A guide for Calgary’s vibrant, inclusive, and prosperous future
We need strong and thoughtful public policy from Calgary's next Mayor and City Council, backed by collaboration, innovation and determination. We've put forward 18 recommendations across five pathways – a guide to achievea vibrant, inclusive, and prosperous Calgary. Now, hear from candidates for Mayor and each ward below on our Pathways to Potential.
As we have been for 130 years, the Calgary Chamber is a non-partisan organization and does not endorse any political party or any candidate seeking elected office. The views reflected on this page are not endorsed by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and all candidate responses are listed in alphabetical order.
Talent: "To be vibrant, Calgary not only needs to attract and retain talent, but we need to train talent. For too long Calgary has trained fewer of our own than our competitor cities, leaving us with a persistent skills gap and over 2,000 unfilled positions due to a skills mismatch. Jan Damery’s Calgary Tech plan will increase the number of tech Grads by 200% and STEM Grads by 25% to fill our current skills gap. We will connect Calgary to Banff, leveraging our natural assets to increase our attractiveness while ensuring Calgary has adequate housing—an emerging comparative advantage."
Property tax: "Jan Damery will continue the long-term non-residential property tax freeze. Jan will ensure non-residential property taxes are stable and predictable, utilizing fiscal stability reserves to cap individual properties’ changes to their non-residential property tax bill, year over year, and over a 4 year period. Jan will also work with the province to find a long-term sustainable solution to the non-residential property tax issue."
Downtown revitalization: "Jan Damery sees downtown as a neighbourhood full of students and workers in our growing economy, who study, work, play, and live in downtown Calgary. As a hub for learning, research, growing companies, conventions and tourism downtown is connected to the international airport and Banff with a heavy rail link, increasing the number of visitors and how long they stay. Downtown benefits from conversion of office towers into academic buildings, residences, and the spin-off businesses from Calgary Tech, Jan Damery’s initiative to bring 4,000 staff and students downtown and graduate 1,000 people with tech skills a year."
An inclusive Calgary: "Jan would ensure all Calgarians are included in Calgary’s economic recovery. I have felt Calgary slipping away from our inclusive ideals, and that slip has accelerated with COVID-19 as people feel emboldened due to extremist politics and online radicalization. Firstly, as Mayor, I would set the expectation that Islamophobia, Indigenous oppression, anti-Asian sentiment, anti-Semitism, anti-Black racism, or hate against LGBTQIA2S+ people has no place in our city. I would ensure that as Mayor we make progress to ensure city institutions are standing against the above, instead of perpetuating and systemizing the above."
Ease of business: "Jan will undertake a two-track red tape removal process to make it simple and straightforward to start, scale-up, and grow a business in Calgary. Firstly, the Centre City Enterprise Area concept will be expanded to the rest of Calgary to save businesses time and money by streamlining the process for development permits and exterior alterations. Secondly, an ambitious business regulatory reform project will simplify commercial zoning (ideally to one commercial district type) and implement a streamlined business licensing system to remove the need to go to Council for commercial land use changes, saving valuable time and resources of local businesses."
Talent: "Talent is the world’s most important resource–and everyone is vying for it. I see a Calgary where we: leverage assets like our skilled workforce, affordability, and quality of life to attract and retain talent; develop incentives such as tech worker passports and concierge programs; transform the downtown into a vibrant and affordable live/work destination; intensify efforts to build a strong, stable economy by supporting existing growth sectors and developing new industrial clusters that will accelerate employment and investment; work with post-secondary institutions to align skills development with sector growth and priorities."
Property taxes: "Calgary business owners shouldn’t suffer from dramatic year-to-year fluctuation in taxes. To make our property tax system fairer, we will: 1) work with the province–not attack them–to reform the broken property tax assessment system; 2) negotiate for a fairer share of the Municipal Sustainability Initiative to reflect the population base of Calgary. As an economic driver, we should be recognized for our share of contributions to the provincial economy, and 3) focus on attracting new talent and businesses to Calgary and increase the tax base without putting additional pressure on business owners."
Downtown revitalization: "As Councillor, I have been able to lead our Downtown Strategy, which involves redesigning the core to include residential, office, retail, entertainment, tourism, and cultural spaces. This plan is supported by three pillars (the Event Centre, and the BMO Centre and Arts Commons expansion) that will grow Calgary’s economy through entertainment, tourism, and culture. These projects will attract additional private investment and revenue - which will draw people back downtown. As there is more to do downtown, more people will want to live downtown."
An inclusive Calgary: "Diversity and inclusion sparks diverse thinking that drives creativity and innovation. According to McKinsey, diversity in hiring isn’t enough; it’s the workplace experience that influences attitudes and a sense of progress. As a first step I will direct an open audit to understand where we are doing well in this area, where we can do better, and then take immediate action with the lead of an Inclusion Officer. Calgary’s communities are diverse. I will fix community consultation by working with community associations, businesses, and residents on neighbourhood plans that reflect what Calgarians really want."
Ease of business: "To grow the business sector, we need to continue the process I began as Councillor of eliminating red tape and removing barriers to starting and growing businesses. That process includes simplifying approvals and improving turnaround times, continuing to utilize the Business Advisory Committee to remove barriers, build policy that creates certainty, and streamline planning and permitting. We also need to work with the province to achieve property tax reform so that taxes are predictable. City Hall needs to build innovation goals into all they do. Incorporating partnerships we can cut red tape and generate jobs and employment in new ways."
Talent: "We need to invest in our best future. Calgary is on the verge of becoming a world-class city. To ensure that we are attracting young people, new industry and new opportunity, we need to ensure public services are supporting our recovery. Diversifying our economy is about empowering Calgarians, especially the diverse and hard-working people of Ward 5. I commit to investing in supports for small businesses to support local economic resilience and jobs. I also commit to working with other orders of government to create strategic opportunities in a changing economy and the infrastructure to attract new industry."
Property taxes: "For so long Calgary has sprawled beyond our means. We need to start reinvesting in our existing communities, creating new housing opportunities to accommodate growth as we grow and recover our economy. By ensuring the best possible value and services we will support and enhance the well being and prosperity of Calgarians. We need to provide the value and transparency around our service offerings to Calgarians and advocate for a fair deal for Calgary with our provincial partners."
Downtown revitalization: "The Downtown strategy is a great start, however to realize the true potential of our downtown we need to invest in the transit and infrastructure to enhance the accessibility of the downtown to Calgarians across the city, especially to living in Ward 5. By providing safe, affordable, convenient and accessible transit to and from the cores, we wont be limiting our economic and cultural potential. Further supports for the arts and opportunities to invest with our provincial and federal partners in enhancing the sustainability, affordable housing and walkability of the core is crucial to attract people to our downtown."
Inclusive Calgary: "First and foremost we must continue to support and take action on the recommendations for the Anti-Racism Action Committee. We must enact the Calls to Action outlined in the White Goose Flying report, we must advocate for transparency and accountability with the Calgary Police and ensure that we are addressing the needs of ALL our citizens who deserve to feel safe and supported in our city. We must continue to invest in Community Safety Investment Framework to ensure that we are providing the right services at the right time and that we are supporting Calgarians in a cost effective, and Anti-Racist manner."
Ease of business: "We must provide better support to our private partners. Delays with regards to answering questions through the planning process, hard to access grants, and unnecessary bureaucratic delay is a barrier to innovation. Calgary and Ward 5 is full of some of the most resilient, innovating and hard working citizens and entrepreneurs, we must ensure that our City is serving them so they can help our economy recover and continue to create new opportunities and prosperity for Calgarians."
Talent: "A thriving business community is essential to attracting and retaining talent. We can’t retain businesses if year after year they must wait with bated breath to see if their property taxes will go up by 10, 20, or 50%. We need responsible spending to control give businesses affordable, predictable taxes. Calgary is one of the most livable cities in the world, has an affordable cost of living, reasonable commute times, and quick access to international tourist destinations. We must play to these strengths and create an environment for businesses to thrive to attract and retain talent."
Property taxes: "Responsible spending is needed to stabilize the property tax rate. After 10 long years of tax increases and ever-increasing City budgets, it’s no wonder that people and businesses are at the breaking point. Instead of addressing the real problems with the budget, the City Hall establishment attempts to pass the buck by pitting businesses and homeowners against each other, hoping that Calgarians don’t see where the real problem is."
