Calgary Minute: Roofing Rebates, Schools Return, and Arena Deal Officially Dead
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
- Council is back from holidays. The first Combined Meeting of Council of 2022 takes place on Tuesday at 9:30 am. There will be an event centre update at the Council meeting, but it will be held in-camera (in secret). We’re concerned about the expanding use of in-camera meetings at City Hall, and the public needs more transparency on the arena deal in particular.
The Green Line Board is also scheduled to meet on Thursday at 1:00 pm.
School is back in session this week. A move to online learning is still an unfortunate, looming possibility. The Calgary Board of Education warned that staffing shortages may cause a shift from in-person classes to virtual ones.
Last Week In Calgary:
The City provided an update on how it’s responding to the rise of the Omicron variant. Recreation programs and City services have been impacted by staffing shortages, but City officials said there are contingency plans in places for essential services, where disruptions could place safety at risk. The Calgary Police Service is seeing its highest rate of infection since the beginning of the pandemic, despite a 93% vaccination rate. The Municipal Emergency Plan remains active and the face-covering bylaw remains in force (after Council changed the threshold at which it would be removed).
- The arena deal is officially dead but Mayor Jyoti Gondek said: "other avenues will now be pursued." Construction was due to begin this month, but in late December, Gondek informed the media that Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation intended to pull out of the deal, citing rising costs. Plenty of blame has been thrown around, with Premier Jason Kenney placing it squarely on the City. Gondek says Council is committed to getting an event centre built, and we’re left wondering who is going to pick up the tab.
The City has opened up its Resilient Roofing Rebate Program to all Calgarians who qualify. Originally only offered to homeowners impacted by 2020’s hail storms, now any homeowner who meets the criteria can apply for the $3,000 rebate. More information about qualifying for the cash can be found on the City’s website, but we're still not quite sure why this is the job of a municipal government.
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