Abortion and Gay Rights

Since I declared myself as a candidate for councillor for Ward 10, I have received many e-mails, texts and phone messages asking me what my position was on one thing or another.  On Tuesday, while I was out with a group of volunteers, I received a phone message from a woman who lives in Ward 10.  She wanted urgently to talk with me about two issues that are important to her.  I called her back and she told me what the two most important issues to her in this civic election are Abortions and Sodomy.  I have to admit that this caught me off guard.  From the tone of her voice, I gauged that she is pro-life and anti-gay.  I am going to tell you now what I told her.

On abortion, I feel my position is must be clear.  I believe that the woman has the right to choose.

On gay rights, these are not special rights, these are Human Rights.  The LGBTQ community has to be recognized that they have the same human rights as any other individual.  I told her that one of my closest friends came out a few years ago and that he found the man he wanted to spend the rest of his life with and that this past Spring, they got married, and I was thrilled for him and his husband.

I have marched in Pride to show my support and as a job steward, I’ve have worked to insure and protect LGBTQ rights in the workplace.  She told me I was wrong on these issues because God said….  At this point I interrupted her and asked her not to vote for me.

I want to make this clear:  when it comes to women and abortion, I strongly believe that the woman has the right to decide what she will do with her pregnancy.

And on the topic of Human Rights, everyone regardless of colour, creed, religion or sexual orientation must have the same rights.

With 11 candidates running in Ward 10, I know that there are a few people this lady will be able to vote for.  I strongly urge you to do your research before October 16th and find out where your candidate stands.

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On Fluoridation

I’ve been asked what my position on putting fluoride back in the drinking water.  I am against this.  Dentists and Doctors have said for years that while it is good for our teeth, it is unhealthy for our digestive system.  That is why, when it comes to brushing our teeth and gargling with mouthwash, we are told to spit it out.

The Green Bins

With the decision to start billing the Southwest in January, the Northwest in February, the Northeast in March and the Southeast in April, the commitment of giving Calgarians one year free was reneged.  This $6.50 fee will start appearing on your utility bill.  The waste removal portion of our taxes remains unchanged.  Plus, there is no way to opt out for those that have been composting.

The Green Line

Originally set to cost $5 Billion for the completed 46 kilometers, it is now starting at $4.6 Billion for the first one third.  With future funding having to be renegotiated, it could be decades before the greatly needed north portion gets built.

This first phase completion will have little impact on transit service as it takes as it replaces a portion of the Route 302 and a few Express Routes in the Southeast.  The actual result of the completion of Phase 1 is that The City will pay $4.6 Billion dollars to replace a couple of 24 passenger shuttle buses.  Think about this:  Calgary Transit has the Route 3 and Route 301 running service with 60 foot buses every 10 to 20 minutes during low peak periods, with rush hour service running at 5 to 10 minute service.  Those buses tend to run close to filled.  Along with that, there are a high number of express buses and school charter buses running down Centre Street justify building the north portion of the line over a line that leads to nowhere.  On the South East portion of the line, this portion will provide a 600 to 800 passenger train every ten to fifteen minutes to an are that can barely sustain one 24 passenger bus every 30 minutes during low peak service.  Councils decision not to build two proposed stations on the North Line shows a completed lack of understanding of the needs of the people of Calgary.

The House That We Build

If I asked you to build me a house that I would rent from you, you might think that this was a great idea.

Now, if I asked you to build that house and rent it to me for the cost of the mortgage alone, while you paid the property taxes on it, as well as having you do all the upkeep on it, you might think that was no longer a great idea.

Now, what if I asked you to build me a house that I was only paying the mortgage on, and I was planning on throwing 40 parties a year that I was going to be getting a profit from, you might think this was a bad deal.

Now, what if I asked you to build me a house that I was only paying the mortgage on, but when I wasn’t using it, I would rent it out to other people at an amount greater than the mortgage payment and I kept all the profit.  You might think I’m mad.

Yes, this is a simplistic approach.

Making it more complicated doesn’t change what is being asked of us.  Changing the numbers from hundreds of thousand to build a house to hundreds of millions to build an arena doesn’t change what we are being asked.  Do we need a new arena?  In the long run, of course we do.  In the end, it will be built, but it has to be built in a way that benefits the people of the City of Calgary.

The multi-million-dollar question remains:  Why is this an issue?  We all know that it will be built.  Who is paying for what will get settled.  This non-issue is feels like it is more about political posturing before the two sides go back to the table.