Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Interview With Ward 12 Aldermanic Candidate Benjamin Sim

This is a continuation of a series of interviews that I will post about local candidates that are running in the 2010 Calgary municipal election. I do not endorse any of the candidates necessarily, unless stated otherwise. The intent is to allow the candidates a forum in which they can share some of their views.

This interview is with Ben Sim, who will be running for Alderman in Ward 12 this term.

I am a resident of Ward 12 and a potential voter.  What do you think is the biggest issue facing the voters of this ward?

BS:   Biggest issue – Transportation.  Ward 12 has only one real outlet and that is Deerfoot Trail. Any problems on Deerfoot and residents have little options. I would work to have 24 st to Glenmore completed, complete 52 street to Glenmore. ( down to one lane in both directions and no overpass over rail line) and work with provincial government to improve the roadway after the bridge over the Bow River on Deerfoot Trail.  Reduces down to 2 lanes causing major traffic delays. Also we must get LRT to the S.E.

Many people feel that there is a lot of dysfunction with the current council.  If elected, what would you do to rectify this?

BS:    I would work to have council control spending in all city departments. I believe this can be done without cutting services. Have an independent audit for all departments and act on their recommendations.

Tell me why you would make a better Alderman than your opponents? What candidate will be the hardest to beat in Ward 12?

BS:     I have lived in Calgary all my life and have seen this City grow into the vibrant City it is today. I have worked for the citizens of Calgary for over 30 years. During that time I feel I have been a strong leader and have learned to make educated decisions. I have also learned to delegate duties to those around me who are most qualified to get the job done correctly. I would actually read city department budgets and act on areas where I feel we need to to best serve the residents of ward 12 and all of Calgary.  Control spending and renew trust in our elected officials. “Honesty”

In your opinion, what is the biggest mistake that Alderman McIver has made as Ward 12 Alderman?

BS:  The transportation issues in ward 12 and safe voting.

Did the decision of Ward 12 Alderman Ric McIver to run Mayor have any impact on your decision to run in this election?  Would you have run against Ric McIver if he was still on the ballot? 

BS: Yes.  Calgary has a record of not voting out incumbents.

With no incumbent in the riding, are you finding it easy to fund raise and find volunteers? Is every candidate on a level playing field?

BS:     My stand is that I have taken no donations. Perhaps this will hurt my chances of getting elected but that is my stand and I will live with it.  I feel that we all start on a level playing field but those that spend the most do get an advantage which does not always mean the best person getting elected. Unfortunate but true.

On your website, you highlight that you would like to "Work to pass legislation to ban the use of all cell phones while operating a motor vehicle and 2) Promote mandatory sentences for major criminal offences." How do you plan do to this on City Council?

BS:    Cell phone legislation – I would work with the provincial government to pass legislation for all of Alberta. If this doesn’t work I will work to pass a city by-law to ban the use of cell phones while operating a  motor vehicle within the city limits but feel it should be a provincial law if not a federal law.  Minimum sentences. I will admit I will have to educate myself on how to go about this as a member of city council but I am sure that we as council members can exert pressure on provincial and federal law makers to make this happen.

For more information on Ben, check out his website at


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