Calgary Minute: Budget Deliberations, Uber Recordings, and Deerfoot Trail Improvements
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
Budget deliberations begin this morning at 9:30 am. Council will meet every day this week in order to debate the 2023-2026 budget. There is no agenda available yet, but the proposed budget can be viewed online, in its entirety.
Property taxes are expected to increase 5.2% if the budget is approved as proposed. The City can’t seem to get spending under control - the operating budget comes in at $4.68 billion for 2023, rising by $323 million over four years to hit $4.9 billion by 2026. One-time funding in the amount of $40.8 million is proposed for the climate boondoggle.
- There will be a public hearing regarding the budget on November 22nd. Members of the public can have their say in the discussions by registering for public submissions. If you don’t want to speak at the public hearing, you can still influence the budget process by contacting your Councillor directly. Tell them if you aren’t interested in ridiculous climate spending or seeing your property taxes go up!
Last Week In Calgary:
Premier Danielle Smith spoke to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. The group of 500 attendees heard that reducing red tape for project approvals will be a priority of her government, and that her vision for Calgary includes ensuring the Green Line is completed. Smith also explained how the Sovereignty Act would be used to counter the Trudeau government’s caps on fertilizer.
The Request for Proposals for Deerfoot Trail improvements has gone out. Premier Danielle Smith announced that work is expected to start in spring 2023 along Deerfoot between Glenmore Trail SW and the Ivor Strong Bridge. After the last government cancelled the plan, this upgrade involves adding a lane in each direction, twinning the Ivor Strong Bridge, and improving traffic flow by adding seven new bridges. The work is expected to ease congestion and reduce morning commute times by 15%. Minister of Transportation and Economic Corridors, Devin Dreeshen, said costs for the job will be announced after the RFP process closes.
- Calgary has been chosen as the first Canadian city to pilot Uber’s new “safety feature” - the option for drivers and riders to record audio during rides. While riders will know that drivers have opted into the audio recording program, they won’t know if a driver is recording their particular trip. Calgary was chosen due to consistent trip volume and the correct number of Uber users. According to Uber, the audio files are encrypted and stored either in the rider's or driver's device, then locked so that only the company can access it if an incident report is initiated. What do you think - good safety feature or worrying privacy invasion?
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