Candidate for Mayor
My name is Shaoli Wang, I was born in western China, went to university at 16, got a master’s degree in Geology, married with my primary school classmate, we owned a dental office, we moved to Calgary in 2007, I worked as a geologist.
I have met with many life saving angles. They had helped fix my severe knee injury, rheumatoid arthritis, myocarditis, jaw, lower back, and neck injury, all were claimed incurable by my doctors, and they still are. Several of my angels are Calgarians.
I was also blessed to have some chance to help in a way. I had acted several times as a mediator. Once there was a gang fight, between university freshmen from two different cities thousands of miles apart, each got about 100, I was a sophomore at the time. I persuaded them within a minute.
The last few years, I had interactions with over 20 government departments, experienced dozens of litigations with provincial and federal government and several big law firms, area of law includes insurance, employment, construction, administration, injury, contract, human rights, constitutional, and criminal law, lost some, won more, and most of those I won after lawyers given up.
Those tough learning processes are not enjoyable, but no pain no gain, I had then become aware of issues of our society from the deeper root part where solutions are buried, and resolved several lawsuits through negotiation.
I ran 2019 federal election as an independent, aiming to cap property tax, balance the budget, help our seniors, stop inspiring hatred and distrust, and fix the judicial system.
Balancing the federal budget is a bold promise none of our federal parties had a clue, but I had interactions also with several federal government departments and happened to know some big problems.
A week after the federal election, I attended city’s fluoridation town hall meeting and made a presentation, raised Charter Rights and Freedoms arguments, defeated the panel of 5 who unanimously supported it, and helped halt the fluoridation.
2020 was a tough year, still, I was shocked by our city’s news that 11% of our residents were unable to pay 2020 property tax, while what ultimately kicked me out of my world was mayor’s comments “I’m not actually all that worried about it.” I took it deeply personal and made the decision to run this election to be a mayor for 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?
Shaoli Wang is a geologist, owned a dental office back home. 2019, ran federal election as a Calgary Rocky Ridge Independent candidate, received 270 votes As a team player type of scientist and a healthcare type of entrepreneur, Shaoli possesses extensive experiences of being careful, logical, and persuasive. Shaoli had single-handedly stopped a gang fight between about 200 university students at the age of 17 as a sophomore. Shaoli had also successfully befriended with over a dozen people approached him with anger and a pointing finger on 5 different occasions here in Calgary during the last 2 years, earned touching handshakes and heartwarming hugs from young and old, men and women, some of them homeless who are constantly breaking Shaoli’s heart. Deeply personally, Shaoli made his commitment to “Bring 3,000 homeless Calgarians back home.”
Question 2: What do you think are the biggest issues affecting Calgary are, and how would you approach these issues as Mayor?
Falling in the municipal government’s responsibility, (1) City’s uncontrolled salary increase and spending problem caused tax hike that crashed 6,000+ of our local small businesses along with 60,000+ jobs, kicking 500+ families out of their homes through City’s Tax Sale, pushing 2,200+ families into foreclosure, annually; (2) The ever rising crime rate disregard the above inflation and population growth CPS cost. I will Roll back Mayor's pay by 20% from 2019 level. Between 2003 and 2019, Mayor's pay increased by 83%, 51% higher than inflation, that means 27.9% of Mayor’s pay goes above inflation. Cut municipal residential property tax 15% by 2023, 23.5% by 2025 from 2019 level; Cut municipal non-residential property tax 20% by 2023, 26% by 2025 from 2019 level. Between 2003 and 2019, inflation was 32%, per capita municipal residential property tax increased 129%, per business municipal property tax increased 103%. While all the over taxation paid off to City’s salary. Vs. 2003, 2011-2019, municipal over inflation and population property tax cumulated $4.6b, city’s over inflation and population salary growth cumulated $4.8b. Secure frontline service, freeze hiring, cut pay and expense, shed off overstaffing. Halt the Green Line, Arena and Calgary Municipal Land Corporation's expanding and renovation projects. 1,490 businesses net loss by 2019 4,000+ new homeless in 2019 500+ families lost their homes to the City’s 2021 Tax Sale 2,200+ families lost their homes in 2020 to mortgage companies 50,000+ families can’t afford property tax in 2020 189,000+ Calgarians are struggling now Average business over $330,000 in debt, twice of the national level 1st stage cost will be $7.65 billion, apart from provincial and federal funds, our share of Property Tax will be $4,500/household, $45,000/business Green Line full cost will be over $13 billion, our total share of Property Tax will be $10,000/household, $100,000/business Lower crime rate, restore Police Pride. Hold up 10% CPS budget and bind it with crime rate reversely, push for community policing. 2019 2003, inflation 32%, per Capita policing cost ↗ 87%
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?
