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]:
a) Reduce in absolute terms
I kept my 2013 election promise to return $52 Million to taxpayers, a decision that helped to reduce taxes in 2014. I also voted this May to return $23.7 Million back to taxpayers – a decision that helped to reduce this year’s tax bill. Additionally, I voted for a property tax freeze in 2016 and 2017, and I introduced a motion to lower property taxes in 2018 in absolute terms.
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]:
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?
I support a new arena/stadium for Calgary. However, I oppose direct tax dollars going to a new arena which would result in property taxes to increase. Land and CRL’s are negotiable, but I oppose direct tax dollars or subsidies.
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]:
If so, what would you do to fix this? Which topics do you believe should be discussed behind closed doors and why?
All council meetings and discussions should be public with the exception of items where there may be financial or legal implications.
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]:
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?
I voted in favour of freezing public art for infrastructure projects in 2015, and supported the 2017 Motion to suspend public art for infrastructure projects.
How can council support small businesses?
First of all, council can vote to lower taxes for small businesses. Many small businesses in Ward 2 are struggling in our current economic downturn and are being burdened by increasing taxes by the provincial and federal governments. The last thing that small businesses need is increasing taxes at the municipal level. I introduced a motion to lower property taxes in 2018 and if re-elected, I would like to bring this motion back as we need to support our small business community as they are job creators and integral to Calgary’s economy. Secondly, we need to cut red tape. For example, development approvals can takes years in Calgary, where it can take only weeks in Edmonton and other major cities. We need to make sure that the City of Calgary is not an impediment to business, but catalyst for growth and business success.
Do you support the current plan for construction of the Green Line?
Answer 6.1 [Yes/No Only]:
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?
I was one of the few councillors that voted against the green line project. I was very supportive of this project back in 2015 when the Harper government provided $1.5 Billion for a 40 km green line that was supposed to go from suburbs in the south to suburbs in the north which would have been great for residents of Ward 2. Now that the line has shrunk in half to only 20 kms (serving only the inner city) and the total cost has increased I voted against this project. I would like council to revisit this project and find ways to have in constructed at a reduced cost and be built to the suburbs where there is much greater ridership.
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]:
Why do you support/oppose a public vote? Should the results of a vote should be binding?
I am supportive of a public vote where the results should be binding. Councillor Chu and I were the only councillors who voted in favour of the motion that would have allowed Calgarians to decide in a plebiscite on if Calgary should bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics.