Calgary Minute: Union Lobbying, Development Timelines, and Transit Ridership Way Down
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
A Special Meeting of Council starts today during which Calgary Council will review Calgary's 2021 budget via their "Mid-Cycle Adjustments to One Calgary Service Plans and Budgets" process. We will, of course, be making our own submission on the budget, as well as live-tweeting the meeting on our Twitter account.
- Council will, during the meeting, consider multiple changes to the budget, one of the most important of which will be to finalize plans to defund the Police by $20 million, in order to fund yet to be named community groups. You can still sign our petition to Defund Calgary Council instead, here.
- We will also get a better idea of what taxation levels for next year are likely to be. Remember that property taxes have nothing to do with how much income a resident earned, or whether a business was profitable during state-mandated COVID-19 closures, so anything other than a significant reduction in taxes will be devastating to many Calgarians who are already struggling to stay afloat. You can check out our 21 Ways To Cut Council's Spending In 2021 report, here.
Last Week In Calgary:
- A new union lobby group that has already raised more than $1.4 million announced their plans for the upcoming 2021 Council election. In short, they hope to make their policies promoting ever-bigger government and ever-higher taxes sound fiscally responsible and trick Calgarians into voting for candidates who'll help them implement them. Unlike unions, we can't force anyone to contribute to us, but if you'd like to help us meet our $14,000 goal by the end of the month, please click here.
- The Alberta government has introduced a bill to make it easier for developers to get their projects approved across the province. In particular, the bill removes the ability of municipalities to set the timelines for developments. This comes in the wake of the city of Calgary refusing 11 new developments which would have meant jobs, opportunities for young families, and also more people between which to divide the cost of City services.
- A new report revealed that CTrain ridership was down more than 90% compared to typical levels at the height of public health restrictions at the start of the pandemic. While ridership recovered somewhat during summer, more recent restrictions have led to another reduction and ridership is still only about half what it was in March. Meanwhile, vehicle traffic is back to 92% of normal.
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