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Why was there no Calgary city council meeting on Monday?

If you went to tune into Monday’s Calgary city council meeting (and let’s be honest, most of us did), you were met by a blank screen.

You probably asked yourself, “what’s going on here?”

As a diehard city council watcher, you may have recalled that back in November 2021, councillors decided that a Tuesday was better than a Monday for such weighty civic matters.

At the Nov. 1, 2021 Organization Meeting of Council, councillors unanimously approved changes to the council calendar. It included a number of minor adjustments, but also included the combined meeting of council switch from Monday to Tuesday.

The change miffed at least one councillor. Ward 11’s Kourtney Penner pointed out there would be no meeting on Halloween in 2022.

“I would actually just like to express my deep disappointment that we don’t have a meeting on October 31 next year, so we don’t see each other in Halloween costumes,” she said at that meeting.

Kidding aside, Coun. Peter Demong appreciated the move to allow for other councillors to conduct their duties with the Alberta Urban Municipalities.

The admin report suggested the changes allowed for better work/life balance for both councillors and staff.

“Combined Meetings of Council are scheduled to occur on Tuesdays to allow Councillors more time to review the Agenda and seek clarification from Administration during standard Monday to Friday work hours,” the report read.

Council on Monday means no Sunday: Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra

Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra supported the move.

“There is, I think, the idea that our civil servants do not work hard. And the reality couldn’t be farther from that. That’s perception,” Carra said.

“We have people who give unstintingly of themselves, especially our senior administration, who really put in ridiculous hours.”

He said since the idea was to help create better balance, it was “antithetical” to continue with a Monday meeting, Carra said.  This allows folks to have a weekend, he said.

“The reality is that when you have a council meeting on Monday, you don’t have a Sunday,” he said.

“This gives people an opportunity to come into work on Monday and use Monday to prep for Tuesday’s council meeting.”

The first execution of this will be Jan. 11.

Councillors could conceivably use the extra day to review material and avoid questions answered in the admin information.