Calgary Minute: Midtown Station, Intergovernmental Meeting, and Council Approval Ratings
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
This afternoon, at 1:00 pm, there will be a meeting of the Green Line Board. There will be a public and a private progress report shared. The public report notes that utility relocation work is underway in all four station areas in the Beltline and downtown and, of course, that the project is over budget. Shocking. If that's what the public report is admitting, imagine what must be in the private one!
The Executive Committee will meet on Tuesday at 9:30 am. The Committee will discuss a proposed application to the Council Innovation Fund in the amount of $324,069.74 to study the short-term rental market. The study would result in recommendations for a framework to regulate short-term rentals and take into account the perspectives of housing advocates, the hotel industry, and residents. How on earth can a simple study like this cost more than $300,000? Also, during the meeting, Councillors Sonya Sharp and Andre Chabot will introduce a Notice of Motion intended to amend the Procedure Bylaw to “protect confidentiality.” The proposed changes include rescinding the standing authorization that allows Councillors’ staff to be present at closed meetings, and no longer allowing Council members to attend closed meetings remotely.
- On Thursday, at 9:30 am, the Audit Committee will meet. On the agenda are the City Auditor’s Office 2023 Audit Plan, the Audit Committee 2023 Work Plan, and the Law, Legislative Services and Security Report, among other items.
Last Week In Calgary:
A new poll showed Mayor Jyoti Gondek’s approval rating has slid to 35%, down from her already low score in the spring. More than 50% of respondents disapprove of her performance while 10% aren’t sure. Only 39% of Calgarians approve of their own Councillor and only 35% approve of Council as a whole - these numbers have declined since spring too. The polling company said these are the lowest ratings they have ever recorded for any sitting Calgary Councillor or Mayor. It’s almost like people want Council to focus on providing core services, rather than declaring climate emergencies, pet projects, and constantly raising taxes.
The Intergovernmental Affairs Committee voted to set up a meeting with the United Conservative Party’s Calgary caucus. The Mayor noted the importance of different levels of government working together on mental health, addiction, homelessness, and the downtown core and said she sees opportunity for collaboration following the recent Cabinet shuffle. Only Councillor Andre Chabot was opposed, saying that scheduling such a meeting would be impractical. The motion will need to be discussed by Council at a future meeting.
- The Infrastructure and Planning Committee heard an update on the Midtown Station project, a massive residential development project near Macleod Trail and Glenmore Trail that would see Fisher Park transformed into residential, office, commercial and hotel space. The 35-acre area is currently a light industrial and office space - building it out as planned would take 25 years and is dependent on a new LRT station that would be built and paid for by the developer.
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