Calgary Minute: Polar Bears, Annexation Abandoned, and Waste Bylaw Changes
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
There is only one meeting at City Hall this week as Council is mostly on summer vacation. The Calgary Planning Commission will meet on Thursday at 1:00 pm. No agenda is available yet.
Calgarians are being asked to conserve water on account of dry conditions and high temperatures. While no restrictions are in place, the City is warning that they may be forthcoming if drought conditions persist. The City is limiting exterior washing of its vehicles and buses, as well as outdoor watering at city-owned and operated buildings.
- The Calgary Zoo is getting ready to welcome two polar bears. Six-year-old Baffin and seven-year-old Sikua were orphaned before they were even a year old, and research shows that polar bears cannot survive on their own at that age. So, they ended up at Leatherdale International Polar Bear Conservation Centre at Assiniboine Park Zoo in Manitoba. Now, they’ll head to Calgary and should be ready to meet visitors in December.
Last Week In Calgary:
The Community Development Committee voted unanimously for changes to the Waste Bylaw. The changes, intended to keep bears away, would mean waste bins would no longer be allowed to be set out the night before collection day in certain neighbourhoods that are designated as wildlife-affected areas. Instead, people in those neighbourhoods would have to set their garbage bins out no earlier than 5:00 am and pick them up no later than 7:00 pm. The changes will still need to be debated by Council.
The City has decided to drop plans to annex land in Foothills County. Apparently, Calgary has sufficient land of its own to meet the demands of growth for the next 35 to 49 years. Originally, the plan was to annex 415 acres on the city’s southwest side, but after a public hearing and a technical analysis, it was decided now was not the time to proceed. The City says it will monitor available land over the coming years to see if it should reconsider.
- Mayor Jyoti Gondek and Councillor Kourtney Penner said they largely support ENMAX’s attempt to convince the citizens of Maine not to vote for creating a publicly owned utility. ENMAX recently donated $7.5 million to a political campaign in Maine aimed at dismantling the two largest privately-owned electric utilities (one of which ENMAX owns) and creating a consumer-owned utility company. Penner said the City cannot make direct asks of ENMAX, but rather provides them with metrics to fulfill. One of those metrics is making money for the City - should the people of Maine decide they no longer wish to have free-market electricity, ENMAX would lose revenue, which would ultimately cost Calgary taxpayers much more too.
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