Calgary Minute: Council Transparency, Naming Rights, and a Wall As Effective As Council
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
This morning at 9:30 am there will be a Strategic Meeting of Council that, amongst other things will receive a verbal update on COVID-19, discuss an annexation from Foothills County (the details of which are being kept a secret), and receive a report on the City's Regional Strategy (the details of which are being kept a secret). So much transparency!
- On Tuesday at 9:30 am there will be a Priorities and Finance Committee meeting that will review reports on Mitigating the Impacts of Severe Weather Events, Enabling Construction of Calgary Catholic School District, and a Growth and Development Climate Framework, and several other agenda items
- On Wednesday at 9:30 am there will be a Standing Policy Committee on Transportation and Transit, and at 1:30 pm there will be a Business Advisory Committee meeting. Finally, on Thursday, there will be a meeting of the Calgary Planning Commission at 1:00 pm.
Last Week In Calgary:
- Calgary Council is considering selling naming rights to the C-Train's Free Fare Zone to help cover shortfalls in the transit budget. Calgary Transit aims to recover half of its operating costs at the fare box, and the rest of the service is funded by the City, so this could be a new revenue stream to support transit. Ultimately we support this, but if a few million from a sponsorship is this important, how on earth can we afford $5-$10 billion on a new Green Line?
- The construction of the West Ring Road has caused further controversy, this time over noise. Residents had been promised a noise reduction wall, to help with the added traffic, but the wall was built at the bottom of a berm, and is actually lower than the residents' own fences, meaning it does nothing. One resident was quoted as saying "Virtually no purpose. To even put the money into that, is a waste of money." To be clear, he was talking about the wall, not Calgary Council.
- New unemployment numbers released by Statistics Canada last week show that Calgary's unemployment stayed steady at 10.6 percent in February, the same as it was in January. This is lower than the lockdown-driven peak in July 2020 of 15.5 percent, but obviously still terrible. If you haven't yet signed our petition to Reopen Calgary, so we can get businesses hiring again, please consider doing so.
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