Calgary Minute: Repeal Initiated, Arena Agreements, and Tax Rebate Defeated
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
On Tuesday, at 9:30 am, there will be a City Council Public Hearing. On the agenda are several land use amendments. Note, this is not the public hearing regarding the repeal of the plastics bylaw. (See below for more information on that!).
The Emergency Management Committee will meet on Thursday at 9:30 am. No agenda is available for this meeting yet. The Calgary Planning Commission will meet on Thursday at 1:00 pm. No agenda is available for this meeting yet either.
- The Calgary Police Service's ReDirect program, originally designed to address the recruitment of young Calgarians by terrorist groups, is now refocusing its efforts on countering “extremist ideology” and “hate”. Commission member Heather Campbell questioned whether a program created to deal with terrorist recruitment would be able to handle "far right-wing and white nationalist extremism".
Last Week In Calgary:
Council initiated the repeal process for the single-use items bylaw. This is a great example of how public pressure can work, and with your support, how successful we can be here at Common Sense Calgary! Despite some Councillors expressing their displeasure at having received so many of your emails, common sense won the day and Council voted 8-7 to initiate the repeal process. Councillors Wyness, McLean, Spencer, Chu, Wong, Dhaliwal, Sharp, and Chabot voted in favour. Mayor Gondek and Councillors Walcott, Penner, Demong, Pootmans, Carra, and Mian voted against. Now, they'll need to hold a Public Hearing at some point in the future - likely in May - to debate repealing the bylaw entirely. We’ll keep you posted on how to make your voices heard at that hearing!
An attempt was made by some City Councillors to revisit the 2024 budget with the goal of identifying $23.1 million in cost savings and provide rebates to residential taxpayers in an amount roughly equivalent to the 1% shift in taxes from businesses to residents. Despite arguments advocating for a rebate to rebuild public trust, the majority of Councillors maintained their support for spending. The motion to reopen the budget and allocate funds for the rebate was defeated in an 8-7 vote. Councillors Wong, Sharp, Chabot, McLean, Chu, Demong, and Wyness voted in favour of finding savings. Mayor Jyoti Gondek, along with Councillors Mian, Dhaliwal, Pootmans, Walcott, Carra, Penner, and Spencer voted against the motion.
- The City of Calgary has disclosed details regarding the agreements for a new downtown event centre, including a cost-sharing arrangement with Calgary Sport and Entertainment Corp. (the Flames ownership group), and the Alberta government. The agreements, finalized in October 2023, cover various aspects such as CSEC's guarantee, facility fees, payment covenants, and land exchanges with the Calgary Stampede. A new webpage on the City's major projects site provides download links for 16 separate agreements, with some details redacted to protect sensitive information. The $926.4 million project involves an 18,000-seat arena, community plazas, parkade, and more, with the City contributing 56% of the costs, CSEC 38%, and the Alberta government 6%. We’ll have more information for you in the coming weeks!
Common Sense Calgary doesn't accept any government funding and never will. We think you should be free to choose, for yourself, which organizations to support. If you're in a position to contribute financially, you can make a donation here.
If you're not in a position to donate, we understand, but if you appreciate our work, you can help by spreading our message. Please email this post to your friends, share it on Facebook or Twitter, and help make sure every Calgarian knows what's really going on at City Hall.