May 30th, 2024

Kelti Baird: Businesswoman running for city council


By Tim Kalinowski on April 3, 2021.

Herald photo by Tim Kalinowski Local business owner Kelti Baird has formally declared her intention to run for city council this October.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDtkalinowski@lethbridgeherald.com

Theoretically Brewing owner Kelti Baird has formally filed papers stating her intention to run for city council this fall.
A self-confessed “policy junky”, Baird, is looking forward to engaging in conversations with citizens about how to build an inclusive and sustainable city which takes care of its most vulnerable and promotes the health and well-being of all its residents.
“A lot of my platform will revolve around making sure Lethbridge is an entirely accessible city for anyone who lives here regardless of age or social status, and then really focusing on the environmental impacts as well because I really think we are kind of out of time on the environmental debate,” she recently told The Herald.
As part of this promotion of community sustainability and health, Baird said a priority for her would be to examine ways to transition away from Lethbridge’s current “autocentric lifestyle.”
“Lethbridge is actually one of the most walkable cities I have ever lived in, and very few people here walk or bike, or take any kind of (public) transit,” she stated.
As part of her holistic approach to city governance, Baird said she is very interested in finding new housing options for the community’s homeless and poor. Baird is particularly interested in the Vienna model.
“Over 60 per cent of (Vienna’s) residents live in absolutely gorgeous public housing,” she explained.
“It is beautifully established housing, and does not have anything to do with your income or level of support you need. Everybody just lives there because it is cheap rent, and it is provided by the municipality.”
When asked about the costs of such a plan to local taxpayers, Baird said she wouldn’t advocate for raising local property taxes, but rather look for outside grants and for the reallocation of funds from other areas of the city budget.
“It is not my goal to raise taxes at all,” Baird stated.
“I would like to see property taxes in the Lethbridge area go down.
“I think there are some priorities in the budget we can reallocate and spend more responsibly on, but I think the impact of the homeless population on people’s abilities to enjoy their community is certainly paramount.
“In order for people to become satisfied with their community, and to want to continue to live here, and for people to move here, we need to address these problems of having unhoused (individuals) in the community,” she concluded.
“We need to look after these people and make them part of the community, and help them to rehabilitate.”
As a small business owner herself, Baird also added part of her idea of a sustainable community is one where innovation and small business entrepreneurship are supported by a council willing to put its money where its mouth is.
“My focus would definitely be on incubating and building up our small business community,” she stated, “and really investing in the infrastructure that would provide more for them – rather than build out to the outskirts of the city where some of these major corporations and box stores like to be.
“My focus is very much more on sustainable fiscal development and sustainable community, and that centres around small business and small business employment opportunities.”

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MDA

She might like Policy but The City of Lethbridge has become bloated with the highest taxes in Alberta and the most overpaid and bloated staff in Canada.
This mess was created by “Policy” that didn’t care how they spend other peoples money ie; Taxes.

biff

kb does stress not raising taxes, and even noted the idea of seeing if we can lower them.

Seth Anthony

Said by every candidate, every time.

Last edited 3 years ago by Seth Anthony
gs172

Not raise taxes? Doubtfull considering what she wants to do. She wants to take from other programs to pay for this. Which programs? A lot of questions which I hope are answered in the next few months.

Seth Anthony

What I find most impressive about Kelsi’s position, is this statement, “ I think the impact of the homeless population on people’s abilities to enjoy their community is certainly paramount.”

Yay! A “politician” realizing that letting addicts continuously victimize innocent people will destroy the business community and the community in of itself. Or not…

Her solution doesn’t make sense. The Vienna model is basically government subsidized housing. Applicants get lower rent based on their income. In other words, her proposed solution does nothing to solve the problem she raised. It will do nothing to address the crime in Lethbridge, as it doesn’t address addict crime, nor does it address that they get away with it with impunity.

BTW- Any type of “housing” for addicts will quickly become a cesspool of drugs and crime that will continuously grow. Such methods do nothing to help the addict, and just causes further damage to society in general. This has been proven countless times.

The member Pursuit Driver said it bluntly in a reply from a few days ago. It addresses what happens when you enable addicts instead of addressing the issue head on.

We need to stop allowing the addicts free reign over our city to drink where they want, do drugs where they want, sleep where they want, steal what they want, destroy what they want, as they disrepect the very hands that feed and clothe them through taxes and donations! It is time we stop the destruction of our city and it’s reputation and we are on the right track if we just make a few changes. The crown and police need to be firm.
We will never get rid of addictions, but we will make it more manageable.
The costs to the taxpayers in this city alone in the past 3 years, including policing/fire/paramedics, social programs, DOT, the Watch, clean-up crews, hotels for quarantines, etc would be close to $35 million, consdervatively. The SCS alone after everything was totalled was close to $20 million.
Lethbridge businesses have been devasted in downtown, many lost due to the impacts of the addiction issues! We can do better!
Let’s hope we can get a Council in place this year to help us all take back our once clean and beautiful city and move on repatriating Galt Gardens, so we can go and enjoy Canada Day or other events we once could, such as the Rib Fest, which refuses to use it as a venue now because of the addiction issues”.

