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Great Calgary 2013
The next municipal election in Calgary is October 21. Great Calgary 2013 is focused on finding ways to keep Calgary a globally competitive city.
For the 2013 Calgary Civic Election, The Calgary Chamber has formulated eight municipal government priorities which we feel are essential in solidifying Calgary’s position globally over the next four years. The Calgary Chamber, with input from its members, believes these policy areas will ensure that Calgary remains a competitive city that is recognized internationally as a premium destination to live and work. A Great Calgary will attract and retain top-level talent to the city that will contribute to the continued prosperity of all Calgarians.
Keeping Calgary Competitive
For the last ten years, Calgary has grown at an unprecedented rate. It successfully navigated the 2009 economic recession and has continued to grow, regularly leading all Canadian cities in annual population growth, and has become a globally competitive city for people to live and work. However, the rapid growth and success Calgary has experienced has not come without its costs.
During the 2010 civic election, the Calgary Chamber released the Great Calgary project, providing a series of policy recommendations to continue to help Calgary reach its world class potential. To say Calgary remains a great city in 2013 is an understatement, but in order to continue to ensure Calgary remains globally competitive we need to think about always addressing key elements of our business environment and community systems.
The main theme for Great Calgary 2013 is competitiveness and how we, as a city, understand it and pursue it from a quality of life and conditions for business. Our city has been blessed by years of growth that has allowed us to enjoy a high quality of life, but we collectively need to work together to ensure that both our businesses and communities stay competitive. As Calgary continues to grow and attract international business and talent, affordability alone is no longer the be-all-end-all measure of the city’s competitiveness. It is an important measure, but Calgary will be a competitive business location through focus on not only costs, but aspects such as red-tape, timeliness, and bylaws. Competitiveness will also be achieved by having those features that make Calgary an attractive place for the employees of businesses to call home.
A competitive Calgary is one that continues to strive to be the best at what it does globally, provides top quality services to its citizens, and continues to be cost-effective in its operations. Much like the city itself the notion of competitiveness in Calgary has evolved, and always understanding and assessing what keeps Calgary competitive is necessary to prevent the loss of businesses, jobs and the quality of life it has collectively worked so hard to maintain.
The Calgary Chamber believes that a competitive Calgary starts with a strong municipal government – one that is transparent, fiscally prudent, collaborates with its citizens, and understands how to maintain Calgary’s position as a world class city. In light of this, the Calgary Chamber is again providing a series of policy recommendations for the new City Council that we believe is vital to ensuring we continue to have an attractive business environment and vibrant communities that will keep Calgary a place where people want to live and do business.
The floods that occurred this past June show that Calgary is a community that is strongest when it is working together, and that means being ready for the next challenge Calgary faces as a city. Calgary can no longer “wait and see” before it addresses the needs of the next million people, the next thousands of businesses, the next great technological innovation, the next economic recession, or the next natural disaster. Instead, City Council needs to continue to be purposeful about the path that we are on, and to ensure we remain as competitive as ever, ensuring our city truly remains a Great Calgary.
Keeping Business Competitive
The state of Calgary’s business climate is integral to the success and competitiveness of Calgary both locally and globally. A strong business foundation ensures that our quality of life remains high, and the services we consume on a daily basis are provided. However, a business environment that does not put businesses in a competitive position will result in the erosion of Calgary’s tax base and cause the out-migration of businesses towards more favorable municipalities, ultimately reducing our overall quality of life. Implementing good policies helps our city thrive by keeping our businesses as competitive as possible. With a competitive business climate, we can attract more business and continue perform as a competitive city. The Calgary Chamber believes that the policies outlined below can contribute to ensuring that we maintain a competitive, Great Calgary.
Keeping Communities Competitive
The success of Calgary and its businesses is largely due to the strength of its communities. The Calgary Chamber, in turn, recognizes the individuals and families that make up Calgary’s neighborhoods are just as important as the businesses themselves. Consequently, in order to maintain business competitiveness, we also need to keep our communities just as competitive. By making use of better policies to create better communities, Calgary can continue to attract more top-level talent and retain its existing labour force. By implementing the policies below, The Calgary Chamber believes that Calgary’s communities will remain competitive and continue to underpin the communal vibrancy that is essential having a Great Calgary.