The number of Ward 5 residents living in low income is 3% higher than the average low-income rate of Calgary (as of 2015). Many residents I have spoken to are small business owners and home-based business owners. Many of them struggle to scale their businesses and reach their potential. My platform includes expanding supports for small business owners and making these supports accessible.
Secondly, with levels of youth unemployment, a major factor is the lack of opportunities. By expanding youth leadership and incentives for hiring youth in the public sector, we can set young Ward 5 residents up for success. Throughout my campaign, I have also been highlighting the gaps in transit in Ward 5, especially for our newer neighborhoods. The C-Train and bus routes need to adapt to the rapid growth of our communities. Residents in this Ward are also spending more on average for housing compared to other Wards in Calgary.
With respect to food security, a major concern for Ward 5 residents is the lack of grocery stores in new communities as well. Driving 15-20 minutes away from home to purchase groceries is not feasible for all, especially if a resident’s primary method of transportation is transit. Many residents moved into Ward 5 after being told a grocery store would be built within 1-2 years but they are still waiting.
Lastly, with respect to income inequality, it is of course a systemic issue. One concern is the lack of awareness about ESL classes, as many employers require proof of English proficiency. This creates a barrier when newcomers are seeking employment to support their families, or find themselves starting fresh in Calgary. By working with non-profits and facilitating community engagement to find supports, Ward 5 Calgary can strive to mitigate income disparity.
My platform has always sought to address the needs of Ward 5 residents, many of whom are new families navigating these challenging times. I believe my vision encompasses a holistic approach with my various goals.
For more information about disparity and poverty in Ward 5, please learn more at: https://enoughforall.ca/poverty-profiles-2021-ward-5.