October 14, 2017
Over the last few months I have criss-crossed Ward 11 and spoken to families, to community associations, and to residents just like yourself. I’ve heard consistently from my conversations, that in the next city council residents want:
- Open and clear communication from City Hall;
- To have their opinions actually matter in infrastructure and development consultations; and
- Fiscal responsibility starting at the top.
I believe that communicating with residents needs to be at the top of our priority list at City Hall– we need to make sure that communities and Calgarians are included in the consultation process, and not an afterthought. I believe that City Hall needs to live within its means, we need to make sure that we balance our priorities and our fiscal responsibilities. I believe that we need to be accountable, as your elected representatives– City Hall needs to be transparent and honest.
And this needs to start on Day 1.
On October 17th, I promise to you to roll my sleeves up and get to work and provide Ward 11 with the necessary updates on key issues like the SW BRT and progress on flood mitigation.
I want to make sure that Calgary continues to be a world class city, and that Ward 11 continues to be a thriving, vibrant and active community.
This is a tight race and with your support we can do it.
So on Monday make sure you get out, cast your ballot and vote in this important election. Every. Vote. Counts.
October 12, 2017
As we inch closer to October 16th and residents of Ward 11 make a decision on who should represent them at council, I feel it is important that you know where I stand on the issues which impact you. It’s why our team has collected all of our policy and value releases in to a single page called Linda’s Values, so you can easily find what I stand for and what I will do as your next councillor.
I believe voters should know clearly where their candidates stand on topics such as City Finances, The Arena, Flood Mitigation and Engagement with citizens. You can read my polices here or use the navigation menu.
October 4, 2017
Early voting in Calgary’s Municipal Elections starts today and stretches until October 11th (excluding October 9th). Our team has been encouraged by the commitment to vote amongst many residents that we have talked to across Ward 11.
The extended advanced voting period is a great opportunity and it ensures that everyone gets an opportunity to vote and be part of the democratic process. We hope that all Ward 11 residents get out and vote for the best person that reflects their values and also has the ability to win this election and represent them at city council.
Did you know that polling stations are located throughout Calgary and voters are able to go to any polling station to cast their ballot. We have even put together a page which lists some of the polls near or in Ward 11 for residents to vote at.
September 29, 2017
The Southwest BRT has been a topic of conversation and debate for many communities within Ward 11 for some time now. I believe the BRT network, including the Southwest BRT, will have many positive outcomes for all Calgarians including but not limited to increased options for transportation, reduced traffic congestion, and positive impacts on the local economy. We know that over the next few years, The Rockyview General Hospital, Mount Royal University and the business park in the Old Currie Barracks are expected to provide thousands of new employment opportunities for Calgarians, and I believe the Southwest BRT will be a key transportation solution for how we can get residents of Ward 11 to these job opportunities.
I do feel, however, that the consultation process surrounding the SW BRT was flawed and sowed confusion within the community. Many friends and residents of Ward 11 came to me with their concerns regarding this process and this played a major role in my decision to run for City Council. Through workshops and online feedback which followed the initial consultation, I believe the City of Calgary has been able to address some of the concerns citizens had with the project. I am supportive of the SW BRT as approved by Council in July 2016, with the design changes and budget update that resulted from this work.
The SW BRT project communication and feedback process has highlighted the need for Calgary to revisit how it engages and communicates with its citizens. As your Councillor, I will prioritize reforms to the engagement and communication process to make it more meaningful, informative, and constructive for all participants.
On day one, I will ask for a complete update on the project from City Administration. I am also firmly committed to monitoring the financial and ridership performance of the SW BRT once service is introduced, and being fully transparent with citizens by sharing this information with them.
September 25, 2017
During the campaign, I will be discussing the issues facing Ward 11 residents. One of the most common questions I receive is where I stand on reintroducing fluoride into our drinking water.
One of the issues on the minds of many young families that I meet in Ward 11 is the question of reintroducing Fluoride into Calgary’s drinking water. Earlier this year a study from the University of Calgary showed a significant increase of cavities in Calgary since the end of fluoridation in our drinking water in comparison to Edmonton. Findings showed that the inclusion of fluoride is an important way to protect children from tooth decay, and as many families have told me, It is a way to protect families who may not be able to afford robust dental care.
It’s one of the reasons, that I believe City Council made a critical mistake in 2011, when they decided to remove fluoride from Calgary’s drinking water. The decision was made despite a plebiscite where Calgarians showed support for fluoride in the drinking water, and studies since have shown dramatic increases in childhood tooth decay in Calgary. As your Councillor, I will strongly support the reintroduction of fluoride into our drinking water.
- In 2011, City Council decided to end the practice of adding fluoride to Calgary’s drinking water without accessing the advice of an expert panel. This was despite a 1989 plebiscite that demonstrated public support for fluoridation at 53%.
- Five years later, a joint study between Alberta Health Services, the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta, “Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology” was released. The report’s findings demonstrated that while childhood tooth decay was on the increase in both Calgary and Edmonton, it was increasing at a much higher rate in Calgary. Edmonton was still fluoridating its drinking water.
- In response to this study, a Notice of Motion was brought to Council in September 2016 asking the University of Calgary’s O’Brien Institute for Public Health to provide current knowledge regarding fluoridation and answer Council’s outstanding questions and concerns regarding the practice. The motion failed despite the fact the University offered to do it pro bono.
- The Alberta Government views fluoridation as safe, but will not fund it on behalf of municipalities.
- I would support a motion by council to reintroduce Fluoride into the drinking water. I believe that Calgarians have spoken on this topic and the feedback I’ve received from residents is that they want this reintroduced.
- I believe council should move forward with the offer made by the University of Calgary to fully study and report on current findings regarding fluoridation to answer the outstanding questions and concerns raised not only by Council, but also members of the public.
- I would also continue discussions with the Alberta Government regarding this essential component of human health and continue to lobby for funding.