Downtown revitalization: "Calgary’s downtown plan is missing key elements that will hold it back: safety and flood mitigation. Calgary is the only major city in North America without a downtown police station. For people to truly be comfortable living, working, and raising their families downtown they must know they’re safe. The 2013 floods still weigh on the minds of inner city Calgarians. Eight years later, downtown Calgary does not have adequate flood mitigation. While this is the case, downtown Calgary will be at a disadvantage compared to other parts of the city when families and businesses are choosing where to locate."
An inclusive Calgary: "A successful city and economy is one that all Calgarians benefit from, regardless of gender, race, age, or economic status. For Calgary to be successful, City Hall needs to get out of the way of businesses and other organizations by reducing red tape, keeping the tax burden under control, and helping facilitate our city's entrepreneurial spirit."
Ease of business: "City hall needs to get out of the way to make it easier to do business in Calgary. Taxes are out of control. Businesses need a stable, predictable tax rate to thrive and it’s unacceptable that that largest line item for many businesses is their tax bill. Furthermore, we need to cut red tape and reduce the regulatory burden on businesses by reviewing existing regulations to eliminate redundancy, and by streamlining approvals so proposals and ideas can get to yes quicker."
Talent: "To diversify Calgary's economy we must attract 21st century businesses. Those businesses will locate where they can find a skilled, knowledge-based workforce; those workers can choose to live almost anywhere in the world. We need them to choose Calgary. Calgary already has many of the assets needed to attract new business including ample commercial space. We also need a business friendly approach and predictable tax regime. For workers, we must ensure the quality of life that young people want. Brad also recommends a downtown co-op program that nurtures future talent, attracts students to Calgary, and connects businesses to workers."
Property tax: "Brad Field is committed to excellent front-line services at a reasonable and predictable cost to taxpayers. This means new thinking to change the way the city budgets. Priority Based Budgeting has been successfully used by some 200 municipalities and it works. It drives transparency, accountability, and better engagement with citizens. Rather than using the previous year’s budget as a base and adding more, PBB first identifies the amount of money it is reasonable to collect to fund operations and capital expenditures, and then funds items in order of priority after consultation with citizens through a robust new consultation hub."
Downtown revitalization: "We need world-class facilities for conventions, tradeshows, exhibits, festivals, concerts, sporting events and tourism to attract visitors, and retain young people and skilled workers – though not at any cost. Brad will encourage downtown activities and attractions, such as Brewery Row or Music Row, by working to relax noise bylaws and improving processes that offer certainty for both event organizers and residents. People also must feel safe downtown; Brad recommends a Downtown Safety Strategy that brings stakeholders together to address safety and comfort. Brad will also implement the Plus 15 policy to improve connection to street level and revitalize that unique ecosystem for our winter city."
An inclusive Calgary: "Our city must embrace everyone, irrespective of gender, race, religion, sexual identity or other characteristic. We are a compassionate city, offering equal opportunity for all. Brad is committed to ensuring every Calgarian has the opportunity for a high quality of life by: providing safe, stable, affordable housing to those who need a hand up, supporting truth and reconciliation initiatives committing to safety, striving for a equitable society that encourages everyone to participate, ensuring the valuable services provided by Calgary’s robust non-profit sector continue to excel by bringing people together to work collaboratively and supporting their work."
Ease of business: "It costs twice as much to attract a new business as to support an existing one, so we must ensure an approach that supports both new and existing businesses. That includes better collaboration between several city agencies, all mandated to attract business and industry, but which operate independently. Brad also believes government needs to refrain from artificially engineering our city, but let the market and Calgarians have more say in what Calgary looks like. As a vendor with the City for over 25 years, Brad understands how the City operates and will enable employees to deliver services in a more streamlined and efficient manner."
Talent: "In addition to offering a relatively low cost of living and beautiful geographic setting, Calgary can increase interconnectivity between business, post-secondary and social service sectors to bolster our reputation as a city that offers socioeconomic return on investment for all who chose to call this city home for themselves and their business. Calgary must clearly signal a willingness to be the centre of excellence for a transition economy that looks towards greater sustainability, cleaner technologies and greening of all sectors."
Property tax: "In 2019, I led Council towards a rebalancing of proportional share of the operating budget between residential and non-residential properties. We managed to decrease the proportional share for non-residential properties from 55% to 48%. That significant change puts Calgary in a more competitive position to attract businesses, and also eased the unfair tax increases to non-residential properties as a result of depreciating downtown assets. We still need to leverage the ability to increase our industrial tax base through proactive land use designations and strategic sales of City-owned assets."
Downtown revitalization: "A reimagined downtown for Calgary requires a mix of land uses, a job that is solely the responsibility of the municipal government. Our downtown can be revitalized by properly allocating areas for people to work, attend appointments, seek education, access child care, enjoy their downtime, and have a place to call home. To accomplish this, I was pleased to support the multi-stakeholder Downtown Strategy that looks to an investment in Arts Commons, incentives for office conversions, and programming to increase activity. Proper investment in transit through projects like the Green Line is also a contributing factor to success."
An inclusive Calgary: "Addressing the needs of people in positions of vulnerability requires a cross-sectoral approach that treats individuals and families as the complex entities they are. We must ensure that housing supports are also accompanied by a mobile response for needs related to mental health, addiction, disability, and myriad other factors that lead to crisis. Strengthening labour force participation requires an understanding that all jobs are essential and must be supported with access to transit, child care and safe spaces to move about the city."
Ease of business: "The municipal government's role in creating a business-friendly city starts with getting out of the way. While some regulations are important to maintain a level playing field, we must make moves like expediting land use changes that allow for diversification of businesses in any given area. The City must also remove parking minimums that hamper businesses to locate in prime locations. Further, our investments in Calgary Economic Development should demonstrate results in celebrating local success stories that translate into trade missions that bring new talent to our city."
Talent: "We must take up a free education strategy with a pen pal partnership around the world. If we offer free international classes in an endeavor for our future as so perhaps we could establish a new system where the young of the world is educated and possibly come back to there own cities not just calgary to create families and put down there roots."
Property taxes: "We must let the province know 35% of Calgaries property tax was and is infact worth more. If we can't get what's promised we mist cut 10% of what we're giving to the province."
Downtown revitalization: "We need more citizen interaction to bring back the heart of calgary. 1.parking lots at $150.00. Anyone who wishes to park on streets should infact pay more for convenience. Delivery drivers need to pay for a $10.00-$30.00 pass to load on and off in the core which stops parking authorities from making a business of them. Possibly create a traffic free day all except deliveries for essential business."
An inclusive Calgary: "We need to BRIDGE THE GAP between rich and poor, narrow the divide between old and young. Utilize foip as it not just access to information and or services , however in fine print states the right types of access to infustructure ie Transportations and communication."
Ease of business: "We have all sorts of businesses here in our great city that constructs and outfits Everything from Lightsabers - concrete. We would ask Calgary to Shop in house as we can sustain almost anything now."
Talent: "Cut municipal residential property tax 15% by 2023, 23.5% by 2025 from 2019 level; Cut municipal non-residential property tax 20% by 2023, 26% by 2025 from 2019 level. While all the over taxation paid off to City’s salary. Vs. 2003, 2011-2019, municipal over inflation and population property tax cumulated $4.6b, city’s over inflation and population salary growth cumulated $4.8b. Lower crime rate, restore Police Pride. Hold up 10% CPS budget and bind it with crime rate reversely, push for community policing. Business will thrive if our taxes go closer to Cayman Islands. Cut municipal residential property tax 15% by 2023, 23.5% by 2025 from 2019 level; Cut municipal non-residential property tax 20% by 2023, 26% by 2025 from 2019 level. While all the over taxation paid off to City’s salary. Vs. 2003, 2011-2019, municipal over inflation and population property tax cumulated $4.6b, city’s over inflation and population salary growth cumulated $4.8b. Lower crime rate, restore Police Pride. Hold up 10% CPS budget and bind it with crime rate reversely, push for community policing. Business will thrive if our taxes go closer to Cayman Islands"
Property taxes: "Between 2003-2019, inflation was 32%, Mayor’s pay increased 83%, Council’s pay 102%, City’s average salary 64%; Population growth was 39%, City’s staffing increased 47%. City’s over inflation and population growth salary in 2019 alone was $520 million. Compared with 2003, between 2011-2019, municipal over inflation and population growth property tax cumulated $4.6 billion, while city’s over inflation and population salary increase cumulated $4.8 billion, 100% of the property tax hike goes to City’s overpaid salary. I will Secure frontline service, freeze hiring, cut pay and expense, shed off overstaffing."
