I've been getting some really great questions from voters doing their research for the upcoming election. I'm encouraged to see this level of engagement with the election still months away! I'd like to share one of those questions (and my response) that came in via Facebook (the question posted on a public post):
Question: Fiscal management seems to be your primary concern but how do balance that against programs that don't necessarily earn a profit or break even but have great benefit to the community (such as transit, libraries, homeless initiatives etc.)?
Answer: Thanks, I'm glad you asked that question. As I mention on my website, "I would like to stress though that fiscal responsibility does not simply mean painful cuts across the board. It refers to taking a more responsible approach to spending, prioritizing projects and being creative." Affordable housing is something that Calgary has struggled with. An idea that I proposed some years ago was to make a change to the public infrastructure / artwork program so that rather than allocating a percentage of infrastructure to public art, that percentage would instead go toward the funding of affordable housing. I believe that making this change would allow future infrastructure projects to benefit an even broader number of Calgarians. With regard to transit, I have posted an idea on my website for the Greenline project. Rather than cancelling it completely, it could be re-aligned from its current configuration to actually be a "line to somewhere" and provide more benefit at a potentially lower cost. You can read about my idea here: https://www.mikelavalley.ca/post/green-line-project . I agree with you completely that fiscal responsibility requires a balance. I believe we can achieve that balance by making practical, sensible decisions.