Benjamin Shepherd


Benjamin Shepherd

Candidate for Ward 7


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Survey Results:


Question 1: What work experience do you have that’s relevant to the role of a Councillor and how do you feel the skills and perspective you have gained will help you in your role as a Councillor?

I care about the issues. I care about lessening people's taxes, lessen the burden that's been put on them by previous councillors. I care about people's businesses, I want their livelihood to be secure; I want businesses to be open. I care about freedom. The freedom of choice, the freedom of thought and religion, belief and self-determination. These things are essential.

Question 2: What do you think are the biggest issues affecting your ward are, and how would you approach being their local representative?

The biggest issue is the vaccine passport. This is the greatest assault against freedom in the history of Calgary and of Canada. Any attempt by anyone to segregate based on someone's choice is unlawful, and needs to be stopped.

Question 3: What do you think is the role of a municipal government? Do you think the City does too many things, not enough, or just the right amount?

The goal of the municipal government, is to protect people's livelihoods, not to take their money with bloated taxes. To leave their businesses alone and allow people to build their lives. And it has a role to protect the freedoms of all Calgarians. People's health is their choice.

Question 4: Do you think property taxes are too high, too low, or just about right?

Property taxes are way too high and need to be dropped significantly.

Question 5: Over the next four years, should the City spend less in absolute terms, increase spending but by less than the rate of inflation and population growth, increase by the rate of inflation and population growth, or increase faster than the rate of inflation and population growth?

The next 4 years, the city should leave citizens alone, to develop their businesses and thus develop the city. Drop taxes, and allows citizens the right of self-determination for them and their families.

Question 6: During the introduction of City Charters a few years ago there was a lot of debate about new taxation powers for the big cities. Would you support the City being given any additional taxation powers by the Province? If so, what taxation powers should the City have?

No, the city should not have any additional taxation powers. The city's ability to tax should be minimal.

Question 7: The City often claims that they’ve found savings in various budgets, but instead of actually cutting spending, they just put the savings into a reserve account and then spend that money on other things. If there’s money left over at the end of a financial year, do you think that money should be saved up by the City to spend in future years? Or should it be returned automatically to taxpayers the following year through some kind of rebate?

City money that is taken by taxes and not used should be returned to the taxpayer.

Question 8: Everyone says they support affordable housing, but what does that term mean for you? Do you think the City should be subsidizing housing for lower-income residents? Or focused on keeping the cost of all housing from getting out of control? Or perhaps some combination of the two? If so, how?

Low income housing for individuals that are getting out of homeless situations can be subsidized; otherwise housing in the city should be maintained affordable so it doesn't get out of control like places like Vancouver.

Question 9: The Calgary Metropolitan Region Board is currently debating their Growth Plan for the Calgary region. What do you think about the plan? Do you think we should be limiting development in certain parts of the region? If so, are you worried about how that will affect housing affordability?

Very simply we should be building out not up. We should leave green space alone. And stop densification.

Question 10: There’s been a lot of debate about the City’s new “Guidebook for Great Communities”. What do you think about the Guidebook? What do you think should be the split between greenfield and established community growth for new housing? Should the City have a specific target? Should this be determined by market demand?

The guidebook for great communities is irrational. Densification needs to stop. We should extend the boundaries of the city and stop high rise apartment buildings in suburban areas.

Question 11: When the City voted to approve four projects - the Event Centre, the BMO Centre expansion, the Arts Commons transformation, and the Foothills Fieldhouse - they did so against the advice of the City’s own CFO, who said the City could only afford one of them. Do you think that was the right move? Why? If, as the City continues through the process with each of these projects, it becomes obvious that the City’s CFO was correct, and Calgarians can only afford one of these projects, which would you choose?

Bloated government construction projects, always come from an increase in taxes; no additional projects should be done at the cost of citizens livelihood. If the City can't afford something, then it can't do it.

Question 12: Do you support the construction of the Green Line LRT as currently envisioned by the City, would you prefer changes be made to the plan (and if so, what changes), or would you prefer to cancel the project entirely? If, as a Councillor, you find out that - despite all the previous assurances - there has in fact been another cost overrun on the Green Line, what would you do?

The green line has been an outrageous waste of taxpayers dollars. It needs to be reassessed.

Question 13: What do you think is the best approach to attract businesses to Calgary? Direct incentives to specific businesses, paid for by slightly higher taxes, or lower tax rates for all businesses?

Calgary needs to lower taxes in regards to all businesses. And cut all that red tape that's required to start a business in Calgary. Also the city cannot be putting prohibitions on who can come into businesses and when. This is the choice of the business owner - bureaucracy has no place dealing with businesses.

Question 14: Should the City be in the business of operating golf courses, or should they privatize or sell them off? How about garbage collection or other services?

Ideally privatization is the way to go-in the case of golf courses of course they should all be privatized. Garbage collection, snow removal etc, can be both City and private.

Question 15: Should we defund the police? If yes, what exactly does defunding the police mean to you? If not, what should the City do to address both historical and ongoing injustices?

No we should not be defunding the Police. However there should be far more police oversight, and judicial consequences for police that operate outside of the law- police need to be held to a higher standard.

Question 16: Do you support the City’s mandatory vaccination policy for City employees?

No, I do not support the city's mandatory vaccination policy- this is against the law, this is discrimination, and the councillors that voted for this should be facing judicial consequences for suggesting this; Mandatory Vaccinations are a crime.

Question 17: Council recently dropped residential speed limits to 40km/h, do you agree with that decision, and what do you think about the proposal by some to go further and drop it to 30km/h in the future?

No, we have an extensive roadway in Calgary, there has been no evidence that dropping the speed limits has any positives- we should return to the standard residential speed limit of 50 kilometres per hour.

Question 18: For years there has been an ongoing debate about the City’s public art spending. Some say that the problem is the selection process for what art is commissioned, while others are opposed to any use of public funds for art. What do you think?

I agree there should be no direct City spending on art. But the Arts Community should be getting Avenues to create a more extensive Art culture in Calgary. Selection processes have been skewed and have resulted in rather embarrassing works of art throughout the city. We can do better.

Question 19: Serving as a Councillor you are responsible to both your local constituents and every Calgarian. How would you deal with a situation where you feel that the best interests of your local constituents in your ward conflict with what you feel is the best interests of the City as a whole?

The reason I Champion less taxes, open businesses, and freedom is because these issues affect both my local constituents of Ward 7 and of all Calgarians; we are neighbours and we have the same goals, we have the same trials and we need to work together, and not put our neighbours problems aside to make our lives better.

Question 20: While the concept of a secret ballot is essential, many of our supporters have told us that they’d like to know the political alignment of their candidates. So, if - and only if - you feel comfortable saying so, who are you voting for for Mayor and why, and if you are affiliated with any provincial or federal political parties, which ones and why?

I'll be voting for Larry Heather for Mayor; he's a personal friend and I believe his Godly attitude is what this City needs. I'm not officially affiliated with any provincial or federal political party, I do have an affinity for Alberta Independence parties; and I do show support for the People's Party of Canada and for the Christian Heritage Party of Canada