Downtown revitalization: "2. Cut municipal residential property tax 15% by 2023, 23.5% by 2025 from 2019 level; Cut municipal non-residential property tax 20% by 2023, 26% by 2025 from 2019 level."
An inclusive Calgary: "Cut municipal residential property tax 15% by 2023, 23.5% by 2025 from 2019 level; Cut municipal non-residential property tax 20% by 2023, 26% by 2025 from 2019 level. Secure frontline service. Lower crime rate, restore Police Pride. Reverse BTC, fully unload tax burden from the downtown core, bring local small businesses and jobs back. Downtown can not thrive alone."
Ease of business: "Cut municipal residential property tax 15% by 2023, 23.5% by 2025 from 2019 level; Cut municipal non-residential property tax 20% by 2023, 26% by 2025 from 2019 level. Secure frontline service. Lower crime rate, restore Police Pride. Reverse BTC, fully unload tax burden from the downtown core, bring local small businesses and jobs back. Businesses know while to go."
Talent: "Having lived in this great city since 1980, I know that Calgary is the best place to live, work and play. My focus and vision is for a Calgary where businesses grow, and families thrive. As a child of immigrants from Manila, Philippines, I watched my parents go from poverty to being business owners through the opportunities available to them in Calgary. As Mayor, I will work to bring people together across industries, sectors and walks of life to create a future where everyone can realize their potential. I understand the hopes and dreams that inspire entrepreneurs and will support their efforts every step of the way."
Property taxes: "Currently, the gap between commercial to residential property tax is 4 -1, which means Calgary's business owners are paying up to 4 times more than their residential counterparts on the same assessed property value. As Mayor of Calgary, I would bring this tax gap rate down to 2-1, helping to level the playing field for businesses in our community. The good news is that Calgary has excellent options to cover our reduced commercial property tax revenues without decreasing city services, which is why I am proposing the selling of non-essential city assets to pay for this. As the current Director of Sales and Marketing at Coldwell Banker MC Commercial, I believe I am the person who can get this done and ensure the City of Calgary sees the best financial return on our assets."
Downtown revitalization: "I believe that investing in the culture and lifestyle of our downtown core is an essential component of attracting and retaining businesses and workers in our city. As Mayor, I would focus on community grants that bring businesses, nonprofits and the arts together to find mutually beneficial solutions to reimagining our downtown spaces. I would also work with our business community to develop strategic tax credits and other incentives that would allow them to create more jobs and economic opportunities in our downtown core."
An inclusive Calgary: "Creating an equitable community requires an actionable focus on addressing the systems and structures that knowingly (and sometimes unknowingly) reinforce disparities and discrimination against marginalized communities in our city. While Calgary has taken important first steps in our anti-racism journey by committing to an anti-racism plan of action, we need to continue to pressure our public officials to do more. It's also essential that we seek input from the communities most impacted to better understand what barriers they encounter when accessing city services. As Mayor of Calgary, I would use my lived experiences and my relationships with many diverse communities across our city to build bridges and find concrete ways to make our city more inclusive for all."
Ease of business: "I am running for Mayor because I believe that it is time for change at City Hall. Calgarians deserve accountability and actionable results. No more closed-door meetings. This is your city, and you deserve a say. City Hall needs to regain trust by being transparent and accountable. I believe Calgary needs leaders with a clear vision of how to attract people, ideas, innovation and investment. As a successful leader, international businesswoman and entrepreneur, I have developed powerful skills in negotiation and advocacy, which I will utilize to be Calgary's relentless champion on a local, national and international stage. I will work tirelessly to bring new economic opportunities and support our local businesses."
Talent: "We have to nurture made in Calgary entrepreneurship through projects like Platform Calgary. We also cannot marginalize our traditional oil and gas sector. Finally focus on affordability keep taxes low, and manage new greenfield development to keep utility and service cost down."
Property tax: "If developers pay marginally more up front for greenfield development we can manage it’s pace and overall cost growth. These up front costs could be recouped via a regulatory budget at the city cutting red tape."
Downtown revitalization: "Link the core to the airport via shuttle to McKnight-WestWinds station. While making Calgary walkable we must still balance making downtown an affordable convenient place to park."
An inclusive Calgary: "Retire remaining U2 LRT cars. ASL interpretation at city Council meetings to support hearing impaired Calgarians. Rick Hansen Foundation standards of built environment accessibility. Online mental health portal to bring providers and Calgarians in need together. Low income mental health pilot to reduce cost barriers. Allow developers to put their name on affordable housing projects to incentivize altruism."
Ease of business: "Cut red tape through the regulatory budget. Simplified, easy to follow communication and decision making from Council."
Talent: "I believe it’s important to support local talent, maintain our quality of life, and ensure Calgary is competitive and business friendly. With the downturn then COVID, many locals have been left jobless and we must support them first in preparing for the opportunities that will come with recovery and growth. As a municipality it’s our responsibility to improve supports for businesses coming to Calgary, such as through incentives and more streamlined processes for licensing and development. We must also deliver excellent core services that ensure a high quality of life for those here, and those we want to come here."
Property tax: "Firstly, a major portion of our property taxes goes to the province. I think we need to push the province to lower their rates or gain further federal support for Alberta so we can increase stability for Calgarians. Secondly, within our municipality I know there are redundancies and areas where we can streamline service delivery to lower the tax rates. For example, more efficient, effective leadership and less risk aversion. By strengthening our position and partnership with the province, improving decision-making processes, and enabling innovation and change, I believe progress could be made."
Downtown revitalization: "Ensuring a vibrant downtown starts first with decreasing the high vacancy rates within the core. To do this, we may need to create meaningful incentives for businesses and citizens to entice them to choose downtown over other areas. I know there has been a lot of money put into understanding the problem with our downtown and there is much data available to inform strategies. My focus would be to ensure Administration does more than strategize, but takes actions that have impact, measuring progress through hard numbers such as vacancy rate improvement, business opens and pedestrian traffic scores."
An inclusive Calgary: "By being an inclusive Calgary, we will gain knowledge, talent, innovation and growth because we will be enabling all our citizens to be their best, most successful selves. We must continue to push policy that protects against racism and discrimination and creates a safe environment for all to thrive. We must improve our partnerships and allocate appropriate resourcing for programs that will help Administration remove barriers and enable change. Now’s the time to decide what kind of city we want to be when it comes to equity, diversity, and inclusion, and I believe we can do better."
Ease of business: "For most businesses, time is money. To help Calgary businesses grow and thrive, we need to get out of the way as much as possible. By reducing and streamlining internal processes, we can reduce the amount of time it takes for a business to open. This means Administration must prioritize business and the local economy and ensure smart resource allocation to ensure barriers to businesses can be removed. A big part of this means working directly with the business community to understand what they believe are the barriers and letting them guide the focus of the improvements to be made."
Talent: "There is a direct connection between talent attraction and economic development. Calgary has to lure artists, techies, and other members of the creative class in hopes of spurring development in their downtown cores. Some of the ideas would be, Look at the demography of people, create jobs in the industry that most of the students get their degrees/skillset into, this helps us retain our talent. Make Calgary a hub for tourism, develop infrastructure, so you can have more people in, promote medical tourism, vertical farming etc, share this story aloud on social media. Promote equity, reach out to employers to support local business and talent. Appoint brand ambassadors to promote the city for free. lots of ideas which i have, would be a countless list."
Property taxes: "This could be tricky, its easy for spectators to say how things can be done, however when you get into the actual shoes of the policy maker the whole scenario changes. rater than reinventing the wheel, we need to focus on ways to increase our revenues, e.g have tolls for people who live outside the city and work in YYC. close the gap between residential & commercial property tax. reduce operating costs and find efficiencies in the current budget."
