Where we are: In the last 7 years, unemployment in Calgary has almost doubled. In the last 18 months, 77,000 more people have fallen under the poverty line. Now more than ever, our dependence on a single industry must shift toward a more diverse economy that embraces the innovation that will carry Calgary forward.
Where we can go, together: When you get down to the fundamentals of Council, its job is to create the conditions for the success of Calgarians, socially, environmentally, and economically. A strong economy allows us to succeed in everything we do. A strong economy allows people to thrive.
Economical: We must support the heart of our communities: local businesses. The small business sector provides the majority of employment in our city. For us to thrive as a whole, we must make sure our small businesses are thriving. Through streamlining administrative barriers, such as our licensing and permitting system, we can make it easier for entrepreneurship to take root. Through a comparative investigation of more efficient municipalities, we can establish processes and procedures that are more friendly to entrepreneurs and businesses.
In addition to local businesses, our economic opportunities lay in our growing industries such as film, interactive media, aerospace and logistics, as well as investing in our hardworking people by providing and incentivizing job retraining programs and transitional training programs. It is when we invest in ourselves that we will thrive.
Social: Our collective success will be based on the kind of life we can offer people already here, and what will attract others to visit or move here. If we offer people an inclusive culture and environment, a place to embrace our humanity through our collective identities, Calgary will become a place where everyone feels at home. Through support for local arts and culture, entertainment, and pursuing post-secondary educational partnerships in the downtown core, Calgary has the opportunity to reimagine the culture of our city for the benefit of all.
Environmental: We have an economic opportunity to invest in new technological industries that would harness local talent, innovation and intellectual capital. Through strategic investments in renewable energy, agribusiness, carbon capture technology, and expanded and electrified transit infrastructure, Calgary has an opportunity to be on the cutting edge of environmentally responsible industries. In doing so, we can avoid the damaging effects of boom and bust cycles while also committing to our ethical responsibilities addressing the climate crisis.
There is a cascading effect to investing in ourselves. When we seek out creative opportunities to invest in Ward 8, we will enrich our communities with more amenities, better services, and improve the quality of life for all who call Ward 8 home. In doing so, Ward 8 will further develop as a destination for Calgarians to live, work, and play. And when we draw more people into our communities, we create the conditions for businesses to succeed with more patrons, more employees, and an atmosphere that’s bustling with life.
- Champion Calgary’s Greater Downtown Strategy to lead the way for the reinvention of Calgary’s Downtown and the revival of the lost tax revenue that is now being shouldered by small businesses across the city.
- Establish, expand, and partner with vocational transitioning and retraining programs to support Calgarians learning new skills and finding jobs in other industries.
- Enable the expansion of the renewable energy industry and tech industry, creating jobs and attracting more talent, while creating a resilient, future-fit city that can respond meaningfully to the climate crisis and weather its projected impacts.
- Partner with Post-Secondary Institutions to offer a slate of university classes and/or programs in the downtown core.
- Invest in Calgary’s Arts and Culture industries.
- Investigate ways to expand our Film and Media Industry.
- Support local businesses with permanent extended patios that maintain open sidewalks.
- Investigate opportunities to improve efficiency and customer service in City administrative processes related to business licensing, permitting, or operations by conducting a best practices scan of other municipalities in Canada.