Mayoral candidate Cory Lanterman is promoting Canadian cultural dancing. He says it will bring in money to Calgary’s economy. (PHOTO: SUPPLIED)

In his college days, Cory Lanterman initially studied biology as his major, but switched to business after a stint at provincial fish and wildlife. Even though he did not complete his biology degree, his experience inspired him to be more environmentally friendly. Lanterman wants to refine oil in Calgary and believes that this will help bring more money and jobs to the city — with this money, “we can have diversification of our economy.” 

Lanterman does not have experience with politics. However, he is passionate about Calgary and is determined to make this city better. Lanterman cares about COVID-19 issues and believes the provincial government should be held accountable for their poor governing during the pandemic. He is also concerned about property tax collection loopholes.

“We have a systemic problem with property tax collection — many of the rich don’t pay their fair share,” Lanterman said.

The Calgary Journal asked our city’s mayoral candidates five questions about themselves and their campaigns. Here’s what Lanterman told us:

Cory Lanterman answers five questions surrounding his mayoral pursuit.

More about Cory Lanterman:

Twitter: @dancer2go4u
Facebook: @CoryLanterman

5 Questions with Cory Lanterman:

Astrid Cunanan: What issue is most important to you as a mayoral candidate and how will you solve it?

Cory Lanterman: Right now, the most important issue to every Calgarian is COVID. These partial measures have proven to be very deadly to citizens. It’s like having a peeing section in the swimming pool. The filter will get the pee out, but you’re going to swim right through it. We can’t allow that to happen anymore. There’s a possibility of even a fifth wave as the variant has changed out of Africa that’s now in parts of the U.S. and Europe. So we have to approach this with better leadership. You can’t pander to the minority voters. And the silent majority have to get out and vote and support people like me that are aggressive.

I think that, you know, the criminal negligence committed by Mr. Kenny and Shandro should be charged. You know, that’s criminal negligence causing death. They’re not above the law. And anybody aiding and abetting or pandering like council did to them, to open for Stampede, they should also be charged for negligence after the fact. These people caused the problems and they are definitely not the ones to solve the problem. So having council running for mayor first, is a conflict of interest. Anybody would know that. And second, using opening Stampede to get votes for partiers so they can spread COVID throughout our province, the neighboring provinces and many people came from around Canada to party for the Stampede. We’ve seen the result of that. That’s negligence. So to solve that, you need strong leadership and people that don’t pander to these minorities or are afraid to stand up. That’s me. I’m quite vocal on it and, you know, I don’t want to see my friends or anybody die of COVID unnecessarily. And that’s where I stand on that.

There are many other issues like our economics, because the economy of Calgary tanked
many years before COVID, and yet the same thing applies. You can’t ask council members
couldn’t come up with any new ideas to deal with that issue, to be the solvers of the problem.

I mean, look, we got $330 million of you disappeared. We have $330 million
being given to a stadium for millionaires to have booze, to watch hockey. I kind of like the Saddledome. It’s kind of a symbol of Calgary and it. Handing millionaires money is not the solution. Another $300 million to convert bad business concepts of buildings that they couldn’t rent out in the suites. We’ve got lots of condos going up that have nobody in them.
That’s $630 million could have gone to low income people, even students, to go buy property. If we gave them 25,000 low income people, loans of $30,000, just like CMHC does, and work with our local credit unions to do it, we could have them buying houses for $350,000. I mean, let’s face it, if you can afford to rent, you can afford to own a house backed by the city. And that brings revenue to the city through property taxes. We have a systemic problem with property tax collection. Many of the rich don’t pay their fair share. When you’re operating a business next door to a residential owner occupied and you’re paying the same rates, but get to write off every renovation, all your repairs, your vehicles, everything else, you’re not paying your fair share. You’re operating a business at a discount. So the two go hand in hand.

Being able to provide money for down payments and let’s say you’re a student. You go for four to five years of university. My kids went to university for four years for engineers. They both got their degree and then they had to work for years to become a PMG. They only make $80,000. The mayor’s getting two-hundred and some thousand. I’ve said I’ll do it for $99,000 because that’s a fair wage. And I’ve got twice the experience in business, and I bring twice
the economic ability to stimulate our downtown and economic prosperity to the whole region by offering to set up an oil refinery for the city. That means jobs for you graduates. And I know everybody says “oh, electric cars are the way.” Well, yes, they are to a point, but they also have inherent problems. The wave of the future and China shut down electric car factories. And California has already been opening these hydrogen gas stations because hydrogen is the way to the future because we can retrofit 1.5 million cars in the area, that’s what’s around Calgary, to run hydrogen. Now, if we build this oil refinery complex, we use state of the art carbon capture and we can process hydrogen. So we can sell our hydrogen to other centers instead of losing trillions of dollars to the U.S. interest.

