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?
Carter Thomson: Bonterra – great food and atmosphere.
Chris Davis: I would take them to one of the many fine restaurants on 17th Ave SW (Cilantro, UNA, Model Milk, Buon Giorno, Cibo, The Coop all come to mind) particularly any of them that are currently behind fencing due to the construction project. We have great restaurants on this corridor and they need to be supported during these tough economic times and during this disruptive but necessary public works project.
Evan Woolley: I’d take my friend to Bar Von Der Fels, it’s a cool, unassuming restaurant, the services is really good and I love supporting the local restaurant scene.
Karla Charest: I would take them to Tubby Dog. First of all because I can walk there which is something I like about the neighbourhood I am in; the walkability. Second of all because of what this restaurant says about the hard-working entrepreneurs in Calgary; Jon (the owner) pours all of his energy and passion into the place and it shows in the character and the quality of his restaurant. It is businesses like this that face the challenges of city council’s policies and outrageous tax increases. And I have to say sorry to our friends in Spiros, Himilayan, Zipang, Silk Row, Grumans and Khao San for not picking you but you are all equally as deserving!
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?
Carter Thomson: I’ll be the designated driver.
Chris Davis: Because they are good friends and we have a car, I would pick them up.
Evan Woolley: I would suggest many options, as I’ve worked hard to support the multi-modal system here in Calgary, so we can accommodate everyone’s needs. If it’s a beautiful day, I would suggest biking. If they live near transit, such as the LRT or BRT, that would be my go too. I’ve also worked closely with Car2Go and Uber, which is another great option. I honestly would suggest all these and let them decide which is the best for them.
Karla Charest: This question is about accessibility to transit options and convenience. First of all, I would never recommend a taxi. Depending on where they live, I would suggest rapid transit. Barring that, Uber. The “whys” relate to accessibility and convenience and it’s all about where you are on the transit system or how easily the other options are to access. Without any of those options available, I guess they are staying home and ordering takeout! It has happened to me before.
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?
Carter Thomson: I tell him he can have the whole appetizer and order a second one.
Chris Davis: I would be surprised at my friend’s lack of hygiene and move on to another course.
Evan Woolley: It wouldn’t bother me.
Karla Charest: I would have doled it out before we started and there would not have been a problem. There is a reason that side plates are brought to the table.
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?
Carter Thomson: No.
Chris Davis: Because this is a good friend, I would try to educate him or her about the importance and value of providing safe and affordable accommodation. I would also suggest that doing so correctly and legally requires a significant capital investment to meet the Building Code. I would remind them that on a sale they will be unlikely to recover any of their investment if the suite is not legal. I would also offer to assist them in securing any approvals and in cutting any red tape (real or perceived, based on my 27 years of planning and municipal law experience). I would have to let them know that if I was made aware that they continued to breach the law – because of my oath as a lawyer – I would be required to report them to the city.
Evan Woolley: I would talk about how our current policy is broken and it’s not benefiting anyone, landlords or council. We’d discuss how there is an estimated 16,000 illegal suites in the city and kicking everyone out is not a realistic option, wondering where would those people live if we were to do that. Over my first term I’ve worked tirelessly to address this exact issue and I would let my friend know that I will continue on this path to fix the the overall problem, while offering them support to work through the process.
Karla Charest: I’m from down east and we do not talk about politics at the table. You have my position on secondary suites in a previous answer I had provided.
All responses have been edited for typos, but not for grammar and wording.