As a resident of Southwest Calgary for over 30 years, I know how much the economic success of our city means to every Calgarian.Building strong and vibrant communities requires partnerships and collaboration; as a small business owner, I know the need for balance between project priorities and economic realities; and as a community member I know the importance of communication and engagement.
The Budget & City Finances
I believe that Council needs to be responsive to the fiscal and economic climate that is facing Calgarians and local businesses. As your Councillor, I will champion a 0% increase to property taxes, and challenge administration at all levels to use tax dollars more efficiently through innovation by improving processes and using technology more effectively.
I believe that flood mitigation needs to be a critical priority for Council. As your Councillor, I will be a fierce advocate for progress on flood mitigation, pushing administration to find new solutions and monitoring tools, and working with all levels of government to ensure mitigation efforts are moving forward and implemented.
The City’s Engagement and Communication Process with Citizens
believe that the City has been doing a poor job of sharing information and getting feedback from residents on proposed projects and developments in their communities. Many residents of Ward 11 have told me that they were never properly informed of development decisions, or that the outcomes of engagement sessions were all-but-decided by the time the City came to the community for input. As your Councillor, I will prioritize reforms to the engagement and communication process to make it more meaningful, informative, and constructive for participants.
A New Arena
I believe that a new arena would help to grow Calgary’s cultural economy and build our reputation as a world-class city. At the same time, I believe that projects that receive public funds, such as a new arena, need to benefit Calgarians and respect the use of taxpayer dollars. As your Councillor, I will advocate for an arena deal that benefits Calgarians and gives the City a positive return-on-investment.
Public Art Policy
I believe that support and funding for public art is important for culture and community as we build Calgary’s reputation as a world-class city. However, recent events have shown that the current Public Art Policy is not serving Calgarians well. I support the motion put forth by Councillors in September to reexamine the Public Art Policy, and I believe that now is the time to make sure we get this policy right. As your Councillor, I will support common-sense reforms to the policy, including improvement and simplification of the public art consultation process, and re-thinking how we decide where to build public art.
I believe that in 2011 City Council made a critical mistake when they decided to remove fluoride from Calgary’s drinking water. The decision was made despite numerous plebiscites where Calgarians had shown support for fluoride in the drinking water, and studies since the 2011 removal of fluoride 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.
The Southwest BRT
I believe that Calgary needs infrastructure pieces like the SW BRT to continue to relieve traffic and congestion and to offer Calgarians choices in accessible transportation. While the initial consultation process with the SW BRT had numerous issues and created confusion within the community, I am supportive of the SW BRT as approved in July 2016, with the design changes that resulted from community feedback. I am also firmly committed to monitoring the financial and ridership performance of the SW BRT once service is introduced, and being transparent with residents with this information.
The SW BRT project has also highlighted the need for Calgary to revisit how it engages and communicates with residents. I have clearly heard the message at the doors of Ward 11 that residents do not feel properly informed of City decisions, and that consultations do not provide the opportunity to have a meaningful voice on City projects. As your Councillor, I will prioritize reforms to the engagement and communication process to make it more meaningful, informative, and constructive for participants.
I believe that the current process for handling secondary suite applications in Calgary is fundamentally broken. Calgary is the only major Canadian city where the City Council votes case-by-case on each secondary suite application, and this process is incredibly inefficient, resulting in inconvenience for property owners, and taking up far too much of Council’s time. As your Councillor, I will firmly advocate for a more efficient secondary suite application process, to be handled through administration instead of City Council.
Southwest Ring Road
I believe that the Southwest Ring Road will address a long-standing gap in southwest Calgary’s transportation network, and I am strongly in favour of seeing this project completed as soon as possible. As your Councillor, I will work with officials at all levels of government to ensure that the Southwest Ring Road will be completed on-schedule.
I believe that in order for Calgary to continue to grow as a world-class city, and to attract new businesses and residents, we must continue to build and support an enhanced transportation network that is inclusive of all modes of transportation. No matter whether you prefer to drive, take public transit, or ride your bike, we need to ensure that our city and its amenities are maintained and readily accessible to you. As your Councillor, I will support continued investment in multi-modal transportation infrastructure, including smart investment in rapid transit and bike infrastructure.