Katy Anderson/the Gauntlet

Candidate Interview: David Bertram

Publication YearIssue Date 

1. What do you think the big issues in this election are?
2. How are you planning to address the city's crime problem?
3. What can the city do to ease the crunch on affordable housing?
4. What transportation infrastructure need would you address first?
5. What separates you from the other candidates?

1. Most important to students, affordable housing, reasonable accommodation, security on the transit system, public transit and infrastructure, getting to and from campus. Others issues are crime in the downtown core and out in the suburbs, how we spend our money, and our relationships with other levels of government.

2. Put it this way: beefing up the police service is a good step in the right direction. We also have to encourage citizens to get involved and by that I mean getting their communities actively involved with Block Watch. As you get larger, people always think, 'well, the police force will take care of it.' We want to put more officers on the street, but they can't find the recruits to put them there. Citizens have to get actively involved in this too or it's not going to work. You can't just rely on the police force.

3. The mayor needs to lead by example. We need leadership at the top of city hall saying that affordable housing is a priority.

People are charitable, they'll often let you use their kitchen, but people need a room to sleep in. My mom came from Drumheller to Calgary, she lives in a basement suite. Nowadays they call those illegal suites and she may not have a place to live when she wanted to come to the city. If it was good enough for my mother, it's good enough for all Calgarians, and that's how I'm different from the incumbent.

4. Living in the suburbs, interchanges are still a priority. I hear a lot of discussion about 'let's build the west leg of the LRT. The LRT needs to be expanded into communities, but before we expand it, we better make sure that we have the capacity to handle those trains along 7th Ave. We're at capacity already. If we're going to add more lines with what we've got, we're going to exacerbate the problem, not solve it.

5. A different style of political philosophy. The incumbent is left on the political spectrum, I've been a Conservative since 1976 when I was in Grade 10 at Lord Beaverbrook High School. I believe in talking to the people, communicating in a way that they understand. I believe you maximize the return to Calgarians for the taxes they pay, the user fees they've been charged and the hidden fees that are in their bills. You don't get $3.3 billion from the Premier and spend it all in two weeks. You consult your council colleagues, that's the taxpayers money, remember that.