Candidate for Mayor
Give me one moment in time to set my destiny to improve the City of Calgary. A Chinese born in Brunei, an oil/gas rich sultanate in Southeast Asia, educated in both Chinese and English curriculums. Read, speak and write very fluently in Chinese and English, with Western and Eastern philosophies. Trained and worked 11 years in Brunei Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd., the World’s largest LNG plant at that time. Groomed to face and deal with any real-life emergencies anywhere anytime. Won a Shell Company’s merit award for top 20% elite. Worked in Singapore Airline and learned a lot with high IQ Singaporeans. In 1987, married with my lovely wife. Migrated together, settle and work in Calgary ever since. In 1989-1991, completed a diploma course in Engineering Design and Drafting Technology at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. One month after graduation, managed to start a computer-aided drafting job on Bonnybrook Waste Water treatment project. Obtained and cleared a $60K mortgage within 5 years by brown bagging for lunches. Laid off when oil price dived and recalled by various previous companies when oil price rebounded. Raised 2 boys and a girl with university educations, able to live on their owns by working in various medical fields. I myself learned a lot by dealing with growing kids, once considered the worst dad and now the best dad. In early retirement, I taught Taichi to the public free of charge, to seniors in retirement home with pay, and to a class in a gym studio.. Always paid attention to every details by everyone and do the proper corrections. Tailor to needs and conditions of different people
Question 1: What work experience do you have that’s relevant to the role of Mayor and how do you feel the skills and perspective you have gained will help you in your role as Mayor?
I worked in Brunei Shell Liquefied Natural Gas plant for 11 years as an operative/control technician. I was in charge in the control room. I have to deal with normal operations in addition to any unknown emergency that can occur at anytime. This prepared me to sit as Mayor in case Calgary is facing with any man-made or natural disasters like the major flood in 2013. It can happen again. I have some ideas on how to deal with the flood again. I will present them when I become Mayor. I graduated from SAIT in Engineering Design/Drafting. SAIT or NAIT graduates are well known for making things work. We do not talk a lot like those university graduates who can produce only a report for you. When I graduated in Brunei, there was no personal computer. I went back to school after 15 years of working. I worked with computer on the design. I have a lot of ideas in engineering design .I can apply the same knowledge on the city operations especially those road maintenance, road traffic, water/waste water treatments., etc.
Question 2: What do you think are the biggest issues affecting Calgary are, and how would you approach these issues as Mayor?
The economy of Calgary with 9.8% unemployment rate as of July 2021 is the biggest issue. Other issues of Covid 19, masks and vaccines are under the jurisdiction of the Provincial governments. I am not a medical expert, so I follow the guidelines whether I like it or not. We are all in it together. Here, I have 2 plans to disclose to the public. Medical Tourism A P3 partnership where some doctors will be hired as contractors to perform special medical treatments for anyone coming from the Calgary region and or the world. Their spouse or siblings can accompany them. While in recuperation or recovery, they can tour in or around Calgary. More people will be hired to provide this business. Education Tourism School system in some Asian & African countries operate differently. They start their school year in January and end in November. Their school vacations are in the months of April, August and December. Students of any age or grade can spend their vacation to join classes in Calgary. They can wear the same school uniforms to attend classes like others. No certificate and no homework for them. In the weekend, they join their parents to tour in or around Calgary. More people will be hired to provide this service for them. It's almost like student exchange.
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?
A mayor is bound by the Local Municipal Act. When I become Mayor, please do not expect me to be Superman who can handle every issues in the city. Sometimes, they are in the jurisdictions of the Provincial and/or Federal Governments.
Question 4: Do you think property taxes are too high, too low, or just about right?
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 City should spend less in absolute terms, increase spending but by less than the rate of inflation and population growth.
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?
I would like to introduce a sale tax of 0.5% to 1% in the city on the voluntary basic in the initial 2 years. Every people can afford to pay tips by 15%. Why don't they make it as 10% and give that 5% to the city for better services. Sometimes, there are no services that are worth to pay for a tip.
