This election we need to think about the economic health of our city.
This means adapting or eliminating inefficient City policies and practices that deter investment, slow innovation, and limit our growth potential. Calgary needs to be competitive and focus on initiatives that encourage new investment in Calgary through job creation, economic diversification and community improvements.
We need to focus on Calgary’s property tax problem. Council needs to work with the provincial government to make reforming the residential and commercial property tax programs a priority. Taxes need to be a sustainable source of City operating cost funding, while not placing an unreasonable burden on homeowners and businesses. We need to find innovative revenue solutions to fund the services Calgarians need, while continuing to look for efficiencies in the operation and implementation of those services.
We must invest in our future.
Calgary needs to be adaptable. This means having scalable and sustainable growth plans including appropriate climate resiliency strategies. This means investing in programs and projects with a forecasted positive return on investment (economic and social) for the City, our communities and Calgarians. These plans must be balanced in both established areas and new communities and should include creating complete communities, finding cost-effective ways to re-invest in aging neighbourhoods and protecting key heritage assets.
We must proactively plan and build critical projects like the Green Line. Construction of the Green Line is one of the largest capital projects the City has undertaken. It will create over 20,000 jobs while connecting communities and Calgarians. It also supports a longer term vision of a well planned city with thriving neighbourhoods, multiple business districts and new investment. This will serve the needs of Calgarians today while also making sure future Calgary has the infrastructure and amenities it needs to succeed.
People should love where they live.
We need to be a city where residents feel like they belong. Calgary needs to be affordable, inclusive and safe. More diverse housing choices increase the livability of a community. It is important that all Calgarians can find housing suitable to them throughout the different stages of their lives, regardless of where they live in the city. To keep our communities vibrant, we also need to make sure we have multiple ways for people to safely and efficiently get around the city – whether that means four wheels, two wheels or two feet.
Calgary has so much potential.
We need the right leadership to get us there.