Hello Friends and Neighbours,
Last month we got to witness Canadian democracy in action after an exhilarating and, some would say long, federal election campaign. I hope you were all able to get out and cast your votes. I fundamentally believe that we are extremely lucky to participate in our democratic system the way we do. But we also have a responsibility, beyond just voting, to keep our elected officials accountable and ensure that they are pursuing public policies that have a positive impact on our lives. The right policies help us grow and develop our Great Neighbourhoods to be places of opportunity, acceptance and support bursting with social, cultural and economic richness.
The urban strategy of each party and how they plan to support our cities has become a critical component of the election conversation. With 85% of the population residing in urban centres and 75% of Canadian GDP being produced there, we can say with complete certainty that cities really do matter. Any party that does not recognize the importance of our cities does not understand the economic influence cities posses in the larger Canadian economy.
Leading up to the federal election, the City of Calgary published their new edition of the ‘Cities Matter’ survey. Since 2011, our Mayor has surveyed candidates and parties during provincial elections to understand their positions on municipal issues. Last month was the first time they published ‘Cities Matter’ for a federal election. It featured responses from the major national political parties on the following municipal concerns:
- Funding Public Transit
- Funding Public Infrastructure
- Affordable Housing Funding
- Urban Aboriginal Strategy & Funding
- Combating Poverty
- Immigrant Settlement & Integration Programs
- Public Safety & Combating Crime
- Federal Disaster Assistance Initiative & Future Disaster Mitigation
- The Calgary Economy
Having our political parties ‘on the record’ for how they intend to tackle the challenges that we as cities are facing is imperative by keeping our politicians accountable. It also allows us as Calgarians to fight for the future we want to see and the Great Neighbourhoods we want to live in. These are neighbourhoods that have reliable public infrastructure, are connected by a robust public transit network, are diverse and inclusive and provide people with tremendous opportunities for a full and prosperous life.
I would like to end by congratulating all the new and returning Members of Parliament. I wish you the best and trust that your policy decisions will be thoughtful with a deep understanding of the incredible responsibility the Canadian public has bestowed upon you.