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?
That money should be saved up by the City to spend in future years. Again, there should be transparent. Who knows there is any left over. It should not be returned automatically to taxpayers the following year through some kind of rebate because there is too much paper works involved. By the time it is done, it is cut half or nothing at all.
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?
One week before the Federal Election, all candidates running for Prime Minister can promise affordable housing for everyone. I think they have a better formula than me. It looks like this is a Federal issue. For me, I built my own green house from scratch. I buy lumbers when they are on clearance price. I can help Habitat Calgary to frame up some houses by using these lumbers which are very much hidden behind the drywalls. And they are still structurally sound.
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?
We need growth plan for the economy of the city. If anyone disliking this, they can stay in their cottages high in the mountains where there are still growing. I am not worried about how that will affect housing affordability because more people would be sharing the price of the services.
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?
I need to study “Guidebook for Great Communities”. I would keep as much green field as possible. There are 2 kinds of developers. One is having the pioneering spirit and would bulldoze a new piece of land. This will take sometimes and a lot of planning and preparations before the first house is being built. The other kind wants to make money fast. They would check for every empty spot within the city and especially along the LRT. They would kick my door open and demand a quick release of land for their purchase. They would not care whether it is a playground or a green park. One of the city department is dealing with land planning and developments. I hope they are doing a good job. I would be keeping a keen eye on any suspicious business dealing. The department manager should be paid well. If he or she is caught having a lot of mansions by the lakes or on the mountains, they would be asked to prove the source or their way of financing. If all their grandparents are super-rich, I have nothing to say.
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?
I agree with the CFO. If they think they can go with all the projects they want, ask them to pay for them by themselves. Then, they will keep their mouths shut. They always think they can spend with a blank check or a money tree. I wonder why they are voted into these positions in the first place. They may be forgetting their empty promises made to the voters in their campaign.
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 Mayor, 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?
I do not support the construction of the Green Line LRT as currently envisioned by the City. I prefer changes be made to the plan. Tunneling is extremely expensive. The portion of from downtown should be diverted a bit to the east to avoid the hill and go along on the west side of Deerfoot Trail and up to 16th avenue. It can go a bit back to the west along the residential areas on the west. I do not know the cost of cancellation. I need to study it. If, as Mayor, I find out that - despite all the previous assurances - there has in fact been another cost overrun on the Green Line, I would ask those responsible for the approval to answer in TV to the public in details. Their name, title, department and telephone number should be on the screen.
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?
There must be a good marketing plan and a good network of functionality to support the business or investments. I will present them in details when I become Mayor.
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?
I need to study on all these operations. All the books should be opened for me.
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?
I need to study on defunding the police. I do not understand how they spend those moneys we paid as traffic fine. I know there is issue on social inequality. I will address them properly according to the regulations or the population ratio.
Question 16: Do you support the City’s mandatory vaccination policy for City employees?
I do not support the City’s mandatory vaccination policy for City employees However, there are open markets where they can shop or obtain services. They can pay for curbside pickup. I respect the right or freedom of business owners to protect their business and employees.
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?
Roads are made for traffic flow. Yet, they built them wide and made them narrower and narrower. I do not know the mentality behind all these. They may be justifying their jobs by making it to 20 and late 10 km/h.
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?
It is all about money. When it is spent, somebody must check how it is spent. In most countries, the governments are very strict on issues of corruptions.
Question 19: Serving as Mayor you are elected by and responsible to all Calgarians, but some policies and government actions inherently benefit one part of the City at the expense of another. How would you deal with a situation where you feel that the best interests of some Calgarians conflict with the best interests of Calgarians in other parts of the City?
Transparency is the key.
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 in your local ward race and why, and if you are affiliated with any provincial or federal political parties, which ones and why?
I am a lone ranger. I remain neutral. I am doing anything possible for the benefit of people whether it is left or right. Just like driving on the road, do not expect the road to be straight forever. I do not care whether the cat is black or white, it is a good cat if it can catch a mice.