The next city council could be asked to return fluoride to the city’s water supply. What is your position on this?
I do not have a firm position on fluoride in general. However, I believe fluoride should be made available at dentist offices to people who would like it, but not put into the water. If fluoride is put into our drinking water, I believe the city should find a way to provide water without fluoride to citizens.
Full-time parent/Part-time nurse
Relatable occupations-Military, volunteered for various places for the short term.
What is your motivation for seeking a seat on city council?
I’m a born and bred Calgarian, husband, father, son, brother, and friend who has and always will call Calgary home. There are many deficiencies in Alberta Health Services that I believe we could tackle on a municipal level, that would support a mismanaged system that is interrupting Calgarians in a multitude of detrimental ways.
Describe your leadership style:
My neighbor (retired CPS officer) put it perfectly when he told me his philosophy on leadership. His style was to clear the obstacles out of his teammates’ way, so they could do their jobs. It seems like politics today follow the reverse. More obstacles are constantly being put in place due to ideology, and void of rational explanation and discussion. A leader cultivates an environment where collaboration can take place, which reveals new ideas and solutions.
What do you consider the single most important issue facing Calgarians, and what should be done about it?
Lack of leadership and direction.
What are the three most important issues in your ward, and how would you address them?
I would start off by saying even though health care is a provincially-run system, I believe it is still the largest liability we as Calgarians face in the upcoming future. I believe we need to take responsibility on a municipal level.
1. Problem- Calgarians getting sub-standard health care due to poor policy decisions at the provincial level, which put Calgarians’ health at risk.
Solution- Hire all health care workers who are put on unpaid leave from AHS to support a fragile AHS, and dispatch to care centers that are experiencing outbreaks.
2. Problem- Politicians ignoring fundamental Rights and Freedoms in the name of safety.
Solution- Put together an ethics committee to evaluate the handling of the pandemic, especially relating to the most vulnerable populations (seniors and children) and the downstream effects. Universities will start analyzing data in Calgary relating to and answering the questions and concerns not being answered on a monumental scale. The ethics committee will also address questions such as “When does name-calling become an acceptable way to govern in a democracy?”
3. Problem- Vulnerable populations growing in so many ways.
Solution- Implement the most comprehensive infection prevention and control measures to deal with any type of virus, combined with a health and wellness program that will target the vulnerable populations and their specific needs.
Do you support the city’s downtown revitalization strategy? Where should funding and programs be focused?
I believe the key to revitalizing Calgary’s downtown is to start funneling our vulnerable populations to health care hubs downtown. The dependency rate on children and seniors is incredibly high. We should be incentivizing supports in close vicinities, and revitalizing our downtown by encouraging tech and innovation to tackle some of these traditionally provincial responsibilities.
What innovative project or job creation measure can you propose to aid Calgary’s post-COVID economic recovery?
As a nurse who worked through the pandemic and has not had one COVID case linked to Myself, loved ones, or patients, I understand the importance of good hygiene, and I understand how the principles of Infection Prevention and Control (IP&C) keep us safe. Politicians and people who simplify the science like mandates. World-class health and wellness programs that tackle Infection prevention and control on a community level, combined with healthy lifestyle choices such as eating, exercise, sleeping, screen time, mental health support, etc. could make Calgary the cleanest, healthiest city in Canada. That is incredibly desirable. But we need to be smart and safe.
What should city council do to keep young adults from leaving Calgary?
Stop blaming them for all the problems that have been accumulating as a city. Make Calgary a fun city. Give them a chance to invest in the city by mentoring programs. Make them feel useful. Give them responsibility. I will be calling on all young, healthy individuals to start helping out in communities during the pandemic to provide support to the most vulnerable.
* All candidate Q&As have been edited for clarity and brevity.
*Original article online at https://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/geoff-rainey-calgary-mayoral-candidate-questionnaire