Make Ward 3 Matter
Ward 3 has had a long history of poor design by developers and neglect by city council.
An out-of-date development strategy focused on:
- packing in as many homes as possible; and
- assuming people will only move around in vehicles
created an area that has been called the "Fence Community" by modern city planners. It's nearly impossible to get to amenities by walking and the transit options are notoriously lacking, yet the city has made it clear that its goal is to increase density!
We are missing critical infrastructure, like the Greenline and a long-ignored medical centre. Many of our streets are not safe for pedestrians. Transit options are limited, and parking is a real problem.
In addition, Ward 3 was neglected for years by both the City and its own councillor, who was focused on northeast Calgary and the airport. Our most recent councillor began to reverse that trend, but she is resigning in order to run for mayor, leaving Ward 3 once again facing the possibility of being neglected and ignored by the City. That can't be allowed to happen.
I pledge to fight tirelessly for Ward 3
Pandemic and Economic Recovery
Ward 3 was hurt more than the average by the economic difficulties leading up to the pandemic. Then we got hit by a pandemic on top of that. Then Calgary got hit by the fourth largest natural disaster in Canada's history (remember that hailstorm?). Prices have gone up. Most of our property taxes were increased. Opportunities have gone down. Many people in Ward 3 are hurting.
They have lost jobs. Endured food insecurity. Suffered from isolation and mental distress.
Spousal abuse is up. Racism and intolerance are rearing their ugly heads. We need to come together and fix these problems.
I will focus on recovery
Build a Better City
Calgary has the potential to be one of the greatest cities in the world, and there have been some improvements in how the city has done things in recent years. But serious problems remain. City employees on the front lines are overworked and understaffed, yet middle management thrives on creating and enforcing red tape, while different departments refuse to cooperate with each other. The procurement system is a relic from the 1970s. There are Bylaws that literally don't make any sense. The Administration has flatly ignored or bypassed orders from council designed to improve things.
We spend too much time and money on wasteful things and don't invest properly in things that would actually make a difference. I support public art, but there have been some extremely expensive art projects ("Traveling Light", aka "The Big Blue Ring" is an example) in places where the public can't easily get to or see. There is no coherent plan for dealing with urban sprawl and the tax increases associated with it.
We've had serious ethical breaches, including a city councillor's outrageous expense reports, in which the integrity commissioner had to be replaced because he was involved in the expenses!
The entire consultation process needs to be overhauled. The community isn't "consulted" if it's just an information session and comments are ignored. Meaningful consultation requires respectful, two-way communication with a statistically significant number of residents.
Property taxes are constantly changing, and businesses went from paying 62% (too high) of property taxes to 48% of property taxes (too low), dramatically increasing taxes for residents. Both families and businesses need to plan for the future. I want to make this fairer and more consistent.
In addition to the serious and widespread issues within the City, we also have an image problem. Cities like Vancouver, Las Vegas, and Paris have identities of their own, but Calgary is primarily associated with the image of Alberta, which we have no control over. Calgary needs to develop and take ownership of it's image. Image affects the willingness for companies to move their head offices here. It affects the attraction of talent and investment. It prevents "brain drain." It affects tourism. It affects the pride people feel in this city. It affects how safe and welcome people feel. We need to have control over this.
I commit to a well-run Calgary where you feel welcome, safe, and proud.