Calgary Minute: Remembrance Day, Budget Updates, and more Transit Debates
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics.
This Week In Calgary:
Today is Remembrance Day. Here is a list of public ceremonies happening across Calgary.
- Because of Remembrance Day, this week's Strategic Council Meeting has been moved to Tuesday. Council's initial proposals to amend their 4-year budget to deal with their fiscal crisis will be released at the meeting. Had their been proper financial planning and foresight, the City might have been able to avoid a crisis, but even with spending cuts, this year's budget will push taxes, and many Calgarians, to the breaking point.
- There are also two Committee meetings scheduled for this week - a Standing Policy Committee on Community and Protective Services meeting on Wednesday and a much-anticipated Green Line Committee meeting on Friday. There is no agenda available yet for the Green Line meeting, but we expect it to be particularly controversial, as several councillors have suggested completely re-working the Green Line plan in recent weeks (see below).
Last Week In Calgary:
- Three Calgary councillors have called for a wage reduction for city hall employees in the wake of a forecasted multimillion-dollar budget shortfall. The trio is suggesting a blanket five percent wage reduction for all city staff, including Councillors. The Councillors cited the crushing tax burden that local families and their businesses are facing, and the comparably higher wage cuts faced by many of those working in the private sector in recent years.
- Councillor Jyoti Gondek has been joined by two other councillors, Councillors Chu and Magliocca, in her call for Council to prioritize a North-South Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system instead of the Green Line LRT. BRT is cheaper, more flexible, and can be ready in 2 years instead of decades, so you can expect some vigorous debate on this at the Green Line Committee meeting this week (see above).
With the Green Line potentially under threat, sports economist Moshe Lander says Council may be suffering buyer's remorse with the Arena and Field House. Lander emphasized that the Arena could have been privately funded and noted that "If you are going to cut, you should be cutting from the things that deliver the least economic benefit and the things that are least likely to be created by private business."
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