Calgary Minute: Electric Buses, BMO Expansion, and Canada Day Fireworks
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
The Multisport Fieldhouse Committee will meet this afternoon at 1:00 pm. The Committee will be discussing the final list of proposed Fieldhouse amenities. These include a 200-metre hydraulic track, a 130-metre 10-lane sprint track, gymnasia, an indoor artificial turf field, change rooms, team rooms, seating, commercial lease space, fitness area, food services, and a daycare space. The City has set aside $109 million for the capital cost of this project, but according to the documents provided, “there is a risk the project will be unable to move past design without funding contributions from partners”.
A Strategic Meeting of Council, originally scheduled for Tuesday at 9:30 am, has been cancelled. The next Strategic Meeting of Council will take place on September 26th. The Community Development Committee will meet on Wednesday at 9:30 am. In light of the federal government’s ban on single-use plastics, which nonsensically includes Calgary Co-op’s compostable bags, the Committee will discuss a motion to advocate to Ottawa on the issue. The City was a major player in Co-Op's move to compostable bags.
- Canada Day is on Saturday and the City is offering a variety of programming. Thanks to our supporters, the City will also be having fireworks. More than 13,000 Calgarians signed our petition to Bring Back Fireworks On Canada Day, causing the City to reverse their earlier decision not to have them. The show takes place at 11:00 pm, and the fireworks will be launched from Stampede Park. While there won't be viewing opportunities at Stampede Park, they can be seen from Fort Calgary or one of the other viewing points in the city.
Last Week In Calgary:
Speaking of Stampede, it was announced that the BMO Convention Centre expansion is on track for completion for the 2024 Stampede. According to the Calgary Stampede CEO, 34 conventions have already been booked in the new space, 20 of which could not have been accommodated in the previous building. The $500 million expansion adds 565,000 square feet and will have two ballrooms and 38 meeting rooms, in addition to new exhibition space.
The federal government announced a $325 million grant to help the City purchase 259 electric buses. In February, the Canadian Infrastructure Bank agreed to provide the City of Calgary with a loan for $165 million, but actually getting the buses hinged on finding more funding to cover the $500 million total cost. The City estimates that the cost of fueling and maintaining an electric bus could be up to half the cost of a diesel bus. The federal funding was $100 million more than expected, allowing the City to add charging infrastructure to two existing transit garages.
- The City announced a partnership with the Blackfoot Confederacy, Tsuut’ina Nation, Stoney Nakoda Nations and Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3, to install tipis and trapper tents in parks across the city this summer. These spaces will allow for Indigenous cultural celebrations and traditional practices, and is part of the City’s commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation calls to action identified in the White Goose Flying Report.
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