GC's Video Blog
Tax Update: How we're helping our business community
On January 23, 2017, City Council decided to endorse the Municipal Non-Residential Phased Tax Program, which will dramatically help ease the tax burden for Calgary businesses during this economic downturn.
This program has been given $45 million in funding to limit the increase in municipal non-residential property taxes to 5% in 2017. This means that any business facing an increase in the municipal portion of their non-residential property tax will not have to pay an increase of more than 5%. Property taxes will be finalized later in the year, after the Government of Alberta approves its budget and the 2017 provincial property tax requisition in the spring.
There is no application process required for this program. It is a one-year program and will not affect the provincial portion of non-residential property taxes nor the business tax.
Did you know?
- Ward 9 is the second largest economic engine outside of the downtown core. As a result of the downturn in the economy, many of the Ward 9 businesses have been picking up the 'tax slack' created by the lower downtown office vacancy.
- During the Mid-Cycle Adjustments, Council approved a $183 million in benefits to help to help Calgarians. This included:
- $73 million in tax relief
- $66 million in user fess/utility rate freezes
- $9 million in targeted initiatives
- $35 million in lower revenue (absorbed)
- Through Mid-Cycle Adjustments, Council also approved $42 million in capital investment to help spur economic growth and diversification, maximize investments to create jobs, build and maintain needed municipal infrastructure, and attract and retain people, business and investment to Calgary.
Property tax bills will be mailed in May and are due June 30, 2017.
Gian-Carlo on 2017 Tax Assessments
Join us on January 28th for the Dover Community Objectives Workshop!
Every six months Team Ward 9 meets to put together, and reassess, the game plan on tackling issues that are important to the stakeholders in Ward 9. This is your chance to drive the good work done by your Team Ward 9.
We are looking forward to bringing residents, community associations, businesses, service providers, and community institutions together to discuss what issues are the most important, and how they should be prioritized by the Ward 9 Office.
When: Saturday, January 28th
Time: 10:30am to 2:30pm
Where: Dover Community Association - 3133 30 Ave SE
**Lunch will be provided**
Sign up here!
Happy Holidays from Gian-Carlo and your Team Ward 9
To all our Ward 9 neighbours, we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and all the best in 2017!
Jack Long Foundation - Seniors housing in Inglewood
Go Stamps Go! Gearing Up for the Grey Cup
Sunday, November 27th at 4:30pm watch your Stamps take on the Ottawa Red Blacks. Go Stamps Go!
Community Representation Framework
Lest We Forget
Remembrance Day is a time for us to reflect on the service of countless men and women who came before us, securing both our freedom and the privileges we as Canadians enjoy today.
Gian-Carlo spends Remembrance Day at CP Rail in Ogden Shops remembering the sacrifice of so many Calgarians.
Ogden Oggie Will Rise Again!
Ogden Oggie - the giant mechanical man - that once greeted Ogdenites just off of 69th Ave S.E. will live on in the public plaza at the new Green Line LRT Station at 77nd Ave S.E.
Tuxedo Park and Winston Heights-Mountview Community Objectives Workshop
Come out and join your Team Ward 9 at ou 8th Community Objectives Workshop! This time we are exploring the issues facing residents, businesses and service providers in Tuxedo Park and Winston Heights-Mountview.
When: Saturday, November 5
Time: 10:30am to 2:30pm
Where: Tuxedo Park Community Association - 202 29 Ave NE
Lunch will be provided
Sign up here!
Closing of 8th Street S.E. CP Rail Crossing
The closure of the 8th Street Southeast CP Rail Crossing is coming sooner rather than later. Gian-Carlo wanted to share with our neighbours in Inglewood and Ramsay the details around this pending closure and clarify some confusion around this historic link between our two communities.
Where we’re at?
CP Rail has the authority to ask the City of Calgary to close the 8th Street rail crossing when they feel that the volume of that crossing begins to impact their ability to move freight and/or becomes a safety concern. They have exercised this authority.
How we got here?
Neither CP Rail nor the City of Calgary govern each other. CP Rail has broad powers to operate the national rail system to move freight without getting bogged down by interactions with municipalities across Canada. In the early 1900s, an agreement was signed between CP Rail and The City of Calgary that would granted CP Rail the authority to close that crossing.
Where we’re going?
Gian-Carlo asked City Engineers to look at the technical feasibility of providing an underpass at 8th Street, similar to the current underpass at 4th Street. Unfortunately, with the limited space of the intersection and the differences in grades to get cars under the tracks, it’s just not possible.
There are 2 technically feasible options that need to be examined further:
1) Macdonald Ave burying underground just after it crosses 8th avenue, running under the tracks and emerging just south of 9th avenue, aligning with 9th street.
