Imagine – you and your significant other are young, recently married and looking for a home to start your lives together. You search for a place that fits your life and find a new neighbourhood with a home that is just perfect! You move in, you paint the walls, you plant gardens. Maybe you raise children or get a dog (or both!). You get to know your neighbours over the years. There are neighbourhood birthday parties and barbeques, anniversaries and holidays. You join your community association, volunteer at the ice rink in the winter and play tennis with your friends in the summer. Years turn into decades. You redecorate, buy a new sofa, get a new roof. Some neighbours come and go, but you stay because you love your quiet tree lined street where people wave as you walk your dog, the nearby reservoir park where you take the grandkids for picnics, and of course the home you’ve filled with beautiful memories. There is no place you’d rather be.
I recently read a post on a neighbourhood connection mobile app. A man we’ll call Bob was introducing himself, as many folks do when they join.
“I’m Bob. We have lived in Oakridge for 50 years but we may not be here for much longer as we are getting older and are looking for a one story condo. As there is not much selection in Oakridge and area, it means we likely will have to relocate. We have a dog and except for a few months have had one all the years that we’ve been here. Many people around here will know Sally as she is out twice a day walking Daisy winter or summer, rain or shine. We will be sad to leave as we have really enjoyed Oakridge.”
The challenge this couple is facing is prevalent across much of Ward 11. Many of our Ward’s residents are original or almost original owners of their homes. They moved to their neighbourhoods, more often than not raised families, made friends, participated in their communities and love where they live. However most of our neighbourhoods do not have the variety of housing choices that would allow these long-time residents to “right size” while remaining in their communities. Right sizing means finding a home that better serves physical, mobility, and financial needs as people move into their retirement years. As Bob noted, they will likely have to leave the area (and quite possibly the Ward) to find what they need.
Imagine building a life, investing in a home and a community over decades only to have to leave it in your senior years because it wasn’t built for you to age in.
What does Calgary need?Read more
We hear a lot of talk about small businesses in Calgary – especially since the COVID-19 restrictions started in March of 2020. We all know SO many of our small businesses have struggled in some way or another. Many continue to face challenges today.
It is critical that we find a way as a city, and as neighbours to support local businesses as they attempt to adapt and evolve in response to the ever changing economy and restrictions
I’ve heard some people say – why do small businesses matter so much? Well here is why. 95% of all businesses in Calgary, are small businesses – that means organizations that employ 1-50 people. Many Calgarians depend on small business for employment and income. Our small businesses are tech companies, retail stores, professional services, homebuilders, restaurants, manufacturers- the list goes on. In fact, over 125,000 Calgarians are self-employed small business owners. It’s a critical time for these businesses, and I want to make sure they have what they need to not just survive, but thrive.
Here are three ways I would help small businesses if elected to City Council:Read more