Calgary Minute: Immigrant Services, Meetings Resume, and Transit Revenue Loss
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
After a recess and holiday break, meetings return to City Hall. The Infrastructure and Planning Committee will meet on Wednesday at 9:30 am. On the agenda is an update regarding the Country Hills Boulevard widening.
On Thursday, at 1:00 pm, the Calgary Planning Commission will meet to discuss a land use amendment in Bridgeland/Riverside.
- The Planning Services Centre reopens today for regular business hours - Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 4:15 pm. An arson triggered the sprinkler systems several months ago, causing millions of dollars in damage. As a result, several services like issuing business licences, building applications, on-site payments, and historical records scanning were relocated.
Last Week In Calgary:
Calgary Transit released new revenue loss estimates. In the spring, an $89 million shortfall was projected, but a rebound in ridership levels has the loss down to "just" $64 million. Emergency funding from the federal and provincial governments helped to cover the costs last year, but it is unclear whether other levels of government will be kicking in funds going forward. We’ve said it before, but transit safety needs to be a priority for Council, otherwise the service will continue to hemorrhage money.
The demand for immigrant services has surged in Calgary. The Calgary Centre for Newcomers says it served 400% more people than it had projected in the time frame since April 1st - more than 10,000 individuals from 126 different countries. Wait lists for language classes are more than 400 people deep, and refugees are the largest population currently needing assistance.
- Elections Canada announced an upcoming byelection in the Calgary Heritage riding. While the exact date has yet to be chosen, that decision will be made sometime between January 14th and July 2nd. The earliest date an election could possibly be held, according to election laws, is February 20th, while the latest is August 21st. The riding is vacant on account of Conservative MP Bob Benzen’s resignation.
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