If you have been living in Alberta since April 18, 2010, consider it your permanent home, are 18 years or older and are a Canadian Citizen, you are eligible to vote in the upcoming Calgary Civic Election. Occurring once every three years, the election will bring on a new mayor, aldermen and school board trustees.
The University of Calgary campus and surrounding area falls into the boundaries of Ward One, where six candidates vie for the role of alderman. The Students' Union organized a Ward One debate Sept. 27, where all candidates had the chance to come out and share their platforms.
Chris Harper identifies himself as being a key contributor to the Ward One community, having worked with the Federation of Calgary Communities, the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Calgary.
If elected Harper has a number of priorities he would seek to implement bringing more police officers to the ward, beginning construction on the North West Recreation Centre, promoting sustainable development, providing quick, safe and comfortable transportation and developing a Calgary-wide cycling strategy. As alderman Harper would like the Students' Union's VP external and a member from the Urban Calgary Students Association to sit on his advisory board.
Dale Hodges has been the Alderman for Ward One since 1983. If re-elected Hodges has very specific goals for the 2010-2013 aldermanic term. He hopes to continue to improve the city's road and public transit system without significantly increasing the City of Calgary's debt and ensure the appropriate land-use planning framework is in place to properly manage the growth of the city. Also on the list are plans to implement a sustainable long-term financial plan given the agreement between the city and provincial government for the funding of major infrastructure projects. Ensuring affordable housing which includes a cost-sharing formula with both the provincial and federal governments is also a priority.
Ric Lockhart, a Ward One resident for nearly 20 years, is committed to "always putting the interest of Ward One residents before [his] own."
Lockhart's platform proposes a review of LRT parking fees as he encourages transit use. He also plans to support a study to promote carpool and bicycle commuting initiates. Lockhart wants safe and secure neighborhoods in the northeast by enhancing community policy and community awareness programs. Green initiates are on the agenda for Lockhart as well, as he plans to use recycled material where possible for building projects.
Norm Perrault is a retired general contractor and a past president of the Bowness Community Association. He decided to run in the Ward One election because he wants, according to an interview with Metro, "to stop the wasting of taxpayers' dollars." As alderman, Perrault would seek to resolve affordable housing issues by safely reconfiguring current homes into secondary suites, basement suites or duplexes.
Bill Scott has spent 25 years as an active member of the Varsity and Rocky Ridge Community Associations. His campaign platform consists of four priorities: engagement, management, community and environment. If elected, Scott wants to establish a process to involve and inform Ward One residents on all matters of public interest. As an alderman, Scott commits to ensuring transparency in the management of tax dollars. He plans to accomplish this, at least in part, by appointing an independent auditor accountable only to council. For the environment Scott wants to implement smart growth and mobility choices, water conservation and reuse practices, high levels of recycling including organic waste and means for enhanced air quality.
As the president of EcoConsulting since 2005 Judi Vandenbrink has made environmental concerns a prominent part of her platform. If elected she wants to implement organic composting and curb-side recycling services for higher density dwellings. Vandenbrink also focuses on affordable housing, transportation options and social activities as areas she would improve as an alderman. On transportation Vandenbrink is concerned that building extensive roadways is going to create higher taxes due to an increased need for road maintenance. Instead Vandenbrink believes the solution is enhancing public transit.