Harman Singh Kandola
Harman Singh Kandola
Candidate for Ward 12 (Sspomitapi)
Not yet responded.
Question 1: What work experience do you have that’s relevant to the role of a Councillor and how do you feel the skills and perspective you have gained will help you in your role as a Councillor?
I have been a VP for the World Sikh Organization where I have advocated for human rights. I am a member of Edmonton's anti racism committee where I have been involved in the fight against racism. I am on the board of the Mennonite Centre for newcomers where I have helped newcomers to our city and country.
Question 2: What do you think are the biggest issues affecting your ward are, and how would you approach being their local representative?
The biggest issue is a lack of responsiveness to resident concerns by the current councillor. Public safety and the quality of public spaces are consistently some of the most critical issues in the ward.
Question 3: What do you think is the role of a municipal government? Do you think the City does too many things, not enough, or just the right amount?
Thy city needs to do more to provide adequate transportation options.
Question 4: Do you think property taxes are too high, too low, or just about right?
We should look to reduce property taxes but not by sacrificing city services. 40% of property taxes go to the province, and that is the portion that should be decreased.
Question 5: Over the next four years, should the City spend less in absolute terms, increase spending but by less than the rate of inflation and population growth, increase by the rate of inflation and population growth, or increase faster than the rate of inflation and population growth?
Spending should increase at the same rate as population growth and inflation.
Question 6: During the introduction of City Charters a few years ago there was a lot of debate about new taxation powers for the big cities. Would you support the City being given any additional taxation powers by the Province? If so, what taxation powers should the City have?
The city should have the same powers as the provincial government as we provide services closer to where people are.
Question 7: The City often claims that they’ve found savings in various budgets, but instead of actually cutting spending, they just put the savings into a reserve account and then spend that money on other things. If there’s money left over at the end of a financial year, do you think that money should be saved up by the City to spend in future years? Or should it be returned automatically to taxpayers the following year through some kind of rebate?
The money should be saved and eventually spent on projects that create lasting value for the city.
Question 8: Everyone says they support affordable housing, but what does that term mean for you? Do you think the City should be subsidizing housing for lower-income residents? Or focused on keeping the cost of all housing from getting out of control? Or perhaps some combination of the two? If so, how?
Lower income folks need subsidies. All housing should be kept affordable by allowing the development of new housing units, and we need to especially get out of the way of high density developments.
Question 9: The new Edmonton City Plan focuses on urban development, promoting more density, more transit, and 15-minute communities, but it also restricts new housing development in the outskirts of the City. Are you concerned that this could affect housing affordability in the long-run?
We should focus on creating destiny, but if that fails to create enough units to match population growth, we should expand outwards.
Question 10: What do you think should be the split between greenfield and established community growth for new housing? Should the City have a specific target? Should this be determined by market demand?
It should be determined by market demand. It should be noted that density isn't an ideological goal--people want to have more housing options in areas with shorter commutes and abundant services. Restrictive zoning prevents these units from being built.
Question 11: Oil and gas has been a core part of Edmonton’s economy for a long time, indeed Leduc No. 1 is just a few minutes away, but Council is now actively promoting alternative energy sources. Do you think Council should be working to diversify the economy away from oil and gas and what would that look like?
Yes, we need to look at more solar installations.
Question 12: The Valley Line SE LRT has suffered multiple significant delays during its construction. What is your understanding of the reason for these delays, and what would you have done differently to avoid them?
When we sign infrastructure contracts, there should be penalties for delays.
Question 13: The City has big plans to build multiple future LRT extensions, including the Valley Line West, the Metro Line Northwest, and the Capital Line South. Do you support further LRT expansion in the City or are there better ways to support transportation in the city? If, as a Councillor, you find out that - despite all the previous assurances from the City - there has in fact been another delay or cost overrun for a future LRT line, or for some other major capital project, what would you do?
I support these LRT expansions--we cannot become a great city with a high quality of life without them. When we sign infrastructure contracts, there should be penalties for delays.
Question 14: What do you think is the best approach to attract businesses to Edmonton? Direct incentives to specific businesses, paid for by slightly higher taxes, or lower tax rates for all businesses?
I don't think either approach mentioned in the question is the best approach. When we create a city with a high quality of life, then business activity will follow.
Question 15: Should the City be in the business of operating golf courses, or should they privatize or sell them off? How about garbage collection - half of which is already private - or other services?
I oppose privatization.
Question 16: Should we defund the police? If yes, what exactly does defunding the police mean to you? If not, what should the City do to address both historical and ongoing injustices?
We must focus on tackling systemic racism and building safer communities with community programming that will prevent crime.
Question 17: Do you support the City’s mandatory vaccination policy for City employees?
Yes--this is not something that should happen in normal circumstances, but is necessary during the current crisis of full ICUs.
Question 18: Council recently dropped residential speed limits to 40km/h, do you agree with that decision, and what do you think about the proposal by some to go further and drop it to 30km/h in the future?
I agree with 40 km/hr. We must protect our citizens, especially children.
Question 19: Serving as a Councillor you are responsible to btoh your local constituents and every Edmontonian. How would you deal with a situation where you feel that the best interests of your local constituents in your ward conflict with what you feel is the best interests of the City as a whole?
Our ward has sacrificed for the greater good of the city more than any other ward. It is time to correct this imbalance.
Question 20: While the concept of a secret ballot is essential, many of our supporters have told us that they’d like to know the political alignment of their candidates. So, if - and only if - you feel comfortable saying so, who are you voting for in your local ward race and why, and if you are affiliated with any provincial or federal political parties, which ones and why?
I am confident in my ability to work with any of the mayoral candidates and provincial parties