I chose to enter in the mayoral election because the current mayor has lost touch with the working class people of Calgary. Being a business owner and father, I understand the everyday struggles of small business owners and the everyday people of Calgary, the backbone of this great city. I will not propose theories of how large cities should work based on text books from ivy league schools in America. Calgary is a growing city that needs to focus on business, and civic priorities, not the hot topic of the day – shark fin soup, light pollution at the expense of citizen safety. Too much time and money is being spent on things that are not a priority for Calgary citizens.
Another area that the current administration has lacked is inter-municipal relations for the Calgary region. The current administration has had issues with receiving money from provincial and federal governments for infrastructure projects but has resisted creating a regional plan that could have more influence in receiving these investment dollars from higher levels. This investment money from higher levels of government is essential to keep the business community thriving in the Calgary area. The current state of roads connecting these outlining communities is deteriorating and is creating traffic issues within the city as well. Calgary already sells water to communities such as Airdrie and Strathmore so there is an existing relationship that can be strengthened. A regional partnership has been formed to create a better business environment for the region but the current administration has been acting like the big bully on the block, so much so, that the regional partnership is in jeopardy of disbandment. I understand that maintaining and strengthening relations with our neighbors is extremely important. Working together we can strengthen our position for required provincial and federal tax dollars that will allow us to better support and maintain shared infrastructure.
UPCOMING MAJOR INVESTMENT – WORKING WITH BUSINESS TO MAKE A BETTER CALGARY
I do believe in the city supporting business and increased tourism. It is from these things that the City can generate revenue to pay for needed infrastructure within our city.
1. The Saddledome, our current facility supporting professional sports and entertainment, is nearing the end of its life expectancy. It supports several professional sporting teams such as the Calgary flames, the Hitmen and the Roughnecks. It also supports many entertainment events that bring in tourism dollars to the entire City. That being said, we are also losing several events as this facility is lacking in modern technology and design that would support these events. Both Paul McCartney and Pink toured Alberta, played in Edmonton but skipped Calgary. The Mayor has stated that the City is not even open to discussions regarding replacement of this facility. I would work with private business to determine a balanced co-investment strategy to upgrade or replace this aging facility in a way that would ensure the taxpayers received a fair return on their investment.
2. City council is currently attempting to limit the number of restaurants along 17 avenue SW. This is blatantly controlling the free market zone. The city should ensure adherence to zoning and other laws, not controlling the number of types of business in an area.
3. The City needs to begin leveraging the value of the property owned by taxpayers for the benefit of the taxpayer. For example, there are currently several low income housing complexes located in the downtown core that in recent years have become very valuable. I will investigate the possibility of selling these properties to private business and re-investing these funds into low income housing close to downtown and transit. I believe that this is one way we can support our business community while at the same time serving our less fortunate citizens.
LIST OF DONORS
I believe in transparent government as well. Here is my list of donors to date:
Copy Cellar – $1000
Mr R Richard – $20
Melanie Thomson – $600
Bill Harms – $16
Delta – $50
Rork Hillford – $100
Kevin Belsher – $50