Calgary Minute: Ridiculous Recycling, Thankless Thespians, and Laudable Letters

Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics.

This Week In Calgary:

 

Last Week In Calgary:

  • The City of Calgary may have finally hit peak-dysfunctional-bureaucracy. Unbeknownst to diligent recyclers across our fair City, Calgary has spent the last two years and $330,000 of taxpayer money storing 2,000 tonnes of plastic clamshell containers in the hopes of finding a new market for the product. Those clamshell containers are now set to hit the landfill in August, at an additional cost of $130,000. Those figures don't include the cost of any staff time or administrative costs, but knowing City Hall, that could easily have been another half a million dollars.

  • While most industries have had to make serious adjustments to their budgets since the recession five years ago, arts funding levels have largely been maintained or, in the case of Calgary, actually increased by $5 million this year. But that isn't enough for groups like Lunchbox Theatre, who complained this week that they will now receive their taxpayer money quarterly rather than annually, while other groups complain that despite the increase in funding, they haven't actually received their cheques yet. We support the arts, but some of these groups need to get some perspective - most Calgarians would be thrilled if a small delay receiving their increased income was their biggest concern right now.

  • Finally, Council's month-long break doesn't seem to have dampened frustration with City Hall with Letters to the Editor sections continuing to be flooded with discontent Calgarians. This letter, in particular, seems to sum it up well: "City council virtually ignored the financial consequences of the oil and gas industry tax base collapse for years during budget deliberations. Then they were publicly embarrassed when the small-business faction in this city stood up to them and said, ‘no more.’ So what did they do? They cut the most needed services first."


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