Vote for Calgary’s next mayor

Students will soon have the opportunity to vote for the next Ward 7 city councillor and the mayor of Calgary.

“Municipal government is not intimidating, it’s the most direct government, so it’s really easy to get involved,” said Rachel Moerschfelder, SAITSA VP External.

The municipal election will take place on Monday, Oct. 16 and students will be able to cast their vote for the future of Calgary.

A forum held at SAIT on Tuesday, Sept. 16, designed to give students the chance to learn about Ward 7 candidates before the municipal election.

The event featured four candidates in the running for Ward 7; Brent Alexander, Margot Aftergood, Marek Jehduk and Dean Brawn.

Druh Farrell, the current Ward 7 councillor, was unable to attend the forum.

“This [was] a really good chance for students that are living in residence to come out and see who their future city councillor will be,” said Moerschfelder.

Alexander is running on a platform centered on fiscal conservatism and community building.

Aftergood is running based on a platform of increased accountability for city council and reduction of taxes for families and businesses.

Jehduk is running a paperless campaign focused on the accountability of city council as a means to prevent increasing taxes and the misuse of funds.

Brawn has a platform that is centered on job creation and economic support through lowering taxes to create a richer city.

Farrell, the current Ward 7 councillor, has been sitting on city council since 2001 and has a platform centered on sustainability, helping small businesses and supporting neighbourhoods.

“There’s a great opportunity to shape up city council this year,” said Moerschfelder.

The Ward 7 polling station will be located in the Briar Hill Elementary School located at 1233 21 St. SW from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“It’s very important that they do it [vote]. There’s nothing to be afraid of, it’s really a painless thing,” said Paul Denys, manager of elections and census with the City of Calgary.

In order to vote in the election, one must have a valid ID and declare their permanent place of residence in Calgary to an enumerator.

If one is new to Calgary and has an ID from out of province, Denys recommends that they speak to their landlord to sign and declare the permanent place of residence in the city.

“Individuals that start voting at an early age are more likely to continue,” said Denys.

“The decisions that are made on election day are really talking about the future and what’s going to happen in the next number of years. It could potentially have an impact on their lives going further into the future. It’s important that they have a say in it.”

The city released a pilot project this year that allows Calgarians to research profiles online.

The website launched on Tuesday, Sept. 19 and features access to candidates biographies, platforms and two minute video introductions.

“It’s an exciting thing and I hope that people get involved, and I hope that people get interested, and I hope that they partake because it is very important for our city and the democratic process,” said Denys.

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