EVAN SPENCER FOR WARD 12:
Alberta Provincial Election 2023
Why Calgary Matters
Calgary has long been an economic powerhouse for Alberta and Canada. For Calgary’s growth to
continue — and it must continue — we need support from the Province to create a new future
and compete in a modern, global economy.
Read More @ YYC Matters (calgary.ca)
Why Ward 12 Matters
Ward 12 is poised to accommodate a large portion of Calgary's residential and industrial growth. We need better connectivity to the rest of Calgary. We need The Province to provide funding for schools, mobility projects, and tackle health issues that put major pressure on our local institutions and systems.
Check back at this website in the days and weeks to come as it is updated with feedback on the policies that will impact our City and Ward in the 2023 Provincial Election.
A few weeks in, and now we're getting a clearer picture of each party's platform. Taking a look at their promises through the lens of "What is important to Calgary and the current issues that we face as a city" leads me to focus on a few priorities. I have some thoughts below on what would be important aspects to consider when working through your decision for this election. I have also included the highlights from each of the main parties' platforms with links, without comment. By no means is this a thorough analysis of each party's platform. I urge all voters to take the time to decide what is important to them and learn what the parties and leaders are promising.
Housing, Affordability, and Supports
- An Alberta Provincial government should provide capital and operations funding to build and run more non-market housing, especially in major centres
- People are falling through the cracks, especially those with mental health issues, addictions, disabilities, and Indigenous peoples
- Disability Income Support must keep pace with the cost of living and recognize the large portion of income that is allocated to rent and housing
- The NDP Platform promises housing 40,000 Albertans in the next 5 years, focusing on those with the greatest need, as well as reforming income support and rental supplement programs (https://www.albertandp.ca/affordable-housing)
- The UCP Platform points to the “Stronger Foundations” 10-year strategy (Nov 2021) to provide housing for 25,000 households. They will also build 13,000 affordable housing units and expand access for Indigenous communities. Providing rental assistance to 12,000 more households is also included (https://www.alberta.ca/stronger-foundations-affordable-housing-strategy.aspx)
Municipal Infrastructure and Localized Spending
- Calgary contributes a great deal to the provincial economy and treasury, while the funding has not been returned for much-needed infrastructure
- The Calgary Downtown Strategy is focused on returning value to the core and increasing the local population and diversity of services. To date, it has not seen significant provincial support
- Provincial formulas have also stripped funding away from education and police revenues
- The UCP Platform will increase the Revenue Index Factor to ensure that municipal funding will increase at the same rate that provincial revenue increases, and that funding will increase by over $2 Billion over 3 years (https://www.unitedconservative.ca/issue/municipal-affairs/). They also pointed to a number of past infrastructure projects in Calgary (https://www.unitedconservative.ca/issue/infrastructure/)
- The NDP Platform will invest $1.2 Billion in Calgary through a number of projects, including the North leg of the Green Line, 40 new schools, and a downtown campus as part of an Innovation District (https://www.albertandp.ca/Better-Future-For-Calgary). They will also restore the lost municipal fine revenue lost in 2019, back to the police budget (https://www.albertandp.ca/public-safety-plan)
Mental Health and Addictions Support
- A Provincial strategy must be focused on the root of social disorder issues within its major cities, including mental health and addictions treatment
- A continuum of services and care, mixed with housing options, must be made available to those in need
- The NDP Platform promises new paired police and social worker/mental health/addictions counselor teams, and support for the DOAP team. (https://www.albertandp.ca/public-safety-plan)
- The UCP Platform focuses on “Compassionate Intervention” where a person can be compelled to enter treatment programs (https://www.unitedconservative.ca/annoucement/compassionate-intervention/). They have already boosted funding from $87M to $275M and created 10,000 new addiction treatment spaces (https://www.unitedconservative.ca/issue/mental-health-addiction/)
In compiling the research for this conversation, I also combed through a number of other sources. Here are some that were particularly helpful:
Calgary Chamber of Commerce
Alberta Chambers of Commerce
VoteMate (Find your candidates and compare priorities)
(Alberta's 2023 election | VoteMate - Inform your vote)