Cats, Chopsticks, and Rainbows: Ward 4 Interview with Jon Wong

Jon Wong was born and raised in Calgary and in ward 4. He went to the University of Western Ontario and received a B.A. in political science and governmental affairs with honours. He currently works as a marketing and business director for a painting contractor. In his spare time, Jon is involved with coaching amateur sports at the club level and at all three levels of schooling. 
Why are running for alderman in Ward 4?
Wong wants to give back to the community that he was born and raised in.
“I commend all candidates for running. It’s not an easy thing to do,” says Wong.
However, Wong says that there has been a lack of focus and understanding about the community from candidates as his top concern is meeting community needs.
What does the city look like 100 years from now?
Wong hopes that Calgary will evolve to what Plan It set out the city to be. He also wants to see Calgary as “the best place in the world” to live in.
“We will have a self sustainable community, a vibrant economy, and the infrastructure is there for everyone,” says Wong.
Is social media an important driving force, or is it still the voting demographic and the hot issues that dictate the election?
“I still think that the traditional way of getting your name is still prominent in this election,” remarked Wong.
While Wong does not believe social media is on par with mainstream media, it does have a place to get his generation out there to vote and learn about the election.
“A lot of them associate with social media, just not politics,” Wong pointed out. 
What was one thing the city did right this term?
Wong saw that over a large period of time, city council’s relationship with the provincial government was something that council was improving on. 
He pointed out that a significant portion of our funding does come from the province, so developing that key partnership with Edmonton is important.
Wong also saw city council moving in the right direction in promoting the city. 
Should municipalities be granted constitutional powers?
Wong did not believe that constitutional powers should be allotted to cities. He pointed out that between the federal and provincial governments, a lot of inefficiencies and arguments occur because of this federal system we put into place.
“You’re always going to have some sort of overlap,” says Wong. “Things aren’t going to get done.”
Almost all candidates have preached the importance of transportation. Would you take the bus to work at least once a week if elected? If not, why would you not take it if you are recommending Calgarians should take it?
Wong believes Calgary has a great transportation system and that taking the bus as an elected official would be setting an example for other Calgarians. 
“I think I would. Taking the bus would give me an awesome way to connect with the residents of Ward 4,” Wong told CalgaryPolitics.com. 
What does your platform include in terms of Aboriginal issues?
“They have the same issues as any other group. When I look at our ward, I look at them as fellow communities of the ward,” says Wong.
Wong said his platform contains issues that affect everyone regardless if they are Chinese or Aboriginal. He said that all groups have a voice, and they have to be heard.
With CCTVs and the public behavior bylaw, do you believe the city has a place for dictating and monitoring the conduct of its citizens?
Wong says there is a fine line between juggling public safety and removing the sense of big brother watching over citizens. Wong points out that closed circuit televisions do help police and protect the public, and that it depends on statistics about which communities have higher crime rates. 
On the public behavior bylaw, Wong found merit in it. He relates to efforts in Toronto to eliminate aggressive panhandlers because these individuals were disrupting everyone’s daily lives and ability to do so without disorderly interference.
Wong was careful to also point out that implementation had to follow what the intent of the law was originally.
“If there are complaints that it’s unfairly targeting the wrong people, we as city council should sit down and review it,” says Wong. 
This is cross-posted with CalgaryPolitics.com
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Cats, Chopsticks, and Rainbows: Ward 4 Interview with Carol Poon

Carol Poon was born in Calgary at the Holy Cross Hospital. She lived in Chinatown until she was 7 and moved to North Haven, which was then still on the edge of town. She graduate from James Fowler and went on to become an X-ray technician. She began a message therapy career in 1990 after attending Mount Royal College. She is married with two children and still lives in North Haven. 
Why are running for alderman in Ward 4?
Poon says that she is running in ward 4 because she grew up in this area and because “it was something I needed to do.”
“I feel I have the skills for it,” Poon told CalgaryPolitics.com. “You can’t complain about things, you have to do something about it.”
What does the city look like 100 years from now?
“I would like to see a city where transit is the primary source,” says Poon. 
She believes Calgary will be a place where communities are multi-use and community centred. She also envisions not just an oil and gas capital, but an energy capital. 
Is social media an important driving force, or is it still the voting demographic and the hot issues that dictate the election?
While Poon believes that both face-to-face time and social media are important, she does not believe a lot of people are engaged in the social media side of things.
She says it is important to engage people, she is not sure if social media is doing the trick.
“People watching [social media] are already involved, but are we reaching out to those not engaged?” asks Poon. 
What was one thing the city did right this term?
Poon believes that the city did the right thing by not pursuing the airport tunnel. 
“The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Transport Canada could shut [the tunnel] down because it’s a security threat as it is under a runway,” argued Poon. “Why waste all that money that we don’t have on something that could never be used and increase risk?”
Poon believes that the security risks involved outweigh the transportation need that many candidates are siding with. 
Should municipalities be granted constitutional powers?
According to Poon, cities could benefit from more jurisdictional boundaries, and it would distinguish the responsibilities of the federal government, province, and city. Poon did not elaborate more on her points.
Almost all candidates have preached the importance of transportation. Would you take the bus to work at least once a week if elected? If not, why would you not take it if you are recommending Calgarians should take it?
“I would definitely take the bus,” suggested Poon. “Transit should be the first choice over the last choice for people.”
Poon said she takes the bus downtown when she needs to go there.
What does your platform include in terms of Aboriginal issues?
Poon says that while she does not include Aboriginals directly, the city has already met the needs of Aboriginals because there are so many groups already working with them.
“There are so many agencies doing an excellent job, so we should let them continue doing what they are best at,” says Poon. “We don’t need to necessarily step in.”
With CCTVs and the public behavior bylaw, do you believe the city has a place for dictating and monitoring the conduct of its citizens?
Poon argues that there needs to be balance between personal liberties and freedoms versus the greater good of the whole.
“Unfortunately, something we have to give up some of our personal freedoms for the good of all,” says Poon regarding measures like closed circuit televisions and the public behavior bylaw. 
This is cross-posted with CalgaryPolitics.com
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Cats, Chopsticks, and Rainbows: Ward 4 Interview with Curtis Kruschel

