Calgary mayoral election candidates 2010: Joe Connelly

By Gauntlet Elections Board

Joe Connelly earned his bachelor of commerce from the University of Calgary and has over 25 years of experience in the non-profit, corporate and entrepreneurial business sectors. Connelly was the vice-president of Tourism Calgary and during his term ushered in the new tagline for the city “Calgary, Heart of the New West.” Connelly decided in 2007 to leave the private sector and become involved in politics, successfully defeating a two-term incumbent to become alderman of Ward Six.

Connelly’s two sons are among the main reasons he decided to run for mayor. He loves Calgary because it has afforded him tremendous opportunities but he’s concerned his sons will not experience the same prospects and decide to move away.

“People are promising the moon,” Connelly said of other candidates. “I’m all about one single thing: your voice will count.”

Utilizing technology such as crowd-sourcing, he wants to harness the intellectual capital of the city to move Calgary forward. Connelly said his campaign “is about changing democracy and changing it for the better.”

When it comes to students, Connelly identifies affordable housing as the biggest issue. After reading the Students’ Union’s report on increasing secondary suites around the University of Calgary, SAIT and eventually Mount Royal, Connelly put forward a notice of motion in Council. The motion was defeated but he references the initiative as proof that he will champion the issue if elected. He believes Council needs to take small steps to deal with the situation, Connelly said secondary suites cannot be universal or “there will be chaos.” If small steps are successful Connelly plans to move forward from there.

Connelly sat on the Calgary Economic Development board and contends City Hall has too many priorities. He thinks the Calgary Economic Development board should be focusing on creating jobs, investment,and increasing the opportunities for existing companies to expand.

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