Council presents recommendations for provincial priorities

With the provincial government ramping up plans for next year’s budget and legislative session Calgary’s municipal government wants to add its two cents. City administration presented a series of recommendations for provincial priorities at the December 16 council meeting. The city is highlighting several issues it says are crucial to Calgary: an urban energy policy brownfield redevelopment poverty reduction funding and the ever-elusive city charter.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi has long argued that Calgary needs a city charter that redefines its relationship with the provincial government and increases its taxation powers. As it is Calgary’s ability to raise money through taxes is constrained and the city relies heavily on provincial largesse to pay for capital projects such as LRT expansion.

The urban energy policy is a new issue but one that council and administration appear keen on dealing with before it becomes a problem. Municipalities have no power to restrict oil and gas extraction within their boundaries. Calgary is pushing for the creation of a working group investigate authority over energy development within city limits.