Why I'm in the Race to be Calgary's Next Mayor
May 14, 2021
I got into politics because I wasn’t seeing what I wanted for this city, for its people, and for my family. As a lifelong Calgarian and a dad to three young kids, I was worried about our future.
Over the past four years, my job as Councillor has been to help us navigate incredibly tough times. A downturn that’s dragged on for years. A shrinking tax base that’s driven taxes up. A pandemic that has shut the city down more than once.
For a lot of people, it seems that City Council has spent more time fighting with each other -- and with other levels of government -- than fighting for what’s best for our city.
That’s why I’ve always tried to be a leader who brings people together, finds common ground, and gets things done for the good of everyone.
I've used my role on the boards of Calgary Economic Development, the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund, the Business Advisory Committee and the Economic Resiliency Task Force to deliver a focused plan for recovery. Not after October 18th. Right now!
My plan until very recently was to continue to help lead Calgary’s recovery and growth as the Councillor for Ward 6. Here’s the thing - I’ve spent the past four years putting strategies in place to achieve growth and success. But recovery is not guaranteed. We are at the point where everything we have worked for is in jeopardy if we don’t have the right leadership.
That’s why I want to be your Mayor.
To safely navigate our growth, we need the right leader to set the right tone - to drive efficiencies - to remove the hurdles that hamper us as a city - and to bring Council together through collaboration and vision.
In a world where talent and capital are extremely mobile, we can’t afford any mis-steps. Opportunity is walking away and we need to bring it back!
My campaign is not a list of all the things I’m going to do, it’s a continuation of all things I’ve already done and am already doing.
You know -- I keep hearing that our city needs to be more business-friendly. But what we really need is to “do business better,” to re-establish Calgary as THE place to do business in Western Canada. But we must also remember that The City of Calgary -- and Calgary Council -- are a service--a service to Calgarians. It’s a service that needs to operate at the speed of business, not at the speed of government.
An effective Mayor takes care of city operations in partnership with an extremely capable management team and the over 16,000 city employees who do their best every day to keep things running smoothly.
To be effective, the mayor has to stay in tune with the people and businesses we serve. That means we must look at how to re-prioritize city spending to ensure we provide the highest quality services at the best dollar value.
Fundamentally, this election isn’t just about taxes or spending. It’s about the type of City we want to live in. It is about Calgarians like you. It's about Calgarians including you. It’s about electing a mayor who knows how to bridge the gap between where we are and where we want to be.
So let me tell you about how we can bridge that gap.
We must re-establish Calgary as THE place for business and investment in Western Canada. To do that, we need to amplify what we have -- incredible people, resources, and infrastructure -- to accelerate international investment. By focusing on our strengths as an energy hub, and as a young entrepreneurial city, we can help local businesses thrive and grow - driving NEW opportunities for all Calgarians.
I’ve been an employee, an investor, an owner and an entrepreneur. I’ve held senior positions in energy, technology, and the film industry. I understand what it will take to continue to attract new investment to these industries, as well as many others as we safely navigate Calgary’s expansion into technology across all sectors.
Calgary has always been about the hustle and the handshake, not government intervention. We’ve always been driven by an entrepreneurial energy that embraces opportunity and innovation. That’s why I believe that the next City Council should be focused on getting out of the way of the people, businesses, nonprofits, and communities that make our city great.
What I’m talking about isn’t new -- we’ve seen it before. Thriving businesses, job growth, and community-focused infrastructure -- we’ve had that before and we’re well positioned to see it again.
But our recovery is at risk. We’re not going to achieve success through fear and anger and division. Calgary can only prosper through creativity, connection, and collaboration. After all, we are much more alike -- than we are different.
Since being elected, I’ve been a champion of a city revitalization strategy that includes making downtown THE place to live, work and play - moving from vacancy to vibrancy with residential, office, retail, entertainment, tourism, AND cultural spaces.
It’s why I’ve advocated for three of the biggest projects included in the strategy: The BMO Centre, Arts Commons expansion, and the new Event Centre.
It’s why, as a member of the Calgary Film Centre, I’ve helped advocate for Calgary’s now exploding film sector - which is again becoming a major Hollywood contender in Canada.
And it’s why I’ve been looking for ways to encourage both private and philanthropic investment in Calgary so that we can balance economics with social and environmental outcomes that support everyone.
This is the kind of creativity, connection, and collaboration that provides value for everyone.
Calgary doesn’t need a mayor to just say the right things. We need a mayor that will do the right things. A mayor with vision, a strong work ethic, and entrepreneurial hustle. A mayor who can get things done.
A mayor who can help us remember who we are at our core - collaborative, bold, and optimistic doers who are able to work together to bring investment and growth back to our city.
We have a lot going for us as a city. We have a diverse set of skills and talents. And we have a great community spirit.
Simply put, Calgary is one of the best places to live anywhere. And I’m running to help keep it that way.
We can’t afford any more old school thinking and standing still is the same as going backward.
What you’ve seen from me in the past 4 years is what I’m all about. Finding opportunity, delivering value and desired outcomes, bridging gaps, replacing dysfunction with collaboration -- getting people to say yes-- and rolling ahead with a vision that works for everyone.
Let’s be a city that inspires the world with our ability to dream together -- work together -- and achieve together.
Let’s do it by focusing on four simple words: We can. We will.