Grant Neufeld

Community activist for social and environmental justice.

Policy Summary

There’s a lot more to be said about these issues, and a lot more issues affecting our communities, but this is a sampling of some of my positions and priorities…

(Note that these policies are not specific to one level of government. They can apply to municipal, provincial, or federal governments; or sometimes overlap amongst those.)

I welcome information (especially substantive research reports & data) and collaborative dialogue to reconsider or expand upon any of the policy positions I have expressed.

Indigenous

Reconciliation with the indigenous nations and people, whose territory we occupy.

Inclusion

Working with all levels of government to change the zoning regulations, building codes, and tax structures, to allow for and encourage a much more diverse range of housing options (including ecologically appropriate, accessible, mixed family sizes, aging in place, cohousing, housing co-operatives, non-market, etc.). Shift from treating housing as a commodity to essential infrastructure. Given that both “the market” and “government” are unreliable and unstable when it comes to maintaining an adequate supply of affordable and accessible housing, invest in the capital development of non-profit housing associations and housing co-operatives.

Shift infrastructure planning to prioritize accessibility first.

Work with municipalities to reform police services to eliminate (or at least significantly curtail) the culture of bullying, racism, sexism, colonialism, etc.

Develop new, and improve/expand existing, infrastructure for the intake of refugees. We can expect to see significant growth of both environmental and political refugees in the coming years, so we would be well served to prepare for it.

Environment, Resilience

Rapid phase-out of fossil-fuel production and use. Major infrastructure push, and industry investment, to facilitate the rapid transition to renewable energy sources and more efficient transportation methods (both for people and goods).

Advance food and water resiliency both regionally, and at the very local (neighbourhood/household) levels. This could include:

Work with municipalities to develop broader public transit coverage (both in terms of time and area). Support the development of bicycle infrastructure in municipalities, as well as inter-city bicycle infrastructure. Begin the process of building an inter-city high-speed rail network, in conjunction with our neighbouring provinces.

Democracy, Governance

Remove all private money from elections and implement a public framework to support campaigning. Such a framework might include a variety of internet-based resources, video recording facilities, print publications with content from all candidates to be delivered to all residences and institutions (libraries, care facilities, …), resources for public meetings (such as candidate forums), …

Convene a citizen panel to review our governance and electoral structures and provide options for significant reform where there are opportunities for more, and better, representation of the diverse interests in the province and municipalities. This would include lowering the voting age.

Increase openness and transparency in governance, starting with “open by default” policies for government held and produced data (while respecting citizen privacy rights).

Culture, Education

Increase funding to public libraries, particularly to allow for more outlets.

Increase funding for the development of more, and more diverse, arts spaces.

Civics education, including history, as core curriculum at all grade levels.

Economics

Poverty reduction, with a goal of eradication. Measures include Living Wage and Housing First policies, as well as supporting the development of some form of Basic Income in Alberta and Canada.

Reduce the work-week. Probably to about 3-4 days. The current 40-hour(+) work week is optimized to limit most people’s ability to engage in community/governance participation. Ideally, I would like everyone to be able to have a day every week for community building, democratic/political participation, or the like.

Shift our currency system from one that gives new currency as interest to those who already have money, to one that gives an equal amount of new currency to everyone in the country/region (probably in the form of some sort of Guaranteed Annual Income, or such).