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Calgary's mayor congratulates returning provincial government, cautions over divisive rhetoric

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh) Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

Mayor Jyoti Gondek says she's looking forward to working with the re-elected UCP government on Calgary's priorities, while also appealing to people to reflect on the often cruel tone of a tough campaign.

Gondek says she messaged Premier Danielle Smith late Monday night to offer her congratulations.

"And my office will be seeking a meeting with the premier's office as quickly as possible," Gondek said Tuesday.

Many familiar UCP ministers will not be at the table following resignations and defeats but Gondek says the city looks forward to sitting down with them all.

"We will be working with whichever folks are appointed to ministries," she said.

"There's going to be some places where we're going to pick up where we left off and in others, we will be getting acquainted with new ministers."

"The good news is the administration of the provincial government will remain the same, so there is a lot of institutional knowledge."

The biggest project impacted by the election is the long-awaited new-arena deal, which the previous provincial government agreed to put $330 million toward in infrastructure.

The project will replace the aging Scotiabank Saddledome as the home of the Flames.

Gondek did not give a timeline for the release of further details of the $1.2-billion-dollar project, saying the province would need time to work out details on its portion.

"We presented a very good opportunity to our partners by going through a 16-month exercise of bringing experts on board to structure a deal that works well for Calgarians," Gondek said.

"One of the first things we need to recognize is that we have a brand-new provincial government, which will need to form its cabinet and then ultimately have a treasury board meeting, so that one partner needs a little bit of time."

Gondek also had strong words about some of the at-times violent and hateful rhetoric floated in public forums and on social media by candidates and their supporters.

"The level of hate and the implied violence in some of those comments is incredibly disturbing," Gondek said.

"I would ask people to think long and hard about the consequences of their words.

"Words are something that should be used with great care. We are privileged to live in a democracy and we need to act like civilized human beings and we need to recognize the values that we must maintain."