Ward 9 Great Neighbourhoods Calgary – Gian-Carlo Carra

This is the official website for Gian-Carlo Carra, City Councillor for Ward 9 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

March is Community Association Awareness Month!

'How Will YOU Be Part of It?"

Every year Mayor Nenshi proclaims the entire month of March as Community Association Awareness Month.

How Will YOU Be Part of It?” is a campaign started by the Federation of Calgary Communities to encourage people to get involved with their local community association or show their love for their community..

Post a video online talking about why you love you community or post a photo of Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #howwilYOUbepartofit

Interested in learning more about this campaign? Check out the Federation of Calgary Communities’ website

 

 

Calgarians Love Their Rivers - Update on the River Access Strategy

Calgarians want a healthy, vibrant and sustainable river culture and many are concerned about how they can get in, and out, of our rivers safely.

Last year, Gian-Carlo and Councillor Shane Keating put forward a Notice of Motion requesting that a policy report and implementation plan to address river access be completed by the end of the first quarter in 2017. 

On February 1, 2017, Administration presented their report to the Standing Policy Committee on Community and Protective Services (CPS). The Calgary River Access Strategy recommends several significant short-term moves to access our rivers is a more meaningful way.

These recommendations include:

  • Create more drift boat access (these are essential for the fishing community)
  • Create more formalized access for people carrying their boats into the rivers (i.e. kayaks, rafts, etc.)
  • Look to improve economic opportunities and access along the rivers. 

Both the public and CPS demonstrated support for the River Access Strategy. Next it will go to Council for final approval. 

The world needs more Canada (and Calgary!)

Calgarians have been divided around the idea of hosting another Olympic Games. On the one hand, those who oppose Calgary putting forward a bid for 2026 believe that the Olympics have become a deeply corrupt organization that costs a tremendous amount of money with little return for the hosting city. On the other hand, many reflect on the success of the 1988 Winter Games and the spirit of volunteerism and pride that showcased our incredible city in this stunning part of the world. 

On January 23 at a Regular Meeting of Council, City of Calgary Administration presented an update on the work of the Olympic Bid Exploration Committee. This issue will be coming back to Council in June 2017 with Administration's recommendations on the outcome of the Olympic Bid Committee's work. It is at that point that Council will be making a decision as to whether they should pursue the Olympic bid or not. 

Though the concerns expressed by many Calgarians around putting forward a bid to host the 2026 Winter Games are compelling, we also have an opportunity to prove to the world what good government, an amazing business community and an incredible natural environment can do for the Olympics. At the end of the day, the Olympics need Calgary more than Calgary needs the Olympics. 

 

 

Improving Calgary's worst intersection - 25 Ave & MacLeod Trail South

For years we have heard from our Ward 9 neighbours, especially those in Erlton and Ramsay, about their dissatisfaction when crossing MacLeod Trail at 25th Ave South. Long waits for both cars and pedestrians coupled with delayed crossings when an LRT is approaching has caused this hair-pulling, blood-boiling frustration for those travelling from east to west. 

With emerging best practices in transit-oriented development (TOD) dominating Calgary's urban planning ethos, focusing on neighbourhood life and creating a condition where mixed-use developments can thrive at this intersection is vital. 

There were plans 'on the books' to update this intersection, though those plans were out-dated and, basically, unbuildable. As a result, Council decided to omit the old plans and, in principle, introduce new plans that would  promote walkable, transit-oriented neighbourhoods around the Erlton LRT station. 

Right now these plan are unfunded and only in their infancy. Deep engagement with the affected communities is needed and, though, a lot of work was done to get us here, a lot more work has to come to get us to where we want to be. 

We encourage all our Ward 9 neighbours, especially those in Erlton, to reach out to our office and share your thoughts on how we can make the intersection of MacLeod Trail and 25th Ave into a vibrant (and functional) part of our inner-city. 

 

12 Street SE Bridge - Closure Update

Your Team Ward 9 knows that our neighbours in Inglewood and Ramsay have been tremendously patient with all the construction in and around their communities over the last year, particularly the Zoo Flood Mitigation project and the 12 Street SE Bridge Replacement project.  We are extremely grateful to all of you for your continued patience and understanding. 

We have been working with the 12 Street SE Bridge Replacement project team over the last year to keep the original bridge open for as along as possible. The intent was that it would be used as a pedestrian bridge so that Inglewoodians and Ramsayites could continue to access the other side of the Bow river and Zoo Island. 

Unfortunately,  your Team Ward 9 recently found of that the existing 12 Street SE Bridge will have to be closed as a result of its deteriorating state.  What we know right now is that the original bridge will be removed as early as Spring 2017. We will be continuing to update our neighbours in Inglewood and Ramsay as we learn more about the timelines and impact on our communities. 

Want to know more about the removal of the existing 12 Street SE bridge? Check out the FAQs.

Reconciliation Bridge

On Monday, January 23, 2017 City Council made an extremely momentous decision, demonstrating their commitment to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission and the City of Calgary's White Goose Flying report, by renaming the historic Langevin Bridge to the Reconciliation Bridge. 

The name change to the Reconciliation Bridge was enthusiastically endorsed by the Elders and people all across the city. 

Tax Update - How We Are 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 or 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 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

 

See more of Gian-Carlo's videos here

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!

Gian-Carlo on 2017 Property Tax Assessments

On January 5th, 2017 the City of Calgary mailed out over half a million property tax assessments. For many business owners in Calgary, particularly those outside of the downtown core, they are seeing increases in both the assessed value of their property and their taxes. 

Ward 9 is the largest economic engine outside of the downtown. This year, Ward 9 businesses have been struck with a triple-whammy:

  1. The downturn in the economy
  2. Falling property values in the downtown core which has led in increased values in areas outside of the downtown
  3. Consolidation of the business tax into the non-residential property tax

City Council has set aside $15 million to help businesses in Calgary deal with this impact and will be reviewing the best way to do this in the coming weeks. 

If you are a business owner and concerned about the value your property has been assessed at you can appeal your assessment during the Customer Review Period which runs from January 5 to March 6, 2017.  Please call Assessment at 403-268-8888 between 8:00am and 4:30pm. 

 

Community Representation Framework Task Force

Great Neighbourhoods are more than just the people that live there. They are also the businesses and institutions, like churches, schools, and social agencies, that operate there. Finding a way to integrate and create dialogue among these groups is critical. 

Community associations are one way that we can begin to do this work, however, we need to move to a 'next generation' community association model that brings residents, business, and institutions together to talk about where they have come from, where they are currently, and where they want to go. 

The Community Representation Framework Task Force involves a variety of stakeholders including community association members, the Federation of Calgary Communities, private developers, city administration, and members of City Council, to talk about the future of communities. The goal of the Task Force is to develop a decision-making framework or governance model on community building.

This will bring us one step closer to fulfilling Gian-Carlo's second goal of his Great Neighbourhoods platform and developing a next generation community association model. 

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.

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

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