Platform

For years, competition between different Calgary organizations has been a barrier to growth. My team and I have built the first city-wide economic development plan ever created for Calgary.

By building clear goals into how city, public and private organizations work together, we can align our efforts, stop duplication, save money and direct more resources toward getting this plan done.

As mayor, I will make growing Calgary’s economy my first priority and will directly lead the execution of my economic development strategy.

The Calgary 2030 Plan

This plan will grow and stabilize our economy, and get us off the boom and bust cycle. The plan supports existing businesses which offer the greatest opportunities for growth. It consists of four pillars that work together:

  1. attracting and retaining talent
  2. stabilizing our economy
  3. a culture of continuous learning, and
  4. authentic collaboration and true leadership.

You can read the whole plan here.

Attract Talent

Around the world, people are moving to medium sized cities that are affordable, livable, and socially stable. Cities with positive work cultures, experience and location will draw and keep talent. To compete, Calgary has to up its game. Let’s make Calgary their first choice.

Stable Economy

This plan focuses on supporting existing businesses in growth sectors that build on our strengths. We will support energy companies that are leading the transition to clean tech, smart energy, and decarbonization. We will grow opportunities in food science, precision agriculture and The Blue Economy (which relates to use of our water resources) to help feed a growing population.

Continuous Learning

We will make continuous learning an integral part of our civic culture by transforming the entire city into an innovation ecosystem. Imagine Beakerhead in real time, all the time with such things as library kiosks inside of transit stations, science learning integrated into playground equipment, and procurement practices that prioritize innovation and local technologies.

Authentic Collaboration

The key to this plan is authentic collaboration and true leadership that will draw businesses and investment to Calgary. For years, competition between different Calgary organizations has been a barrier to growth. This plan prioritizes transparency and accountability with partners, and enables true regional, provincial and federal partnerships, including with Indigenous communities, to grow our economy.

Major initiatives that will help move this plan forward:

How we’ll meet our economic diversification objectives. So how do we actually do it? These are some of the initiatives we have in the works that will help us meet the objectives of this plan:

Economic Diversification

Promote our City to the World

As a member of Calgary’s Film Centre, I helped promote Calgary’s film industry, growing it to nearly $500 million and attracting a record number of Hollywood productions. As mayor, I will take on the role of Calgary’s Ambassador to the world.

We will meet with regional partners to establish stronger regional, provincial and federal partnerships, including with Indigenous communities, and identify the network of public and private partnerships that can strengthen our city.

Economic Diversification

Revitalize Downtown

As the hub of Calgary’s business and cultural community, we will keep downtown welcoming and active, with well-used public spaces and a mix of residential, office, retail, entertainment, tourism, and cultural activities. As a Councillor, I assembled the funding strategy to get three core projects off the ground: BMO Centre and Arts Commons expansion, and the new Event Centre and Entertainment District. Let’s not miss more opportunities for concerts and other major events because our venues are old and out of date. These projects will bring investment, revenue, and people back to downtown.

Economic Diversification

Get the Green Line on Track

Access to transit equals access to opportunity—enhancing choices for where you work, go to school, and live, and helping you get there more quickly and safely. Transit is critical for Calgary as it grows toward a population of 2 million. The Green Line will shape how we grow, attracting new businesses and communities all along the line while supporting a greener future and a vibrant downtown.

Economic Diversification

Banff-Calgary-Airport Rail

Many visitors to YYC bypass Calgary and head straight for Banff. The Calgary Banff Rail Project will bring them through Calgary. If those visitors spend just one night here, that’s a $1.2 billion dollar impact to our economy—every year. For locals, passenger rail will make the mountains more accessible—and affordable—right from the centre of Calgary. You’ll be able to have dinner in Banff and be home in time to put the kids to bed. All for less than the price of a park pass.

Keep Calgary Affordable

Keep Calgary Affordable

Support Small Business

Ninety-five percent of Calgary businesses are small businesses. Entrepreneurs are the heart of Calgary’s business community–and it’s critical they get support from The City. I will continue the process I began as Councillor to eliminate red tape and remove barriers to starting, operating and growing businesses. As mayor, I will:

  • To help more businesses get started and grow more jobs, I will drop the business tax rate by 0.5% every year for four years.
  • Work with the province to reform the property tax system so that taxes are predictable and fair.
  • Through our economic development plan, work to attract new businesses to the city. A competitive tax rate is attractive to new businesses. More businesses in Calgary means more revenue to pay for services, with lower individual taxes.

