By Sophia Lopez, October 5 2021
Calgary’s next municipal general election takes place on Oct. 18, and 27 candidates are running for mayor this year.
Zac Hartley is a young Calgarian who’s platform differs from most of the leading candidates. He believes the city’s money could be better spent on investments and projects that could benefit Calgarians better, and promises to donate 50 per cent of his salary every month to a Calgary charity, foundation or nonprofit.
“The real simple reason of why I’m running for mayor is, when I look at how our tax dollars are being spent, I don’t approve of where they’re being sent,” said Hartley. “I think a lot of [candidates] are in it for the paycheck, the pensions and the nice package that the mayor gets, but I’m not in it for that.”
Hartley believes the current Green Line construction is not the best way to meet the needs of Calgarians, and that the money being put forth for the project can be used in more effective ways.
“I am quite against the current Green Line project, which is something that most or almost all of the other candidates fully support,” he said. “The big problem that I have with it is that we’re looking at it as if it’s the solution to solving our transit problem, and unfortunately, it’s not. If you look at any major city, they have a direct train connection between the airport and the downtown core.”
Having graduated from university five years ago, Harltey believes university students will be able to relate and have faith in him to make decisions if elected mayor that reflect student voices and addresses their concerns. He also plans on making transit completely free for university students.
“I’m not too far removed from the student life,” said Hartley. “I feel like I can very easily relate to what a lot of students are going through right now. I plan to make city transit completely free for university students and possibly high school students as well. I think we need to do as much as we can to support our students.”
Hartley expressed how much the current art around the city does not truly represent Calgary and its values. Some of the public art displayed throughout the city wasn’t made by Calgarians, or even Canadians.
“The art policy in itself is not going to have any major impact on the economics of Calgary,” he said. “I want to change the art policy so that every piece of art that gets installed in Calgary is designed by a Calgarian.”
Hartley highlighted the importance of voting in this municipal election, and he encourages students to go out and vote for the future of Calgary they want to see.
“Do your research and voice your opinion by voting,” said Hartley. “I’m not running for any reason other than I don’t like what’s happening, so I’m going to try and change it.”
The municipal general election will take place on Oct. 18, 2021. The University of Calgary will have advanced polling stations on campus at the Dining Centre on Oct. 4 and 5 from 9 a.m to 6 p.m. For more information on Jan Damery or the other mayoral candidates, you can find their contact information here.