Column: Cities matter, but does the next Premier know?

Like many Albertans, I was excited about the Progressive Conservative leadership race. The battle to be our next premier had attracted three good candidates with very different philosophies. And it would unfold over many months, giving Albertans plenty of time to see the candidates interact, and for the candidates to share their visions for the province and the policies to make those visions real.

As we know, the experience has been quite different. There have been few debates, and the policy announcements have ranged from the irrelevant to the bizarre. I've heard few specifics about the issues that Albertans consistently rank as most important to them whether it be education funding, significant improvement to the health care system, or (of course) Alberta's big cities.

Nonetheless, I have a lot of respect for all three candidates. I had the chance to sit down with all three earlier this summer and had great meetings with each. They listened and engaged intently as I highlighted the issues of concern to The City of Calgary.

All do agree that the relationship between The City and The Province was broken, and that the funding model—under which Calgary taxpayers send $4 billion more to The Province than we receive in all provincial services every year—needed to be addressed.

We have to have these conversations because they matter so much to the lives of Calgarians. For example, the creation of the Green Line (the north-central and south-east LRT) is a priority for our citizens, but if we can't figure out how to cover the $5 billion price tag together, it will not get built. We need that and so much other infrastructure because the growth of our cities—and the needs associated with that growth—is very real. In the last three years, Calgary gained mo

Council priorities for 2015-2018

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.
Council reviewed many inputs before setting Council Priorities including: global, national and local trends, such City strategic plans and guiding documents as Imagine!Calgary, the Municipal Development Plan and