Donn Lovett


Dear Friends and Residents of Cliff Bungalow Mission Community,

The Nominations are closed for this year’s Municipal Election to be held on October 21st. I have reviewed the Ward 8 candidates, and my choice is John Mar.

I have lived in Ward 8 since I moved to Calgary in 1982 and as many of you know, I have been actively involved in politics at all levels of Government. In fact, in 2010 I worked with Zak Pashak in the Municipal Election.

Since 2010 I have gotten to know John on several City issues and most recently worked side by side with John on the flood recovery. He was tireless, working 24/7 for all of us. We relocated residents of Inn From the Cold, we helped to launch Mission Possible at the corner of Elbow Drive and 4th St SW, deploying more than 6,000 volunteers in 1,000+ homes.

Then under John’s direction, Mission Possible moved to High River where we deployed more than 21,000 volunteers assisting with the cleanup in more than 3,000 homes. John is still a strong supporter of Mission Possible as we go forward.

I encourage all of you to get involved in this year’s Municipal Election and I’m quite sure after examining the candidates the vast majority of you will come to the same conclusion, John Mar is the best choice to represent the residents of Ward 8 on City Council.

– Donn Lovett, Director, Mission Possible Recovery Foundation; former member of the Executive, Cliff Bungalow Community Association

Carolyn MacDonald

As the current President and long-standing board member of the Spruce Cliff Community Association, I have worked with John Mar to help to resolve our community’s challenges. He has helped us navigate City Hall and was willing to find a solution when “no” was the initial answer.  He has always been responsive and approachable and has my trust and respect.

– Carolyn MacDonald, President, Spruce Cliff Community Association

My videos

Here’s my first video. Made with the help of Urban Revolver.

You can also see the 30-second version running as a YouTube ad here:


Secondary Suites

One of my opponents has made a number of allegations regarding my support of legalising secondary suites throughout the City because I recused myself from three votes on this issue in 2011. These allegations are completely unsubstantiated and false.

PlansI have been a strong supporter of legalising secondary suites throughout the city during my time on Council. In 2011, whilst my Wife and I were constructing our home and we decided to build a secondary suite for our Nanny.

You can see a copy of the plans here.

In order to construct a legal secondary suite in my neighbourhood, it is necessary to obtain a Land-Use Re-designation, which ultimately has to be approved by City Council.

The Municipal Government Act is very clear that if a Councillor could personally benefit financially from a Council decision, you must declare a Pecuniary Interest and recuse yourself from the vote. Assuming Council had decided to legalise secondary suites, I would not have to apply (and pay for) a Land Use Re-designation, thus reducing my costs to build a suite.

Tolley LetterI was concerned that I may have a conflict of interest on this issue as my Wife and I were deep into the process of trying to build a secondary suite. I sought and received the advice of the City Solicitor, who confirmed that I did indeed have Pecuniary Interest and was subsequently advised that I must recuse myself from the vote, which I did.

A copy of the letter that I received from the City Solicitor is here.

After a lengthy community consultation, several architectural plans, and dozens of meetings, my Wife and I ultimately decided not to purse construction of the secondary suite due to the incredibly difficult and expensive process involved in obtaining approval for suites in established neighbourhoods. My Wife and I discovered first hand how difficult and expensive it is to build a legal suite in Calgary and were forced to abandon the project.

During the construction process, we made the decision to lay a foundation for the garage so that one day we, or the future owners of our home could build a lane way house.

Currently, we do not have plans to build a new suite in the immediate future as we have accommodated our Nanny within our home eliminating the urgency, however we have left the door open should our family situation change in the future and I am no longer a sitting Member of Council.

It is extremely disappointing and perplexing that I am being attacked for acting in an ethical manner. This type of politics does nothing to further the debate on this important issue. I have been a strong supporter of legalization of suites throughout the City and will continue to work with Mayor Nenshi on trying to pass a by-law to make this happen.

Terry Rock

I think it’s important for the arts community to support John Mar, because we need that veteran leadership on Council as projects like King Edward School move forward.

John was instrumental in helping us get this project get off the ground. It was very complex. Needed a lot of community support. Without John’s assistance, guaranteed it wouldn’t be where it is right now.

I know John is someone who supports the arts. I think if you look at John’s voting record for issues that matter to artists, you’ll see that consistently  he’s on the side of making Calgary a more creative community.

We have an Arts Plan that is coming forward that will set a long term direction. John’s leadership on Council and committees and his understanding of the importance of that plan is fundamental to the future.

Terry Rock, arts advocate and former President and CEO, Calgary Arts Development 


Facts about this election

When an opponent starts misrepresenting the facts, it’s a sign of being desperate. We’re happy though to clarify a few questions for voters.

Before October 21, voters need to ask themselves: if a candidate is misrepresenting the truth, will they be able to represent me on Council?

1. Did John recuse himself from voting on the sprawl subsidy? Is John conflicted when issues about developers come before Council?

No. John voted on this issue. The Minutes of Council are here. It’s item 6.6 on the Agenda. The vote was 13-2, and John voted in favour of reducing the subsidy in half.

John isn’t a developer. He isn’t conflicted, and he votes on these issues.

2. Is John in the pocket of developers?

The record shows this isn’t true. If it was true, John wouldn’t have voted in favour of Plan It Calgary. If it was true, John wouldn’t have supported the Mustard Seed development in the Beltline.

3. Does John support secondary suites?

Yes. In fact, John has supported secondary suites every time an application has come before Council.

He also brought forward in July 2013 an emergency notice of motion before Council regarding secondary suites. You can see the Minutes from that meeting here.

4. Does John represent Ward 8 if he recuses himself from votes?

John recused himself from 18 votes out of approximately 3,669 in the last term. So 0.49%.

He did it because he received the legal opinion from the Law Department at the City of Calgary. You can see it here. Calgary needs members of Council who respect the Municipal Government Act and understand that they should not vote when there is a conflict of interest.

John had a conflict because he began the process to build a secondary suite himself. It was to be over his garage. You can see a picture of the plan here. He was soliciting feedback from his neighbours and realized he did not have the support of his neighbours to proceed.

5. Will John still have a conflict of interest regarding secondary suites during the next term?

No. John now won’t be proceeding with building the secondary suite. He no longer has a conflict and looks forward to voting on this issue during the next election.

Marc Doll

Marc Doll

Over the last 4 years I have had the pleasure of working with John on a variety of community projects. From helping to free up land for community gardens, helping to stickhandle through the bureaucracy of City Hall to the leadership he showed on the King Edward School Arts incubator project, I have always been impressed by the dedication and passion for community that Councillor John Mar has shown.

John has been a strong representative of Ward 8 and he has earned my trust and respect. His leadership on a variety of urban issues along with his strong voice in favour of secondary suites has been impressive.

The flood was devastating to large parts of the city. I can tell you from first hand experience that John rose to the challenge. From delivering cots to community associations at all hours of the night to brining people and organizations together through several sleepless nights, his efforts were impressive.

I believe his collaborative approach on council is one that has resulted in many important initiatives being moved ahead.

I have been dismayed by the false narrative that has been created in this campaign. As someone who has had the opportunity to work hand in hand with John for all 6 years of his time at City Hall, I have seen the leadership that he has brought to Council and I offer him my full, unreserved endorsement.

Marc Doll, Community Leader