Mayoral candidate Curtis Olson, on the challenges facing Calgary
'In my CPlan I have called for a 5% cut across the entire City of Calgary operating budget'
Editor's Note: As part of our coverage for the Oct. 16 civic election, CBC Calgary has offered each candidate for the office of mayor the opportunity to write up to 700 words on our website, outlining what they believe to be the greatest challenges facing our city, and what they would do about those challenges if elected. These articles are run as submitted — edited only to meet CBC Journalistic Standards and Practices. This article is part of that series. The CBC's primary goal through our election coverage is to provide citizens with the information they need to make an informed decision on polling day.
What are the most significant issues facing Calgary in the near future and what you would do to to meet those challenges?
My name is Curtis Olson and I am running to be your next Mayor of Calgary. Knowing the challenges facing our city, having been a police officer for nearly twenty- five years and in a senior management position with the Calgary Police Service I decided to take an unpaid leave of absence for my Mayoral campaign — I am the only candidate who really knows how the city operates and the only one with a plan to move our city forward.
As I considered this question, the obvious answer deals with the lack of leadership in city hall which has resulted in inefficient local government and wasteful spending. City council is divided, they focus on their own personal agendas and, because they are funded by the establishment 'old boys' club or the special interest, they can't make decisions that put the needs of Calgarians first.
Our mayor has no clear, rational plan to move the city forward and when there is no vision it's impossible to lead. Period.
This leads us to an issue that's not so obvious ... the bias reporting by our mainstream local media corporations (#LMCyyc) during this municipal election.
- Full coverage from CBC Calgary: Calgary election 2017
- Calgary election 2017: Where to vote, who the candidates are and everything else you need to know
The #LMCyyc has presented Calgarians with three alleged 'frontrunners' who have no plan. Well, that's not completely true — one has a plan to get re-elected, the others would like to get elected with no plan and each of these candidates will continue pushing the 'tax & spend' cycle. With a 10% unemployment rate and 30%+ commercial vacancy rate this is just simply unacceptable — yet these are the candidates that our #LMCyyc has been working hard to 'sell' to Calgarians.
My CPlan, on the other hand, is the platform for my Mayoral campaign and comprehensive work plan for the next four years. It is a plan designed to enhance economic and social development, ensure that we are continuously innovating as a city and benefit every Calgarian.
In my CPlan I have called for a 5% cut (approximately 200 million dollars) across the entire City of Calgary operating budget with:
- 1% going towards creating Open Government (so that citizens can know how their hard earned tax dollars are spent);
- 1% going back to homeowners as a residential property tax rebate;
- 1% going towards modernizing the Calgary Housing Company;
- 1% going towards modernizing Calgary Transit; and,
- 1% going back to business owners as a business property tax rebate
Yet, in the midst of of it all (media launch, nomination day, University of Calgary debate, continuous media releases) the #LMCyyc has been silent about my Mayoral campaign .. some reporters won't even mention my name.
I am the only candidate who is for Calgarians — I can say that because I haven't accepted big money. In fact, the only amount that I am accepting is $20.17 — this is a symbolic amount that speaks to the need for change, allows everyone to raise their voice and ensures that I'm not compromised as I lead city council forward.
I am running for Mayor because I want to represent the 90% of Calgarians who don't have a voice .. real Calgarians who are working hard every day and sometimes struggling to pay their bills.
With thousands of online and face to face conversations (from snapchattin' with students to meeting with seniors) we're on track to flip this election upside down and it will be #ForCalgarians.
It's fair to say that the #LMCyyc don't want my message to get out .. CBC Calgary might not even print this story because they've been silent for so long .. in reality, though, it doesn't matter because I'm relying on the power of the people.
- The hopefuls: Calgary's declared 2017 mayoral candidates
- Official list of Calgary election candidates released
I have always been professional and respectful in all of my dealings — this won't change and it will be my continued commitment to Calgarians as I lead council. If you want change that is meaningful for you and your family I urge you to vote for me, Curtis Olson, on October 16th.
Here are two quotes to lead us into the election.
'Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter' — Dr. Martin Luther King (this matters #ForCalgarians)
'Get up, stand up, stand up for your right — Bob Marley (Speak with your VOTE on October 16th)