Recently this series of questions was posted on a group page on Facebook. So many of the questions and comments I have been receiving from people have been regarding hot topic issues that every candidate is speaking about. These types of questions haven't been getting as much attention so I thought I would share them with you along with the answers I posted.
I'll try and address some of your questions. My apologies if I can't provide sufficient answers in this relatively small space.
1 - (How will you address local food security, food affordability, and food waste?) I've made a couple of comments on this question in another reply (below - clickable to view the post) where I also refer to a blog post of mine regarding balance.
2 - (How will you protect local small businesses from unfair competition with big box stores and e-business like Amazon?) Small local businesses need to capitalize on their strengths to be competitive. One of their strengths is the fact that many are conveniently located right in your neighborhood. The city needs to avoid making it inconvenient to support them. They recognized that there is too little parking or too many parking restrictions to allow patrons to visit them and pick up items from these businesses during covid so they started to relax these restrictions. We need to learn from this and support small local business by ensuring it is convenient to support them.
3 - (Will you implement an extended producer responsibility program to put financial responsibility for waste and recycling of packaging and products on the producers rather than the consumers?) I support the idea but I'm unwilling to make any promises on this item as I think it may be more of a provincial or federal matter that could be outside of my scope of influence as a municipal councillor.
4 - (What is your opinion of safe injection and safe consumption sites?) My wife, who is a family physician, and I discuss this on a regular basis. My opinion is they could be far more effective in working toward successful results if they included a much greater emphasis on treatment and recovery rather than only the immediate risk reduction of injection itself.
5 - (Do you support programs like Edmonton's municipal solar rebate program to help citizens become more energy independent and reduce electricity bills in the long term?) Yes I would support the rebate program you described. While it certainly won't solve all our energy concerns and every source of energy comes with its own pros and cons, solar panels could help. In addition, it could support local businesses who could supply and install them. Another point to consider is that like them or not, electric vehicles are coming faster than many believe and I don't believe our grid is ready. In planning ahead, anything that could start to be done now to relieve the pressure on our electrical system is probably a good idea.
6 - (What is your vision for how Calgary can adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change?) That's a large topic and in fact the city is holding a symposium on the topic in the near future. There are some basic building fundamentals though that should be kept as priorities. Green space and preserving it should be number one. The benefits on the environment to having more open green space cannot be underestimated. Also, an effect of climate change is the increase in frequency and severity of extreme weather events. While many are proposing higher population density as way to move forward, we must be careful that green space is not reduced and that safety is not impacted by congested neighborhoods. Congestion does not allow emergency access in and out of our homes during times of extreme snow or flooding. As you mentioned, their are risks with climate change that we should be aware of and attempt to mitigate. Many struggled for days on tighter streets during the snowstorm in December. I know I spent a couple days myself towing people through snow and helping carry groceries to their homes. This was definitely a safety risk for many. I remember a story of a fire a couple of years ago that was far worse than necessary as the emergency responders were unable to reach the scene due to snow and the congestion on the street. These risks associated with changing climate should be accounted for in future planning.
These are some initial thoughts, please feel free to reach out with any further ideas or suggestions you might have, I'm all ears.