Calgary Minute: Transit Safety, Election Expenditures, and Gondek Claims Overreach
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
There are three meetings at City Hall this week. On Tuesday, there will be a Combined Meeting of Council at 9:30 am. There is a large agenda which includes a debrief of the provincial budget and whether or not it meets the City’s priorities, as well as a discussion about potential changes to the Municipal Government Act.
On Thursday at 9:30 am, there will be a meeting of the Audit Committee. No agenda has been posted as of the time of writing.
- The Calgary Planning Commission meets on Thursday at 1:00 pm to discuss several land use amendments.
Last Week In Calgary:
Calgary Transit recognized that CTrain safety was an area of concern for Calgarians now that ridership is increasing again. Recently, the City had closed some CTrain stations overnight to deal with “social disorder” and homeless people taking refuge from the cold. During the pandemic, there were fewer riders and therefore fewer patrols taking place, leading to a higher number of people aboard the trains without an ultimate destination. Calgarians will start to see more security guards, bylaw officers, and peace officers on platforms and on CTrain cars themselves.
The Province of Alberta’s mask mandate was lifted last week, and with it, the City’s face covering bylaw. While the Province is still requiring masking in high-risk settings, like care homes and public transit, the City claims they cannot enforce these rules on the bus or CTrain systems and may consider a new citywide mandate. Premier Jason Kenney said his government will bring about changes to the Municipal Government Act to stop cities from enacting rogue mandates that run contrary to provincial health orders. Mayor Jyoti Gondek called the situation a “gong show” and decried the gap between regulations and enforcement ability.
- Financial disclosures were made available for municipal election expenditures. Ward 2 Councillor Jennifer Wyness spent the least amount to win her seat, coming in at just $13,632 in campaign-related spending. The most expensive win took place in Ward 9 where Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra spent just over $200,000 to win his bid for re-election. For the Mayor’s chair, Jeromy Farkas spent $821,241 on his campaign while Jyoti Gondek spent $633,342. Information from third-party advertisers that campaigned for candidates is not yet available.
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