A Bold Path Forward: Stronger and Safer Communities

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Safety, Housing, Addiction, Poverty, and the Environment are the five pillars for building strong and safe communities. Together, we can ensure that communities are empowered to build a Calgary where everyone is safe, housed, healthy, and able to share in the prosperity of this place for generations to come.

SAFETY: Every Calgarian should feel safe where they live and work

Calgary Police Service

Calgary is still one of the safest large cities on earth. While the spike in crime we saw in 2015 and 2016 believed to be related to the economic downturn and the opioid crisis is declining in 2017, calls to CPS remain 10.4% above the five year average. In 2016, City Council and I listened to the recommendations of the Calgary Police Service (CPS) and increased funding by $7.5 million to hire 50 additional officers. I also believe that CPS’ request to add 55 more officers in 2018 (which is about equivalent to a 1% increase in property taxes) appears to be reasonable and I will take that proposal to Council in the fall for consideration within the context of the City’s overall budget.

I will also ensure the CPS has resources in place to:

  • Step up enforcement against gangs and drug traffickers.

  • Continue to address property crime and violent crime, and

  • Expand the community policing model to ensure the CPS continues to strengthen its ties with communities.

Ensuring Transit Safety

For Calgary Transit to continue to be Calgarians’ preferred choice of transportation, it must remain safe. No matter the time or day, Calgarians should feel safe at our LRT stations, on the train or on a bus. I will ensure that we keep increasing the number of peace officers working for Calgary Transit to be responsive to the safety concerns of citizens.

The City must continue to support the work of CPS and peace officers on Calgary Transit through programs and services that address the underlying economic and social determinants of crime. 

HOUSING: Calgarians need affordable places to live

The City of Calgary estimates that 19% of Calgary households are spending more than 30% of their income on housing. Calgary needs to double its affordable housing stock just to meet the national average. We must continue to work with our federal and provincial counterparts for increased investment in affordable housing to ensure all Calgarians have a safe place to call home. While there have been many successes, more work lies ahead. I believe that the Housing First approach is the most effective way of tackling critical issues in our community like homelessness and domestic violence.

Under my leadership, housing will continue to be a priority. I will implement the City’s new affordable housing strategy, Foundations for Home, to ensure the City continues to:

  • help community partners build more housing, including support for programs like RESOLVE;

  • provide dedicated administrative support for affordable housing projects;

  • dedicate more City land to affordable housing, build new City units and repair existing City units;

  • advocate to other orders of government to invest in affordable housing; and

  • help fill the gaps identified in the report published by the City of Calgary in collaboration with the Community Housing Affordability Collective, Housing in Calgary: An Inventory of Housing Supply 2015/16.

 And finally, I will continue to advocate for the legalization of secondary suites throughout the city.  The current situation where thousands of Calgarians are living in illegal suites without the legal protections available to other tenants is untenable. 

ADDICTION: Tackling the opioid crisis

Calgarians saw 162 fentanyl overdose deaths in 2016 and the crisis is getting worse. I have advocated on our city’s behalf to the provincial and federal governments for increased support as we coordinate a national response to the opioid crisis. However, Calgary also needs a comprehensive strategy of its own to prevent overdose deaths and keep our families and communities healthy. That is why I am outlining a detailed strategy that is aligned with the four pillars of the Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy:

Prevention

Harm reduction

Treatment

Enforcement

Continued advocacy for mental health services.


Conduct outreach and education with youth.

Continuing to ensure all first responders have access to naloxone to reverse overdoses.


Collaborating with the province to ensure supervised consumption services are available where addicts can access services and treatment.

Continued advocacy for and support of innovative treatments in Calgary. No single form of medical care works for all drug users so we need to have a wide variety of treatment options available.

Prioritizing enforcement against the despicable traffickers of these deadly drugs and encouraging greater community policing in areas known to be impacted by crisis.

 

POVERTY: Our neighbours’ strength is our strength

One in ten Calgarians live in poverty and one in five Calgarians worry about not having enough money for food. We must do better on this front. In the same way neighbourhoods banded together in 2013 to rebuild Calgary after the flood, we must tackle poverty. Under the Enough for All strategy, we can cut poverty rates in half by 2023. Winning this fight will create a stronger, safer, and more-inclusive Calgary for all.

Under my leadership, the City established Fair Entry, a set of programs and services for low-income Calgarians to access fee-reduced and free City of Calgary services - including a sliding scale low income monthly transit pass. I am committed to working with communities adversely affected by poverty to ensure everyone can share in the prosperity of our great city.

ENVIRONMENT: Ensuring prosperity for future generations

Protecting our environment and building community resiliency is critical to maintaining a safe and secure place to live. The Springbank Dry Dam and other upstream flood mitigation projects are absolutely necessary to protect our citizens and Calgary’s economic engine, the Downtown Core. Calgary’s strength and resilience as a community is what got us through the 2013 flood. Over the last four years I have worked tirelessly to do everything within the City’s power to protect Calgary and have fiercely advocated to other orders of government to do what is necessary. We also need to think carefully about preparing for drought conditions.

We must also continue protecting the City’s land, air, and water to ensure Calgary will be prosperous for future generations. Through our water stewardship, Calgarians use as much water today as we did in the early 1980s (when we were a city half our current size). The introduction of the Green Bin will help us make significant progress on our target to divert 70% of our waste by 2025. But we need to do more. I will work with you in continuing to prioritize the protection of our environment to keep Calgary safe, healthy, and beautiful.

 

 

Re-elect Naheed Nenshi for Mayor - 2017