As Chair of the Standing Policy Committee (SPC) on Community Services and Protective Services (CSPS), I took forward a motion passed by Council directing Administration to implement a Seniors Age-Friendly Plan for our City. Calgary is now officially recognized as an Age-Friendly City by the World Health Organization.
I initiated bylaw amendments to regulate companies which dispense medical marihuana or provide advice on how to obtain it. The intent was to prevent clusters of these businesses from emerging in our neighbourhoods – similar to liquor stores – and to keep the operators away from our schools.
As a health care professional with over 45 years of experience, I have relied on my professional expertise as a Member of Council and bringing these perspectives to Council debate. With this continued expertise, I have taken the initiative on many public health and safety initiatives, including A Smoke Free Calgary and banning smoking from public gathering places.
In the recent years, there has been an explosive growth in the use of e-cigarette products. I was successful in having Council direct that the City work with Alberta Health Services to address this public health issue.
Chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes and mental illness are the leading causes of death and disability in Alberta. With Mayor Nenshi, we took forward a motion to endorse the establishment of a Alberta Wellness Foundation and encourage provincial support in funding and establishing the a Foundation.
During the 2013 election, I made the commitment to meet with Alberta Health Services (AHS) officials to revisit this issue to determine whether there was adequate research to support reintroducing fluoride back into our water supply. Although my motion was defeated at Council, I partnered with the U of C’s O’Brien Institute for Public Health to conduct an objective assessment of the evidence and to present their findings to City Council. I’m disappointed this offer wasn’t supported. I will continue to remain open-minded and listen to all aspects of this contentious debate.