A vision for Ward 8

Secondary Suites

One of my opponents has made a number of allegations regarding my support of legalising secondary suites throughout the City because I recused myself from three votes on this issue in 2011. These allegations are completely unsubstantiated and false.

PlansI have been a strong supporter of legalising secondary suites throughout the city during my time on Council. In 2011, whilst my Wife and I were constructing our home and we decided to build a secondary suite for our Nanny.

You can see a copy of the plans here.

In order to construct a legal secondary suite in my neighbourhood, it is necessary to obtain a Land-Use Re-designation, which ultimately has to be approved by City Council.

The Municipal Government Act is very clear that if a Councillor could personally benefit financially from a Council decision, you must declare a Pecuniary Interest and recuse yourself from the vote. Assuming Council had decided to legalise secondary suites, I would not have to apply (and pay for) a Land Use Re-designation, thus reducing my costs to build a suite.

Tolley LetterI was concerned that I may have a conflict of interest on this issue as my Wife and I were deep into the process of trying to build a secondary suite. I sought and received the advice of the City Solicitor, who confirmed that I did indeed have Pecuniary Interest and was subsequently advised that I must recuse myself from the vote, which I did.

A copy of the letter that I received from the City Solicitor is here.

After a lengthy community consultation, several architectural plans, and dozens of meetings, my Wife and I ultimately decided not to purse construction of the secondary suite due to the incredibly difficult and expensive process involved in obtaining approval for suites in established neighbourhoods. My Wife and I discovered first hand how difficult and expensive it is to build a legal suite in Calgary and were forced to abandon the project.

During the construction process, we made the decision to lay a foundation for the garage so that one day we, or the future owners of our home could build a lane way house.

Currently, we do not have plans to build a new suite in the immediate future as we have accommodated our Nanny within our home eliminating the urgency, however we have left the door open should our family situation change in the future and I am no longer a sitting Member of Council.

It is extremely disappointing and perplexing that I am being attacked for acting in an ethical manner. This type of politics does nothing to further the debate on this important issue. I have been a strong supporter of legalization of suites throughout the City and will continue to work with Mayor Nenshi on trying to pass a by-law to make this happen.

Facts about this election

When an opponent starts misrepresenting the facts, it’s a sign of being desperate. We’re happy though to clarify a few questions for voters.

Before October 21, voters need to ask themselves: if a candidate is misrepresenting the truth, will they be able to represent me on Council?

1. Did John recuse himself from voting on the sprawl subsidy? Is John conflicted when issues about developers come before Council?

No. John voted on this issue. The Minutes of Council are here. It’s item 6.6 on the Agenda. The vote was 13-2, and John voted in favour of reducing the subsidy in half.

John isn’t a developer. He isn’t conflicted, and he votes on these issues.

2. Is John in the pocket of developers?

The record shows this isn’t true. If it was true, John wouldn’t have voted in favour of Plan It Calgary. If it was true, John wouldn’t have supported the Mustard Seed development in the Beltline.

3. Does John support secondary suites?

Yes. In fact, John has supported secondary suites every time an application has come before Council.

He also brought forward in July 2013 an emergency notice of motion before Council regarding secondary suites. You can see the Minutes from that meeting here.

4. Does John represent Ward 8 if he recuses himself from votes?

John recused himself from 18 votes out of approximately 3,669 in the last term. So 0.49%.

He did it because he received the legal opinion from the Law Department at the City of Calgary. You can see it here. Calgary needs members of Council who respect the Municipal Government Act and understand that they should not vote when there is a conflict of interest.

John had a conflict because he began the process to build a secondary suite himself. It was to be over his garage. You can see a picture of the plan here. He was soliciting feedback from his neighbours and realized he did not have the support of his neighbours to proceed.

5. Will John still have a conflict of interest regarding secondary suites during the next term?

No. John now won’t be proceeding with building the secondary suite. He no longer has a conflict and looks forward to voting on this issue during the next election.

Where do I vote?

Want to know where you vote? Click here for more information or give us a call and we can help you, we can even give you a ride if you need one!

Campaign Finance

John is a strong supporter of campaign finance reform.

Pre-election disclosure is important because voters want to see who donated to a campaign before election day. Take a look at John’s current donor list (up to October 3, 2013) here:

Current Donor List

Advance Voting

The Advance Vote is Wednesday, October 9 to Sunday October 13, and Tuesday October 15 and Wednesday October 16.

Advance Voting Stations are open from noon to 7:00 p.m. except Sunday, October 13. Sunday hours are noon to 5:00 p.m.

You can vote at any Advance Voting Station and must show authorized identification in order to vote. Click here to view a list of all Advance Vote locations.

Advance Vote Bus Pilot

As a pilot project during the Advance Vote, an Advance Vote bus will be stationed at some LRT stations across the city from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays. Eligible electors can vote on the bus with authorized ID at the LRT stations while on their commute. Click here to view the Advance Vote bus LRT schedule and locations.

Campaign Kick Off!