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Column: A battered Calgary has a chance to regain its former self with Jeromy Farkas

October 15, 2021 4:34 AM
Tiffany Gillis

The last 10 years have been rough on the City of Calgary. Our most important industry was hobbled by low prices, pipeline constraints, a federal government bent on phasing it out, and finally the COVID pandemic.

In the face of all that, Mayor Nenshi has spent his decade in power more concerned with virtue signaling nonsense like defunding the police and chasing expensive pet projects like the Olympic bid rather than confronting the serious issues facing our city. The effects have been felt across the city, with high office vacancy rates, shuttered businesses, and less revenue and higher taxes on those that remain. Regular people have felt the effects too, with continuously rising property taxes funding a bloated city hall while wages have stayed flat and many have been unemployed or underemployed.

Today for the first time in years we have reasons for optimism. Oil and gas prices are up, our first major pipeline expansion in a decade has just entered service, and the energy crisis in Europe and Asia is making much of the world realize we’ve been pushing too hard too fast on renewable energy that just isn’t ready to take over.

To capitalize on this we need political leadership who will create the conditions necessary for businesses to thrive again in this city, and create jobs and opportunities for our people.

Jeromy Farkas has been one of the few bright lights on the current council. He has solidly and consistently defended liberty, small government and responsible spending. He has the potential to be the first truly pro-business mayor Calgary has had in decades.

Jeromy will freeze tax rates for his entire 4-year term in office, giving residents and businesses certainty to stay and invest in the city rather than fleeing for the growing suburban towns around Calgary.

Jeromy is the only candidate who understands that our downtown will never return to its rightful place as the economic engine of Canada as long as so many people feel unsafe being downtown or riding transit to get there. He was the only mayoral candidate who voted against defunding the police last year, and he has pledged to build a downtown police station to help combat the lawlessness in our downtown today.

The lack of opportunity has led to some young people fleeing Alberta entirely, and the response of the current council, including other mayoral candidates, has been to waste untold millions trying to socially engineer Calgary into their urbanist dream with expensive, underused bus and bike lanes everywhere and the new Community Guidebook that heavily restricts new single-family home developments and allows wholesale elimination of existing single-family zoning. They think that is what would bring youth back to Calgary, forgetting that the number one thing that attracts people starting out in life is jobs and affordability. Jeromy will reform the Guidebook to preserve housing choice, and stop the bloated spending on pet projects of the current council.

The other leading contender is supported by union-backed PACs bent on installing a puppet in the mayor’s seat. Jeromy’s campaign is supported by real Calgarians, and the unions are terrified he will end the gravy train they have enjoyed at the expense of Calgarians even while regular people have had trouble paying their bills. Jeromy will also reform council’s overly generous golden pension, and make city council more transparent and accountable by eliminating the overuse of closed-door meetings.

It’s been a difficult 10+ years for Calgary–plus disappointing recent election results federally and elected officials who haven’t always lived up to our expectations. Jeromy has been principled and is the only candidate who can revitalize Calgary’s battered economy, and businesses, and bring back much-needed investment to this city.

Tiffany Gillis is a petroleum engineer in the oil and natural gas industry.

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