Ward 13 Candidate Responses

We received responses from one candidate in this ward. The Calgary Climate Hub is a non-partisan organization, and posting these responses does not indicate an endorsement. Responses are presented in the order they were received and have not been edited.

General Questions

1. What are the top three issues you hope to make progress on during your time on Council?

Jay Unsworth 1. Economic diversification
2. Responsible development.
3. Social equity - equality, justice, and fairness.


2. Women - especially low-wage, racialized and newcomers - have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. In your capacity as a public servant, how will you address these impacts and ensure that all women benefit equitably from the economic recovery? 

Jay Unsworth

Affordable housing - Women and children’s safety are often sacrificed if affordable housing is not available. I would be a vocal supporter of non-profits like the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter and the YWCA’s Transitional Housing Program, just to name a few. I would champion projects like the Damesh Culture center’s transitional housing development for women and children in northeast Calgary. I would also like to sit down with Horizon Housing, another non profit agency that is doing great things to make housing more affordable for at-risk women and children.

Accountability - We need leaders who will listen to the voices of, and take action for, women in order to make progress toward equality. That starts with women having the opportunity to take a leadership role in designing their lived environment. If elected, I would work with organizations like Equal Voice and the Centre for New Comers to provide voices to low-income, racialized, and newcomers.

Finally, I would create a program that brings industry and the community together to highlight critical equity issues like the wage-gap, women in leadership roles , and workplace harassment. These issues are critical if we want to be a gender-neutral and inclusive society.


3. Calgary has been dipping into emergency funds to pay for operations for the past several years. How would you approach taxation and the delivery of programs and services to Calgarians?

Jay Unsworth

Calgary needs to do a better job in relation to taxation. The city needs to better explain to Calgarians that Calgary is not a heavily taxed city. This said, if things don't change quickly, taxation will become burdensome, especially for those who cannot afford it. Calgary needs to increase the private-public capital investment ratio as the city cannot tax assets that they currently own. We need to diversify, and we need to do it now. We've been talking about this for decades and have done little in the way of actioning this talk. Some things are starting to change, but not fast enough.

The next election cycle will be extremely difficult for the incoming council and we need people who can hit the road running. People campaigning on lower taxes and increased services are not addressing the reality our city is in. I will be a loud voice for taxation equity between the city and the province. I support a services review in relation to costs and benefits of all programs offered. and present these findings to the citizenry in an easily explained document so people know exactly how they benefit from their taxes. Furthermore, I will create a benchmark index comparing Calgary to other similar cities in an effort to bring understanding to Calgarians of how we all benefit from our tax dollars.

Finally, I will look at development policies to ensure enough money is allocated for the life-cycle of all capital investments made by the City. Emergency funds should be used for unexpected emergencies, not day-to-day operations.


4. What is your plan for diversifying Calgary’s economy for a just transition away from oil and gas?

Jay Unsworth

At some point the bubble is going to burst; intellectually we know this, but instinctively we go back to what we have always done: Putting all of our eggs in the fossil fuel energy basket. Sure, there was mention and money put aside for the Technology Industry but this isn’t earth shattering, every city is doing the same thing to some degree or another. I believe we need to focus on innovation. We need be looking down the road, not behind us. We need to partner with our educational institutions and make innovation a priority - We need to fund innovation, and we need to fund this now.

We need to work closer with Enmax as they contribute over $50 million annually to Calgary's operating budget. Enmax is doing some groundbreaking work in relation to renewables, which in turn helps our environment and our economy. We don't need to look far to see what is happening in relation to climate change, and Calgary needs to take a leadership role. I believe Calgary can still be a leader in energy research and production, but it needs to be done differently - our economy and environment depend on it. We need leaders who understand what is happening in real-time. We need to incentivize innovation and attract global leaders in bringing their organizations and ideas to Calgary - this cannot wait.

Climate Change and the Environment


1. Will you commit to setting clear interim targets for Calgary and ENMAX to achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050 to help limit global warming to 1.5 degrees?

Jay Unsworth Yes


2. Will you work to reduce emissions from buildings to net-zero by (1) ensuring The City's Sustainable Building Policy has clear targets, is transparent, and requires third-party certification, and (2) by providing incentives for privately-owned new buildings and retrofits?