Last edited 3 years ago by Seth Anthony
pursuit diver

While our business was being devastated by the addicts/homeless I remember Ms. Baird of Theoretically Brewing supporting the SCS drug site in many social media comments, and not theoretically, but in actuality!
I learned that we should never, ever trust any politician whether incumbent or running for office can never be trusted in an election year! I learned to always look at their previous record in the last couple of years, ingoring any comments in the election year.
It is too late for my business and many others that were impacted by the SCS drug site, but before we can move forward and rebuild downtown, we need people in place in the new city council that will stop the senseless destruction of our downtown, with roaming addicts that not only destroy our parks, our reputation, our livelihoods, our property, but kill any hope of downtown being revitalized!
We need a council willing to to get tough on these people, a police force that finally does it’s job, and actually gets these people off our streets and a provincial government to support us in doing so!
We need a council that listens to the taxpayers and a police force that actually serves and protects the community, instead of a group of about 150 individuals that wreak havoc in this city, with impunity! Police do nothing!
I know . . . I am dreaming! An actual council and police force that protects taxpayers, small business downtown instead of allowing our city to be destroyed by these people that are far from being the city’s most vulnerable!
Who cares about the child that just had their bike stolen our of their yard and the parents can’t afford to buy a new one, or the senior that just had their vehicle window smashed out and property stolen from it and have a $500 deductible so the have to pay for repairs out of their meager savings? Who cares?
Not the police, not council!
We need change and I can’t see Ms. Baird bringing this to our city! We have seen a dramatic decrease in fatal overdoses in this city in the last 6 months, compared to the previous periods in the last 2 years and there is some hope under the proper leadership we can rid the city of the bad reputation we have gotten internationally from the SCS drug site and we will not accept going backwards!

knowlton

Police say addicts aren’t committing a crime at that moment in time… what about using the old drunk tank that used to be full every weekend?! If you didn’t have a ride home, you were sent to the “tank” for the night.

Seth Anthony

Next mayor said, “Police say addicts aren’t committing a crime at that moment in time“.

HUH?

Seth Anthony

This isn’t a policing problem. In fact, the police are just as frustrated as everyone else that this madness is allowed to continue.

When the perpetrators are caught, the justice system basically lets them go with a slap on the wrist. This is mainly due to “Gladue law” which basically says that Indigenous criminals must be given the lowest possible repercussions (if given any repercussions at all). Note that in the court records, the defense lawyer for Indigenous criminals always pleads the Gladue defense.

However, the fundamental problem (and solution) goes much further than Gladue law.

Last edited 3 years ago by Seth Anthony
Seth Anthony

To continue:

Kelti says that the impact of the homeless population on people’s abilities to enjoy their community is certainly paramount.”


First, let’s keep in mind that the vast majority of said “homeless” are homeless due to drug and alcohol use. Second, “homeless” in Lethbridge does not mean you are in danger of freezing or starving to death. In Lethbridge, the so called homeless have free shelter, free food, and free clothing.

With that said,

If one wants to address crime, then one must ask, “Who are the people committing these crimes and why”? This is basic investigating 101.

In Lethbridge, everyone knows that the vast majority of the SCS users, and the vast majority of the crime is being committed by young Indigenous people. Yet, the politicians won’t speak of this in fear of being labeled as a racist. The irony is, in order to understand the addict, understand their issues, and therefore be able to help them, then we HAVE to discuss this fact.

For two years I worked on and off on the Blood reserve, and was taken aback at the amount of racism that I, along with my coworkers, were constantly subject to. This despite the fact that we were there helping them. The most disheartening thing was not so much the racist comments from the adults, but from the kids. Little kids were often throwing things at our vehicles, at us, and yelling out racist remarks. I was shocked as I grew up in a multicultural neighborhood in which us kids of various colours and creeds played together. I don’t even think we knew what racism was, because it wasn’t natural to us, nor was it taught to us.

People aren’t born racist, so these kids (in one way or another) were taught to hate another race. That in of itself is immoral, but by far the worst aspect of it, is that it actually teaches these kids to be angry and ashamed. Anger and shame are main catalysts to drug and/or alcohol addiction whether you’re Indigenous, white, black, brown, etc.

It seems to me that parenting skills education would go a long way in preventing these type of addictions.

Last edited 3 years ago by Seth Anthony