A promise of fiscal responsibility, tax relief, and a community-focused approach is what Devin DeFraine said he’s going to bring to city hall.
The lifelong Calgarian decided to throw his hat in the ring after current Ward 11 councillor Jeromy Farkas announced his run for mayor.
“I knew that we needed more fiscal responsibility downtown,” said DeFraine.
“I knew that we needed a strong fiscal candidate to replace Farkas in Ward 11.”
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But the decision to run was not one that he came to one his own. DeFraine discussed it with his partner for a number of weeks before making an announcement.
“After those discussions, that’s when we really decided, ‘OK, you know what you need to step up, you need to do this,'” said DeFraine.
The joint decision making process shows who DeFraine is at his core. A family man, and a helper.
After losing his father in 2012, he launched JD’s Legacy Services. It’s a company to honour his late father’s legacy.
Their tagline: The legacy of helping lives on.
Understanding the struggle
DeFraine announced his candidacy early on to spend time getting to know the people he intends to represent.
He’s spent his time traversing Ward 11 talking to everyone he comes across.
“I specifically have been speaking with senior citizens as well as those that are on fixed incomes,” said DeFraine.
“They tell me how much they struggle to pay their bills.”
Throughout his university degree, DeFraine worked 12 hour days, and 6 hour nights. He said he understands living paycheque to paycheque.
“It’s a struggle,” he said.
“So I really understand what a lot of people in Calgary are going through right now.”
DeFraine has dubbed himself as the ‘Ward 11 Warrior.’ He said if he’s elected, he’ll fight for the people who need it most.
A history of advocacy
DeFraine takes pride in himself as a blue collar individual with a geology degree.
While at university, he served as the VP Finance of the Geology Society at Mount Royal University. and has other experiences he believes make him the right person to bring fiscally responsible policies to council in 2021.
“I’m blue collar, all the way,” said DeFraine.
“I may have a geology degree, but I’m the son of a plumber.”
For the last 10 years, he’s served on the Stonecroft at Cedarbrae Board of Directors. In 2014-15, he was the treasurer, and since 2017, he has been the Vice-President of that board.
He was also a part of the Wildrose Party’s Calgary Glenmore constituency association in 2017.
A fully-funded police force and locally-driven art initiatives
As someone who currently works in the security field, DeFraine said he’s a big proponent of backing the Calgary police.
He said recent calls to have cash reallocated from the Calgary Police Service need to be reconsidered.
“First and foremost, I want to see that reinstated.”
“As a bouncer, I understand how important it is to have the Calgary police fully funded.”
DeFraine also thinks that council needs to re-examine issues surrounding public art.
“I want to see a more local approach that’s going save the city money,” he said.
“The Alberta University of the Arts is here in Calgary, why are we not, for example, creating competitions for the students in these programs to create artwork for us.”
A diverse mentality with conservative values
DeFraine maintains that while he’s fiscally conservative, some of his views and ideologies don’t align with their ‘old school’ mentality.
“I am a fiscal conservative, (I’m) not going to hide that fact,” he said.
“However, I like to think of this campaign as the new blue.”
DeFraine described ‘the new blue’ as a new way of being conservative. He said it doesn’t include holding old school conservative social beliefs.
“I want to make that separation right here and right now that I fully support the LGBTQ community. I fully support all people, people of all different types,” DeFraine said.
“I think that’s been lacking in a lot of conservative platforms over the years and I think that’s something that has to change.”