Jay Unsworth Yes


3. Will you support policies to ensure zero food waste not only from Calgary's restaurants, groceries, distributors, but also corporate events?

Jay Unsworth Yes


4. Will you strengthen the City's procurement policies to ensure goods and services are sustainably and ethically sourced? The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply states that sustainable procurement "considers the impact of environmental, economic and social factors along with price and quality."

Jay Unsworth Yes


5. Do you support focusing new development within established areas instead of continuing to approve new developments on the outskirts of Calgary?

Jay Unsworth Yes


6. Will you support completion of the Green Line, including crossing the river to 16 Avenue N?

Jay Unsworth Yes


7. Do you commit to providing equal access to low-cost, low-carbon transportation to all areas of the city, including transit, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure?

Jay Unsworth Yes

Equity and Inclusion

1. Which of the following measures will you support to address poverty and social isolation in our city?

  1. Affordable housing
  2. Low-income transit pass
  3. Fair Entry recreation pass
  4. Increased access to childcare
  5. Increased financial support to community associations
  6. Enough for All Poverty Reduction Strategy
  7. Other
  1 2 3 4 5 6 Other
Jay Unsworth Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  


2. Do you support providing City services primarily through unionized City workers, or do you support contracting out City services to private companies?

  1. Maintain unionized City workers
  2. Contract out
  3. Other
  1 2 Other
Jay Unsworth Yes    


3. Would you support Fair Trade Calgary's initiative to make Calgary a globally-designated Fair Trade town? (Find out more at: http://www.fairtradecalgary.com/at-a-glance.html)

Jay Unsworth Yes


4. Do you support Universal Basic Income?

Jay Unsworth  

Diversity & Reconciliation

1. What is your plan to address the increase in hate crimes and overt displays of racism in our city?

Jay Unsworth

I would focus on our justice system. Yes, our legal system addresses these issues, but our justice system needs to take a stronger approach. Racism and discrimination in any form is unacceptable; full-stop.

We need to focus on all of the positives that diversity brings. we need to create a city where everyone is valued and appreciated. We need to educate our citizens on all of the benefits of a global community. I would champion a campaign that focusses on equality, diversity, fairness, and justice. As mention in question #1, social equity is a critical step that Calgary must take - the world is watching.


2. How will you support policies to ensure more Indigenous voices are included in making municipal decisions?

Jay Unsworth

If elected to City Council, I will do everything in my power to steward the White Gosse Flying Report. I feel that my strong project management skills, background in working with diverse groups to achieve a common goal, and collaborative nature would be an asset in ensuring the actions/goals outlined in this report under the categories of Own, Encourage, and Partner are met, when we say we will meet them.

I would start with bringing the right people to the table to form a working group (not a committee who just continues to discuss – we need action). This working group would include representation from the Calgary Aboriginal Urban Affairs Committee (CAUAC), Indigenous leaders, city administrators and councillors, and private and non-profit members (from several of the organizations I mentioned above to ensure that women’s voices are heard). I would ensure tangible outcomes and timelines were met, and that any progress, findings, successes, and set-backs were openly shared with Calgary citizens, not kept behind closed doors with endless extensions.


3. What steps will you support to increase trust and reduce uses of force by police that disproportionately affect Black, Indigenous and People of Colour in Calgary? (Please use "other" for additional ideas.)

  1. Enthocultural training for police
  2. Increase number of Aboriginal Liaison Officers
  3. Alternative response models (PACT and DOAP teams)
  4. Other
  1 2 3 Other
Jay Unsworth Yes Yes Yes CPS officers need to be trained and supported accordingly. .


Mental Health & Addictions

1. Which of the following do you support to address mental health and addictions?

  1. Implement alternative emergency response models
  2. Implement trauma-informed care
  3. Supervised consumption sites
  4. Other
  1 2 3 Other
Jay Unsworth Yes Yes Yes  


General Comments

Do you have any other comments you would like to share with us?

Jay Unsworth
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your survey. You have addressed critical issues, and all candidates need to be informed on the issues raised.


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This survey was sent out to mayoral and ward councillor candidates throughout July and was developed in collaboration with the following organizations: