If elected to be your representative of Ward 12, I will be collaborative at city hall, not argumentative. I will seek answers and push to find better ways to what we have always done. I will use my LEAN training to save money and do things faster. I will spend tax dollars like they are my own, because they are. I will ask “what will be most beneficial to my constituents and the rest of Calgary” before making decisions. Please see below for my areas of focus.
Safety in the Communities
Our communities need crosswalks, traffic calming measures and ENFORCEMENT on speed limits and we need it now. Crosswalks should be established at the development stage, not after a tragic accident forces the city into installing one. I am committed to better crosswalks to ensure the safety of our children who are either walking to or from school, or getting to bus stops.
Community and Youth Engagement
Let’s get our communities as connected and as engaged as possible! With these ‘grey area’ issues like pathway and park and dog park maintenance, let’s work together and chip the ice, or wack the weeds. Teenagers are an amazing untapped resource, let’s engage them and get them to help with these community initiatives. If our youth start taking an interest in the community now, there is no limit to the amazing things they could do as they grow and mature. Imagine a city being run by adults who have been fully involved and active in their communities since they were young children?!
I used to think Calgary was a very accessible city. Then I started trying to push a stroller in winter and working with Paraplegics and Quadriplegics and I realized how wrong I was. This issue has been largely ignored as it affects a smaller portion of people, but it is so important. With any luck, all of us will one day be seniors with (possibly) limited mobility and we need to make our communities easier to navigate NOW for the folks dealing with these issues. This will benefit everyone in the long run. We need to prioritize the issues brought to the attention of 311, especially for those with mobility issues. Quicker response times are needed for issues that hinder a person’s ability to leave their home.
Green Line Construction – Interim Traffic Mitigation
As Ward 12 has developed very quickly with a dearth of public transit being available, they are very much commuter communities. While the Green Line is an excellent project with a lot of potential, we need to ensure that those who are driving through these communities during construction will still be able to get in an out of their neighborhoods quickly and efficiently. I will ensure the focus for Ward 12 does not just become about trumpeting the future Green Line, but worrying about the now.
Snow Removal in Ward 12
I was surprised to learn while going door to door that snow removal was top of mind. Surprised, because it’s summer! Clearly, snow removal is a concern in our neighborhoods if we are worried about it so far in advance. I heard feedback that when the snow removal or gravel trucks do arrive, there is often little to no point. I will review the current snow removal plans and will advocate for a fair and efficient use of resources in the Ward 12 communities.
With respect of police funding, the police should have the resources and funding they need to do their jobs properly. It is critical that people feel safe in their communities and that sense of security helps build a strong economy. There are often creative ways to bring efficiency to an organization that may not require additional funding. With large organizations like the Calgary Police Service (CPS) that are part of a larger bureaucracy those options may not have been considered. In addition, the CPS need the support of a strong Crown Prosecutor office and justice system to improve inefficiencies. It may be that by pushing the provincial government for more resources in that space, we could better allow the CPS to focus on the job at hand.
New Arena for Calgary
With respect of the arena, there is no question there are benefits to keeping a major sports team, but likewise I think the owners can do better by Calgarians than the deal proposed to date. Ultimately Calgary is in a recession and we need to see clear financial benefits to tax payers. We should be cautious striking any deal and should not rush into something because of threats that they will leave.
I support adding fluoride in the water.
My own child required 8 root canals (pulpotomies) as well as a tooth to be pulled as it was to badly abscessed to save, before he turned 4. This required the purchase of a very expensive spacer to not ruin the placement of his adult teeth. Can you imagine the pain this 3 year old was in? Before it’s assumed I can’t keep up with basic dental care let me assure you his teeth were brushed twice daily by me, no juice, never had a bottle. We even had regular dental check ups. I think that if we had fluoride in the water I could have saved him a lot of trauma and myself over $7000 out of pocket.
Dentists have compared the dental health of Calgary and Toronto and Calgary and Edmonton (where they fluoridate the water) and the difference was alarming. We should be embarrassed by how badly we have let our children’s teeth deteriorate.
Fluoridation has been around for about 70 years and in these 70 years there hasn’t been a single study which link fluoridation to those harms (and a lot of studies which speak of how beneficial fluoridating the water is for everyone, especially children, the elderly, and people of low income) MANY people would not have been able to afford the $7000 that we were able to come up with for our childs teeth. Imagine having to choose between food or your son/daughters teeth?
Almost all of the folks demanding we keep it out of our water grew up with fluoridated water. Why wouldn’t they want their kids to have the same benefits they did?
To those who have fluoride allergies or hypersensitivities, I would consider if it would be possible to provide the necessary fluoride filtration systems to those few individuals by providing them at cost (with the appropriate medical documentation of their condition).
Bike Lanes in the Downtown Core
My position on bike lanes is that they primarily impact the citizens of the inner city wards as opposed to Ward 12, with some ancillary impacts on individuals from other wards who work or visit the downtown core. Working collaboratively at City Council means we have to consider what may benefit those in other Wards and support those initiatives, as we will be asking City Council to support our own initiatives in Ward 12. At this point, the bike lanes have been installed and their removal will be a significant expense. Traffic to downtown and parking costs downtown are lower than ever due to the recession, so the loss of that space is less severe than before. I don’t see any benefit of removing the bike lines when you consider the significant additional cost that removal would be at this time.