When we talk about economic development in Calgary, especially using the City budget, I believe we need to be thoughtful about which industries can and should be bolstered to provide to most impact. Right now I believe those sectors are tech (and tech adjacent), arts (including film), and the non-profit/social sector. There is also the case for the trades and the building industry as we take on large city building projects and improve our built form in our existing neighbourhoods. Economic growth and development must be a balance between resourcing and support for small to medium sized businesses while also attracting (and retaining) medium to large scale businesses, especially those who are looking to scale.
Where it is important for the City to be involved is supporting arms length organizations which focus on programming and resources specific to their sector. There are a few industries that are ripe for development and Calgary needs to continue to be a supporting player.
I strongly believe a new fieldhouse is key to Calgary’s opportunities around life sciences, medical, and sport technology. Our elevation and seasonal changes make studying athletes and related technology ideal. We have already seen the likes of Garmin relocate to nearby Cochrane. Continuing to have world class facilities to study physiology, anatomy, and sports performance will help Calgary companies be leaders in their field.
In the arts, Calgary Arts Development continues to improve their offerings. Spaces, grants, and mentorship programs are all critical to the development of artists across disciplines from performing arts to visual arts.
While economic recovery is a city wide issue I want to ensure you that Ward 11 residents are top of mind for me. How we get people to and from their work, what kind of opportunities exist in neighbourhoods after work hours, and opportunities for participation in economic activities close to home (shopping, food, festivals) is top of mind for me. We need economic prosperity at the neighbourhood level as much as we do for the overall city.