*Since this was written a by-election was called and will be held September 3rd.
By Janet Keeping
On election night, when he saw that the PCs had been reduced from a 71-seat majority government to a 10-seat third party status, Jim Prentice resigned as leader of the PC party. He also resigned as MLA for Calgary-Foothills. So much for his commitment to serve constituents!
The good news is that Prentice’s bad behaviour gives the Greens and other provincial parties another chance to compete for that seat in the Legislature. I ran there in the May general election and will be running there again in the by-election that must be called by early November to fill that seat. With an ND rather than a PC government we’ll probably want to give the general election platform something of a re-think (see GreenPartyOfAlberta.ca/platform). However, I think it’s likely we’ll want to pay particular attention to our ideas for urban sustainability as most parts of Calgary-Foothills would benefit from provincial rules around what can and cannot be done by way of urban development.
For example, there are communities in Foothills without schools and provincial law could make it impossible for cities to allow housing to be constructed where schools are not within walking distance. For another, there are some huge stretches of land between residential areas and major roads which are now empty but could be used for productive (perhaps, agriculture or light industrial) or recreational purposes (think tennis courts or ball fields): provincial law could make it impossible to waste such lands, which makes commutes longer and the provision of utility services more expensive, and require that they are used for purposes useful to people living in the nearby neighbourhoods.
Please get involved with the Green campaign in Calgary-Foothills. We’ll start door-knocking soon even though the campaign is not likely to get formally underway for several months (my best guess but it could be called any time.)
The campaign will be fun but we do need all the help we can get.