Kim Tyers said it’s never too early to start talking to Calgarians.
With the Calgary municipal election 13 months away, Tyers launched her campaign last week to represent the citizens of Ward 2.
That seat is currently held by Coun. Joe Magliocca.
Born and raised in Calgary, the married mom of two, who managed constituency affairs for the office of Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel Garner, said she’s always had an interest in public service.
Tyers, a proud member of Calgary’s Chinese community, said now the time for a more diverse, youthful representation on city council. She said a fresh perspective is needed.
“This is an opportunity to be the voice of my ward,” said Tyers.
She’s hoping to parlay her experience in advocating for citizens where there are federal policy gaps into the municipal level, where she has her eyes set on fiscal responsibility.
“What that means to me is prioritizing essential services and program over superficial projects,” she said.
“I think we’ve really lost sight of what’s important for the residents of the city of Calgary. We need to focus on what is essential and what’s going to help our community members.”
To that point, Tyers said right now the city needs to worry less about things like beautification projects or the physical appearance of infrastructure and more on the delivery of essential services to Calgarians.
Platform on the go
Tyers maintains that being a better steward of the public purse is her priority, but one of the reasons for launching the campaign in advance is to meet as many Calgarians as she can.
She’s looking for residents in her ward to help direct her platform specifics.
“It’s never too early to start talking to people… I want to know exactly what they think… if they’re ready for change,” Tyers said.
“I want to know what they think of their current representation.”
Tyers said the city needs to examine ways to reduce the tax burden on residents and business owners. She said the city needs to come up with more creative ways to solve some of these lingering problems.
“I don’t believe that a property tax increase was what Calgarians needed during a pandemic,” she said.
“Something that I would be doing is focusing on ways of reducing that burden for Calgarians.”
Transit is also a priority for Tyers. She said her northwest neighbourhoods don’t have an efficient service. Her son was looking at an hour on the bus, walking for a distance and then hitting the train – just to get to school.
Tyers said she’s not worried about hitting the doors in Ward 2 and building her platform on the go. She said they’ll know fiscal responsibility and transparency will be key for her. But, what’s important to her is what’s important to the communities in her ward.
“I think a really important part of campaigning is figuring out what exactly that is,” Tyers said.
Tyers didn’t shy away from addressing the situation with current councillor, Joe Magliocca.
Magliocca was involved in expense irregularities stemming from trips to Federation of Canadian Municipalities meetings, a story first brought to light by the Calgary Herald.
“There is something that needs to be said about transparency with councillor expenses,” Tyers said.
“City councillors have a fiduciary responsibility to taxpayer money.”
Coun. Magliocca hasn’t yet announced if he’ll be running again for city council.
Whether her campaign will pit her against the incumbent, Tyers is ready to roll.
“Regardless of who decides to run, I decided to run,” she said.