George Chahal

Survey Responses:


Question 1.1:

Do you think municipal taxes should:

a) Reduce in absolute terms
b) Reduce in real terms (grow, but slower than inflation)
c) Reduce in relative terms (grow, but slower than inflation plus population growth)
d) Stay the same (grow, but only in line with inflation plus population growth)
e) Increase a bit (grow in line with the city’s Municipal Price Index)
f) Increase more (grow faster than the city’s Municipal Price Index)

 

Answer 1.1 [Choose One]:

d) Stay the same (grow, but only in line with inflation plus population growth)


Question 1.2:

Comments?

 

Answer/Comments 1.2:

Our first priority is to find savings to eliminate the operational deficit.


Question 2.1:

Would you vote in favour of allocating any tax dollars or giving any subsidy towards a new stadium/arena?

 

Answer 2.1 [Yes/No Only]:

Yes.


Question 2.2:

If yes, how much and in what form would these taxes take (direct cash, land, subsidy, indirect, etc), and why do you support public dollars being directed towards a corporation?

 

Answer/Comments 2.2:

Yes, through providing land and a contribution to the field house if still included within the plans. In addition, I would support the city contributing towards a portion of the development cost. Ultimately, I view this as a real estate transaction, provides the City of Calgary a tenant, that attracts other businesses large and small to invest in our city. As someone who is in the real estate industry, attracting a tenant with tenant improvement allowances and incentives is normal practice, especially in a weak market. This is all premised on the City of Calgary being the landlord and the Flames organization being the tenant.


Question 3.1:

Recent research on Calgary’s City Council found that council spends nearly a quarter of its’ time meeting in private (in camera). Do you agree that this is too much time spent in private?

 

Answer 3.1 [Yes/No Only]:

[No Answer Provided]


Question 3.2:

If so, what would you do to fix this? Which topics do you believe should be discussed behind closed doors and why?

 

Answer/Comments 3.2:

I believe in transparency. In camera meetings should be limited to confidential discussions. For example, contractual negotiations or discussions that may have a positive/negative impact on private citizens or corporations. Additional examples, include negotiations pertaining to the Flames arena deal or potential discussions regarding annexation of private property.


Question 4.1:

From the $470,000 Blue Ring, to the $236,000 for a “Poop Palace”, and now another $500,000 for Bowfort Towers, council has consistently failed to engage with Calgarians about which public Art projects their tax dollars are spent on. Do you support continuing to use taxpayer dollars to fund art projects for the city?

 

Answer 4.1 [Yes/No Only]:

Yes. 


Question 4.2:

If yes, why do you think council and administration have repeatedly failed on this issue, and what guidelines should be used to ensure Calgarians are happy with the results in future?

 

Answer/Comments 4.2:

I support the use of public funds for art projects. However, I believe we need greater public consultation from a more diverse group of taxpayers. I also believe we should work with local post-secondary institutions to develop local design competitions.


Question 5:

How can council support small businesses?

 

Answer 5:

Limit business tax increases. Small businesses presently pay an unreasonably high share of taxes in the City of Calgary. In addition, city council needs to provide a more efficient and faster regulatory process for developments in the City of Calgary. As an example, the Cornerstone ASP was a developer driven initiative, that worked in the interests of Calgarians.


Question 6.1:

Do you support the current plan for construction of the Green Line?

 

Answer 6.1 [Yes/No Only]:

Yes.


Question 6.2:

The construction of the Green Line was approved based on a cost-benefit analysis that assumed the project would be completed two years earlier than now projected, and at a lower construction cost for the entire line than is now estimated for half of the line. If the costs increase again or the project is further delayed, would you continue to support it, and why?

 

Answer/Comment 6.2:

I support the current plan, however if administration requests city council for additional funding I would oppose the request.


Question 7.1:

In July, City Council voted against a motion to hold a referendum/plebiscite on whether Calgary should bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics bid. Do you support holding a referendum / plebiscite on whether Calgary should bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics bid?

 

Answer 7.1 [Yes/No Only]:

[No Answer Provided]


Question 7.2:

Why do you support/oppose a public vote? Should the results of a vote should be binding?

 

Answer/Comment 7.2:

A public vote is very expensive and generally favours the proponents. However, after public consultations, full transparency of all costs and potential revenues, I would favour a referendum, if public opinion research showed that Calgarians were divided. The results of any referendum would be binding.