Downtown revitalization: "I see downtown Calgary as a place of opportunity, we get a blend of rich, poor, good and bad all in one place, YYC is a growing Market and has a potential to be a totally open and inclusive space a 24-hour City, you can be here at any time or place that anyone can find something that excites you. We live in paradise, being so close to the Rocky mountains and pristine lakes. We should invest/market our city, have a long term vision into the next 20 years and there should be great shopping streets there should be amazing work environment there should be an equal opportunity. Its all about benchmarking, well an inclusive City for everyone you got to kind of be left in the factory competing with like San Francisco Tokyo London, Dubai and you have to live up to International standards nowadays for what people expect of a downtown of all the things we love about downtown Calgary. Lastly its the people who make a great City! Invite them, promote our Culture abroad."
An inclusive Calgary: "38% of the cities population is aged 14-35, its all about educating this young generation, instilling the values. showcase each culture so we can get rid of discrimination. More workshops and fun events where you can attract the crowd. get spiritual leaders to the city."
Ease of business: "More transparent ideas, long term rebates, enforce a long term vision of what is the city like so the people who invest can think big. felicitate people, thank them for their contributions. ask business to introduce new people/investors. make it easy, like the city to go to the persons home to flil out the paperwork or do iteality online etc."
Talent: "1. Create a brand for Calgary that is separate from the O&G brand Alberta has, so non-O&G companies will have us in mind when looking to expand. 2. Create and support a transit infrastructure that lets employees get to work on time and reliably. 3. Encourage and create a city people want to move to and stay in - where you are physically safe, feel welcome even as a minority, and are able to enjoy entertainment such as arts, culture, history, nature, and nightlife. 4. Invest in the diversification of our workforce, including minority support, education, startup support, access to high-quality healthcare and easy access to services like accountants, janitorial services, lawyers, engineers, IT, and so on. Make Calgary a business incubator!"
Property taxes: "1. Cut costs and find non-tax revenue sources by switching to a priority-based budgeting system in order to help prevent future tax increases. 2. The Business/Resident tax split used to be 62/38 (too high), but now it's 48/52 (too low) - we should aim for a 50/50 split. 3. Related to this, we need to revitalize the downtown core and address our downtown office vacancy rate so business taxes are spread amongst more businesses in more diverse industries. Fallout in one industry shouldn't nearly wipe out our tax base. 3. One of the criteria for setting the mill rate during budget time should be the stabilization of taxes. It can't keep going up and down from year to year drastically - people and businesses need to plan and prepare. 4. Resiliency planning should be built into everything we do, so we are able to better weather and recover from disasters and other events."
Downtown revitalization: "1. We need to create a downtown where people feel safe and welcome. Where workers and tourists alike can feel like they can walk around without fear. 2. We need to invest in convention and event infrastructure so businesspeople will have reason to come to Calgary and see what we have. 3. We need to invest and support the greening of the city, and acknowledge that we need to deal with climate change. 4. I like the Greater Downtown Plan that's in the works and I support it. 5, We can also look into reasonable and targeted incentives such as tax breaks and grants to encourage, investment and relocation to downtown."
An inclusive Calgary: "As I've already mentioned, feeling safe and welcome in the city needs to be a priority. In order to accomplish this, 1. there needs to be diverse voices and viewpoints on all major decisions council makes. I imagine a diversity commission whose job it is to offer intersectional lenses on city planning and decisions. 2. I support mandatory diversity and inclusion training for all city employees who are in a position of power over others (including police and management). 3. We need to continue to offer discounts such as inexpensive transit fees for low-income people and the disabled. 4. We need to invest in and support affordable housing (and attainable homes)."
Ease of business: "We should work towards a Calgary that is in itself a business incubator - basically an ecosystem that supports business and startups. Businesses should have Calgary in mind when thinking of a great place to start growing from or expanding to. This includes shipping and logistics support, transit, access to skilled workers, support services that have experience with diverse businesses, manufacturing and prototyping facilities, and much more. When you think of Calgary as a startup incubator instead of just another city, the paradigm shift makes you start seeing the potential and paths to success right away."
Talent: "We need to do a better job of promoting Calgary at an international level. Further, we need to initially target those industries that align well with our workforce while working closer with our education providers to start offering training and programs tailored to emerging sectors."
Property taxes: "We need go further build up our tax base, non residential in particular, to help keep our taxes low. Further, we need to cut red tape, make our municipal processes more efficient and be reasonable/common sensual when working with our business community. We need to support our businesses now more than ever."
Downtown revitalization: "We need to make downtown a destination. A place many around the city and those visiting want to come. We need to convert some of the empty towers to residential and also work with our property owners to create unique flexible spaces. We need to draw business back to the core. As a city, we need to incentivize residents and businesses to come back downtown in areas under our purview/control such as parking, amenities, ease of licensing and other municipal processes/permitting."
An inclusive Calgary: "We need to make our downtown affordable and accessible to all. The investments in transit is a good step but we need to make our housing products/rentals affordable, parking affordable and have a diverse set of jobs for all."
Ease of business: "We as a city need to better streamline, make more efficient, and expedite our municipal processes. We need to approach our development/business community with common sense and logic rather than red tape and restriction. We need to promote and support our businesses and help them thrive by sharing information, resources, insights and more."
Talent: "By ensuring that the quality of life that is available to Calgarians is celebrated, by supporting a diversified economy through aggressively attracting forward thinking businesses and by ensuring that the youth of Calgary know that there is an economic and social future for them here."
Property taxes: "The property tax equation has largely been balanced over the last 1-2 years, but I also believe that there need to be long term conversations with the province in regards to supporting and investing in Calgary’s economic recovery."
Downtown revitalization: "Ensuring access through reliable transit, supporting and developing events that attract people to the core and ensuring that public art programs are representative of the local arts community and celebrated."
An inclusive Calgary: "The two biggest things that I see needing to happen is leadership by example and ensuring that we are listening to stakeholder groups and then acting on their feedback. An easy example of this is ensuring that the recommendations of the White Goose Flying report are enacted."
Ease of business: "My biggest priority to ensure that the business community gets what it needs is to spend time on proper consultation with stakeholders in the community to ensure that rather than prescribing solutions, we are implementing them."
Talent: "The first step is to get the cities policies, red tape and taxes inline to make companies want to stay and set up shop in Calgary. I also believe that the city needs to work with industry, community groups like the CCC, and bring all the heads together. There is a lot of finger pointing and secrecy, this needs to end. The only way to turn to the next page is to drop the barriers and draw upon the expertise that exists in Calgary."
Property taxes: "Taxes and fees are a byproduct of poor or wrong priorities and over spending. We need to get a handle on the city's spending habits and how we run the business of government. I envision a leaner city hall, I also believe that city staffing is bloated with a poor culture, The majority of this is not the front line person, it is management, empire building and silos."
Downtown revitalization: "To get the city center back to where it was is going to take some years. I do agree with having more people live in the city center, however I do not believe the funds should come from tax payers. I believe this is a band aid solution. We need to lean out city hall so we can make doing business with the city easier and attractive. When we do this business will return and fund these types of initiatives. The pipeline the Federal Government bought is a prime example. If you over regulate people and business, they will leave the same applies for the city. Work with business not against them, after all if there is no industry or business there is no or reduced social safety net."
An inclusive Calgary: "In my opinion we already have an inclusive and safe city that provides opportunity for everyone. The biggest problem we have is politicians harping on something that is not there to further their own agenda. The priorities are all wrong. I will have knocked on 22,000 + doors by the time election day roles around. The sediment on the street is to start calling people by their name not where you think they came from. The economy is in the tank right now because of government, and the longer it stays there the more social problems we will have because people and families have to much time on their hands, also they need to put food in their mouths and a roof over their heads. People will do what they do when times are bad like they are now."
Ease of business: "Perform an independent cost and operational review of the entire city. I understand this is a big undertaking, However I strongly believe there is a systematic problem inside the city that needs to be addressed and now is the time to deal with it. From public works, planning department is a big one to the relationship between mid management and senior management. Fix the root of the problem and everything else will fall in line."
Talent: "I intend to get you there by getting out of your way and encouraging the new council and mayor to do the same. But of course, some things require our direct action, such as cutting business taxes to competitive levels and perhaps reversing the tax exodus to Balzac—but more importantly, ending City Hall’s promotion and enforcement of “Pandemic Response” which is crushing small business, communities and families alike."
Property taxes: "A final break from Lockdowns, perpetual masking and enforced “vaccination” would bring stability to everyone. City Hall has shown steadfast commitment to muzzling social frameworks and pushing “vaccines”; we need to reverse course by restoring constitutional rights within city limits. The exchange of Goods and Services requires stable human rights in order to thrive. And yes, we need to cut wasteful spending and reallocate slush funds in order to subsidize tax breaks to both homes (property) and small business."
