We are pleased that the Premier has made flood recovery and mitigation a major priority, but we are surprised at the scope of the announcement, as it represents a significant departure from previous policy, and it was announced without prior discussion with the City's flood experts or policy-makers. The Premier, just yesterday, announced he would be treating municipalities as true partners. We look forward to that.
We are pleased that the Premier announced that the government is tripling the number of appeal officers for the Disaster Recovery Program. This will make a real difference for the families affected by the flood. We hope that when processing these appeals, the Provincial government will address the legitimate concerns that have been raised by flood affected families and that their claims will be re-assessed properly, fairly and quickly.
With respect to the two flood mitigation measures for Calgary that were announced by Premier Prentice today - namely the dry reservoir in Springbank and the direction to negotiate a permanent water management agreement with TransAlta - it is difficult for us to comment in detail since The City of Calgary has not yet been consulted with respect to either proposal and our experts have not yet seen any engineering studies.
However, we do have a few initial observations:
1. The "room for the river" concept for the Springbank reservoir, while intriguing, has never been discussed with City officials. It represents a real departure from the previous plan, where the reservoir would have played a role in both flood and drought years. This dry dam would not be used except during a flood and would not allow for comprehensive water management, which the Province had previously stated was their goal for this project.
2. We are very interested to hear the Premier state that management of the existing TransAlta dams will offer 1:100 year flood protection and that the Springbank dry dam
Late in the evening on Monday, May 6, Calgary City Council approved Council Priorities which will provide the necessary direction to administration to build their 2015 – 2018 business plans and budgets, Action Plan 2015 - 2018.
Council Priorities for 2015 – 2018 are very closely aligned to the top priority areas identified in the Action Plan citizen engagement in March. Council Priorities encompass five key themes:
- A prosperous city – Calgary continues to grow as a magnet for talent, a place where there is opportunity for all, and the best place in Canada to start and grow a business.
- A city of inspiring neighbourhoods – Every Calgarian lives in a safe, mixed and just neighbourhood, and has the opportunity to participate in civic life.
- A city that moves – People and goods can move well and safely throughout the city, using a variety of convenient, affordable, accessible and efficient transportation choices.
- A healthy and green city – We steward our air, land and water while encouraging healthy lifestyles for all Calgarians.
- A well-run city – Calgary's government is open, responsive, accountable and transparent, delivering excellent services at a fair price. We work with our government partners to ensure we have the tools we need.