Calgary Minute: Tax Hike, Transit Disruption, and SCAN Unit Expanded
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
There will be a meeting of City Council on Tuesday at 9:30 am. There’s a lengthy consent agenda (the stuff they don’t debate). On the regular agenda is a briefing regarding the Voting Equity Research Project. The goal of the project is to improve participation among immigrant Calgarians in the 2025 election. Elections Calgary plans to engage new Canadians ahead of the election, to provide more information about how to cast your ballot, where to vote, and why it’s important to do so.
The Community Development Committee meeting, originally scheduled for Thursday, has been cancelled. The next meeting of the Committee will be on December 20th. There will, however, still be a meeting on Thursday of the Green Line Board. That meeting takes place at 1:00 pm, but no agenda is available yet.
- The Red Line transit disruption is underway. Until 4:00 am on December 4th, shuttle buses will be in place to move passengers between the City Hall/Bow Valley College, Victoria Park/Stampede, Erlton/Stampede, 39th Avenue, and Chinook stations. During the closure, there will also be some traffic impacts on Macleod Trail between 25 and 12 Ave SE. Crews are working around the clock to minimize the disruption.
Last Week In Calgary:
Council approved a 7.8% increase to residential property taxes in a 9-6 vote. Mayor Gondek, and Councillors Carra, Demong, Dhaliwal, Mian, Penner, Pootmans, Spencer, and Walcott voted in favour of the budget. Councillors Chabot, Chu, McLean, Sharp, Wong, and Wyness were opposed. The City’s tax burden will also shift from business to residential by 1% every year for the next three years. Mayor Jyoti Gondek said this year’s budget was meant to make up for cuts in other years. [What cuts?!?! -Editor] We have a better idea - refocus efforts on core priorities and cut spending on extraneous things so that taxes can be cut for both businesses and residents!
Repairs on the Peace Bridge are complete. The repair project began in spring after 70% of the structure’s glass railing panels were shattered by a vandal in July 2022. Steel cables have been installed to replace the glass panels, at a cost of more than $1 million. The use of cables is expected to reduce maintenance costs, and the City said replacing the glass with more glass would have also cost more than $1 million. The repair project is reported to be on budget.
- The Province announced an expansion of the Alberta Sheriffs' Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit - there will be two more investigators hired in Calgary. The SCAN unit collaborates with law enforcement agencies like the Calgary Police Service and RCMP to address illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, at problem properties. The team in Calgary has investigated nearly 2,000 properties since 2019, 24 of which resulted in community safety orders being issued against property owners. The expansion, funded by the provincial government's 2023 budget, reflects the commitment to doubling the size of the SCAN unit and addressing community safety concerns through targeted investigations.
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