Calgary Minute: Speeds Down, Flouride Unclear, and Municipal Equalization As Political Stunt
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
Starting today, restaurants and gyms will finally be able to reopen in Alberta, having been closed for in-person dining or working out since December 8th. While this tiny slice of good news is welcome, restaurants are still restricted to only members of the same household at each table, while gyms are only allowed to offer one-on-one training sessions - no individual or group fitness allowed.
- This morning there will be a Combined Meeting of Council where Council will review a series of City Planning Commission reports, several land use amendments, and a COVID-19 Financial Impact statement, amongst other agenda items.
- On Wednesday there will be a meeting of the Standing Policy Committee on Community and Protective Services which will review the terms of reference for the City's Anti-Racism Action Committee and consider a deferral of the Community Representation Framework Progress Report.
Last Week In Calgary:
- As expected Monday's Council meeting was a mess with most of the meeting focused on three potential local referendum questions Calgarians might be voting on in 2021. On the first issue, Council decided not to allow Calgarians to vote on the speed limit reduction, instead, they voted to impose the speed limit reduction on their own. A majority of Councillors made it very clear that they believe Calgarians are not smart enough to handle this complicated question.
- Meanwhile, on the second issue, Council voted down plans to re-introduce fluoride to Calgary's water and instead will permit a referendum on water fluoridation. This will mark the 7th plebiscite that the city has held on this issue. Apparently, you are smart enough to decide on this one.
- Finally, on the third issue, Council voted to further investigate a poorly defined referendum question on Calgary's "equalization payments". The general idea is for the City to hold a plebiscite on re-examining Calgary's fiscal relationship with the Province, similar to how the Province plans to hold a vote on federal equalization. The only problem is, Mayor Nenshi has basically already admitted that this proposal is simply a political stunt designed to put pressure on the Province to let him introduce a wide range of new taxes.
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