Calgary Minute: Menorah Lighting, Pilot Axed, and a Green Line Survey
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
There will be a meeting of City Council on Tuesday at 9:30 am. There are several confidential items to be discussed, including an Integrity Commissioner Report and the appointment of a Chair of the Calgary Subdivision and Development Appeal Board. Council will also receive briefings regarding foxtail barley, the safer mobility plan, and a Mental Health and Addiction Strategy Implementation Update.
The Infrastructure and Planning Committee will meet on Wednesday at 9:30 am. On the agenda is a briefing regarding bicycles on CTrains as well as multiple Municipal Historic Resource designations. On Thursday, at 9:30 am, the Audit Committee will meet. No agenda is available yet.
- More than $1 billion of the $5.5 billion Green Line LRT has already been committed, and construction hasn't even started yet. Negotiations are underway with the selected project developers, and the first leg of the project will run from Shepard in the southeast to downtown, culminating with a tunnel under the core to Eau Claire. We've done a lot of work over the years on the cost overruns and transparency issues regarding the Green Line, and now we're planning our next advocacy steps. As part of that planning, we're running a survey to gather your insights on the status of the project. It's a simple, five-question survey, so if you can spare 2 minutes please click here to fill it out.
Last Week In Calgary:
Mayor Jyoti Gondek faced criticism after backing out of the annual menorah lighting tradition at City Hall. The event, in its 35th year, marks the beginning of Hanukkah. Gondek cited "politicization" of the event, claiming that what was intended as a celebration of the "spirit of Calgary's Jewish community" had been repositioned as an event to support Israel. The poster for the event, which she shared on social media, makes brief mention of "supporting Israel", an Israel bonds raffle, and the phrase Am Yisrael Chai - first used after the liberation of Jews from Nazi death camps. In years past, Israel bonds were also raffled, so it’s not like this is something new. It’s not about asking Gondek to pick a side, it’s about her being a Mayor for all Calgarians and standing with a marginalized community facing rising hate. Considering the flag-raising, ethnic, religious, and cultural events in the past, she’s the one who made this particular event political, particularly when she chose to make a spectacle of her non-attendance. If you agree, sign our fastest-growing petition ever, calling on Mayor Gondek to resign.
The City announced it would be leasing two municipal land parcels to non-profit agencies for the development of temporary, transitional housing.The sites are located near the Whitehorn LRT station in the northeast and the Fish Creek-Lacombe LRT station in the southwest. While the total number of units is yet to be determined, the housing is expected to be built within 18 months. Mayor Jyoti Gondek said leasing, rather than selling, the land will expedite build times. The housing is intended to be temporary and modular, but will not be used as an emergency shelter.
- Backlash to the Calgary Catholic School District’s proposed late-start pilot project was swift, and resulted in a decision not to move forward. CCSD had wanted to try out midday class starts on either Mondays or Wednesdays for the 2024-2025 school year so that teachers would have weekly professional development time. The Superintendent noted that they heard “overwhelmingly” that the pilot was not wanted. See what happens when you make a little noise!
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