Calgary Minute: Beltline Protests, Street Harassment, and the Arena Saga Continues
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
There are several meetings at City Hall this week. The first is a Nominations Committee meeting this morning at 9:30 am to appoint a public member to the License and Community Standards Appeal Board. On Tuesday, the Executive Committee will meet at 9:30 am. They’ll be discussing a Notice of Motion to declare an official City bird and another to direct targeted financial relief at the City’s tourism industry. There is also a Notice of Motion being put forward to direct Administration to estimate the resources necessary to bring the Calgary Fire Department in line with the National Fire Protection Agency’s recommended staffing levels and service model.
On Wednesday, the Legacy Parks Program Committee will meet at 1:00 pm. This is the first-ever meeting of this Committee and, while there's not much information available online yet, it appears to be a new way for the City to manage the City's Legacy Parks Program, which sees a portion of the City's revenue from Enmax used to fund parks across the City
- The Community Development Committee meets on Thursday at 9:30 am, while the Green Line Board will meet on Friday at 1:00 pm. No agenda has been posted for either meeting at the time of writing.
Last Week In Calgary:
Council voted in favour of a street harassment bylaw. As of June 1st, those who engage in “unwelcome comments, gestures, or actions forced on a stranger in a public place because of their actual or perceived sex, gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation, and that are disrespectful, demeaning, alarming, and/or insulting" could face fines of up to $500. There will be a public awareness campaign prior to the bylaw coming into force. No formal complaint procedure was implemented along with the bylaw, but incidents are to be reported to 311.
A third party, who remains unnamed for now (which is concerning), was appointed to explore the possibility of resurrecting the botched arena deal. They will be tasked with determining the appetite of Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation to re-enter negotiations with the City. A new committee was also struck, with the intention of getting an arena built, some way, somehow, and hopefully, with someone else’s money. The committee includes Councillors Sharp, McLean, and Walcott as well as Brad Parry, president of Calgary Economic Development, and Deborah Yedlin, president of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.
- Some residents and businesses in the Beltline have asked police to take stronger action with regard to the weekly demonstrations that have been taking place along 17th Avenue. Ward 8 Councillor Courtney Walcott said the protests no longer have a clear goal. While there are certainly noise bylaws that can be enforced, the freedom to protest and freedom to assemble are not (at least yet, thankfully!) subject to the whim of the local Councillor.
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