Cornelia Wiebe: Calgary Ward 8 City Council Candidate Questionnaire

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Name: Cornelia Wiebe

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Room: 8

Occupation: SME boss

Political / volunteering experience: No political experience.

What is your motivation for running for a seat on the city council?

Over the past two years, I have become increasingly aware that the priorities of city council do not reflect the priorities of friends, neighbors and fellow small business owners. I made the decision in the summer of 2020 to run for city council in this election because I believe the time has come to elect a small business owner from the neighborhood, with economic leadership based on real experience. to the board. I’m a parent too, raising my kids here in Ward 8, and I want them to see a future here. Calgary is my chosen home and Ward 8 is where I have spent the past 20 years building my life. I have deep roots here and I am ready to work hard to build a better city for every Calgarian.

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Describe your leadership style:

I am a practical leader who strives to bring out the best in others. I encourage my teammates to dig deep and push in areas where I have identified performance potential. I am accessible and fair in my leadership and I hold people to account.

What do you think is the most important problem Calgarians face and what should be done about it?

The economy and employment are of general concern. We need to focus on making Calgary an investment city and a place to do business. We need to look at cutting red tape and creating business-friendly policies. In addition, we must champion the quality of life, relative affordability and the well-educated talent pool that makes it possible to live, work and play in a great city.

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What are the three most important issues in your ward and how would you approach them?

Development – How and where this happens in the communities of Ward 8 is an important question. I’ll cover this:

  • Allowing the relaxation and modification of apps that developers can only drop in rare cases, which will allow communities to see the full scope of what the developers intend to build and is laid out in advance for community consultation
  • Make sure that documents like the Guide for Large Communities are not created in a vacuum or without appropriate community engagement
  • Create a system of checks and balances regarding the number of permits in an area
  • Ensure that damage / repairs and road cleaning are a cost and a responsibility borne by the developers
  • Introduce a mandate that builders must provide a community liaison officer who is accountable to residents and responds to reasonable concerns in a timely manner.

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Taxation – Residents of Ward 8 want to know that their tax dollars are being spent wisely. I plan to tackle this:

  • Ensure careful scrutiny of the city’s budget
  • Separate administration costs from basic service costs to find efficiencies without compromising critical services
  • Adapting the structure of public wages to that of the private sector
  • Require that every decision to spend taxpayers’ money be based on evidence, facts and a clear way to measure return on investment
  • Work with the province, no matter the difficulty, to ensure that the money is allocated in the best interests of Calgarians.

Economic recovery – Calgary was in an economic crisis before COVID-19 and residents of Ward 8 want to see more support for local small businesses. I plan to tackle this:

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  • Eliminate red tape for local businesses wishing to expand
  • Reduce the duplication of regulations between departments for licenses and business permits
  • Set up a timeline for all permits to be assessed and completed in order to create certainty for businesses
  • Establish clear licensing requirements so that all departments adhere to the same rules unambiguously
  • Provide small business owners with a streamlined way to have their concerns heard and addressed by city council
  • Work with industry leaders to identify priorities for economic growth and develop a progressive and responsive policy to reflect these opportunities
  • Unleash the power of Calgary Economic Development by working closely with Invest Alberta to create policies and opportunities that bring the world – and its business – to Calgary
  • Participate in the city’s communications services to help attract and market Calgary as a global investment space by showcasing our highly skilled talent pool, excellent quality of life, access to amenities such as proximity to mountains and green space, affordability and availability of office space.

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Do you support the city’s downtown revitalization strategy? Where should funding and programs be concentrated?

I support the city’s downtown revitalization strategy and warn that we cannot rebuild downtown on the backs of taxpayers. We must look to public-private partnerships to invest and finance this initiative.

What innovative project or job creation measure can you propose to help Calgary’s post-COVID economic recovery?

We will realize that a post-COVID recovery will depend on small businesses. Locally, the city can leverage social media and other media to advocate for businesses in our communities. There are many benefits, including local economic employment, reduced environmental impacts, increased local tax base and the creation of stronger and more vibrant communities. We can measure our success through surveys, censuses and other data.

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Reducing red tape, administrative overlap between departments, renewed call to action to resolve corporate tax levies and more are all ways the city can improve support in this area.

What should city council do to prevent young adults from leaving Calgary?

Keeping young people in this city means doing three things at the same time: generating jobs, creating spaces and defending inclusion.

Generate tasks:

  • Cut the red tape for small business start-up and growth because we’re a city of entrepreneurs
  • Unleash the power of Calgary Economic Development and Invest Alberta to create policies and opportunities that bring the world to our city
  • Let the young people make money and be prosperous in this city.

Create spaces:

  • Make our city center a place where we can live, work and play
  • Invest in spaces and projects focused on arts and culture.

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Be inclusive and responsive to community challenges:

  • We must restore pride in what this city is and its values
  • Fixing our broken public engagement systems so Calgarians are heard
  • Investing in preventative interventions to help Calgarians before they hit a crisis (and get the most out of our emergency services)
  • Ensure that LGBTQS + and BIPOC voices are reflected in any decision related to diversity and inclusion
  • Getting organizations with similar mandates to work more collaboratively in the spirit of increasing their effectiveness in helping Calgarians in need.

The next city council may be asked to put fluoride back into the city’s water supply. What is your position on this?

If I am elected to the municipal council of Ward 8, I will respect the will of the people and I will support the results of the plebiscite.

* All candidate questions and answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.


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