Ben Christensen for Lethbridge City Council
COME-UNITY = COMMUNITY #comeunitylethbridge
Supporting Small Business During COVID-19
As part of the local small business community in our city. I share a common goal of helping our community to overcome the barriers experienced by COVID-19. I am committed to facilitating improved strategies to protecting our community while supporting small business owners forced to close their doors due to COVID-19 health restrictions.
This doesn't just mean opening doors. It means providing improved support for businesses and organizations forced to close due to provincial and federal health restrictions.
Current financial programs have left many business owners unable to support themselves during this crisis. A strong initiative must motivate improvements to current programs and advocate for better financial support for all businesses affected by COVID-19 closures.
Tackling Complex Social Issues With Compassion
Among the issues facing our community are spikes in crime, opioid use, and homelessness. These issues must be carefully examined with consideration for the impact they carry on surrounding businesses and residents.
To effectively tackle these complex issues our leadership need to re-examine how we address these issues in our community. This begins with seeking to better understand the core cause of the issues, and identifying functional ways to address them.
Solutions including greater access to treatment facilities, and non-corrections based transitional housing for the homeless should be examined with a strong consideration for how these resources will impact surrounding businesses and residents. I will strive to work with other municipalities who have had success in these areas to adopt functional strategies from those communities that improve the future of our community.
I will encourage local leadership to consider potential impacts of adding these services to our community while seeking to mitigate negative outcomes from their presence within it.
Abolish Photo Radar
A key part of local leadership is accountability. The Automated Traffic Enforcement Program (Photo Radar) has been under scrutiny in our community. Concerns about the program including operation in unscheduled locations, and improper use of technology have been ignored by program administrators.
As part of accountable leadership in our community, the privileges of this program need to be revoked since the program administrators have shown an unwillingness to address ongoing misuse of this program that has resulted in unfair or unethical issuing of violations against motorists.
The objective of the Photo Radar Program is to promote safe driving and compliance with post speed limits in problematic areas of our city. Unfortunately, the statistics have shown this program to have little impact on speeding. The cost to taxpayers to continue operating the program does not provide a net benefit that justifies the continued operation of the program in our community.