Curtis Kruschel has lived in Huntington Hills for the past fourteen years with his wife and two daughters. He is involved in his community mainly through sports. He is a referee coordinator for many north west communities in Calgary, as well as the president of the Nose Creek Swim Association. 
Why are running for alderman in Ward 4?
“I’m running because I’ve been an active part of the community,” Kruschel tells CalgaryPoliticsl.com.
Whether it is the swim club or the soccer club, Kruschel says that he is deeply involved in his community and that is important when you are running for office. He wants to take it a step further by running so that he can give a voice for communities and clubs that he is involved in.
What does the city look like 100 years from now?
Kruschel sees a large train network in place that would join the four outer towns that currently surround Calgary. He believes that Calgary will also be a hub for oil business in Canada and a strong business core in the downtown area.
However, he also sees a future where the city will be more dependent on renewable resources such as solar, and an eco-friendly world that will avoid carbon-based power. 
Is social media an important driving force, or is it still the voting demographic and the hot issues that dictate the election?
While Krushel believes that social media is important in this election, he is skeptical about the electoral success it will yield.
“It won’t help them win probably,” says Kruschel. 
He also believes that if you do not start early learning some of the social media that is available out there, you are going to run into a steep learning curve later on. 
He believes that Facebook is more valuable because you get messages and more detailed posts, while Twitter is more of a distraction to him than anything else. Kruschel also believes new sites will evolve by the time the next election rolls in.
“I don’t know if Facebook will still be there in 2013,” says Kruschel. 
What was one thing the city did right this term?
Kruschel listed a variety of things which he thought the city did right including the 100 Chinatown anniversary events and the expanded BRT system, but he thought the city did an excellent job when WorldSkills was in town.
“I think the city did a good job of hosting it,“ Krushchel thought. 
He also believes it actively engaged students, which was a bonus for getting people excited about the event. 
Should municipalities be granted constitutional powers?
Kruschel believes in some changes to the city in terms of power.
“We should be autonomous in how we get out money,” says Kruschel. 
He says that the ability to spend money without going through the province every time would give us more flexibility. However, he does not believe in full constitutional changes if it means we are responsible for the costs of some capital projects.
“If [the province] is going to pay for it, that’s great,” thought Kruschel. “I think the province does a better job than fifteen councilors.”
Almost all candidates have preached the importance of transportation. Would you take the bus to work at least once a week if elected? If not, why would you not take it if you are recommending Calgarians should take it?
Kruschel says he takes the bus to work most days because it is easier and cheaper.
“I want to take the bus because it keeps me in touch with the people,” says Kruschel.
He also states that he would take the car on certain days, such a council meetings or when he needs to pick his children up from school.
What does your platform include in terms of Aboriginal issues?
Kruschel told CalgaryPolitics.com that he has nothing specific about Aboriginal issues because his platform is “not meant to segregate the population.”
“There is nothing I would not say to a Cauasian that I would say to an Asian,” Kruschel remarked. “I do what is best for the city as a whole.”
With CCTVs and the public behavior bylaw, do you believe the city has a place for dictating and monitoring the conduct of its citizens?
Kruschel believes that closed circuit televisions should only be used if necessary, and they are needed in some regards. However, he does not believe it is the city’s job to be watching people.
As for the public behavior bylaw, Kruschel points out that it boils down to enforceability. 
“If you can’t enforce it, there’s no point in having it,” says Kruschel. “Let the system take care of itself if you can’t enforce it.”
Kruschel favours black and white bylaws that must be specific.
“Our bylaws are written in a way that you have to be a doctor to understand them,” Kruschel argued.

This is cross-posted with CalgaryPolitics.com

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