2) 6th Street, the street on the west side of Fort Calgary would run south, under the tracks, and emerge in Victoria park. It would add to the network connectivity, but wouldn’t replace the important community link between Ramsay and Inglewood.
There have been ideas of 7A street, a non-conforming road, serving as that link to replace 8th Street. There could be a possibility of allowing cars only during certain events with the temporary removal of bollards, but wouldn't be a solution to the large scale connectivity issues.
Rain & Thunderstorms - High Flows Expected on the Elbow River
Ward 9 residents will see higher flow rates on the Elbow River, with 90 mm of rainfall expected through to Sunday. The City has been releasing water from the Glenmore Reservoir to accommodate this rainfall. Currently, this high flow event is not expected to cause significant overland flooding.
For information on flooding in Calgary, including current conditions and flood readiness please go to www.calgary.ca/floodinfo.
Community Representation Framework
Sliding Scale - Coming to SPC on Community & Protective Services
On Wednesday, July 6th the Standing Policy Committee on Community & Protective Services will be reviewing 'Options For Sliding Scale Implementation' (CPS2016-0494). City Administration will be bringing forward their first update on Council's direction from September 2015 related to the implementation of a sliding scale for certain city services.
Gian-Carlo has been a huge supporter of the sliding scale concept.
We know that many people who may be above the Federal Government's Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) may still need additional help through subsidies, particularly many of our seniors. Increasing subsidies for people who are at or below LICO is also extremely important.
Council would like to, through the sliding scale, both increase subsidies for people at or below LICO and cast a wider net by looking at 130% above LICO and creating diminishing subsidies for people within that range.
If you would like to speak to this issue, please join Gian-Carlo on Wednesday, July 6th at 9:30am in the Engineering Traditions Committee Room at Historic City Hall.
Secondary Suites Bylaw Amendment - Update
On May 16, 2016 Council reviewed amendments proposed in the Notice of Motion co-sponsored by Gian-Carlo and Cllr. Chabot.
Zoo Flood Mitigation Project - Pile Driving Concerns
Team Ward 9 has heard from many concerned residents about the noise and vibrations coming from the Zoo Flood Mitigation Project as they pile drive steel sheets into the ground. Gian-Carlo outlines the project and discusses the conversations he is having with the Senior Management Team to see how to help our neighbours in Inglewood.
Synopsis of Council Meeting from May 2nd and 3rd
Gian-Carlo explains the outcome of the most recent Meeting of Council which includes the Notice of Motion to cut the red tape around secondary suites and the outcome of the Pedestrian Strategy that was brought forward by the Transportation Department.
Removing the Red Tape - Proposed Bylaw Adjustment for Secondary Suites
Great neighbourhoods make a great city. Gian-Carlo explains his upcoming Notice of Motion that requests a minor adjustment to the current bylaw that regulates secondary suites.
Making Seniors Affordable Housing a Reality
At the April 25th meeting of Council, Gian-Carlo brought forward three Notices of Motion - all of which delve into the issue of affordable seniors housing and all of which were passed by Council.
Two of the Notices of Motion looked at finding land for future affordable seniors housing projects, one in Inglewood and one in Ogden. The other Notice of Motion was to exempt an already established affordable seniors housing organization from their property taxes for one year while they restructure to better align with the Provincial tax exemption program (COPTER) for non-profits.
Millican-Ogden-Lynnwood Community Objectives Workshop - You're next Inglewood & Ramsay!
On Saturday, April 9th, Team Ward 9 held another successful Community Objectives Workshop (COW) for Millican-Ogden-Lynnwood. It was great to discuss issues with all of those who participated and get some marching orders for our office moving forward.
Next COW is happening on May 14th for the communities of Inglewood and Ramsay! Stay tuned for more details.
Railway Policy Framework
The City of Calgary is currently in the process of reviewing the Railway Corridor Policy. At the March 21st Strategic Meeting of Council, Administration presented the current approach to processing development permit applications adjacent to rail and what they are doing to improve the framework for addressing current issues. Council directed Administration to consult with stakeholders and report back no later than Q2 2016 with a terms of reference that includes deliverables, scope of work and a timeline for creating an improved Railway Policy Framework.
Watch Gian-Carlo explain the issue and Council's decision.
Bridgeland-Riverside & Renfrew Community Objectives Workshop "COW"
Wow - what a great turn-out for the Bridgeland-Riverside & Renfrew COW! Thanks to all of those who participated. We got a tonne of useful information from many different stakeholders and will be moving forward with people's concerns.
