A recent article in the Calgary Herald by business commentator Deborah Yedlin called on the candidates and our next city council to be bold when thinking about Calgary’s economic recovery and future prosperity. “This year is a vote for the city’s future” she said. I couldn’t agree more.
Though I think keeping an eye to the future should always be in the repertoire of City Council, this year it is especially important. There is no shortage of challenges and issues facing a city of 1.2 million people, and Ward 11 has a real range of candidates offering their approach and vision for the future. What I know for certain is that we won’t get anywhere by saying no. Nor will we make progress if your Councillor offers simple yes or no answers to issues as complex as the economy or planning and development.
What I offer Ward 11 is an approach that isn’t limited by ideology or status quo. It’s an exciting, innovative perspective that sees countless opportunities. But to leverage those, we can’t come in with our fists up. We have to collaborate; lean on the expertise of Administration, subsidiaries like Calgary Economic Development and the business community to partner with all orders of government.
I feel hopeful for the future, because despite the economic challenges of the last 24 months, including slow-to-recover unemployment rates, retail sales are coming back. Calgarians are buying. In that case, let’s start by addressing the ways that the City is impeding business prosperity from a licensing, zoning and access perspective. And the City Charters provide the city with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to talk about how we foster business, including a review of the overall budgeting process.
I encourage Calgarians in Ward 11 to elect a candidate looking to the future with an open mind and a no-fear, can-do attitude. On October 16th, vote Janet Eremenko.