Kad: My vision for all public-facing municipal services is to reduce red tape and make it easier for businesses to interact with the City. I would like to see Calgary develop a one-stop approach for businesses in all aspects of their dealings with the City, including for planning and development. I believe strongly that the public also needs to have an opportunity to voice concerns about development applications and projects that impact them. While I believe that residents deserve to provide input and voice concerns, this does not mean that they should necessarily have a veto on projects. It is imperative that we continue to build our city in a way that makes sense, using a smart-density approach and keeping costs down for developers and builders to make building more affordable.
CREB®Now: What is your opinion on a potential land transfer tax for Calgary and/or all of Alberta?
Kad: I do not support a land transfer tax and would always vote against one if it’s brought forward. Calgarians are already taxed at very high rates and we should be looking to reduce the tax burden rather than adding to it.
CREB®Now: What are your thoughts on the future of energy-efficient homes and how they could potentially be classified?
Kad: The classification question is too specific for me to be able to answer at this point, but the building of more energy-efficient homes should be encouraged where possible and where it makes economic sense. I would like to see the City partner with builders to create policies and standards together that encourage more energy-efficient buildings.
CREB®Now: How would you approach the issue of affordable housing in Calgary?
Kad: Affordability starts with lower taxes and less red tape and these are things that the City can control. It’s up to the City to ensure that certain areas are designated for affordable housing and subsidized housing projects and I would work with administration to find opportunities to build more affordable housing projects in my ward where it makes sense. For example, affordable housing projects should be located closer to public transit and other city services to make it easier for those residents to be mobile and to access the services they need.
CREB®Now: What are some infrastructure projects/improvements you would like to see in the next 25 years?
Kad: I would like to see the ring road completed around Calgary as soon as possible, and for traffic pinch points to be addressed. While I support the development of transit projects, I am concerned about the low ridership of public transit, which is leading to the high subsidization rates. We need to be smart about how we develop the transit system and only build rail capabilities where its justified by ridership. I would also like to see a smart-density approach to development that starts from densifying the core and creating density nodes in each quadrant of the city and densifying out from those nodes.
CREB®Now: What is your position on the current secondary suite approval process?
Kad: I believe that city council has an obligation to create a transparent secondary suite policy as soon as possible. The current process is inefficient, confusing and subjective, and is not fair to Calgarians. Council should develop a set of principles that would govern their policy and engage the public on those principles. Once those principles are established, council should move quickly to create a policy based on the principles.
CREB®Now: What is your preferred location for a new Calgary Flames arena and how would you propose the City develop the surrounding area to best meet the needs of Calgarians?
Kad: I support the development of a new arena in Calgary and I believe the project can lead to other development opportunities around the project. The biggest advantage of the Victoria Park location is the existing transit and other infrastructure around it already, so I would be more likely to support that location. The project needs to be developed in a way that Calgarians can take advantage of the new facility in as many ways as possible. I really like how the City of Edmonton has approached their project by creating an arena district, and would like to see something similar happen in Calgary.