Downtown revitalization: "We need to make parking less costly and to encourage the re-purposing of vacant downtown buildings and office spaces by granting permits and applicable rezoning processes our full and speedy attention. It is up to business and community leaders and residents themselves to envision a better downtown. City Hall’s role should be to ensure safety guidelines are met through competent, honest oversight. We also need to resist the ideological drive to defund police, since a safe downtown also requires a fully functional Calgary Police Services."
An inclusive Calgary: "I have no vision as a future councillor for how this city should look, but rather, for how government should look: treating all Citizens as equal before Council’s Chambers. And we can start by withdrawing support for the vaccine passport scheme which means to exclude the unVaxed from the social, economic and political life of Calgary. As so called Pandemic Response drives the economy and democracy over the cliff, the marginalized and financially disadvantaged are the first to suffer irreparable harm."
Ease of business: "I will defend our communities from a marginalizing, over-reaching City Hall while advocating business-friendly, streamlined processes. The business-consumer connections you desire require thriving communities; that potential market is being crushed by ideological city governance (aligning itself with global partners such as IBI Group); its arrogance is on full display in the murky, enabling language of The City’s Guide to LAP, a smokescreen for Local Area (Community) disintegration."
Talent: "We are fortunate that compared to the 3 largest cities in Canada (Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal) our housing affordability/cost is substantiality better, so that is a big plus. We need to increase our density and build more affordable housing in order to keep that affordability in place. Yes, will still have some young people who will move to experience a new place and learn new skills but when they will decide to settle, have a family or cement a career, Calgary can remain a very attractive place due to the affordability it offers. This affordability has to be coupled with sustainable urban planning. As a city, we have sprawled way too much and we have designed new neighborhoods that have houses and roads but are missing essential recreational facilities, public spaces and a accessible public transit. If we want to retain talent we must do better in providing these public goods to all Calgarians both old and new."
Property taxes: "First, we need to draw a line at how far we sprawl. The reason that property taxes are going up is because the City has continued to approve new communities by expanding. Creating bigger areas to manage with fewer people per kilometer squared. If Calgary wants to enter the same league as the "Top 3" (Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal), it must look to increase its density within its existing borders while also not expanding those borders. Ideally, this densification should take place around transit hubs (LRT stations, if space allows it). This higher density will mean more property tax (both residential and businesses) per square kilometer. Our current low density, one/two big stores with large parking lots mean that the amount of tax we are getting per our municipal space is very poor. This video provides a really good overview of what I mean: (you can start at the 1:50 min mark) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IsMeKl-Sv0"
Downtown revitalization: "There is a lot to say about our downtown and although I think it looks pretty good, the reality on the ground is that our downtown isn't really that fun. Last year, I did a cross-Canada drive and what stood out to me was the amount of public/accessible spaces that cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal had. Toronto has tennis courts, artificial grass soccer fields (with night lights), urban gyms, downtown markets and most importantly a grocery store within walking distance throughout their main downtown area. I could mention the lake/water but that's something that is more of a fortune of location for those cities. But my earlier point stands true, throughout the years the "Big 3" cities realized that in order to get young people to live downtown you have to provide all the amenities downtown. And although some pockets of Calgary's downtown have improved most have not and we have more than enough ground level parking spaces that can serve as multi-use spaces for recreational facilities. As well, an important mention must be given to our PLUS 15 (+15) network. The schedule should be expanded and the variety of businesses should be encouraged. Having gyms is good but we need more social spaces, entertainment endeavors that encourage downtown dwellers and Calgarians as a whole to be active and engaged in the winter months. If you look at Montreal's underground network and compare it to Calgary's +15 and the purposes it serves we are so far behind that it hurts."
An inclusive Calgary: "As it can be seen from my previous answers public transportation plays an important role in creating a inclusive Calgary. I believe our City should keep the current low-income pass (as an example) in order to help those in the lower income bracket that might no be able to afford a car so that they might have a accessible alternative as they pursue employment and other services that are meant to help them climb the socio-economic ladder. I wrote on how we can make our transit fare system better here: https://tudor4ward5.ca/fare-choices/ As well, by providing incentives and making our job creating policies more accessible, plain in language and with less bureaucracy we could continue to see those that are in the lower income brackets or those who might be socially marginalized (immigrants) be willing to take a leap forward into small scale entrepreneurship. This by extension will create more employment opportunities for those in the very same economic/social categories."
Ease of business: "Firstly, better communication between the City and the business community needs to take place. In Ward 5, I hear from business owners that they would like to know more about what resources are available to them. They want to learn more on how they can expand their business and/or modernize their practices. Secondly, in the case of Ward 5, many of these businesses have an ethnic component or this communication might have more barriers than other quadrants of the city. A culturally competent liaison model could go a long way towards making live easier for the many businesses that reside in Ward 5."
Talent: "Great initiatives supported by the City, such as Platform Calgary and the Opportunity Investment Fund, are critical for the entrepreneurial ecosystem to continue thriving in Calgary. As co-founder of a 2020 Top 15 startup (Startup Calgary), I am intimately aware of the challenges companies face to help build, curate, train and retain talent for future growth. Seeing a need to support engagement of underrepresented groups in the aerospace sector, I established a national non-profit facilitating work placements and senior-level mentorship to support a future thriving and sustainable Canadian aerospace sector. I would continue to support these types of initiatives."
Property taxes: "Our hollowed-out downtown core is offloading the tax burden on struggling small and medium enterprises as well as residents in other parts of the city. Our property taxes are already high and it's not fair for residents to shoulder that burden. This however is the single largest issue that the incoming Council will face as it impacts every single corner of our City. There is great talent in our City, especially in Ward 5, that will be seeking opportunities to contribute to our city. I would work with both for-profit and non-profit training organizations to help get people working again, especially in areas of the economy where facilitating opportunities for that talent to upscale and make meaningful contributions towards companies and organizations is important."
Downtown revitalization: "I have lived in Canada’s largest cities, and several international metropolises and towns where “Connected Communities” are keys to a great city. Tying together public spaces, with transit accessibility and functional artistry have made for vibrant communities and higher quality of life. My priority is to ensure residents in Ward 5 and Calgary have reliable access to transit, community spaces in close proximity to live, work and play, and more opportunity to access City services, especially in downtown. I want to make it easier for all of the city's residents to access the beautiful spaces, businesses and experiences downtown."
An inclusive Calgary: "I want to help solve homelessness. I understand that this is not a small task. Chronic and episodic homelessness are the most concerning based on the fact that those are the people that suffer the most, whether it is due to addiction, violence, trauma or criminal victimization. My plan is to identify and work with agencies including Calgary Housing, and nonprofits such as Calgary Emergency Women's Shelter, Immigrant serving agencies such as CCIS and various LGBTQ+ organizations (especially since LBGTQ+ youth are a large portion of the transitional homeless) to address these areas of need so that the homeless population can get the basic supports they need to change their fortunes."
Ease of business: "Calgary must continue to be open and welcoming. Collaboration between all levels of government to reinforce both our economic and talent diversity is important to engage investment from across North America and the globe. Great initiatives supported by the City, such as Platform Calgary and the Opportunity Investment Fund, are critical for the Calgary entrepreneurial ecosystem to continue thriving. Homegrown venture capital supporting that economic diversity would allow Calgary to thrive with supportive business networks. As co-founder of a 2020 Top 15 startup (Startup Calgary) and a small business owner, relationships with organizations such as Calgary Chamber of Commerce, Calgary Economic Development, Alberta Innovates and the Canadian Trade Commission are crucial for sustainable success."
Talent: "I support partnerships with post-secondary institutions to advocate for programs related to future fit industries. Additionally, I support awareness and education campaigns related to future-fit industries, positioning Calgary as a city for industries of tomorrow. Finally, I think that city council, through planning and development, can present Calgary as an attractive city to live, work, study, and play. As a councillor, I will emphasize safe and accessible transit, active transportation networks, continued efforts to revitalize our downtown, and planning desirable neighborhoods."
Property taxes: "It will take time to address long standing challenges around non-residential property taxes. I will explore how we can incentive future-fit industries to operate downtown (to address the high office vacancy rates). Furthermore, the pandemic offered us the opportunity to look at different operating models, there could be less costly ways for city departments to function given that we have less reliance on site/office-based service delivery. Finally, we should consider divesting ourselves of city owned land/properties that do not generate revenue."
