Calgary Minute: Park Access, Task Force, and a Very Merry Christmas
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
There will be a Combined Meeting of Council on Tuesday at 9:30 am. Council will discuss cessation of train whistling at the rail crossing location at 210 Ave SW. There are currently 54 rail crossings in Calgary near enough to residential communities to have whistling cessation regulations in place. Administration notes that this action should improve the quality of life for those living in Pine Creek, Belmont, Walden, and Legacy. Council will go into recess for the holiday season, beginning Friday. The next meeting at City Hall will take place during the second week of January.
Ward 11 Councillor Kourtney Penner is asking for more time to evaluate a new Council Code of Conduct policy before it gets debated. Proposed changes include allowing the Integrity Commissioner to undertake investigations without a complaint if there’s evidence of an ethics code violation, adding a duty to co-operate with investigators, and clarifying what sorts of sanctions are allowable. We've written previously about some of the problems with the Council Code of Conduct, so more time to consider the implications of such a policy seems wise.
- It’s Christmas this weekend! Thank you to every single one of our readers and supporters who reached out, donated, volunteered, or shared our content this year. We appreciate every single one of you and hope you have a holiday season filled with friends and family. From Kristy and the team at Common Sense Calgary, we wish you a very Merry Christmas.
Last Week In Calgary:
The Province launched the Calgary Public Safety and Community Response Task Force in an attempt to tackle homelessness, addiction, and crime. The task force will be chaired by Community and Social Services Minister Jeremy Nixon. Calgary Police Service Chief Mark Neufeld and Councillors Andre Chabot and Sonya Sharp were appointed by the Province. A similar task force was launched in Edmonton too. Mayor Jyoti Gondek said she is pleased that action is being taken - a much more positive response than the one given by Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi, who said that the appointees were hand-picked by the Province and do not speak for his Council.
Councillors Kortney Penner and Sonya Sharp put forward a Notice of Motion at Executive Committee to limit the number of campaign signs that are put up around the city during municipal elections. One of the reasons cited was the climate emergency as most of the signs are made from plastic. We spoke to True North about our opposition to this plan. Incumbents, as sitting Councillors, have huge amounts of taxpayer funding to help elevate their profile and name recognition. For many challengers, their privately-funded signage is their only chance to compete. Limiting signs is an entirely self-serving proposition that will favour incumbent Councillors during the next election. The motion passed at Committee and will go to Council for final approval.
- The City of Calgary announced that negotiations for pedestrian access to the east side of Haskayne Legacy Park are finally wrapping up. The park land was donated by the Haskayne family, along with funding for a pathway system and an already completed 2,400-square-foot information centre project but public access to the area had been delayed due to a land dispute. The City, Rocky View County, and the Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation are close to an agreement to build road access to the park.
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