It's almost time for municipal elections again. The tri-annual opportunity for community democracy will take place October 15. Here at the Gauntlet we are stoked about the municipal elections. Although less glamorous than federal and provincial politics, municipal politics have a tangible affect on issues that effect us daily, including affordable housing and transit. The Gauntlet interviewed the three aldermen in Ward One who are vying for your vote. Check out next week's issue for interviews with the nine mayoral candidates.
[Normand Patrick Perrault]
An issue I think is not talked about enough is taxation. People wouldn't have a problem paying taxes, if the money wasn't being misappropriated and wasted. Whenever taxes go up, landlords need to raise the rent to compensate for the increase, which creates homelessness. City council seems to rubber stamp everything city managers want. That is not representing the constituents what so ever.
If they allowed a lot of these so called illegal suites to be allowed, they could, of course with safety concerns being a priority, but if they are renovated and brought up to safety codes, that would not only allow more affordable housing, but it would also slow down the expansion of the city for many years to come.
Transit needs to be improved and expa- nded, but as the money comes available. And roads, what they need to do there, they need to take a few projects and get them done.
For the city to come up with a penalty to punish the people who are already recycling I don't agree with. The city wants to grab money, they are coming up with excuses to do so, and this eight or 21 dollars that they are talking about, we already pay that in our taxes. We need to stand up and let city hall know that we are fed up with the financial rape, the taxpayers and citizens.
I'd like to think common sense. I'm actually there for the little guy. That's why I became president of Bowness Community Association--to make a difference. I can make a big difference by holding politicians accountable for their waste, coming up with sensible solutions to help the people.[Dale Hodges]
City-wide, some of the issues that have been identified are affordable housing crime and improving the transportation system in the city. Affordable housing
We can require the big developers who usually are the ones bringing in major land use applications, and zoning applications-require them to set aside either housing units, which is let's say multiple-family housing, a certain number of units for affordable housing, or a certain amount of land. In some areas of Canada, it's five per cent of any given subdivision will be dedicated to affordable housing. Not that the developer will necessarily build the affordable housing but it's there for non-profit agencies or one of the many other organizations that have been providing affordable housing in Calgary for years.
The LRT should have been extended out to Rocky Ridge, Royal Oak and Tuscany long before now. We didn't have the funding for it. With the current round of funding we'll be able to start that project in 2008 and hopefully finish it by 2010, so that's the first priority.
The curb-side recycling is only part of what some would like to do. It won't change much in regards to collecting organic waste or apparently, construction waste is about 30 per cent of the waste going into landfills. The next round, if the city can afford it, would be to get into organic waste collecting, and a different system of construction waste collection.
I have 24 years of experience and a dedication to being a full-time member of counsel and full-time alderman. My past eight terms have certainly added to the experience.
Affordable housing is the number-one issue. Affordable housing relates to the larger issue of how we're designing our city and who's making those decisions and how those decisions are being made. We're creating a lot of urban sprawl and then we're saying we can legalize secondary suites in those new communities. Affordable housing is not going to be very viable because they are way on the edge of the town, transit doesn't work for these communities.
Legalize secondary suites immediately. It's not just legalizing secondary suites, it's figuring out how to bring them up to standards so they're safe and putting in a system for resolution of conflict in neighborhoods so that we can live together and we can all have a great community instead of fighting amongst ourselves.
The city isn't going far enough. It's taken them far to long implement a full curb-side recycling program. We're not going to be doing composting, and we're not going to be recycling a lot of plastics. I think the city also needs to do more about the whole reduce and reuse part. Recycling is supposed to be the third "r," not the first "r." It's the most expensive of all so we need to create more incentives for people to reduce their waste and to reuse.
I think the number-one thing is age, I'm 35. There is no one on council right now who is under the age of 40, that's a huge gap. We need all age groups represented on council. Also, my background is in social work so I'm used to getting down and dirty with the issues.