Calgary Minute: Wild Canada, Accessibility Study, and a Late Start Pilot
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
There will be a Public Hearing Meeting of Council on Tuesday at 9:30 am. On the agenda are several land use amendments, largely in Wards 7 and 8. The Executive Committee will meet on Wednesday at 9:30 am. The Committee will receive the Chief Administrative Officer’s Quarterly Report, as well as a verbal update on the City’s Anti-Racism Strategic Plan.
On Thursday, at 9:30 am, there will be a meeting of the Council Services Committee. No agenda is available for this meeting yet. Also on Thursday, at 1:00 pm, the Calgary Planning Commission will meet. The agenda includes several land use amendments. The Greater Forest Lawn Communities Local Area Plan will be discussed in-camera, away from public view. The inaugural meeting of the Ward Boundary Commission will take place on Friday.
- The Province is seeking feedback regarding the Municipal Government Act. Specifically, on training requirements for City Councillors, whether or not Council should be able to meet in private, what things they can discuss while in-camera, and the recall thresholds for elected officials. We’ve long said that the process for recalling the Mayor or sitting Councillors is arduous and unlikely to ever result in being able to actually succeed. Our friends at the Alberta Institute have plenty of information available on the issues with recall legislation as it is currently written. We would encourage you to fill out the Province’s survey and advocate for lowering the thresholds (ie. making it easier) to recall an elected official. The survey can be accessed here, but please fill it out soon as it closes on December 6th.
Last Week In Calgary:
A recent study led by the University of Calgary's "Mapping our Cities for All" project revealed that nearly 60% of public spaces in Calgary, Vancouver, and Ottawa are inaccessible or partially inaccessible to people with disabilities. The study, conducted with geographic data and insights from individuals with firsthand disability experience, evaluates various factors such as parking access, building entrances, washrooms, lighting, table height, spaciousness, digital menus, and customer service. Of the three cities, Calgary finished last, with 35% of buildings mapped deemed accessible compared to 48% in Vancouver and 53% in Ottawa.
The Superintendent of the Calgary Catholic School District sent a letter to teachers outlining a pilot project proposing midday class starts on either Mondays or Wednesdays for the 2024-2025 school year. The later starts are aimed at providing teachers with weekly professional development time. The letter cited a desire for change among one-third of high school teachers and around one-fifth of other teachers, emphasizing the need for teachers to keep up with evolving educational methods. The project sparked concerns from parents regarding childcare logistics and work schedule adjustments.
- The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo unveiled its newly renovated Wild Canada exhibit, featuring polar bears, otters, and caribou. The exhibit is now home to male polar bears Baffin and Siku, orphaned as cubs near Churchill, Manitoba, and later relocated from Winnipeg's Assiniboine Zoo. The $42 million, 26-month project includes interactive features for the bears and updated habitats for various Canadian animals, aiming to enhance both the animals' conditions and the guests' experience. The Province invested $15.5 million into the renovation.
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