From April 27 to May 7, 2023, The City hosted an online tool where Calgarians could share their perspectives on election priorities, which include: affordable housing, a vibrant downtown, and safe and accessible public transit.
Calgary is essential to Alberta’s well-being and prosperity and Calgarians deserve to be represented by governments that work together in pursuit of shared goals like economic growth and prosperity, safe and inclusive communities that foster belonging, and a resilient environment.
Summary of input
The input received was largely thoughtful and constructive in nature, with many comments about the needs of Calgary’s vulnerable populations, those impacted by the rising cost of living, increasing rents and the shortage of affordable housing supply.
What we asked
Participants were asked to respond to the following in their own words:
Tell us about your top municipal priorities.
Share your thoughts and ideas on how the Province can best support Calgary.
What we heard
All submitted comments were reviewed, analyzed and grouped together by theme. The top five themes from the two questions are summarized here.
Most participants said affordable housing should be the top municipal priority and the Province could best support Calgary by providing more housing options.
“Affordable housing is VITAL and of UTMOST IMPORTANCE.”
“Build more affordable housing and implement rent caps.”
"I am a lifelong Calgarian. I earn nearly 100k a year and I CANNOT AFFORD TO BUY A HOUSE IN CALGARY. Rent has also increased astronomically. Affordable housing impacts all the other municipal priorities - poverty, safety, mental health, DT revitalization, etc. We NEED rent controls and affordable housing options."
Many participants expressed concern about feeling unsafe in public places.
“My top priority is stemming community crime. As a property taxpayer living in an inner-city community, crime is rampant, and I do not feel that this issue is being taken seriously by the city or council. We need more patrols and police presence to deter open drug consumption, violence, and crime.”
"Seems like the pandemic forced a lot of issues like drug abuse into the open and onto public transit and that, despite increased security presence, many of the related security issues aren't improving in public spaces."
Many participants said that transit should be a top municipal priority:
“The Green Line should have been done a long time ago. Future transit should be built at the same time as neighbourhoods. Rapid implementations of additional MAX lines would be a great place to start.”
"Improved public transit, that is C-train connections across Calgary, to Banff and to the Airport will make this city vibrant, sustainable and tourism friendly. City is massive and it's difficult to move from one place to another, access to C-train across the city will reduce carbon footprint."
Mental health and addiction supports
Many participants think the Province could support Calgary by increasing mental health and addiction supports.
“By providing the city with funding for social services. We talk about safety, but the underlying problem is that we do not have the social structures to handle the current situation. We do not need more enforcement, but more specialized areas to help with these issues.”
"I would like to see communities that are physically and mentally safe for Calgarians. This means that resources are available to those most vulnerable."
Some participants cited healthcare as an area the Province could support Calgary.
“The next provincial government should take much more serious consideration in the distribution of health care services – specifically in the downtown core of Calgary.”
"A health-centred approach to addictions, homelessness, poverty, & mental health."
"Increased expertise in health care and retention of family doctors, accessibility."