Keep Calgary Affordable

Freeze Residential Property Taxes and Cut Annually as we Grow

My plan for Calgary will ignite our economic engine and build a Calgary for all to be successful. One way Calgarians should enjoy that success is a reduction in property tax on their homes as Calgary grows. I propose that for every one percent Calgary grows, Calgarians see a one percent reduction in property taxes.

Property taxes shouldn’t fluctuate wildly from one year to the next. I will work with the Provincial government to negotiate a more predictable tax assessment process so that your taxes stay low and stable from year to year.

  • I will freeze taxes on all residential properties for 4 years until 2025.
  • Calgary should be recognized for its role as a driver of Alberta’s economy. I will negotiate a fairer share of the Municipal Sustainability Initiative to reflect the population base of Calgary.

Keep Calgary Affordable

Support City Innovators

Front-line city workers understand how the City works; they know how to solve problems, and they know where we can create efficiencies. My role as mayor will be to set measurable cost reduction and efficiency goals, and to help our team meet these goals. City workers are an integral part of our plan to reduce red tape and develop the Calgary economy. I will build trust with city staff by encouraging their creativity and loyalty.

I will build innovation goals into City practices to encourage employees to find new ways to save money, cut red tape, and generate jobs.

  • Reduce duplication between city departments. For example, Transportation and Parks are both responsible for snow clearing. City teams should be combined based on function, not departments.
  • Eliminate red tape to improve practices and speed up services. Last year, people were getting stuck on their streets during heavy snow. Administration could not release snow-clearing funds without having Council declare a snow emergency. I submitted a proposal to eliminate that unnecessary step. It’s one example of a simple solution to a simple problem. Let’s do more of that.
  • Help businesses respond to COVID-19 and other crises. Last year, city administration helped restaurants expand patios onto City-owned sidewalks and parking lots. Reduced fees and quicker application processing helped get more patios open faster. This is how the City should operate.

Other areas for improvement:

  • Reduce parking prices around the city to ensure the public has access to business.
  • Reduce parking regulations on new developments, so that every project has the right amount of parking for unique needs.
  • Remove redundant policies and bylaws that don’t make sense. As Councillor, I established the Business Advisory Committee to help remove barriers, and streamline planning and permitting for businesses. I will continue to lead that committee and find more ways to make dealing with City Hall easier for business.

Keep Calgary Affordable

Focus Spending to Generate a Return

Value for money is about spending to create the outcomes we care most about, like safer streets or quicker snow removal. It’s about creating a City that comes through for you when you need it. I’ve already worked with my colleagues at City Hall to control spending. That includes finding $90 million in operating savings per year and supporting a tax decrease for homeowners during the pandemic.

Keep Calgary Affordable

Build up Affordable Housing

It is critical that Calgary has enough affordable housing for everyone and enough subsidized housing for people with lower incomes. We need to collaborate with Provincial and Federal governments to ensure the right types of housing are available to meet everyone’s needs. As mayor, I will:

  • Coordinate with the organizations responsible for affordable housing to create buildings with a mix of affordable housing options: one-third fully subsidized rental, one-third partially subsidized rental, and one-third market rental. This mix is proven to work. It properly funds the maintenance lifecycle of buildings, and makes affordable housing available in more communities.
  • Provide incentives to developers to build affordable housing in all new developments, or to convert unused offices to affordable residential spaces.
  • Work with the province to free up access to available land (like unused school sites) to bring affordable housing to more communities while respecting needed green space.
  • Keep the city affordable so that seniors can remain in their homes and young families can find homes. Where communities support it, I will encourage the construction of laneway housing and secondary suites so that seniors can remain in their homes, while the next generation shares the property.
  • New communities in Calgary need to have a balance of mixed-used with single-use projects so that the housing needs of all Calgarians can be met.
  • Build stronger relationships with our federal partners. I will ensure the Federal Government doesn’t bypass Calgary on rapid housing initiatives and that Calgary gets every penny of investment that our city deserves.
  • Make sure affordable housing keeps pace with population growth. We already have a deficit of about 15,000 units. And right now, we’re closing more affordable housing units than we’re opening.
  • Ensure that development in new and established communities follows the principle of fifty percent up, fifty percent out. We need to increase density in some Calgary neighbourhoods, while also recognizing that the suburbs remain an attractive choice for many Calgarians. All new communities should include affordable housing options, and encourage subsidized housing where appropriate.