Ninety per cent of all the oil in Alberta is owned by U.S. interest. They do not want you refining it here, that’s why it hasn’t happened. And you need someone like me that’s in the industry, and I’m a black sheep in the industry, because I’m a fifth generation Albertan. I know we’ve been ripped off. I don’t want my grandkids or my great-grandkids ripped off anymore. And oil is here to stay. We produce more oil here and refine it. We don’t have to produce as much out of the tar sands. And I call it tar sands because that’s what it is. It was just a sweet name to call it oil sands.

Now, that means that we can do our thing for the environment. I worked at Habitat Protection Branch of Fish and Wildlife when I was right out of university, and I’ve seen all sorts of corruption in our environment pandering to the oil industry. That needed to stop. I quit because of it. I couldn’t stop. Now, as I’m older, I can get into politics and I can stop a lot of this because I know where and how it’s all motivated — by money. Have you ever asked yourself why I wasn’t invited to a debate? It’s because I said the rich are paying their fair share under my watch. So I’m not invited to these debates with Chamber of Commerce, because who runs them, big oil? The mainstream media is not going to cover me, because they have $1.7 million dollars in one slush fund to back their favorites to get on and control council. I’m not one of those favorites cause I’m saying those businessmen are buying politics. Your generation.

I’m only on Facebook. I’m not spending money with mainstream because they’re corrupt. I’m not invited to their debate. They say I’m not a front-runner. Well, I bring way more money to the table in economic stimulation than any other candidate out there and I have a diverse business background that backs up everything I state on my Facebook page, which is Cory for Mayor. And it’s your generation that are familiar with that stuff and you need to go out and promote me. I’m not able to promote it. You have to share it, tweet it, whatever you’ve got to do. But it’s your generation that out votes the baby boomers that caused the problem. I’m not, I was sorta under the baby boomer age, but now I’m classed as a baby boomer. But I was never for any of that rig costing Alberta all this money. Your generation has to get out and vote or you’re going to be paying for it, just like I had to. So that’s the answer to that question.

Why should young people vote for you?

Well, I’m young at mind. I still play all sorts of sports, I love golf. I’ve approached the city for 14 years now with a concept to convert the golf courses that we’re losing money, around $2 million a year to $5 million they were losing. And we retrofit it to an ingrown system of artificial turf, which is unique to our company. And we have an in-ground one at Innisfail, we’ve invited Nenshi. We invited all counsel to come up there over the 14 years, and they refused to even check it out. And it allows you to play foot-golf. It allows you to play frisbee golf. It allows you to cut the operating overhead by 60 per cent, so you’re making profit. You’re losing $5 to $20 million a year. And we also suggested that the clubhouses be retrofitted just to facilitate live music, because I’m the expert in Canadian culture dancing. I wrote a book on it. It was designed for universities to offer a course because ballroom is an American show dance. That is not what we used up here for decades and centuries. We lost that in the 80s when they brought that up under Urban Cowboy movie and put line dance, which was Disco, and brought in two step up here to kill our cultural aspects of our dancing. I have a university course that the universities won’t adopt. I’ve been after them for 10 years, trying to get it in there. It isn’t happening. Ballroom doesn’t have enough material to cover a university course. Canadian culture dance does. And the reason we have such a diverse dance background is it’s cold up here. We spent more time dancing than any other social activity until the Internet. So we do have a lot of cultural component there. Well, using the clubhouses to facilitate live bands and dancing as a part of our culture again would have brought more revenue to the city coffers. That didn’t happen. So by not dealing with me for 14 years, you’ve lost $10 to $20 million a year for the city of Calgary money. That’s me.

And every once in a while you’ve heard them talk about it in the news. Some company said “they can run them more efficiently.” That was me. So I’m making myself known to you guys that I can bring a lot of economic stability to Calgary, because you have to change your bylaws and city council doesn’t know how to change them because they’re pandering to the wealthy. And I know what needs to be done. And I’d like to set up a gateway to Banff Initiative to get more tourism dollars here. So that all benefits students. And of course, I am back. I like backing the idea that all the money we squandered, the trillions we let go to the U.S.  for nothing, but builds hundreds of billions in reclamation costs, environmental costs that should have been put to free education. University should be free. I would love to, at my age, even take courses at university. But because it costs money, I don’t take it because I have to not only give up work to take the courses, I have to give up my time to take the courses and the courses should be free. 

Look at how the uneducated people in Alberta have caused this pandemic. We need more educated people out there so that they make informed decisions and we wouldn’t be in half the mess we are. All they have to do is follow the Australian cities and council could lock down this city regardless of the provincial mandates and protected everybody. We could have made it mandatory you have to quarantine for 14 days to come into our city. We wouldn’t have lost businesses, we wouldn’t have lost jobs, and we wouldn’t have the lost citizens’ lives. Those are important. You guys are the intellects of the society. It’s your turn to stand up and say, you know, we need change and I will be a voice for that change, because I do believe you guys are the future and need to make sure your values move this city forward and the province forward.

