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Ward 11 News: The Issue of Parental Leave

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Ward 11 official website
Last month, City Council voted in favour of making a parental leave policy for members of City Council. As a matter of principle, and based on what I continue to hear from the majority of my constituents, my position is that City Council should NOT be making the decision to boost our own benefits and pay.
I believe that this policy should be out of the hands of Council, and like other matters of pay and benefits, it should be made by independent citizens who can better weigh what is appropriate.
Furthermore, at a time when Calgarians are facing record levels of unemployment and economic hardship, Council should not be considering any new benefits or pay increases at all.
Some members of Council suggested that I think that people with children can’t do their jobs. This is absolutely false.
I greatly value family and the miracle of children. Leadership and family should not an either/or proposition. There is an incredible amount of pressure on women to both launch their careers and their families, and sometimes it happens at the same time. Being a mother or father can bring unique experience that can make an individual an even better representative.
I strongly support elected officials having the ability to balance their duties with family life, provided Calgarians continue to be represented. I also believe that members of City Council should not be asking for a free benefit that most working Calgarians have to pay for, especially since members of Council do not pay into Employment Insurance (EI).
What is an appropriate amount of benefits and time away for an elected official? How do we ensure that you continue to have the representation you deserve? These are not insurmountable questions, but the public should be involved in the conversation. Please let me know your thoughts.

This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.
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