With Respect to the Event Centre Deal
I am happy to put my support behind the new deal structure for the Event Centre. It was disappointing for all parties when the previous deal fell through. Council’s renewed commitment in January 2022 allowed to negotiations to restart with a fresh vision. I’m encouraged by the new agreement which considers the needs of all parties, including community as well as the contributions of partners, including the Province.
The deal gives Calgarians long term certainty that will realize a long term return on investment, allowing Calgary to plan for future investment into all of Calgary, not just the Rivers District and Downtown.
Important aspects of the new deal include:
Through good fiscal management, the City is well positioned to support the deal structure. While the upfront investment from the City is larger, it will not compromise our ability to continuously invest in other city assets. No tax increases are required, and no new debt financing is required.
It is important that all Calgarians can see how they benefit from this deal. The outcome of this project provides opportunities for all Calgarians and visitors to our city to gather and experience events and entertainment in the downtown. Whether festivals, concerts, community gatherings, cheering on sporting events, or enjoying the surrounding amenities, the improvements outside the event centre will provide equitable opportunities for people who visit the area and enjoy Calgary’s Rivers District and Culture + Entertainment District.
I am committed to working closely with administration and my council colleagues to ensure our return on investment through lease payments, new tax revenue, and other financial returns, are purposefully reinvested into community infrastructure.
I’d like to thank all parties involved for their time, openness, and commitment to the future of Calgary’s culture and entertainment district.
On April 5, The Heritage Local Area Plan was approved at Infrastructure and Planning Committee, and it will proceed to the Public Hearing of Council on June 20, 2023.
Thank you to the thousands of residents who contributed to this plan over the three-and-a-half-year process. The time, talent, and local knowledge you’ve brought have created a plan that is ‘for the community, by the community’ that we can all be proud of. It is the essence of #co11aborate.
The communities of Kelvin Grove, Eagle Ridge, Chinook Park, Kingsland, Haysboro, Southwood, Willow Park, Maple Ridge, Acadia, and Fairview, have been working on this plan since 2019 through four distinct stages of engagement and feedback. Dedicated volunteers from all neighbourhoods were part of the working group and many more residents gave thousands of recommendations into the final plan. The plan strikes a balance across a spectrum of comments heard from thousands of people online and at over 60 community engagements. In its final draft, the plan outlines where growth can happen in the ten neighbourhoods and what improvements to the public realm should be realized through future dedicated city funding.
Balancing public investment with growth is going to be key to the success of the plan and I commit to working with communities on getting projects funded. These improvements make it safer for kids to travel to school, those with mobility challenges to better navigate walking in neighbourhoods, or for anyone to travel to other key community amenities like work, schools, recreation centres, libraries, and commercial nodes.
The plan focuses on travel connections and growth in the areas surrounding Anderson, Southland, and Heritage LRT stations, community associations, neighbourhood shopping plazas, and broader commercial activity like Macleod Trail and Heritage Meadows.
You can view the presentation at committee including plan documents, public presentations, questions to administration, and committee’s debate, online:
The final opportunity to give feedback to Council is June 20th. As we’ve shared previously, we encourage all residents to be involved in the process. You may participate in the public hearings by submitting comments or registering to speak at www.calgary.ca/council/meetings/legislative-services
Comments submitted before the agenda has been posted should clearly state that the submission is for "The Heritage Communities Local Area Plan"
Questions about the local area plan can be directed to the planning team at email@example.com
After the Kingsland Elementary School was accepted into The City’s facility portfolio in 2021, its condition was assessed for potential future use. However, after comprehensive investigations, it was confirmed that the building had extensive roof damage, a deteriorating building envelope, presence of mold and was no longer safe to inhabit nor feasible to repair. As a result, the decision was made to demolish the school in summer, 2023 along with the playgrounds which are near the end of their lifecycle in terms of structural stability.
The Kingsland Elementary School Site is an important central green space to the community and as the discussions and decisions regarding the state of the building and playgrounds came forward, I expressed to both City Administration and the Kingsland Community Association that I was supportive and would advocate for the site to remain as green/park space.
The site poses an opportunity as a community-building project for Kingsland to envision an enhanced green space hub for the neighbourhood, planned in conjunction with the City of Calgary. I remain committed to supporting the Kingsland Community Association in their lead of this project and encourage all residents to get involved with the process as it moves forward.
The City has a dedicated web page with further information about the decommissioning of the school at calgary.ca/KingslandSchoolSite
Calgary is a city that does not tolerate hate and we are actively working to address systemic discrimination in all forms.
The escalation of hate, harassment, and intimidation targeting Calgarians in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community requires that we review how we deliver safe and inclusive access to civic amenities.
The need for physical and psychological safety of both customers and staff must be ensured. The public is entitled to equal access of services without being exposed to messaging or behaviour that is hateful, intimidating, harassing, or discriminates.
All Calgarians must be able to enjoy the benefits of programs and resources offered through public facilities. Gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, race, socio-economic status, age, ability, religion, or heritage should not impede a person’s ability to be part of a thriving and prosperous city.
The proposed bylaw allows for safe access to civic facilities while ensuring the right to protest exists.
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