News / Calgary

City taxi industry lights up Ward 5 forum

During the Ward 5 CivicCamp forum on Thursday night, Candidate Pritpal Dhaliwal made certain he got a chance to speak about what matters to him.

Held at Sunridge Mall, the forum featured incumbent Ray Jones and Dhaliwal as they exchanged ideas on the issues facing the ward.

The heated topic of the evening was the same issue that got Dhaliwal into the race: The taxi industry.

"I believe that the system was designed to fail or designed to be abused," he said. "My reason for running is to work on the taxi industry."

Before being cut off by the moderator — the rules of the forum prohibit direct references to your opponents — Dhaliwal claimed that Jones was "a big part" of the problem. Jones was quick to rebut, saying that the TLAC which governs Calgary's taxi industry is completely independent.

"We wanted to take it out of the politicians' hands and we did," Jones said.

When asked if they would release their donor lists, Dhaliwal said that transparency was another large part of why he got into the race.  Jones said that he would if he could, but that "my financial guy is on a cruise for the next two weeks."

In response to several questions, Candidate Dhaliwal said that he was not as informed on the subject as his opponent, and that he would defer to his expertise.

The candidates also opposed each other on most issues.

On the issue of legalizing secondary suites, candidate Dhaliwal would support a blanket legalization.

Jones, on the other hand, opposes such a a drastic measure, but said "we should allow more near post-secondary institutes, as there already a lot there, both legal and illegal."

Both candidates were in agreement on the need for a living wage. However, Jones said that the issue is a provincial responsibility.

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