This has been a busy year at Council with major infrastructure projects being approved, or already under construction. The BMO Centre is under construction and will double in size. The Green Line is going under a review on how we can best move ahead on the downtown alignment and over the river to our most northern communities. The big questions for me are how we serve our northern communities with the mass transit we were sold on in 2015, within a timeline that is reasonable. The North needs rapid transit now, not in twenty years. This will be my focus over the New Year for Ward 4.
Calgary has continued to face economic challenges, and as always I will continue to focus on cutting red tape and finding efficiencies at City Hall to keep more money in your wallet. During Budget debates, I called for further cuts to stop your taxes from going up, and I voted against this year’s budget that frustratingly will result in a 7.5% increase in our property taxes in 2020. I have a few things in the works for the new year to find even more efficiencies and to seek your input on how we can do better. I will also continue in pushing for more pedestrian safety measures in our Ward 4, like flashing lights, speed lights, and making sure our crosswalks are better marked.
Finally, since Council approved the blanket zoning of secondary suites in 2017, the problems I discussed, and predicted have started. In the new system, Community Associations and my Office have little say in the matter, and what we feared could happen with abuse of the system has started. For example an eight-bedroom basement suite in Brentwood, without community support was approved recently. This is not right, and I will be seeking a new way forward with my Council Colleagues in 2020 to stop this type of abuse of the system.
I hope that you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in 2020. I will be door knocking again this spring and summer and hope to talk to you on the issues that are most important to you. If you would like to reach me on a municipal matter, please contact my office.