Ogden, you're next! See you April 9, 2016.
How can the Land Use Bylaw create more spaces for Child Care Services in our city?
On Monday, March 14th Gian-Carlo is putting forward a Child Care Notice of Motion requesting that Administration review all the City of Calgary owned buildings, and future buildings, where child care services are not allowed and look at what it would take to make child care services legal within these buildings.
Allowing for more child care services in city owned buildings, including social housing and offices, could have a significant impact on families in Calgary and help work toward our mission of Great Neighbourhoods.
13th Annual City of Calgary Safety Expo
Are your post-flood property assessments too high?
Are you in Erlton, Rideau Park or Roxboro and are concerned about your assessments post-flood?
Help me bring this issue to light by sharing this video with your neighbours and letting them know to file an appeal to challenge their assessments so we can resolve this.
Erlton, Parkhill and Rideau-Roxboro Community Objectives Workshop
On Saturday, February 20th Team Ward 9 hosted our first Community Objectives Workshop or "COW" in the communities of Erlton, Parkhill and Rideau-Roxboro. This was a chance for community members, business and social institution to weigh in on the issues that affect them and for Team Ward 9 to collect valuable information that will be incorporated back into our strategic plan.
Watch Gian-Carlo's post-workshop overview and get ready for our next COW, which is happening on Saturday, March 12th for the communities of Bridgeland-Riverside and Renfrew!
The UBER Question
Calgary City Hall has received a fair amount of correspondences from Calgarians demonstrating their support for UBER.
Like these Calgarians, Gian-Carlo and Team Ward 9 are strong proponents of having choice in the way we as Calgarians get around our spectacular city - as cyclists, as pedestrians, as motorists and as users of car-sharing services.
When this issue first came to the attention of our office we put together a short Issue Update – Uber X explaining the concerns from various stakeholders and the direction that Council asked Administration to explore. We also put together two videos with Gian-Carlo outlining his perspective on this issue and the next steps from Council’s decision in November.
We will continue to work toward finding a solution that is in the best interests of all stakeholders involved without compromising public health and safety.
If you are not on the Ward 9 mailing list, we encourage you to subscribe today!
Elbow River Flooding
Update from the January 29, 2016 meeting held by Minister of Municipal Affairs, Danielle Larrivee
On Friday, January 29th at the River Park Church, Minister Larrivee, Mayor Nenshi, MLA Greg Clark and Councillor Carra joined residents of the Elbow River Valley to discuss the provincial buy-out of properties along the Elbow River and how we should move forward.
Watch Gian-Carlo give a synopsis of the evening and what our office plans to do for the "Next Steps"
John Howard Society - Bedford House
On February 8th, 2016 Council will be looking at another interesting land use item at the Public Hearing.
John Howard Society, based in Inglewood, runs Bedford House - a federally regulated halfway house.
Currently, Bedford House is located in the Victoria Park area but is required to relocate as their current lease is set to expire. A new building is slated for Ward 9's Manchester Industrial area, though it will take at least 3 years for the new Bedford House to be constructed.
Cllr. Carra, along with Cllr. Chabot, have worked with the John Howard Society to find a temporary location in Greater Forest Lawn.
Watch Cllr. Carra explain some of the best practices around the halfway house process and what the issue is coming before Council.
Delta West Academy (Bridgeland School) Land Use Change
It is item 5.06 on the agenda.
CPC starts at 1:00 pm in the Engineering Traditions Room located on the lower level of Historic City Hall.
Watch Gian-Carlo explain the request for a land use re-designation from SC-I to MC-1 on the site of the Delta West Academy (Bridgeland School) and how CPC will review it based on the technical merit of the request.
Ramsay 11th Street SE Land Use and Policy Amendment
In September of 2015, City Council reviewed the land use application of the Old Imperial Oil site on 11th Street SE, north of the Ramsay Design Centre. The original request was for a land use change to Land Use District MH 1. This would allow for a building that incorporates both commercial and residential, typically 6-8 stories high.
City Council was concerned that the request for MH 1 was not enough density, particularly with the Green Line LRT station set to be built next to this site. The Councillors asked the applicant and the Ramsay business representatives if there was an appetite to pursue higher density. Seeing that there was, City Council requested that City Administration examine the possibility of a different Land Use District.
Can we explore higher density?
Watch Gian-Carlo explain what will be coming to Council on January 11, 2016 and how you can give your input on the planning merit of this project.
Come to the Public Hearing of Council & let us know your views on the planning merit this project.
When: Monday, January 11, 2015
Where: Council Chambers, Municipal Complex – 800 MacLeod Trail S.E.
Time: 9:30 am