It’s been a long time coming for Teresa Hargreaves.
The lifelong Calgarian is once again vying to represent her ward in this year’s upcoming election, and it isn’t her first rodeo.
In 2017, Hargreaves was runner-up to current Ward 12 councillor Shane Keating. Keating announced last year that he would not seek re-election in 2021.
But her decision to run again came much earlier than Coun. Keating’s announcement.
She said she was set to register for a run again right after the 2017 election.
“But they changed the requirements again and I had to start all over.”
Fueled by a love for the city, Hargreaves said that her passion is what separates her from the rest of the pack.
“Calgary is where home is, this is where my heart is,” she said.
Communication, community, safety, and transparency
Born and raised in Calgary, Hargreaves has been living in the Ward 12 community of McKenzie Towne for the last 24 years.
She’s seen it grow, expand, and has worked with several community groups and events.
Hargreaves feels that she understands the area and its residents well enough to be their voice on council.
“I was the fourth person in this whole area (McKenzie Towne),” she said. “But it keeps expanding.”
Despite this expansion, Hargreaves said the area is missing some necessary essential services, and that more measures need to be taken to ensure people’s safety and security.
While door knocking in 2017, she often heard from her neighbours that they fear for their families because of the speed limits and people’s driving habits.
Hargreaves says she was pleased with council’s decision to lower speed limits across the city.
Police funding also impacts safety.
“I really wouldn’t like to see that happening,” she said, regarding a reduction of the police budget.
“Because we have such a large area, and there’s really no police station or police dispatch area within the ward.
“We actually do require better safety in the area. We have one substation down in Seton, but it’s not a full police station.”
The police station that serves the area comes from Midnapore, said Hargreaves. According to her, that’s a 10- or 15-minute drive away.
Beyond safety issues within her ward, Hargreaves believes there are communication issues that the city faces as a whole.
Referring to the current COVID-19 situation, Hargreaves said that direction and communication from officials at city hall to the public is unclear, and there’s a lack of understanding amongst Calgarians.
“I feel sometimes we have voices and they’re not getting heard, but I think that’s throughout the whole city,” she said.
“We need more transparency and less behind closed-door type meetings.”
Advancement through the Green Line
Rebuilding Calgary and its economy is something that Hargreaves is going to prioritize. She believes getting people working again is essential to seeing Calgary prosper as it did in the past.
Hargreaves said that the Green Line will do much more than just connect the city.
“By getting some infrastructure ready to go, we can get some Calgarians to work or back to work by having this built,” she said.
“Maybe we can take advantage of a great labour force right now. There’s so many great people out there that can help us with this at a better price.”
Hargreaves also believes that Calgary needs a direct LRT line that can take people to downtown from the airport.
“I worked at the airport in 1988, when we had the Olympics, I don’t know why we never extended the actual train out to the airport,” she said.
“If we go to every major city – London, Amsterdam – a lot of these major cities, European cities, from the airport, they have a train that takes you right to downtown.”
She hopes that she can continue the work done by current Ward 12 Coun. Keating on the transportation system to get people working and get the city connected.
A positive spirit
While she believes the city may not be what it was five or 10 years ago, Hargreaves said that Calgarians possess a quality that gives her hope that it can be a place everyone wants to be again.
“We’re resilient people,” she said.
“Look at the flood… we all jumped back up right away and just boom, got through it.”
With Calgary facing several issues including economic and social adversity, Hargreaves believes that the positive attitude of Calgarians as well as the opportunities it has to offer can make the as great as it once was.
“We have such a great opportunity here, especially with our sunshine and our expansion and a lot of vacant land,” she said.
“We can utilize that within Calgary, to kind of create and promote ourselves and our city and say ‘hey, here’s Calgary again, look at me.'”