Downtown revitalization: "We should continue with the already established Downtown Strategy and projects identified for planning and construction. I appreciate that some projects will need to be (re)viewed through a lens that considers the current economic landscape. Finally, Downtown is home to some of our City’s most vulnerable. I support initiatives like the “Nine Block Project” and will advocate for similar projects in partnership with our social profit sector. Attending to the needs of the most vulnerable community members will create a more inclusive and accessible Downtown for all Calgarians."
An inclusive Calgary: "As per my platform, I support city council exploring what economic recovery looks like for women specifically. Related to diversity, we need to engage members of equity-seeking groups around entrepreneurship and future-fit industries. This can be done via awareness campaigns, mentorship, and networking opportunities. Additionally, to the degree possible, I will advocate to reduce barriers for newcomers to be employed in their field of work without unnecessarily long recertification processes. Finally, I support the Enough for All Strategy."
Ease of business: "Calgary is home to many talented business leaders. One of the most helpful things council can do is to clear the path for businesses to do what they do best. I look to our business community to join the conversation about what timely, effective city processes look like. Beyond those practical considerations, there is some great work underway to facilitate innovation and collaboration, for example, Platform Calgary. I support initiatives of that nature to enrich our business community. We are well positioned to be a global leader in future-fit industries, we just need the resolve to pursue them."
Talent: "In order to move toward sustainability, we must retain our talent; and attract outside talent. We have to create an affordable and vibrate city for our students to want to stay here and raise their families. The downtown revitalization plan already in place is such a project. Also, we should be investing in the re-training of those affected by the economic downturn so they have a place in the recovery and into the future. Municipal leaders should be advocating for more educational funding from the Province."
Property taxes: "The downtown core is 14% of the entire city's income. Currently, we are not realizing that income. We need to invest in revitalizing our downtown core in order to rebalance and stabilize our city. Thus, the city sprawl should be managed with the voice of the citizens of Calgary." Downtown revitalization: "A downtown that is vibrant has the hustle and bustle of community, including when the office hours are over. We should be investing in public spaces, but make it a priority to ensure these spaces are wanted and will be utilized by the community they are built in. Our arts district should also be included. We have a large citizen population that work in this industry and Calgary deserves a world class industry, currently Calgary has outgrown its infrastructure. More importantly, project like the East Village revitalization must be maintained. I would also include our community organizations that deal with the vulnerable populations. For myself, community vibrancy also includes mental wellness."
An inclusive Calgary: "Our leadership should reflect the community and currently this is not the case. Our team began on a grassroots platform, this involves listening to the community for what they need and want. MarilynWard7 believes all Calgary citizens are Treaty people and deserve a voice. Our priority is to engage with all citizens as the City of Calgary has admitted that this process does have its flaws. Marilyn has already built relationships with front line organizations and has been a long time advocate for the economically and socially marginalized."
Ease of business: "I proposed a central business center at the City of Calgary. This would be a one stop location for business to come and apply for licenses, ect. Our team heard that currently the red tape involved with business start up can be confusing and frustrating. We need to make it easier for businesses to flourish. This central business unit would also include business to business and business to consumer connections and collaborations."
Talent: "One of Calgary’s best attributes is that it offers an excellent quality of life compared to other major Canadian Cities. When we look at housing prices in Toronto and Vancouver, Calgary is still relatively affordable. This relative affordability offers Calgarians a higher standard of living which will attract talent to Calgary and keep them here. Calgary is also a City where you are more likely to be rewarded by showing what you know and how hard you are willing to work. The economic shift towards companies focused on technology all while not shortchanging the structural importance of our energy industry roots will be the thread that will tie our economy together and allow Calgarians to thrive."
Property taxes: "The best way to rebalance and stabilize Calgary’s property taxes is to bring the vibrancy back to downtown. The current downtown vacancy rate of almost 40% has reduced the commercial property value of the downtown core and in turn, it is placing the property tax burden onto individual homeowners and small businesses. This is not acceptable especially for long term sustainability as we look to attract talent with our relative affordability of homes. The City needs to encourage businesses to locate to the downtown by creating a safe, vibrant and exciting downtown hub where Calgarians want to spend their time and money."
Downtown revitalization: "The City’s economic plan for the downtown core is a step in the right direction. Combining excellent dining, entertainment, recreation, retail, and business with appealing places to live will make Calgary’s downtown the envy of the country. Short term tax incentives applied at the BIA level, and expedited permit processes are two ways the City can help business and development in the downtown area."
An inclusive Calgary: "Every Ward in the City should have opportunities for those who require affordable housing or below market rate rentals to live. Having safe, affordable housing options in each Ward will help create an inclusive and integrated Calgary that provides opportunities to low income wage earners and socially marginalized individuals to live in each quadrant of the City."
Ease of business: "The entrepreneurial spirit of Calgarians shines bright. The City needs to encourage business by listening to what business owners want. I have heard from many small business owners that having a resource book regarding leases, taxes and permits would be helpful. Many small business owners want certainty when it pertains to the City, its policies and their response to the COVID 19 pandemic. Certainty for businesses will result in confidence in City Hall, and that in turn will encourage investment. A City Council that constantly squabbles over minor issues does not create a stable and dependable environment for investment."
Talent: "Building on the economic foundation our energy industry has provided, our world-class livability is also deeply tied to the amazing lifestyle opportunities of our pristine regional situation, our city’s extensive park system & recreational opportunities, our relative affordability, & our punching well above our weight in arts, culture, food, & quality/beautiful urbanism. I strongly believe the ongoing attraction, retention, & diversification of our talent (and economy) is dependent on building on these strengths. I also believe a stable, increasingly facilitation-oriented, and high value public sector is an essential partner to the increasingly diverse & robust private sector we must build."
Property taxes: "I’m an 11-year advocate for completely overhauling our taxation system. Assessed value-based property tax creates perverse incentives where rational individual choices result in irrational societal outcomes. Relying on a ~$50billion non-residential base to cover ~50% of the yearly take against a ~$250billion residential base is unsustainable. Also, Wards 7, 8, & 9 collecting ~50% of the assessment every year is an internal equalization problem. The silver lining of the tax shift has been that we’re finally having the conversation about a better system. I advocate for an income-based system blended with a cost-to-service assessed property tax."
Downtown revitalization: "I strongly support the downtown plan and the collaborative way it was developed with, and will remain evergreen through, Industry-Community-City partnership. I also believe our success is based on Calgary evolving into a poly-centric city wherein our vibrant downtown is networked with vibrant centres throughout the city and region by transit and active mode natural corridors. With ~$200million currently allotted for our $1billion Downtown Plan, & with ~$60million of MainStreets & TOD funding currently allotted outside of the core, I support dedicated year-over-year funds that will appear as line items on every tax bill to provide stable funding towards these essential ends."
An inclusive Calgary: "Calgary is at an historic crossroads. It is critical that we choose, right now, to rise on our strengths as a great Western Canadian place to make a great Canadian life. This is dependent on our ability to rise together with Equity, Antiracism, and Truth & Reconciliation as core values. In the short term we must analyze all decisions through the lens of these values. We must diversify our emergency response and social safety net to integrate expertise in mental health, addictions, and poverty/homelessness. Longer-term we must deliver a city of resilient and thriving neighbourhoods networked with sustainable infrastructure systems."
Ease of business: "The three values at the heart of my Rise Together platform are Equity, Climate Action, and Good Government. Beyond the rejection of the unhelpful trend of electing people to govern us who don’t believe in government, and beyond appreciation for how a strong public sector is essential to a diversified & thriving public sector, is the commitment to government 2.0: right-sized and right-leveled; providing excellent value in mass-customizable service offerings; regulating as lightly as possible/only as heavily as necessary; and, a partner with industry and community in facilitating the emergence & maintenance of thriving business & socio-cultural ecosystems."
Talent: "We can attract and retain talent by ensuring we have both the right types of housing stock and affordable housing. We need to work with our educational institutes and the province to offer competitive programs that build the skill sets we need for the future, at tuition fees that students can afford. Calgary must be on the map as a place that cultivates talent and supports entrepreneurs in creating a new type of Energy Industry."