Let’s say you have some downtime from your campaign. Which local bar, restaurant or coffee shop are you going to and why?

I’m not going to any of them because COVID. I’m not going to contribute, I am vaccinated, but it only gives you a 60 per cent protection against the delta variant. I happen to drive around a couple of people that just can’t get vaccinated because of their health condition. I’m not endangering their lives. I’m not endangering anybody’s lives. We need to lock down – partial measures don’t count. I’m not even door knocking, because it’s too dangerous. I don’t want to pass, I might be a carrier and pass it to somebody I’m talking to at the door. That’s not the way I am.. We have to lock down, do our part and I haven’t been out on any campaigns, meet up groups, I’ve refused them, because you have to practice what you preach. If we spent an extra month or two right at the beginning, we probably wouldn’t be in the situation we’re in now.

But greed is running everybody’s decision in politics because they’re pressured by the businesses backing him. I do not have any businesses backing me. Therefore, I am definitely making it so the rich have to pay their fair share. And I can go through all that stuff. And, you know, I highlight it all on my Facebook page. Cory for Mayor. I’ll answer any questions anybody has. I’m not out door-knocking, so I expect you to call me and get hold of me. I don’t have a website because I’m not spending money. I spent maybe $600 on this campaign so far, and I doubt I’m going to spend $1000. And because I feel that the intellects in this society should be going out, looking me up, and saying, “yes, that’s what we want,” and then use your word of mouth, talk to your friends, relatives and your community and do the work
because it’s you that will lose if you don’t look at people like me. And there are a couple of good candidates that are having the same experience, not getting any mainstream media. The person that wins always gets three to five times on the news. You get me three to five times on the news with my platform, I automatically win. You censor me, you censor my votes and it’s called voter suppression. And that’s something you have to be aware of.

And most of your generation are aware that laws just changed. They have third party campaigners now. We never had those laws. And what they’re trying to do is, they’re trying to get full control accounts or by getting seven members on council and a mayor, so they can pass any law they want. And let’s say you had a nice empty lot next door. They could put a condominium complex and change the bylaw to have no height restriction. And that’s what they’re pandering to do. And that money is real. That 1.7 is advertised in the paper that they have it and they’re bragging about it. Those are businessmen. They’re not projecting your best interests, I guarantee you that. They’re there to take profit at your expense, just like they’re taking $630 million and lining their pockets and it’s your money. Your taxpayer money would be better spent giving you down payments for homes, where after five years in a home and paying on it, you’ll have $50,000 to $60,000 equity or more. So that’s your money. It should be invested in things that are good for you and not things that are good for the wealthy. And if a wealthy person makes a bad business choice and has property that can’t make a go of it, that’s on them, their skills are deficient. We should not be bailing them out whatsoever. We should foreclose on their property if they fail to pay their property taxes, not give them a tax break so they can rip us off some more. These are things that your generation has to understand and get out and vote or you’re going to be paying the bills for decades. And you know what that means of these people that cause the problem, get in power, and they’re saying, “Oh, there’s no tax increase.” Wrong. There’s going to be user fees up the yin and the yang. There’s going to be jobs lost with the city to cut the costs because they spent money giving it to the rich. And you’re going to have a hard time finding employment when you graduate because they killed the economy.

There is no long term plan out except mine. It takes four to eight years with me and as mayor to actually make the city recover from pre-pandemic and then post-pandemic because it did such a bad job, it’s going to take even stronger and more strategic planning, which nobody has brought any concrete ideas to the table except for me. So there it is in a nutshell in your generation has to go and promote it. I’ve done my fair share of it. And I know education is a valued thing because both my sons went through and became engineers. And, you know, their jobs now are about $80,000 a year. The mayor making two hundred and some thousand, that’s a joke, that that’s a shame. And then 14 council members making $116,000 a year. You can’t get that in private sector even after you went to university for five to eight years. So there’s a little reality check for you.

What one TV show or movie helped you get through with the pandemic?

I really don’t watch a lot of TV, so I spend my time researching stuff, so I’m well informed.

I research lots of different things. Like, I’ve been doing research on the oil refinery for the last four years. So I do the latest articles that are on it. I’ve done a lot of research
into electric cars and the electric grid, because there’s no way that I foresee there’s enough rare earth metals to make enough batteries to run these cars. And then the electric grids,
as we know, during summer peak hours, they’re going, “no, you don’t use any appliances, we got no electricity to run them.” So I’ve been questioning that. And then I do research
on the hydrogen cars, because Canada was a lead in hydrogen engines through Ballard Energy and Ballard has gone the way of the dodo bird. They’re still around, but they’ve been surpassed and had Canadians back a lot of our technological researchers. We’d probably be the leaders in the world and not second rate. And we don’t manufacture anymore, so per se. We used to be a manufacturing country, now we import from China and our landfills are filled. So I do a lot of research.

