Regular Meeting of Council - February 26, 2018
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is an environmental policy approach in which the producer of a product is responsible for that product through the post-consumer stage of its life cycle. EPR shifts the responsibility and costs of recycling from local governments to producers. This incentivizes producers to reduce waste associated with their products and packaging, and to create products that are readily reusable or recyclable. It can also provide financial savings and environmental benefits for municipalities and tax payers. The Intergovernmental Affairs Committee recommended that Council formally request that the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) advocate to the Government of Alberta on behalf municipalities for the development of legislation to establish EPR.
The City has been providing water and wastewater services outside of its corporate boundaries since approximately 1961. The City now provides these services to ten customers outside Calgary through servicing agreements. The Government of Alberta has recently mandated that new servicing agreements include a transfer of water licence to service users. The Intergovernmental Affairs Committee recommended that Council modernize and update their service policy bylaws to reflect that The City will not transfer its water licenses to any entity and will only provide services to new entities if: 1) they have their own licence capacity or; 2) The City’s existing infrastructure capacity can accommodate servicing them. This decision ensures that The City can continue its watershed management in the near and long term.
The Intergovernmental Affairs Committee recommended that Council sign a cooperative agreement no later than February 28, 2018, so it may continue to be part of discussions with other municipalities around stormwater drainage on the east side of Calgary’s metropolitan area.
In September 2017, Council approved a proposal directing unusually high water bills to be immediately forgiven while an in-depth analysis of the scale and scope of water billing issues be conducted. Within this analysis, potential consumer appeal mechanisms, cost estimates for free inspection services, and wastewater billing processes were also evaluated.
From these efforts the Utilities and Corporate Services Committee recommended that council: 1) direct the committee to further investigate options for appeal mechanisms for customers and report them back by Q4 2018; 2) incorporate the financial impacts of billing adjustments into utility rate setting and; 3) investigate and identify what an assistance program for low income customers might look like if it were to be implemented. All recommendations were passed by Council.
As there is currently no existing policy regarding parental leaves for Councillors, a proposal was brought forward that a report be prepared, by the end of Q2 2018, outlining the provisions of a new parental leave bylaw. This bylaw will address a number of aspects such as the duration of leave entitlement, how constituents will be represented, compensation and benefits, the process to request leave, the approval authority and any other appropriate aspects.
A proposal has been brought forward to Council regarding how animals are categorized and/or certified as emotional support animals within The City. This proposal included the request to consider provisions for appropriate care of such animals within Calgary’s urban setting. Council has asked that Community & Protective Services work with Alberta Health Services to find a mutually agreeable solution and report the outcome back no later than Q3 2018.