Municipal government’s Responsibilities: Maintain city facilities Address land use Provide law enforcement, fire protection, and public transportation Utilities Housing services and emergency medical services Garbage collecting and waste disposal The City has failed: Land use: very often stand against public interest, chasing only for revenue CPS: every rising cost accompanied with ever rising crime rate Public transit: bus routes were suspended, frequency was lowered, snow shoveling stay an issue Garbage collecting downgraded to biweekly while cost constantly hikes
Question 4: Do you think property taxes are too high, too low, or just about right?
Property tax are too high: Between 2003 and 2019, inflation was 32%, per capita municipal residential property tax increased 129%, per business municipal property tax increased 103%, comparatively, per capita provincial property tax increased 35%.
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?
Over the next four years, the City should cut residential property tax by 23.5%, cut business property tax by 26%, both of which would still be higher than inflation and population growth since 2003.
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?
Nobody other than Calgarians have the right to say yes or no to new taxation. The initiation of this topic from the City is a dare announcement that this municipal government is fully off leash and has since become a bully. “No new tax” is my bottom line.
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?
Savings by the City is a lie; essential service cut is true. Spending cut is a lie; frontline layoff is true. “Increase tax or cut service” is our City’s fallacy. Any portion of over taxation should be returned immediately when it becomes possible.
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?
Affordable housing is a politically correct topic, while I believe a decent job makes a home affordable. But, we must not forget: Homelessness is a national disgrace. I will “Bring 3,000 homeless Calgarians back home”.
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?
City of Calgary are losing people and businesses, suburban area is gaining population and businesses, thanks to the City’s dramatic tax hike, especially the year over year doubled business property tax. Growth plan means quite the opposite between City of Calgary and the surrounding towns. I will abolish the current plan, revive our economy first.
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 was created with the city’s goal for revenue so that to satisfy the City’s ever rising salary which had single-handedly caused the property tax hike. Between 2003 and 2019, inflation was 32%, per capita municipal residential property tax increased 129%, per business municipal property tax increased 103%. While all the over taxation paid off to City’s salary. Vs. 2003, 2011-2019, municipal over inflation and population property tax cumulated $4.6b, city’s over inflation and population salary growth cumulated $4.8b. I will dump this Guidebook, turn the City for our people and communities first.
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?
It does not take a CFO to tell that we can not afford any of them, we can’t even afford our overpaid city, can’t even with 4 times of property tax hike in a 16 years span before the pandemic. More than an affordability issue, the Arena deal is no less than a robbery in nature. None of us should forget that in 2020, after 3 months extension, still, we had over 11% residents unable to pay our property tax. There is no if of that Calgarians can only afford one of these projects.
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 will halt the Green Line for my entire term, Calgarians need a tax break, and years of recovery. We can not afford this Green Line: 1st stage cost will be $7.65 billion, apart from provincial and federal funds, our share of Property Tax will be $4,500/household, $45,000/business Green Line full cost will be over $13 billion, our total share of Property Tax will be $10,000/household, $100,000/business
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?
The best approach to attract businesses to Calgary is to bringing back our lost 6,000 local small businesses. We must cut the business property tax, lower the crime rate to reach that goal. Incentives are over taxation in nature, regressive property tax funded incentives should be banned in the municipal government. In case the City believes it so important to have one, it should seek fundings from upper government which have their progressive tax at hand.
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?
The City job is not to run a business, and it used to fail when it does. The City should leave its hands nicely away from businesses.
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?
Defund the police is a misleading topic. I will Lower crime rate, restore Police Pride. Hold up 10% CPS budget and bind it with crime rate reversely, push for community policing. 2019 vs. 2003, inflation 32%, per Capita policing cost ↗ 87% As to injustices, it is quite a legal issue, and should not be shared with the counter party. You have my commitment, I will handle it so that to restore Police Pride.
Question 16: Do you support the City’s mandatory vaccination policy for City employees?
No, it is against Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Section 7 and 15 with which the municipal government has no authority to interfere.
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 disagree with the decision and the future further drop.
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?
Our City is not wellsite facility focused on functioning only, it is a home to millions, public arts belong to us. Every tax dollar must be spent wisely, the City had failed our local artists by creating those disturbing and costly pieces of arts, someone must be held accountable. We must not be distracted from City’s biggest spending problems – its overpaid salary: Vs. 2003, 2011-2019, municipal over inflation and population property tax cumulated $4.6b, city’s over inflation and population salary growth cumulated $4.8b
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?
Actually I have not heard of any complaints of any policies and government actions inherently benefit one part of the City at the expense of another yet.
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 will vote for Theo van Besouw, he is not affiliated to any political party, his platform is for the City’s best interest. I am not affiliated to any provincial or federal political party.