Calgary Minute: Downtown Conversions, Peace Officers, and an Updated Art Policy
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
The Executive Committee will meet on Tuesday at 9:30 am. Councillor Terry Wong will introduce a Notice of Motion to recognize Bow Valley College by renaming the C-Train platform near the institution. Councillor Walcott, Mayor Gondek, Councillor Spencer, Councillor Carra, and Councillor Wong will also introduce a Notice of Motion entitled “Expanding the Mandate of Attainable Homes Calgary and New Site Exploration”, however the details are confidential.
On Wednesday, at 9:30 am, the Council Services Committee will meet. On the agenda are amendments to the Councillors’ Budgets and Expenses Bylaw as well as an assessment of the mandate and powers of the Council Services Committee.
- Also on Wednesday, there will be a meeting of the Multisport Fieldhouse Committee. The first item of business will be the election of a Vice-Chair followed by a procedural request to allow members of the public to speak on the Fieldhouse update. The Infrastructure and Planning Committee will meet on Thursday at 9:30 am, but no agenda is available yet.
Last Week In Calgary:
Calgary has graduated 13 new transit peace officers as part of its latest transit public safety recruitment strategy to address complaints about disorder, particularly on CTrains. More than 900 people applied to become transit peace officers in response to a recent job posting, and a total of 28 new officers have been hired, representing a 25% expansion to the workforce. Police services in Edmonton and Calgary have also decided to exchange two downtown beat officers for two shifts to share best practices, focusing on how police operate with mental health and addiction partners. There will be an update at a later date about how the swaps went and what lessons were learned.
The Community Development Committee approved Calgary's updated public art policy in a 6-2 vote. Previously, 1% of any major infrastructure project's budget had to be used for public art in close proximity to the project location. This resulted in art pieces, notably the big Blue Ring and Bowfort Towers, being criticized as not only bad art, but bad art in poorly thought-out places. The change will allow for more local artists to secure contracts and allow for smaller projects in more locations, as well as increased public engagement. The policy will now go to Council for final approval.
- The City has announced plans to expand its downtown office conversion program to include incentives for developers to convert unused office space into hotels, schools, and performing arts spaces, and perhaps even other uses at a later time. The proposed plan also includes incentivizing the cost of demolishing buildings. While almost all of the $153 million committed to the original office-to-residential conversion program has already been spent, the City hopes to secure more funding from the Province and the federal government.
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.