Property taxes: "We need to find new tenants for our Downtown core. The property tax imbalance can only be corrected by adding taxpayers. We must focus on attracting business back to our City, and fostering entrepreneurship that will create jobs and add to our property tax base. By supporting initiatives including Live Tech, Love Life we can showcase all our City has to offer to key markets."
Downtown revitalization: "I think of downtown as a blank slate. We have the ability to reenergize our city with our Downtown taking a leading role. Through the Arts Commons Transformation, the Downtown Revitalization strategy, and working with our network of downtown businesses we can add life back into our Core. Creating a welcoming place from sun-up until after sun-down will support Calgary as a destination not only for new businesses but for tourism as well. I look forward to being a tourist in my own city as we recover from the pandemic and get back out into the community."
An inclusive Calgary: "I think the key word in this question is Team. The City of Calgary must work with its partners in finding ways to support Calgarians becoming self-sustaining. A collaborative team approach is necessary to find practical solutions to the housing crisis. We must also work with our developers to ensure that new communities are welcoming and inclusive. Existing infrastructure including sidewalks must be upgraded to meet accessibility standards. We must take real steps towards reconciliation by implementing the recommendations in the White Goose Flying report. We must dedicate the time and budget to make Calgary a place for everyone."
Ease of business: "We need to listen. We need to cut red tape and create an environment that is pro-business. By working collaboratively with the Chamber of Commerce and Calgary Economic Development we can leverage best practices from other Cities and Municipalities to create an environment that allows businesses to develop and thrive. By making it easier for Calgary's business community, we support our larger economy and create a better Calgary."
Talent: "Promote initiatives to diversify our economy including but not limited to work currently underway through Calgary Economic Development. Promote initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint and support new initiatives to become leaders in alternative energy solutions. Support new initiatives to diversify our agricultural business to provide more value added products and continue to support initiatives that would provide greater returns from our natural resource sector through value added products. These initiatives could be partially supported through the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund. Continue to promote the Film industry and seek opportunities to attract other companies working in collaboration with Tourism Calgary and Alberta Economic Development."
Property taxes: "By increasing the residential tax base through redevelopment in the developed area. In order to achieve this a planning document needs to be adopted. However public input needs to be considered for the plan to succeed. The Municipal Development Plan needs to provide direction to promote more employment development opportunities in close proximity to primarily residential developments and conversely by providing more residential development opportunities in close proximity to primarily employment developments. The residential tax base has to play a greater part in ensuring the City remains sustainable and may need to increase if not achieved through increased assessments."
Downtown revitalization: "As mentioned in the previous email by providing greater incentives for redeveloping the downtown with more residential units you will accomplish a multitude of positive outcomes. Reduced need for transportation infrastructure, increased client base for the restaurant and retail industries. More on street activity would provide a natural surveillance system and would also increase the sense of security that many people state as the reason that they don't go downtown especially at night."
An inclusive Calgary: "Continue to promote and expand on the work that I helped to identify, as one of the original signatories to the CCMARD initiative. We concluded that the scope of the initiative was too narrow and needed to be expanded therefore we undertook an initiative to ensure that the City of Calgary lead by example by not tolerating discrimination of any kind within the organization. As our society evolves it is critical that City Council continues to seek input from a multitude of social agencies to ensure that we continue to strive to meet the needs of all it's citizens."
Ease of business: "Included in some of the previous answers are ways to encourage small businesses to start up in Calgary. Calgary has made some significant advances in online applications for a multitude of different permits, licenses, applications and should continue to expand on these services. What has occurred during the pandemic is a realization that a multitude of other activities and initiatives can be accomplished with technology. Such as video conferencing. The city needs to continue to explore new innovative ways to utilize secure technology to improve efficiency and effectiveness for the City's benefit as well as for the private sector."
Talent: "Calgary needs to become vibrant again. Calgary needs to recapture that sense of excitement and possibility. A safe and clean city where you can get a good job, raise a family and create a life. We need city services that meet the needs of our citizens in a timely, responsive and cost effective way."
Property taxes: "We need to amend the current assessment system where taxes are not transparent or predictable and fluctuate wildly from one year to the next for reasons out of our citizens control. Calgary provides great services for a relatively low tax rate compared to other cities. People are willing to pay for value. But it needs to be reasonable."
Downtown revitalization: "The event center is a good start to draw people back downtown. it will be the hub of an entertainment district that will draw investment and facilities. People who work and play downtown will also want to live here. We need to make the downtown safe - objectively and subjectively."
An inclusive Calgary: "We need to ensure that city services go to where the people are and make it easy to access. We need a greater commitment to police and other safety services. We need longer access hours to key services that marginalized people need. We cannot stay a 9-5 M-F city services agency."
Ease of business: "Calgary has a thousand bylaws, rules, and regulations regarding how businesses can operate and where. Its far more complex then it has to be. We need to partner with those who want to open or build a business. WE need an easy process where city experts can advise and guide people through the process instead of letting people fail."
Talent: "Calgary needs to continue to support investing in our active transportation network (transit, cycling), improving neighbourhood character and housing choice across the city, and supporting city partners with funding so they're able to offer entrepreneurs resources and supports to grow their ventures. We need to prioritize new Canadians as part of this strategy and ensure we are moving this talent into positions which are within their skill set. This is partly a culture shift that needs to happen around recognizing the value of diversity in hiring practices for talent. Calgary can attract international talent if those individuals know their credentials will be recognized and their work style will be valued as part of an evolving culture in Calgary."
Property taxes: "Calgary needs to share the story of our property tax challenges with the whole city. This often starts with acknowledging that small and medium sized business owners are residents too, and what the interplay between that relationship is. I believe a reframe of business owners as community members is vital to onboarding Calgarians as part of the solution towards supporting neighbours in our collective success."
Downtown revitalization: "The City has presented incredible work on their downtown strategy with a conceptual vision. I would like to see this vision supported by ensuring children, seniors, women, persons with disabilities, and BIPOC individuals are a key stakeholder in ensuring the vision turns into a reality that is truly all encompassing for safety and accessibility."
An inclusive Calgary: "Predictable and stable funding for social service agencies and organizations allows them to prioritize their efforts on serving in need Calgarians, not chasing funding. I would like to see more emphasis on procurement from marginalized groups both from the city and from other city businesses in Calgary."
Ease of business: "I think there are gaps in home based business licensing that the city such as requirements or restrictions around garage use and parking. I would like to see city staff supporting entrepreneurs in community not just at city hall for licensing. I also believe entrepreneur networking shouldn't be behind a paywall, should be community based, and be consistent. The Rainforest Alberta model has proven successful for the tech sector as an example."
Talent: "I moved to Calgary 15 years ago. When I did, I had no idea how much this city had to offer. I was pleasantly surprised, and fell in love with Calgary. We need to do a better job of telling our story so the opportunity and potential here is seen. We are a unique job market where people are empowered to be entrepreneurial, encourage to innovate. We have a great arts scene, wonderful restaurants and businesses. We need to make sure people feel like they belong here, and will thrive here – and that we are an inclusive, progressive city."
Property taxes: "I believe we need to work with the provincial government to reform the residential and commercial property tax programs so that they are a sustainable source of City operating cost funding, while not placing an unreasonable burden on homeowners and businesses. We should also explore other sources of recurring revenue to support necessary City initiatives and services. We need to also review City financial processes to ensure funds are being accurately tracked and managed across all departments. This has not always been the case and knowing that funds are being managed correctly is critical."
Downtown revitalization: "The Downtown challenge requires a multifaceted long-term solution including a collaborative approach with all stakeholders. We need to make sure there’s a choice of housing options at various price points to entice people to call Downtown home. We need to attract new businesses to Calgary with an interest in downtown space. Working with existing businesses to ensure they have what they need to grow is also key. Downtown needs to be safe and vibrant with parks, restaurants, arts, entertainment and other amenities. We need to make sure the strategic plan is well-stewarded as we move forward in our economic recovery."
An inclusive Calgary: "I believe inclusivity is important for Calgary’s future. Here are some platform highlights (from LaurenHerschel.ca): *Improve City’s public engagement process. This ensures new, diverse voices from underrepresented groups are heard. *Initiate an accessibility audit of all City buildings. Identify what is required to make these fully physically accessible. *Provide low income residents access to digital tools including internet. Calgarians need equal access to key information and services. *Continue support for the City’s Anti-Racism Action Committee and Indigenous Relations office to move forward strategies in an impactful way. *Through partners like the library, provide robust programming to support marginalized Calgarians with skills training."
