Calgary Minute: Budget Adjustments, Expensive Art, and Federal Funding Frustration
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
On Tuesday, at 9:30 am, there will be a City Council meeting. At this meeting, Administration will provide Council with options for the Budget Adjustments. While full details won’t be released until the meeting, Mayor Jyoti Gondek has said that the City faces a large funding gap (ie: hide your wallet!). There are also 30 new projects that Council will be asked to fund. We’ll bring you all the details after the meeting!
The Infrastructure and Planning Committee will meet on Wednesday at 9:30 am. The Committee will hear a Residential Parking Permit Program Update and receive a high-level annual summary of lessons learned for the Local Area Planning Program. An extension to the Secondary Suite Amnesty policy will also be discussed, with a recommendation to waive development permit and registration fees for secondary suites until December 31st, 2026.
- On Thursday, at 9:30 am, there will be a meeting of the Audit Committee. No agenda is available for this meeting yet.
Last Week In Calgary:
Mayor Jyoti Gondek said she’s struggling with the federal government's decision to work with the City of Toronto to address their municipal funding gap while Calgary continues to face financial challenges. Gondek highlighted that mayors and municipalities across Canada have been seeking federal support for a new funding model for years. Gondek said it’s a problem that Ottawa hasn’t set out criteria for which cities they plan to engage with. Looks like Trudeau has angered almost everyone in Alberta at this point...
A new, $2.25 million public art piece was announced. The expanded BMO Centre will feature the "Spirit of Water," created by a UK artist. The steel sculpture will be 21 meters tall and weigh 50,800 kilograms - it will be fabricated in the UK and then shipped to Calgary. The artwork was selected from over 200 artist proposals by a volunteer jury. Mayor Jyoti Gondek said that “if you want to be a city that people feel welcomed in, that people want to visit, that people are proud to live in, it requires the beauty of public art". Take a look at the concept art - if you liked the big blue ring, you’ll love the even bigger, even bluer, still-somewhat-circular giant steel thing!
- The City has decided to move ahead with residential parking permit fees - but at a 40% lower cost than the original proposal. The costs were going to be implemented in August, but after public outcry, the City decided to take another look. And, they decided they don't really need that much money after all, thanks to "reduced enforcement costs and other parking program efficiencies". The new fee structure takes effect December 4th, 2023. If the City can just review programs and cut spending (and fees!) by almost half, why didn't they do it to begin with and can they do it for literally everything else please!
Common Sense Calgary doesn't accept any government funding and never will. We think you should be free to choose, for yourself, which organizations to support. If you're in a position to contribute financially, you can make a donation here.
If you're not in a position to donate, we understand, but if you appreciate our work, you can help by spreading our message. Please email this post to your friends, share it on Facebook or Twitter, and help make sure every Calgarian knows what's really going on at City Hall.