Want to read how council hopefuls in other wards responded to our dinner-themed scenarios? Click here.

You have a friend coming to Calgary who has never visited the city before. What restaurant would you take them to and why?

Janet Eremenko: Aida’s on 4th Street.  The food is amazing (try the muhammara!) the service friendly and it’s locally owned and operated.  It’s located on 4th street, so there’s great energy and people-watching, and a great place for an after-dinner stroll.

Jeromy Farkas: Ox Bar de Tapas (formerly “Ox and Angela”) on 17th Avenue SW. It’s been special to me ever since my girlfriend and I had our first date there more than four years ago. In that time we’ve seen the menu constantly improved, and it continues to be one of our best places to make memories and be with friends.

Keith Simmons: MugShots – best wings!

Linda Johnson: The Selkirk Grille at Heritage Park. It has a beautiful view, great food and a wonderful atmosphere.

Robert Dickinson: Naina’s Kitchen – the food is great, they have great recipes that are unique and fantastic service. They are also a locally owned business.

You are inviting several friends to join you for dinner. Two live on the outskirts of the city and their car is out of service. They must travel 20 km to reach the restaurant and they’ve asked you for advice about the best way to get there. What would you recommend and why?

Janet Eremenko: Mission is just across MacLeod Trail from Erlton station, so if they can take the train, it’s a quick walk up 25th Ave.  The LRT is a great way to get downtown.  If we were going to a restaurant outside of the downtown, I’d offer to pick them up at a c-train station.

Jeromy Farkas: I’d recommend a taxi or ride-sharing service. It’s responsive, reliable, represents an innovative, entrepreneurial business model and has provided much needed income and a renewed sense of worth to many Calgarians suffering from the City’s economic downturn.

Keith Simmons: I’d pick them up – gives us more social time.

Linda Johnson: I would call a friend to go or convince one of my kids to go and get them.

Robert Dickinson: I would recommend they take transit. If they can get to their closest LRT station, Naina’s is a couple of blocks from the Victoria Park LRT station.

You arrive at the restaurant, and first course arrives. You notice one of your friends is double-dipping in the shared appetizer. How do you react?

Janet Eremenko: If I’m there with my young daughters, they’ve probably beat everyone to the double-dip.  It’s good for the immune system.

Jeromy Farkas: They have traveled a long way to join me – no doubt they are hungry! Why not order another dip?

Keith Simmons: Rude! – waiter can we have another dipping sauce please.

Linda Johnson: I would make a joke about it. In our family, we calling it spreading “family germs” and usually tease the guilty party about being caught double dipping.

Robert Dickinson: My friends and I are pretty tight – I wouldn’t object.

The main course has arrived and the conversation has turned to politics, specifically secondary suites. Your good friend tells the table he has been fighting to convert his basement to a secondary suite but has been caught up in red tape at city hall. He then confesses he’s renting it out despite it being illegal. Will you report it? Why or why not?

Janet Eremenko: I would remind him that the ‘red tape’ is meant to make suites safe for everyone in the home. I’d acknowledge that the City could improve its process so it is easier to do what’s legal, rather than cut corners and risk the security of his tenant or his own family.  I would not report it outright, but would offer to help him navigate the process.  I would also want to learn from him where the major roadblocks were.

Jeromy Farkas: Hopefully it would not come to that. It is not well known, but City Council recently made it much easier to apply for secondary suites, including waiving the entire $4,485 fee. I would urge him to respect the current process despite its current problems, and then work to help him understand the process and ensure that safety needs are met in bringing the secondary suite up to code.  As a student, I rented an apartment above an illegal secondary suite and I remember well the gross power imbalance between me and a well-intentioned, but absentee landlord. Not a day passed without my concern about my safety and that of my neighbours. I will do everything in my power to see the process improved.

Keith Simmons: No, I would ask if it’s safe and to continue pursuing the right course.

Linda Johnson: This is a tough one, but I would have to say to my friend that they should work to deal with the situation and make sure the suite is up to safety standards as soon as possible. From a personal standpoint and the mother of kids in university, safe living and rental accommodations is something that I’m very concerned with.

Robert Dickinson: This is a clear example of why the process needs to be fixed. Ultimately, we want safe homes for people to live in, and the process should support that. Realistically, I would encourage him to disconnect the stove and share a kitchen until the permitting process is completed through the city.

All responses have been edited for typos, but not for grammar and wording.

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