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)
Voting Information - Elections Alberta
Initiative #6: Ward 12 Deserves Diversity & Inclusion
Promoting a learning culture by actively listening to our neighbours in Ward 12’s communities creates commonality where we can learn about and understand our unconscious biases and how to overcome them. Diversified communities encourage residents to interact respectfully and provide accessible and inclusive services to ensure quality of life is better for everyone who lives, plays, and works in them. For Ward 12 this includes, but is not limited to, our neighbours who are:
Resource Guide & Statement About National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
The Government of Canada recently passed legislation to make September 30th a federal statutory holiday called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day provides opportunity for public servants to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools.
While the Government of Alberta, disappointingly, chose not to recognize this new statutory holiday and its important purpose and meaning, the City of Calgary has and so have our public and separate school boards.
Not everyone will have the opportunity to take this day off to reflect and honour, but I hope everyone does take time to consider what it means to be a great neighbour, to help foster thriving neighbourhoods, to know the true history of Canada, and to understand the legacy of grief and pain many of our Indigenous neighbours carry with them. We all have a responsibility in a caring society to ensure every neighbour feels safe, secure, seen and included.
For our Indigenous neighbours, this means listening and bearing witness to their stories while laying the burden of learning at our own feet. There are hundreds of resources available to become informed and educated about residential schools, stories, the history of colonization, and the 94 Truth & Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action. Please use this list as a starting point:Read more
TPA and PAC Funding Not Needed by Ward 12 Councillor Candidate Evan Spencer
Calgary, AB, September 27, 2021 — Evan Spencer is running for councillor in Ward 12. Spencer is the non-partisan candidate with cross-partisan popularity — setting him apart from other candidates in the ward. His forward-thinking, inclusive approach to municipal governance is resonating with many. Collaborating with others to champion local initiatives that create a thriving ward and city, for the betterment of all citizens, is what drives Spencer. His bootstrapped campaign is laser-focused on what elected municipal officials can influence through positive advocacy.
Spencer was one of the first municipal candidates in Alberta to sign the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association Pledge — a voluntary candidate commitment to support democratic municipal elections by keeping local elections local, maintaining independence and non-partisanship, demonstrating transparency, and engaging in respectful behaviour. To date, Spencer is the only Ward 12 candidate to make this commitment.
Meet Evan Spencer, Calgary Councillor Candidate for Ward 12
These are trying times — economically, emotionally, physically, and mentally. Calgarians simply cannot afford an extended learning curve or discord among a mostly new City Council. Evan Spencer is ready to step into the role of Ward 12 councillor today. His leadership experience, hands-on City of Calgary knowledge, and community perspective make him Ward 12’s best choice for Councillor.Read more
Evan Knows | Small Infrastructure Is The Next Wave for Ward 12
Our infrastructure in Ward 12 is top notch! We have stellar facilities such as Seton YMCA and Calgary Public Library, South Health Campus, New Brighton Athletic Park, Resident and Homeowners Association buildings and amenities, proximity to major traffic arteries — the list goes on. We have a lot to enjoy. More can be done to ensure Ward 12 improves its livability year after year... but it will be hard to make a business case for big infrastructure projects. So, that means spending smarter going forward.
Keeping committed infrastructure costs on track will be a priority for me as your Ward 12 councillor. We know that delaying projects, as seen in the Green Line history, costs epic overruns which trickle down to you. We cannot have that anymore. Decisive commitment keeps costs lower now than they will be in the future on already engaged projects. However, this does not mean there won't be requirements to spend or money to do so... we must spend smarter and constituents have multiple small spend projects in mind that will be important over the next few years.
Evan Knows | Urban Canopy for Climate and Improving Livability
I am pleasantly surprised by how many people in Ward 12 have our trees or “urban canopy” as a priority. The comments range from the lack of care and watering to a strong desire to see more trees planted.
The City has been finding places to cut the budget and our trees have taken on some of that impact. For example, The City used to be more involved in paying for injections for our Elm trees that are fighting a common condition called European Elm scale. Elms can get a tiny parasite that feed on the sap of a tree and also rain down tiny droplets of the sap that can coat cars, sidewalks and even you when you are out for a walk. The treatments cost $150-200 dollars and that has some residents feeling abandoned if they are on a corner lot with 6-8 of these trees right around them.Read more
Evan Knows | Thriving Neighbourhoods Solutions to Foxtail Mitigation
Ward 12 has seen pet owners devastated by the impacts of a recently deregulated weed called Foxtail Barley that is spreading rapidly in our southeast communities. Those who are the most impacted have had to pay local vets thousands of dollars for surgery with no guarantee that their beloved pup will recover.
As your City Councillor, I will work alongside The City, local developers, and community groups to address this important issue that is impacting the livability of Ward 12 residents. Short term strategies to head off the propagation of this plant before it goes to seed need to be a joint effort between all stakeholders.
Ultimately, Foxtail needs to be put back on the list of Provincially regulated weeds by bringing forward the appropriate information and impact studies through the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry ([email protected]) or a Notice of Motion needs to be brought forward through City Council for The City to regulate it locally and address the negative impacts this plant is having on so many Calgarians.