Calgary Minute: Tax Hikes, Census Savings, and more Secret Meetings

Calgary Minute: Tax Hikes, Census Savings, and more Secret Meetings

Calgary City Hall


Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics


This Week In Calgary:

  • Today there will be a Strategic Meeting of Council. Council will be discussing re-balancing the City's Capital Portfolio and Citizen Privacy in public. Then, because the concept of irony is completely lost on Council, they will move into a secret meeting to discuss ways they could restore and strengthen public trust in City Hall. Maybe they could start by holding discussions like that in public, rather than private?

  • On Tuesday there will be a Green Line Committee meeting where, as with other recent meetings of this Committee, we expect some fireworks. Many people are finally starting to realize that spending billions of dollars on a project that can't pass a basic cost/benefit test while cutting hundreds of millions of dollars from the City's existing Transit budgets probably isn't a good idea.

  • On Wednesday morning there will be a Standing Policy Committee on Utilities and Corporate Services meeting, and in the afternoon there will be a Standing Policy Committee on Transportation and Transit meeting.


Last Week In Calgary:

  • Instead of dealing with crippling, unsustainable tax rates during the budget in December, Calgary Councillors - who we can only assume take great pleasure in tormenting business owners - revisited the issue of ever-climbing business taxes last Tuesday. In the end, Council's Priorities and Finance Committee voted to cap 2020 business property tax increases to "just" 10% using their favourite source of income: one-time funding A.K.A. the magic money Council pulls out from the couch cushions whenever the public gets mad enough.

  • In a surprising yet still positive move, the Priorities and Finance Committee also voted to cancel the civic census in 2021. Of course, the Committee's recommendation still has to pass through a full vote of Council, and the Mayor has made it clear he opposes this move, but switching the civic census to every two years could save an estimated $800,000. You could argue good data matters, but that's only really true if City Staff stop manipulating this data beyond the laws of mathematics to get their desired outcome.

  • Finally, the Priorities and Finance Committee also voted to ban conversion therapy. Councillor Farkas, while in support of the ban, questioned the need given the federal government is already bringing in a federal ban. As Rob Breackenridge put it: "there is a considerable difference in taking a stand in support of a ban on conversion therapy ... and thinking you have the power and ability to enact one. Some on Council, however, don’t draw such a distinction."




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