By Sophia Lopez, September 8 2021—
Calgary’s next municipal general election takes place on Oct. 18, and 25 candidates are running for mayor this year.
Brad Field is the president of Big Rig Collision (BRC) Group and is a chairperson on several Calgary-based organizations. Field wants to help the city he grew up in recover by taking risks to build an innovative future.
“Quite often politicians fall into the trap of analyzing everything to the point of nauseum because they’re in fear of making a mistake,” explained Field. “Some of the greatest innovations in city government were taken by risk-takers.”
Field believes it is important to create more entrepreneurial opportunities for young Calgarians and give them more opportunities to flourish in their desired profession.
“I love working with young adults, young professionals to develop that entrepreneurial spirit so that they can start up their own business, it doesn’t always have to be a career,” he said. “We have to create that environment in the City of Calgary where we’re open to make it easier by removing barriers for our next generation to start up their own businesses.”
To allow student voices to be heard, Field plans to create a 20/30 Young Adults Advisory Council if elected as mayor. This council would serve to gather the opinions and concerns of Calgary’s youth and allow them to work directly with City Council.
“If we’re going to build the city for the future, let’s have the stakeholders of the future at the table right from the get-go,” said Field. “So we want to start programs like that, where the youth — whether it’s post-secondary or coming out of high school — have an opportunity to have their voice heard in a meaningful way.”
With his background in business, Field aims to establish a Cooperative Education Program Strategy that focuses on creating more unique opportunities for students in the downtown area as a part of his youth program.
“I think having that direct connection with my history in business in the City of Calgary, I would want to champion or initiate or facilitate making sure that we are connecting strongly with local businesses with local talent,” he said. “We also want to create that program that is unique to the City of Calgary and its own challenges in the downtown core.”
Field highlighted the importance of making public transportation affordable and accessible not just for students, but for all Calgarians. Although he is in full support of the Green Line LRT, he believes it has unfolded slower than it should have.
“If we’re going to build public transportation for a world-class city, we have to start as quickly as possible and get it built,” said Field. “But making sure that we’re taking care of the students in post-secondary and high school students, that it’s affordable and accessible.”
One of Field’s goals for the city is to create a more vibrant downtown where job opportunities are available for the younger generation once they’ve completed their education and more businesses become attracted to Calgary.
“We want to create the environment where, coming out of post-secondary education, you can have a job in your chosen profession,” he said. “We want to make sure that there’s jobs waiting for you.”
Due to COVID-19, many Calgarians have lost their jobs or were unable to find jobs for the past year and a half. If elected mayor, Field explained how creating an environment where people can find jobs is crucial to getting Calgarians back on track.
“It’s not about us being job creators, necessarily,” he said. “Our responsibility is to create the environment where businesses and jobs can flourish.”
Field believes that students play a huge role during the elections and that systems such as advanced polling and “vote anywhere” stations on university campuses are a great way to encourage the younger generation to get out and vote.
“Whether it’s advanced polling or vote anywhere, those are initiatives that just make sense,” said Field. “I can’t believe in this day and age, that we shouldn’t be able to use our technology to our best benefit. If we expand and make [voting] more accessible for all voters, then we’re just better off as a society.”
Now that we are starting to return to a bit of normalcy, Field is excited to start helping Calgarians and their businesses recover and create a more opportunistic Calgary.
“We have a real opportunity to come out of this crisis, to build something special, something that we can all be proud of here,” he said. “The City of Calgary and the youth has to be a part of that and be a part of that discussion. So I would encourage that anybody who can vote, vote, get out and cast your ballot and be a part of the future.”
The municipal general election will take place on Oct. 18, 2021. For more information on Brad Field or the other mayoral candidates, you can find their contact information here.