Jacob McGregor


Jacob McGregor

Candidate for Ward 1


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Video Interview:





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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’ve dedicated the better of my life to serving my community. I have served on 2 City of Calgary boards, the Advisory Committee on Accessibility, as well as the Calgary Transit Access Eligibility Appeals Board. I’ve also been a member of the advocacy group Calgary Ability Network now Alberta Ability Network on multiple policy tables and been a Youth Ambassador for Easter Seals Alberta. This has given me the policy and intergovernmental affairs experience as well as the knowledge of the city hall budget process (even though that could use an overhaul) and city administration to be an effective representative of Ward 1 residents on council.

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

Safety – We need to Fully staff and properly fund the Calgary Fire Department, institute NFFPA standards, 24-hour shifts, and create a Calgary Fire Commission. Mental Health – We need toCreate an online portal where people or their loved ones can search services by cost, program availability, and complaint. Start a pilot program in partnership with AHS similar to low-income transit pass to make it easier for low-income Calgarians to get the help they need. Economic Recovery and Affordability: We need to Moderate new greenfield development with a modest cost increase on development permits. Cut red tape through a regulatory budget at city hall, allow developers to partner with the city to sponsor affordable housing projects, liquidate some reserve funds to invest in organizations like Platform Calgary to attract new business and fund startups. Tax freeze and privatization where appropriate. This also means leading by example. Council and administration should take a 10 per cent pay rollback and we need to end supplementary pensions. I’m a leader that listens, collaborates, and takes action based on data.

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 city’s role is to provide core services, safe communities and provide opportunity for citizens and businesses we can get out of some things and do less.

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

Too high but until we can dive into the books and examine services a freeze is practical.

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?

Spend less.

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 new taxation powers please.

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?

I don’t think saving is bad but where the surplus came from is where it needs to be put back into and we can’t be just hoarding it away.

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?

We do need a mix we can increase housing supply but also allow developers to put their name on affordable housing projects as a partner with the city.

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?

I like the plan’s emphasis on collaboration between municipal partners in the region. The goals are laudable but this seems very much like the Guidebook For Great Communities on a large scale and that policy was very flawed. Not only could this have negative impacts on affordability but is very reliant on how Councils implement it.

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 is a great example of Council and Administration’s current “mother knows best” attitude. This policy promoted a blanket solution on density when communities and residents know best where density is appropriate. I believe we need a mixture of density and greenfield development. To moderate greenfield development I believe we should modestly increase permit fees with a mixture based on market demand and community engagement. The biggest thing we need is a Council and planning department focused on collaborative and meeting residents’ needs not looking for a rubber stamp.

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?

Given the state of each project if we absolutely had to choose one it’d be the BMO Centre given this has broken ground.

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 North leg shouldn’t be routed through Centre Street it replaces a well ridden bus route which wouldn’t create ridership just move it from the bus to the train. Cost overruns should be handled by our provincial and federal partners.

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?

Lower taxes and less red tape I would also like to see greater investment in organizations like Platform Calgary and OCIF to attract business from the tech industry and cultivate local startups.

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 don’t think the city should be operating these but I don’t want them to close, privatization would be better. I think there’s room for privatized services including garbage collection and potentially other services based on data driven analysis.

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 this will only hurt community safety and CPS community outreach programs.

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

I am fully vaccinated I believe this is the right decision but I believe you should be able to make the other choice even if I strongly disagree with you.

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?

I would have voted to drop the speed limit as it will most likely result in greater adherence to the old speed limit given people’s tendency to drift slightly higher than the posted limit. It should not go lower.

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?

Public art is an important part of vibrant communities but the art commissioned should be from a local artist and have tangible meaning and drive visitorship.

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?

Ultimately I would be elected as the Councillor for Ward 1. These are the people who hired me so my constituents come first.

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 will not be publicly sharing my vote for mayor. However I have been a volunteer with the Calgary Rocky Ridge Conservative Electoral District Association and our MP Pat Kelly since 2018. I believe in small government, cutting red tape, fiscal responsibility, and small government.