carra, who were both elected at the same time as Keating, also expressed their appreciation on Twitter Monday, with Carra applauding Keating’s “impactful public service.”
Keating said while he thinks three terms is “the right number to serve,” he also feels the need to focus on his family since his wife was diagnosed with cancer last year, and he’s been supporting her through chemotherapy and radiation.
“I need and want to devote more time that has been lost during my careers to the important factors in my life.”
In an interview, he said he hopes his announcement more than a year before the next election can help give others time to seriously consider running in his ward.
But Keating added that he worries about the future of municipal politics, which he said has become “negative and accusational and, in some cases, void of truth.”
He said he’s been dismayed to see other organizations, or even other councillors, spread misinformation.
“When a council member puts out tainted information, then other people actually see it ... they believe it first off,” he said. “It’s fanning the flames. It allows for the negativity and that style of politics.”
Council votes should be about the topic rather than an unmovable set of beliefs, he said. And that’s something he said he prides himself on, calling himself “an elected official, not a politician.”
“In other cities, you actually see formalized political parties, or something like the mayor’s party and those who are against the mayor,” he said.
“It shouldn’t be that way. The vote should be so diverse that they should be going topic by topic.”
The next municipal election is set for Oct. 18, 2021. With Keating ’s departure in Ward 12, there will be at least two open races.
Ward 10’s Ray Jones said when he was re-elected in 2017 that this term would be his last. Jones was first elected in 1993 and is Calgary’s longest-serving councillor.
Ward 12 Coun. Shane Keating will serve out the remainder of his term but will not seek re-election next year.