Calgary Minute: Guidebook Decision, C-Train Safety, and Pay Increases For City Staff
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
The Alberta government may or may not move to Step 3 of their reopening plan today. The Province has been under the "300 hospitalizations" threshold required for Step 3 for some time (actually since before we moved to Step 2), but a recent uptick in cases might see the government delay their decision again. Our guess is that we're in for another partial move, to something like Step 2.5, rather than Step 3. If you haven't signed our petition to Reopen Calgary, you can do so here.
- Also today, there will be a Combined Meeting of Council starting at 9:30 am. Council has a massive agenda, including 2021 taxes, Community Housing (confidential), Storm Pond Safety, a SAVE update (confidential), Data Privacy, Street Names, Land Amendments, purchasing a building (confidential), Mental Health and Addiction, a Climate Framework, and more. The two big stories, however, will be a verbal update on the City's new Public Art plans (also confidential), and a major and controversial debate about the City's "Guidebook for Great Communities". If you haven't yet seen our piece on Decision-Based Evidence-Making, and the role that philosophy has played in the development of the Guidebook, give it a read here.
- On Wednesday at 9:30 am, there will be a meeting of the Standing Policy Committee on Utilities and Corporate Services. An agenda for the meeting is available, but it consists almost entirely of confidential items.
Last Week In Calgary:
In the middle of a global pandemic, compounded by a collapse in oil prices, and an ongoing economic slump, while taxpayers are struggling to stay afloat, City staff found an extra $27 million to pay for salary increases for themselves. Nearly 14,000 employees with the City of Calgary were given pay raises last year! Remember when Mayor Nenshi said the City had "cut to the bone"? They're not even cutting!
- The City held a virtual town hall meeting about the Guidebook, so we decided to attend and ask a question. We asked the City why they're pursuing a top-down centralized plan for the whole City. They said it's not top-down, and then proceeded to explain exactly how it is top-down - because every local plan must comply with the top-down City-wide Municipal Development Plan. You can watch a video, and read a transcript, of the question and answer here.
- We've been talking about C-Train crime and safety issues since 2013 - that's almost 8 years - and Council finally noticed! Mayor Nenshi announced that the City will start by doubling the number of peace officers deployed on the train system. You can see an excerpt from the work we did on this issue in 2013 here.
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