Calgary Minute: Population Stagnation, Homeless Camp, and Gondek Goes Rogue
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
It’s sure to be an eventful week at City Hall with so much action happening in the province. There will be a Combined Meeting of Council on Tuesday at 9:30 am. There’s plenty on the agenda including a Memorial Parkway Program update, assorted land use amendments, and a Notice of Motion for Council to direct Administration to engage with the Indigenous Gathering Place Society and facilitate a transfer of land.
At a forthcoming Council Meeting, a new bylaw will be debated following a Community Development Committee meeting last week where they voted to approve a new rule aimed at reducing street harassment. Partially defined as communicating with a person “in a manner that could reasonably cause offense or humiliation,” the fine for harassment is set to be $500. The fine for visibly carrying a knife in public under the current bylaw? $50. Defecating in the street? $300. Seems somewhat random.
The University of Calgary is dropping its vaccination requirement to align with the Province’s cancellation of the Restrictions Exemption Program. The institution’s mask mandate, however, will remain in place for the duration of the winter semester, despite the Province planning to repeal mandatory masking on March 1st.
Last Week In Calgary:
After the Province cancelled the Restrictions Exemption Program, Mayor Jyoti Gondek expressed her displeasure. Despite insinuating that she would not go rogue and implement a citywide vaccine mandate, Councillor Walcott introduced a motion at the Community Development Committee to explore the possibility of doing just that. Thankfully, common sense prevailed and the motion was defeated 10-4. In favour of the motion were Councillors Walcott, Penner, and Carra in addition to - you guessed it - Mayor Gondek.
New census data showed that Calgary’s population is growing at a dramatically slower pace than in years past. Bedroom communities, like Cochrane and Airdrie, experienced quick rises in population, despite Alberta’s population growth as a whole lagging behind the national average for the first time in recent memory. Calgary remains Canada’s third-largest city.
- A large homeless encampment in East Village was dismantled by police. Located just outside of the Calgary Drop-In Centre, the camp had become a hotbed of violent encounters with more than 27 incidents taking place since December 1st, including assaults with weapons and sexual assaults.
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