Ease of business: "Here are three of the ways I will help Calgary businesses if elected (from LaurenHerschel.ca): Work with businesses to find out what THEY think they need. There isn’t a one size fits all solution and I think it’s important to engage businesses to understand their challenges. Make sure policy/processes aren’t creating unnecessary hurdles preventing growth and adaptation. We need businesses to have as much predictability as possible. Introduce more flexibility in industrial land use options for prospective industrial businesses/developers. Right now land-use can be overly prescriptive. I think it's important we are perceived as "business friendly" across sectors."
Talent: "First, we need to attract businesses to Calgary. And we do that by making Calgary an attractive place to do business – that means making it easier to get licenses, implementing more competitive tax rates and offering a diverse talent pool from which to draw from to help create the image that Calgary is the best place to build a business and a life. We also need to ensure that people coming up through our schools are recruited early on to work for our local businesses to help Calgary business flourish. Capital access needs to be improved."
Property taxes: "I believe the solution is simple: the more people paying into our tax pool, the less everyone pays. We need to accept and attract both large and small business into our city which pay into our tax pool, hire our residents, and support our local causes. Making processes quicker and simpler will help encourage this. We also need to increase cost savings and efficiencies at City Hall to put an end to ever increasing tax rates."
Downtown revitalization: "There are two things we can do here. First, we need to accept and encourage the entrepreneurial spirit of Calgarians who want to try new, exciting types of businesses and venues. I want to see downtown offer unique experiences that people talk about, and we need to ensure we are helping, not hindering, that process. Grants to attract businesses to downtown could aid in this. Second, we need to make parking easier. A common complaint from residents is the lack of (affordable) parking at downtown businesses. Any restaurant owner will agree parking is key."
An inclusive Calgary: "Safety and inclusivity are huge concerns for residents, I hear it from almost everyone I talk to. That means we cannot defund our police. I believe everyone in this city deserves to enjoy our city – safely. We do need better programs to help homelessness, drug addiction, and crime. These are all separate entities and should not be handled by just our local police service. I am also a strong believer in supporting mental health initiatives and programs, especially after the last two years. People need support more than ever."
Ease of business: "It starts with collaboration. We need people on city council who don’t pretend to have all the answers and instead talk to business owners about what would help them the most. I don’t think any business owner will tell you that our city’s processes are easy. I don’t have all the answers – we need to talk to the people impacted and find solutions together. That is what is missing from city council right now. Listening to the business owners is crucial going forward."
Talent: "Until we stop the constant tax hikes on both residential and non residential properties we will not develop, retain or attract any talent. We need to be competitive not just in Alberta, Canada, North America , but, the world. I will be unveiling a detailed platform called Solutions For A Growing Calgary that will be made available on my website at www.electcraigchandler.ca Being the former Executive Director of the largest business and taxpayer group, the Progressive Group for Independent Business (PGIB) I have a detailed platform is this area."
Property taxes: "Being that I will be I will be unveiling a detailed platform called Solutions For A Growing Calgary that will be made available on my website in late September, I would ask people to got to www.electcraigchandler.ca for my full policy platform. Being that I am in an election timing is everything."
Downtown revitalization: "There are various ways we can do that and it starts with lower corporate taxes. But, again being that I will be I will be unveiling a detailed platform called Solutions For A Growing Calgary that will be made available on my website in late September, I would ask people to got to www.electcraigchandler.ca for my full policy platform."
An inclusive Calgary: "Being that I will be I will be unveiling a detailed platform called Solutions For A Growing Calgary that will be made available on my website in late September, I would ask people to got to www.electcraigchandler.ca for my full policy platform."
Ease of business: "We need to lower corporate taxes and cut red tape amongst other things. But, again, being that I will be I will be unveiling a detailed platform called Solutions For A Growing Calgary that will be made available on my website in late September, I would ask people to got to www.electcraigchandler.ca for my full policy platform."
Talent: "Keeping young people in Calgary is imperative for the continued economic viability of Calgary. We need to be able to attract skilled labor to continue to diversify. Equally important is having a young, educated workforce to continue to attract new businesses. The City needs to work with business and the province to make Calgary an even better place to live, including ensuring we are meeting the needs and aligning with the values of younger generations. We need to continue to diversify the economy, revitalize downtown, promote inclusivity, and make Calgary a vibrant place to work and live. The youth of today do not want the same things as early Calgarians did, and encouraging more creative/innovative industries and focusing on sustainability are musts to keep and attract young people."
Property taxes: "I agree that property taxes need to be stabilized. First, City finances need to be more transparent, and we need to find more efficiencies (i.e. SAVE), rather than increase user fees. I would look at ways to increase the City’s private/public funding ratio from 4:1 to 20:1. I also support the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund to help diversify the economy. Finally, I would work with the province to make the funding formula more equitable to keep more Calgarian tax money in Calgary. This would allow the City to reduce the non-residential to residential tax ratio from 2.8 to 2.0."
Downtown revitalization: "I agree that downtown needs to be a place where more people live, work, and play. I would fight for more pedestrian and bike-friendly streets to create a market-type environment to attract Calgarians. I would push for free transit on weekends and close off key streets to traffic on weekends. I would work with the Police to implement safety initiatives to make people feel safe. I would investigate the viability of turning our Plus 15 system into a night market in the winter months. I would invest in converting existing infrastructure into mixed-use spaces with more green spaces. I would partner with some impact investing organizations to create affordable housing opportunities for citizens in need. I believe in providing daycare spaces in the core to encourage businesses to relocate or expand their businesses downtown."
An inclusive Calgary: "I believe that an inclusive city values all citizens and their needs and contributions equally. I also believe that an inclusive city must also be safe. Which is why public safety is vitally important for Calgary. Calgary cannot rebound economically if people are too scared to go downtown or take public transportation. Calgary is Canada’s third most diverse city, and we must continue to capitalize on our diversity. I support programs that enhance physical and social accessibility. I support expanding childcare and addressing gender inequality at City Hall. I support expanding mental health initiatives. I have addressed affordable housing in my platform. I believe that all these issues will help make Calgary more inclusive."
Ease of business: "Small and medium sized businesses are the heart of Calgary and must be supported and brought to the table when decisions that impact them are being made. I would consult with local businesses in all industries to establish guidelines and regulations. We must work together to make it easier to do business. I support the Financial Task Force Implementation Reports and moving from planning to installation of the suggestions in consultation with industry. I support identifying policy overlaps, inconsistencies, burdens, or gaps in the regulatory environment. I believe on making policy initiatives based on scientific and technological developments with finding innovative ways to protect social and environmental issues. My campaign in based on accountability and we need to enact high standards of regulation. The City, businesses, and citizens must share the responsibility for regulation and compliance. I also believe that by building more diverse, multi-use communities where people dine, shop and explore closer to home, we support small businesses in those communities."
The responses contained on this page are verbatim responses collected from general election candidates between August 25, 2021 and October 4, 2021. Candidates responded to the following questions:
1.Attract and retain talent. We envision a vibrant Calgary that develops, retains, and attracts talent from all walks of life, enabling our city and our people to have the skills needed to thrive in the economy of today and tomorrow. In one hundred words or less, what is your solution to get us there?
2. Rebalance and stabilize our property taxes. We envision Calgary as a competitive and stable place to do business, supported by fair and equitable contributions from residents and businesses to support service delivery and community well-being. In one hundred words or less, how we can realize this vision for Calgary?
3. Reimagine Calgary's downtown. We believe that heart of Calgary’s incredible community is a vibrant downtown – a place for all Calgarians to come together, and where we choose to live, work, and play. In one hundred words or less, how can we reimagine downtown for all of us?
4. Create an inclusive Calgary. Our vision is a city and economy that is inclusive, safe, and provides opportunity for everyone, particularly those economically or socially marginalized. In one hundred words or less, what do you and your team think we need to do to make it happen?
5. Make it easier to do business in Calgary. We need to make it simple and straightforward to start, scale-up, and grow a business in Calgary. We also need an ecosystem that facilitates business-to-business and business-to-consumer connections and collaborations. In one hundred words or less, how can we make it easier for Calgary's business community?
The content of these responses, including subject matter and errors, remain the candidate's own.