Fluoride Action Network

Francis Aranha: Ward 2. Calgary council candidate on fluoridation

Source: Calgary Herald | October 7th, 2021
Location: Canada, Alberta

The next city council could be asked to return fluoride to the city’s water supply. What is your position on this?

I represent my people, so I would like to hear from the experts and the residents of my ward. Some natural ways to find fluoride are in toothpaste, spinach, grapes, raisins, wine, black tea, potatoes etc. We can put it on the back burner in the short term, as there are more urgent priorities and all this will cost over $30 million.

Occupation: 25+ years Hospitality Industry Professional

Political/volunteer experience:

Volunteered with various political leaders at the federal/provincial and municipal level over the past decade. Some of my volunteer work includes: Ex Board Director, Evanston Community, Served Veterans in Calgary with Vets Angels and Col Belchers Retirement Home, Archdiocese of Calgary, Knights of Columbus & St. Vincent De Paul, Served Seniors: Sage Hill Retirement, Covenant care and Multi Generation Senior Care (Aga Khan Foundation), Calgary Food Bank, Calgary Drop-in Centre, Mustard Seed & Salvation Army, Ambassador for Canadian Blood Services, Our Lady of Grace School, Habitat for Humanity, Army Cadet League, Alberta

What is your motivation for seeking a seat on city council?Ward 2 is home for my family. After knowing the community at the grass-root level and connecting with hundreds of our residents, I know that our ward needs a change. Our current incumbent has let us all down and this is now about winning the trust back.

As a first-generation immigrant, I have worked hard to establish myself in Calgary. I believe that my experience and determination can help rebuild the required trust in our Ward 2 communities and bring in a very positive impact.

I am one of the few candidates who have pledged not to serve for more than two terms, instill transparency in expense accounts and only use city transit to commute to the city hall.

Describe your leadership style:

I like to lead by example. I lead from the front by taking action, demonstrating what needs to be done, and keeping my team organized to make sure we are all on the same page and contributing constantly.

What do you consider the single most important issue facing Calgarians, and what should be done about it?

Economic recovery and creating jobs. Everything else revolves around it, as that gets the city the income, spending power and puts the residents in a better spot.

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

Supporting small businesses, youth empowerment (38 per cent of our ward population is between the ages 14 – 26), and rebuilding trust and integrity due to the controversies by the current incumbent.

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

Yes, invite more businesses, convert empty spaces to residential, promote tourism and medical tourism and diversify our economy.

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

The top 5 industries that contribute to Calgary’s GDP are (according to Calgary Economic Development) – Accommodation & Food Services : 22% , Arts, Entertainment, Recreation: 21.6%, Construction: 9.2% Primary & Utilities: 6.8% & Transportation & Warehousing: 6.3%.

Rather than reinventing the wheel, I would try to concentrate on reviving these sectors and get more businesses investing in Calgary.

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

Visit the top universities and see what stream are students enrolling in, take the info back to city hall and target those companies to invest, fund start-ups, subsidize stuff and promote them to study and work locally. This will help us in reducing brain drain!

* All candidate Q&As have been edited for clarity and brevity.

*Original article online at https://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/francis-aranha-ward-2-calgary-council-candidate-questionnaire