I like articles that are stimulating to the mind. And, you know, I discuss it with a lot of doctorate students that are younger than me. And I like talking with the university students to find out what I’m missing out, so I’m always learning new things. And I am willing to change my mind on certain things when the right evidence is presented. So, that’s what education is all about.I’ve only got two years of a Bachelor of science in bio, but after my first year, I worked at Fish and Wildlife, and the biologist quit, so I ended up doing his job and writing his reports and I’m one of the few that have that luxury of doing that. And then it really angered a lot of people with their degrees, but I knew my material. I am for the environment. And many of my reports to this day are still used because it was habitat protection. And I had lots of fun doing designations for special areas. And I helped initiate the biologist to replace me. But when I went back to university, I just couldn’t do it, because what they were trying to teach me wasn’t practical in the field. And I knew the corruption at the political level. So I decided business was better for me. And in my older days, I would try to help the environment as best I could. So that’s my mandate now, is to be more environmentally friendly, which is trying to get us to refine here. So we we make more money and we don’t have to produce as much. So we have less environmental impact. And by the way, Calgary area is actually one of the least impacting areas for environmental, if you’re going to have an oil refinery and you’re biologist’s and that in your university can go research and they’re more than willing to challenge me on that, because I work this area and I know a lot more than I come across in the profession of the oil industry.

They don’t realize they did lots of research in that biology and stuff. So we have an advantage in Calgary for an oil refinery and that’s a good concept. Like right now, you pay five to 20 bucks more, a tank of gas than Edmontonians. That’s over $300 million dollars annually taken out of our economy due to higher costs at the pump. That leaves the country, because most of the oil companies are foreign owned. So that is a drain on our economy. That’s why an oil refinery is a necessity for Calgary, and there hasn’t been one in over 30 years.

Calgary is in a difficult economic spot right now, and many young people are looking elsewhere for opportunities. What would you do to help the city prosper as we eventually emerge from the pandemic?

I’ve covered much of that in my conversations so far, but I have a lot of University of graduate friends that had to move away. We don’t have the jobs. And that’s a shame, because if we recapture our wealth, because we should be one of the wealthiest provinces in the world and we recapture our wealth and keep the profits in the province, we can have diversification of our economy. You know, like I’d love to see more manufacturing here in the city or in the vicinity of the city, because it all helps the city. And we need to make sure that we draw high tech here. I’ve been asking around computer programmers and stuff saying, hey, I’ve got an app, I’d like to try to run and build an app. You know what? I haven’t found one university person or anybody to come and say, “Hey, I’ll build that app for you.” Well, that tells me we’re not going to have a chance and heck of getting high tech companies to stay here. Because if I’m asking around for high tech and nobody’s coming to the door as a business venture, I see it as, you know, there’s warmer climate elsewhere and places where these high tech companies will go, even if we offer free taxes and give them free money to come here. They’re only staying three to five years and move onto Toronto or Vancouver. So they’re more than willing to take our money on the premise that they’re going to stay, but they won’t stay. So we need to build stronger economy here, and a lot of our laws federally prevent that because our patent laws, we even the universities realize that anything they develop, they have to patent in the U.S. because Canada can’t defend its own patents.

We have a hard time defending our own copyright laws to trademarks, everything else. I’ve been there. I’ve done that. I know all about that. And to tell you that, you know, you can be an entrepreneur in Canada. Well, we had the brain drain in the 70s. Well, we got the brain drain going on now. And I understand it and I’m sure I can come up with the solutions to it. But it’s an integrated long term plan that you have to have the vision of the future. And that’s why the first step is cutting overhead costs. Doing hydrogen, promoting hydrogen. What’s going to happen is electricity bills keep going up and up and up, because they deregulated and sold off water, electricity to private things. The con’s way of ripping us off. And with electric cars, that means businesses costs are going up and it’s being subsidized by businesses and homeowners. And we need to be aware that that’s going to kill a lot of job opportunities. Although electric cars are a nice concept, in reality, they’re going to put a burden on jobs and businesses.

And, you know, working from home is a great concept. Iceland actually implemented a 30 hour work day or week. And I love that idea because that means you get more quality time. The performance went up at work, of course it would. You’re not you’re not supposed to be a slave to your job. Your job is supposed to give you the ability to have a life in Alberta that is totally the opposite. You are a slave to the employer, the employer knows that and you are going to suffer as a result of that. So I like that study and I’d like to see maybe city council swing that for jobs and also creates more job opportunities for people that are fun to be at. There’s a lot we can do economically that isn’t being done and we need to follow what other countries around the world have done very successfully to make our own country even better.

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