Keep Calgary Affordable

Transportation

Great cities prioritize public transit, providing options for all lifestyles. From scooters and bike lanes to carsharing, we will work together to move people how they want, when they want, and make commuting greener, safer, healthier–and way more fun. As Chair of the Transportation and Transit committee, I understand this file well. As mayor, I will:

  • Get the Green Line moving.
  • Support rail links to Banff and to Edmonton.
  • Access federal funding to electrify the bus fleet with the ultimate goal of a net-zero fleet.

Building a Calgary for Everyone

Building a Calgary for Everyone

Indigenous Reconciliation

It’s time to stop talking about reconciliation and start doing it. As mayor, I will listen to our Treaty 7 partners and the Indigenous people who call Calgary home to ensure our city is a place where all peoples feel recognized and respected. Focusing on shared values and collaboration, I’ll prioritize the following initiatives based on the White Goose Flying Report.

  • Economic reconciliation through collaboration with our First Nations neighbours. Reconciliation must create a more equitable and inclusive society by closing the gaps in social, health and economic outcomes that exist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. Indigenous people must be able to participate fully in the economy.
  • Expanding the role of the Indigenous Office at City Hall to include broader representation from all neighbours on Treaty 7 lands.
  • Work collaboratively with Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners to find real estate, infrastructure, gardens and parkland for Indigenous ceremonies, cultural activities, commemoration and healing.
  • Acknowledge and respect Calgary’s Indigenous archaeological sites.
  • Identify appropriate opportunities to build public art projects in collaboration with Indigenous people that contribute to the reconciliation process.
  • Create a role for the Calgary Aboriginal Urban Affairs Committee to identify how The City’s priorities align with the goals of reconciliation.

Building a Calgary for Everyone

Improve Accessibility

Calgary should be a city for everyone. Accessibility must be built into every project from the start, and be reviewed on existing projects and facilities. Every Calgarian should feel confident that they can navigate the city and access the services they need. And every child should feel included by having the opportunity to play alongside their peers. As mayor, I will:

  • Conduct an accessibility audit of the city. We need to find out where we are succeeding on accessibility and where we are falling short.
  • Work with the Advisory Committee on Accessibility to ensure that new city initiatives like temporary patios meet the needs of all Calgarians. We need to plan accessibility for the long term rather than starting from scratch every year. It is great that the city has been able to help businesses over the COVID-19 pandemic by permitting more patios, but we have failed if it makes those businesses less accessible.
  • Direct City departments to identify better ways to ensure year-round accessibility for Calgarians. Accessibility for those with mobility challenges should be a top priority for snow clearing.
  • Make new playgrounds in Calgary inclusive. Calgary currently has just ten inclusive playgrounds for kids who face a variety of challenges. Even playgrounds with inclusive features might be inaccessible because they are built on surfaces like pea gravel. All new playgrounds in Calgary should incorporate inclusivity into their design so that kids from across the city can benefit from them in their own communities.

Building a Calgary for Everyone

Environment

Calgary has to prepare for the realities of climate change. If we keep leaving change up to others, it will never happen. As mayor, my approach will not only make our city greener, but save us money in the long run. By supporting clean energy companies, we can address climate change while also diversifying our economy. I will:

