Calgary Minute: Growth Management, Transparency, and Green Line
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
On Monday there will be a Strategic Council Meeting which, amongst other things, will discuss "Calgary's Role in Our Changing Region". All the reports for this discussion are being kept secret, but we know that this is about the Calgary Region's Growth Management Board which the City lobbied the former government to create. The City is hoping to use this Board to force surrounding communities to adopt their disastrous development and tax policies, preventing Calgarians from being able to avoid exorbitant Calgary taxes and regulations by moving to bedroom communities.
On Tuesday there will be a Priorities and Finance Committee meeting which was meant to be discussing plans to publish and catalogue the voting records of Councillors into a digital database. We have advocated for this change for years as it is an important initiative that will allow Calgarians to better track Council and improve transparency. Unfortunately, it looks like this discussion will be delayed until next month. Transparency isn't Council's strong suit.
- On Wednesday both the Transportation and Transit Committee and the Utilities and Corporate Services Committee will be discussing the Green Line. Transportation and Transit will hear updates on the project overall and on the risks identified over summer. Utilities and Corporate Services will be discussing Property Transactions for the Green Line, but this will, once again, be held in secret. A discussion on how to continue funding the sliding scale low-income transit passes will be delayed to next month.
Last Week In Calgary:
- The first Council meeting back from a month-long break didn't take long to devolve into nasty insults, snark, and condescension. Council's behaviour was reprehensible, an embarrassment to our City, and ill-befitting of the offices they hold. We all deserve an apology but don't hold your breath.
- Councillor Farkas' Motion calling for increased transparency through the adoption of the Blue Book standard failed a vote to even be added to the agenda by 7-8. Some of those 8 councillors who voted No claimed that they just didn't want to debate it now and will be happy to do so in the future, so we will see how they vote when Farkas re-introduces the motion again at the end of the month.
Finally, your taxpayer dollars are once again paying for the City to get involved in an election with the re-launch of the City's YYC Matters website. Originally launched for the provincial election, the City claims the website is just advocating for Calgarian's interests but, unless you're a part of the tax-and-spend crowd, you probably won't agree with what the City thinks is in your best interests. It's really inappropriate to force Calgarians to fund political advocacy that, in many cases, they will disagree with. If Nenshi and Co. feel the need to get involved in the federal election they should set up a PAC and find private donors to fund it, like everyone else has to.
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