From Mumbai to Cold Lake: Hansa Thaleshvar’s journey to become mayor of a small Alberta town

Hansa Thaleshvar is an immigrant from India who became mayor of the old town of Cold Lake in 1992. It was a small community back then, dominated by the oil-and-gas industry and the military base. When Hansa first ran for school board trustee in the 1980s, her husband said it would be hard to get votes since many people couldn’t even pronounce her name. Hansa herself said she initially agreed to run, as long as she wouldn’t have to do any public speaking.

That all proved wrong. Hansa was a successful school trustee, she went on to become town councillor, and eventually a long-serving mayor of Cold Lake. And she became comfortable with public speaking, to boot.

Hansa talked to the Broadcast about how her political success was built on a commitment to community. Her political journey may have been considered unlikely — especially starting off in small-town Alberta in the 1980s — but her successes and teachings can’t be ignored.

Also in this episode, we talk about the Alberta’s budget, released last week. We look at the budget for the Ministry for the Status of Women, and what those funds might be used for. If you want to catch up on what the Ministry is all about, read about it here.

AND, Cynthia Nixon — better known as Miranda Hobbes from her role in Sex and the City — is running for governor of New York. Will voters be able to separate her character from her political persona?

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