The next city council could be asked to return fluoride to the city’s water supply. What is your position on this?
I have always been a supporter of plebiscites to decide large questions, like the Olympics, which I long called for and was successful in having occur. Like in 2018, I will support the decision of Calgarians either way. It is their time to have their say instead of council.
Occupation: Current city councillor for Ward 4
Political/volunteer experience: I have over 30 years of volunteering in Calgary, with most of it in the Ward 4 area. I have been the councillor for Ward 4 since 2013.
What is your motivation for seeking a seat on city council?
To continue bettering Ward 4, and the work of transforming every community along Centre Street and Crowchild Trail. With better transit options, there will be more opportunities for small businesses to grow, and this will only improve the quality of life for every resident in the Centre North.
Describe your leadership style:
I prefer to lead by example. I am also at the doors constantly so that I can hear from residents directly, and with their feedback I know if I am on the right track and being responsive to their needs. I prefer to hear from residents directly than relying on the bubble of Twitter that too often does not represent reality.
What do you consider the single most important issue facing Calgarians, and what should be done about it?
Calgary is at a historical moment, where we need to have strong leadership and to focus on making Calgary once again a hub of businesses, and a city that is open, and focused on growth. The last council was also fractured and did not have a cohesive plan or a focus on the core job of the city: to provide quality services.
What are the three most important issues in your ward, and how would you address them?
Property taxes keep going up, and the cost of living going up is making many families struggle; we need to also find ways to help small businesses recover from COVID-19 restrictions to get them back on their feet and to continue making my ward safer for pedestrians.
Do you support the city’s downtown revitalization strategy? Where should funding and programs be focused?
The downtown has some major challenges, but I did not support the plan as presented to council as it would take hundreds of millions in tax dollars, and direct it to private entities, that when I looked into would not be paying property taxes anyways. The city should instead focus on how we support small businesses and fix the core problem of many closing their doors due to overly high taxes.
What innovative project or job creation measure can you propose to aid Calgary’s post-COVID economic recovery?
Simple, review how the city works with small businesses, and what processes are outdated, cumbersome and must be removed. There are hundreds of incidents I have had to deal with over the years that force unnecessary and frankly confusing rules on startups that if removed would help many in Calgary business grow. If we are to recover, the city needs to change how it supports small businesses.
What should city council do to keep young adults from leaving Calgary?
Calgary has a lot to offer young people, with a good quality of life, and the cost of buying or renting a home is still low compared to many other cities. Calgary needs to step back and assess what it is working for small businesses versus what barriers the city is putting in the way of someone from starting a business. If we want economic recovery to keep young people here, it starts with how the city operates and supports businesses that create the good paying jobs in the first place.
* All candidate Q&As have been edited for clarity and brevity.
*Original article online at https://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/sean-chu-ward-4-calgary-council-candidate-questionnaire