Grant Canning

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Owner / Operator of the Banff National Perk Coffee House (formally the Cake Company) on Bear St in Banff.

Prior to owning the coffee shop, I was the Executive Director of Banff Heritage Tourism. Before that I spent ten years doing marketing for the ski industry.

Through my time on Banff Town Council, I have served on the Municipal Planning Commission, Development Appeal Board, Bow Valley Regional Services Transit Commission, Bow Valley Regional Housing, Bow Valley Waste Management Commission, Banff Library Board among others.

12 years

I’m running because I believe our municipal government has not only a role, but a responsibility, to improve the quality of life for all of our residents. I believe there are too many residents who are struggling with the lack of housing and the overall cost of living in Banff. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in Banff for one year or 30 years, you deserve to have a good quality of life and be able to find good quality housing in our community.
I will always support more housing over where we should park our cars. I support the implementation of a free and frequent
transit system throughout Banff. I support being pragmatic and reasonable when considering the budget. Council needs to
consider all decisions with an open mind and look at each decision individually, carefully considering the impact it will have
on our community.

I think it is important for a councillor to keep an open mind whenever faced with a decision. Too often we live in a world that is too black and white by nature. Council is often faced with questions that reside in the grey. The difficult decisions are always the ones that can impact different groups of residents in different ways, both positively and negatively.
I don’t consider myself liberal or conservative, left wing or right wing. I consider myself to be pragmatic. I will always look at every decision before council through the prism of one question…what is in the best interest of all 8000 residents in Banff. Not one resident, or one neighborhood or one constituency. But whats in the best interest of the community as a whole.

The two biggest issues facing our community today are the same two issues we have been facing for years – parking/congestion and lack of affordable housing.
I support paid parking with one condition. That 100% of the revenue generated from paid parking goes toward transit and other congestion and traffic related initiatives. Any revenues generated from paid parking does not go into general revenue for other town functions.
I believe it is wrong and counter intuitive that we allow visitors and residents to come downtown and park for free but ask them to pay a fare to take transit. Increasing transit ridership is the best and most effective way of dealing with our congestion and parking issues and the best way to do that is by eliminating fares and increasing schedule frequency.
This past council term I brought forward a motion to develop a residential parking pass program which would be implemented with a paid parking program allowing our residents the exclusive opportunity to park on their streets in close proximity to downtown. I think this is important to ensure our residents maintain the right to park on their own street should paid parking push vehicles outside of the downtown area into the residential neighborhoods.
On the issue of housing, I think it is imperative for the municipality to work with the private sector to create incentives to develop more housing options in our community. We will never achieve an appropriate balance until we get our residential vacancy rate to around 3-5%. Currently it is at 0%. If the private sector is not building rental units, I believe it is wholly appropriate for the municipality to build its own rental developments as long as the developments are revenue neutral and do not impact the taxpayers of Banff.

The greatest challenge facing elected officials is the fear of change. New initiatives and new ideas are vitally important to keep our community moving forward. Its understandable that anything new can be daunting, even scary, sometimes. It’s important to try new things, look at the challenges we face with a different perspective than we’ve had before. We should always revisit previous decisions and make sure they were correct and have the courage and humility to make changes when needed. We need to always keep an open mind and an open ear to listen to the concerns of others. But also recognize there is a difference between “I hear you and understand you” and “I agree with you”.

I can be reached at 403-431-8221 or grant_canning@hotmail.com or online at www.grantcanning.com

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