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The Hall: What’s happening at Calgary city council – June 6 to 10

Calgary City Hall is a busy place this week, and there’s a monster of a meeting with a few items of note.

The primary meeting that’s on the schedule (with an agenda) is the Combined Meeting of Council on Tuesday.

There’s a Strategic Meeting of Council (with no agenda) scheduled for Wednesday, but we’ll play that one by ear. The Tuesday meeting looks like there could be some overflow.

Combined Meeting of Council – Tuesday, June 7

This meeting has a robust agenda. It includes a handful of items that could get pulled from the consent agenda for further debate or questions.

The primary ones from the consent agenda that could garner more attention are the Event Centre update and the Calgary Climate Strategy. Calgary Transit’s recovery plan could also get pulled from the consent agenda for more discussion.

Other bigger items include the official city bird naming, plus the proposed changes to the Smoking and Vaping Bylaw.

There are also 18 items slated for public hearing at this meeting.

Event Centre update

While there may be nothing substantively new, there could be questions about the process and the third-party committee struck to work with Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation on a new arena deal.

This is one file the public would probably like to see a little bit more of the sausage made so folks can keep a close watch on how the deal is consummated.

Calgary Climate Strategy

While this passed 5-1 at committee, there could be more in store for this strategy at a full meeting of council.

Community members brought up more specific concerns about what’s lacking in the document and that could warrant further discussion.

City bird

Calgary will proclaim its official bird Tuesday. The black-capped chickadee was voted the favourite among the five birds selected.

(Magpies, all the way.)

Smoking and vaping bylaw

This one was contested at the Community Development Committee as some councillors were concerned the city was picking winners and losers based on cultural acceptability.

Coun. Jasmine Mian said that the city may want to look at setting up outdoor tables where people could book to smoke. That’s similar to the city’s alcohol in parks program, which was made permanent earlier this year.

Definitely more discussion to be had on this one.

Calgary Transit recovery strategy

More frequent service, improved safety and customer service improvements are on tap to boost Calgary Transit ridership.

The City wants to reach 75 per cent of pre-pandemic ridership by late this year. 

Some of the things they’re doing include adding bike racks to remaining buses in the fleet, giving half price passes for August and September and adding in fares to admission prices for local festivals.

There’s more work being done on transit safety that will come out soon.

This may come off the consent agenda for more questions.

Violent Crime and Social Disorder update

This is an interesting one.  It’s a verbal update, so there’s no details provided with the agenda. This is where we might see more news on a plan to make downtown Calgary safer.

Stay tuned.