By Gillian Slade on September 30, 2017.
City council candidate Ryan Regnier says attracting businesses to the city, and council members hearing directly from residents are corner stones of his platform.
Creating an environment to promote the growth of current businesses and attract new ones, by making it simpler to start a business, has huge benefits for the community, he says. It will provide jobs for kids that grew up here and would like to launch their careers here.
“I’ve heard so many of my friends who’ve had to leave because there is nothing to offer them,” said Regnier, who names people who have had to go to Calgary or Lethbridge for a job.
“If you bring business back, people have more disposable income. If you have more disposable income. people are more likely to go downtown. It would increase the prosperity of the community.”
Employed in construction, Regnier was raised in a business-oriented family. His grandparents own and operate a business too. Red tape can be a deterrent to people considering launching a business and that needs to be simplified, said Regnier. More than that, he feels council needs to set the tone, promote a positive business environment, especially in the downtown core.
He says downtown may have been negatively impacted in the past few years with all the construction that has taken place. Construction projects are necessary but could perhaps be better co-ordinated to limit the impact on businesses, said Regnier. Maybe breaking construction down into smaller projects, limiting them to about six weeks rather than several months, is something that should be looked at, he says.
Some local construction projects indicate there are a number of companies from out of town. The budget on a project is important and out-of-town companies may be cheaper but not necessarily the best, said Regnier. He would like to see the award of tenders based on quality and no only price. Quality may in the long run prove to be the most cost effective.
Being available to hear face to face from residents is crucial in council, said Regnier.
The survey that was used as a basis to justify cuts to transit was not representative of the users of public transit, he said.
He does not feel the current “advisory councils” are any substitute for council hearing directly from those affected on any given issue.