  • Weatherproof city infrastructure. We need to prepare for the possibility of stronger and more frequent severe weather in the coming years. I will focus on flood mitigation, choosing hail resistant building materials for city facilities, and working with ENMAX to ensure our power grid can cope with extreme temperatures.
  • Ensure that the City’s Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan includes a variety of steps the city can take to be a leader on the environment. Calgary is scheduled to update its plan in 2022. I will make sure it includes such things as grey water recycling, continuing to reduce water and energy consumption and using environmentally friendly building materials.
  • Direct an audit of energy efficiency in city-owned facilities and The City fleet. Finding energy efficiencies not only helps with climate change, but can save thousands of dollars over the lifecycle of City facilities. Efficiencies are a win-win.
    • Aging facilities can operate more efficiently and ultimately serve The City longer with the right kinds of upgrades. We need to consider better insulation, new lighting and heating systems alongside usability upgrades when we renovate facilities.
    • As our fleet of City vehicles ages and requires replacement, it just makes sense to incorporate electric vehicles into our fleet, including electric buses on Calgary Transit. With funding from the federal and provincial governments, Edmonton already has a program in place to electrify its fleet of buses. I’ll advocate for a similar program in Calgary. When you consider maintenance costs and fuel costs, an electric fleet can be more environmentally friendly, sustainable and efficient over the long term. I’m proud that the C-Train already runs on wind power. Let’s expand that program to cover more city vehicles.
  • Improve our natural spaces. Let’s add trees to the canopy of Calgary. More trees not only serve as a home to many species, they’re a carbon sink and make our city more beautiful, too. We can also renaturalize our roadways by exploring alternatives to manicured lawns on medians and boulevards. That approach is good for the environment and helps us reduce maintenance costs.
  • Aim for net-zero infrastructure. As mayor, I would establish a reasonable target timeframe for the City to move to net-zero emission buildings and vehicles.
  • Support public transit. Projects like the Green Line are good for Calgary’s economy and the life of our downtown, but they’re also an efficient and environmentally friendly way to help people get around. I’ll ensure the Green Line gets built and support more transit projects in the future.

Calgary needs a mayor who can act as an Energy Ambassador. Energy has long been an important part of our city’s economy, and will continue to be in the future as we move globally to new energy technologies. Calgary is well positioned to champion the energy sector to other governments, and be a catalyst for long-term, affordable and sustainable energy solutions. Let’s celebrate the people who are making it happen.

  • Calgary can be the home for energy collaboration. Different segments of the energy industry are working hard on finding their own solutions, but can benefit from greater cooperation. As Calgary’s energy ambassador, I would work to bring the whole energy industry to the table, including traditional sources of energy like oil and gas, new green sources of energy, and in research on new technology. Calgary can become the hub of Energy 2.0.
  • Calgary is not just a city of oil and gas. We are truly an energy city. As mayor, I’ll work with other governments and municipalities to advocate for issues that affect the entire energy industry with all levels of government; both Canadian and foreign.

Building a Calgary for Everyone

Inclusion

You can find people of nearly every race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, political outlook and age in Calgary. Diversity makes life more interesting, and is good for our economy. Diversity sparks diverse thinking, which drives creativity and innovation. But to get the benefits of diversity, we have to commit to inclusion. As mayor, I will make sure that people from all walks of life feel like they belong in the public life of our city and at City Hall. According to McKinsey, diversity in hiring isn’t enough; it’s the workplace experience that influences attitudes and a sense of progress. With that in mind, I will:

  • Direct an inclusivity audit to understand where we are doing well in this area, where we can do better, and then take immediate action with the lead of an Inclusion Officer. Often, the focus of inclusivity studies is on where we fall short, but I believe it is just as important to understand what we are already doing well and then to replicate it across City Hall.
  • Commission a yearly review of systemic barriers within City Hall. It’s an unfortunate reality that it’s harder for some people to participate in public life or advance at City Hall because of the barriers they face. We need to work to reduce those barriers on an ongoing basis.
  • Showcase Calgary’s diversity and inclusivity. Part of my Economic Development Strategy is to highlight what an affordable and livable place Calgary is. I will also highlight Calgary’s incredible diversity of thought and skill as a foundation for creativity and innovation.
  • Hire a Diversity and Inclusion Manager in the Mayor’s office. It’s not always easy to spot barriers to inclusion. That’s why I will bring in an expert to help make City Hall and city initiatives as inclusive as possible.
  • Continue to support a safe and inclusive city. I was proud to support Calgary’s ban on conversion therapy while serving as Councillor for Ward 6. I will remain committed to passing bylaws that protect vulnerable Calgarians.
  • Connect with Calgary’s diverse cultural communities. Calgary is fortunate to have many cultural, ethnic, and social groups active in the public life of our city. I will meet with as many of these groups as possible on a regular basis in order to gain a diverse perspective on the issues facing our city.

Building a Calgary for Everyone

Homelessness

It’s heartbreaking to see so much homelessness in our city. As mayor, I will address homelessness by:

  • Offering mental health and addiction support. The City already has a mental health and addiction strategy that needs to be executed. I’m committed to making sure that people with mental health challenges and addictions issues get the help they need, preventing more people from becoming homeless in the first place.
  • Support organizations fighting homelessness. There are a number of organizations in our city working to address the root causes of homelessness as well as its direct effects. I will work with them to ensure they have the City resources they need to continue their fight.
  • Ensuring affordable housing is available. Increasing our stock of affordable housing means fewer people will be at risk of homelessness, and there will be more options for rapid-rehousing.
  • Creating more shelter spaces and facilities for those experiencing homelessness. Almost nobody is homeless by choice, but it’s easy to become stuck without the right services available. I will ensure that Calgarians experiencing homelessness have access to shelter, a place to store their belongings, and a place to wash. These are basic but essential supports to finding gainful employment and overcoming homelessness.

Building a Calgary for Everyone

Mental Health and Addiction Support

COVID-19 and the Opioid Crisis have brought much needed attention to mental health and addictions issues. As mayor, I want to ensure that we don’t lose focus on these important issues over the next several years. I will:

  • Execute the City’s Mental Health and Addiction Strategy. The City has over $25 million committed to fighting mental health and addiction. We need strong leadership to ensure that money is spent responsibly and produces maximum results. I will offer increased funding for mental health and addictions to ensure these issues continue to receive attention in the years ahead.
  • Support community spaces and community programming. One of the challenges that COVID-19 has highlighted is the number of Calgarians who struggle with isolation and loneliness, which can easily turn into struggles with mental health and addiction. I will work to develop programming and offer public spaces for people to gather in formal and informal ways to form social bonds and to address mental health issues directly.
  • Call for mental health training for first responders. Police, fire, bylaw services and other city employees are often on the front lines of mental health and addiction crises. These first responders need the tools and training to treat people in these situations with compassion, respect, and skill so people can get the help they need. I will work with the Calgary Police Service and other City departments to make this training happen.
  • The right responders for the right calls. Safety for everyone involved is a top priority in mental health crises. AHS employees should have support from police when safety issues arise. I will hire more police officers to ensure someone is available when needed. I will also support the use of specially trained mental health response personnel to respond to crisis situations.
  • Collaborate with the province and school boards. Mental health and addictions issues involve a number of different stakeholders. We need strong relationships with our partners in the provincial government, including AHS, and Calgary-area school boards to ensure concerns are being addressed proactively and efficiently.
  • Review existing programs for effectiveness. There is no value in throwing money at a problem if people aren’t getting the help they need. As mayor, I will review The City’s existing programs on mental health and addiction to ensure they are working effectively. We need to stop spending on what isn’t working, and focus on what works best.
  • Fight mental health stigma. Mental health challenges are something most of us will face at some point in our lives. I will be a leader who recognizes the reality of mental health issues and am committed to ensuring the right supports are in place.

Building a Calgary for Everyone

Parks and Public Spaces

COVID has reminded us just how valuable our parks and public spaces are. Unfortunately, parks are usually one of the last things to receive investment and one of the first things to be cut when City Council goes looking for money. As Councillor for Ward 6, I have a proven track record of supporting investment in our park. Using the ENMAX Parks Legacy fund, we have protected parks without new spending, new taxes, or user fees. This motion will make sure our parks stay safe, clean, open, and green. As mayor, I will:

  • Invest more in community spaces. We need to make sure that park development keeps pace with population growth, and that the facilities and infrastructure, like soccer nets and turf, meet the needs of individual communities.
  • Keep parks clean. We all want parts that are safe, clean, open, and green. Maintenance like grass cutting, trash collection, and servicing restrooms keep parks an attractive part of active living in Calgary.

Building a Calgary for Everyone

Sport and Recreation

Our sport and recreation facilities are among the most visited City facilities. Unfortunately, they haven’t received the attention they deserve in recent years. As mayor, I will:

  • Work with our partners in the Active City Collective and school boards to ensure that we share the same priorities for funding and maintaining sport and recreation facilities.
  • Invest in new sport and recreation infrastructure. If we don’t commit to new facilities now, we’ll only fall further behind as our city continues to grow. The ENMAX Legacy fund is one way we can help fund new infrastructure. I am committed to more facilities for a growing city.

Collaborative Leadership

Calgary needs a leader who can bring everyone to the table to get things done. We’ve spent too long divided and too much time squabbling. Let’s get down to work to improve our economy, our quality of life, and opportunities for our city.

Collaborative Leadership

Community Consultation

Calgary’s communities are diverse. I will fix community consultation by working with community associations, businesses, and residents on neighbourhood plans that reflect what Calgarians really want. Community planning shouldn’t be dictated by developers or by City Hall; it should reflect the needs of the people it will affect most. I will:

  • Establish a better mechanism for feedback. Communities should have a say in development in their area, the character of their neighbourhoods, and what new services or facilities each neighbourhood requires. I will formalize a more effective process for collecting and acting on feedback from the community.

Collaborative Leadership

Work With all Levels of Government

In my time as Councillor for Ward 6 and in the private sector, I’ve earned a reputation as a collaborator. I believe what Calgary needs right now is someone who can work with people from a variety of different experiences and viewpoints to actually get things done. I’m excited to work with a new City Council and all levels of government to get a good deal for Calgary. I will:

  • Be a collaborative leader on Calgary’s next City Council. This election will bring a new mayor and many new councillors Chambers. It’s more important than ever that we have a strong leader who understands City Hall, and who understands the important role that we play in service of the public. I want City Council to be a body that can work together to ensure we’re addressing the right priorities for all Calgarians.
  • Work with the federal and provincial governments. The reality is that the three levels of government will never agree with each other one hundred percent of the time. We need to build healthy relationships in order to secure a good deal for Calgary. We’ve missed out on too many opportunities due to political squabbling. I will make sure we don’t miss out on any more.

Collaborative Leadership

Police, Fire, and Bylaw Services

Calgary’s first responders work hard everyday to keep us safe. We need to make sure that they have the resources they need to continue to do so, and to keep themselves safe on the job. As mayor, I will:

  • Ensure appropriate funding to meet higher safety standards for first responders. Our first responders can’t do their jobs without enough personnel and resources to work safely. I will ensure that police and fire have the resources they need to meet the safety standards of their professions.
  • Ensuring the safety of our workforce. We need to ensure that all City employees have the tools and training they need to do their jobs safely so that they can be there for you when you need them. I will review health and safety practices in the City to maintain the level of safety City employees and the public expect.
  • Work with the province on an expanded role for Bylaw. Another lesson from COVID has been the excellent value Calgary’s peace officers offer for our city. There are a number of complaints and public safety issues taking up valuable police resources that can be better addressed by peace officers. As mayor, I will work with the province to expand the role for bylaw officers in our city.
  • Increase police resources and personnel for safety downtown. Calgarians should feel safe across the city, including downtown. We need additional personnel–not buildings–with the right training and resources to make this happen. I will ensure that Calgary Police have the funding they need to do their jobs safely and professionally.

Collaborative Leadership

Pensions

As mayor, I will take a collaborative approach to pensions with Calgary’s public sector unions to make sure that workers and taxpayers alike are getting a good deal. I will:

  • Modernize public pensions. As the nature of work changes, many city employees want more flexibility in their pension choices. Some might choose more money in their pocket today while others want to save more for the future. The City should collaborate with the City’s public sector unions to offer modern pension options that give more flexibility to employees.
  • Recognize public sector job security. Public sector employees have greater job security than most Calgarians. Let’s make sure this reality is reflected in labour agreements to be fair to employees and Calgarians alike.
  • Ensure any changes to politicians’ pensions are not made by politicians. It should never be up to politicians to decide how much they get paid today, or after retirement. I will leave my own pension alone–it should be up to an external committee to decide how much money politicians take home.

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