Calgary Minute: Federal Funding, Meeting Participants, and Councillor Security Cash
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. There are several items on the agenda, including the annual borrowing request from Enmax, a Notice of Motion regarding a land transfer to the Indigenous Gathering Place Society, and the first quarter report from the Green Line Board.
The Calgary Planning Commission meets Thursday at 1:00 pm. They’ll discuss several land use amendments.
Premier Jason Kenney thinks COVID-19 infections may have peaked. The positivity rate seems to be dropping in the province. Ontario announced plans to gradually lift restrictions, but Kenney has yet to provide Albertans with a pathway back to normality. We have to wonder what kind of political tug-of-war will take place at City Hall when the Province finally lifts their restrictions - something tells us the City may be keen to hold on to theirs as long as possible given their recent votes.
Last Week In Calgary:
City Council voted themselves a reimbursement of up to $8,000 per Councillor for home security systems, in addition to an extra $100 per month for the monitoring of said systems. Councillors will have the choice to either use the funds or not. The motion narrowly passed 8-7 with Councillors Chu, Sharp, McLean, Chabot, Dhaliwal, Wong, and Wyness opposed. While we certainly support a safe environment for elected officials, we’re left wondering why Councillors’ recent wage increase (which were non-debatable!) couldn’t have paid for the security systems.
For the second time since the election, City Council voted to bar staffers from an in-camera meeting. This time though, an exception was made for one staff member. Council voted 11-4 to allow Mayor Jyoti Gondek’s Chief of Staff to join the strategic session, intended to set the direction for the next four-year budget cycle. Councillor Carra argued that Gondek’s staffer had been “deeply involved” in the plan. We question why exactly an unelected staff member is so instrumental to Council’s strategic direction.
- The Federal Government announced an investment into an Energy Transition Centre in downtown Calgary. More than $2 million is earmarked to transform vacant office space into an innovation hub. Mayor Gondek lauded the motion on Twitter, but we’re not on board. Market interference by government is generally a bad idea and, make no mistake, that's all this is. More money transferred from taxpayers and productive businesses to unproductive businesses that wouldn't survive without help from their political friends.
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