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.

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What the 2018 Budget Means for Calgary

(2 minute read)

Today Calgary City Council is in the middle of our week-long budget deliberations. This budget is the last of the four-year budget, the 2015-2018 Action Plan, that we started one year into the last term and so it carried over into this one.

In January 2018, City Council and City Administration will begin the year-long process of establishing the next four-year business plan and budget cycle, that will be called One Calgary. I'm really looking forward to working with Calgarians in general, and Ward 9’s East Calgary communities specifically, on that. We're going to do very deep and meaningful engagement and we're setting ourselves up to be in a position to take the Great Neighborhood's transformation to the next level.

Getting back to the budget before us, this 2018 budget was a really difficult one. City Council gave City Administration some very tough marching orders. We directed them to reduce taxes and increase services (this is the kind of balancing act you can only perform when you're in the middle of transforming the organization).

I think we're striking that balance well. This year we're looking at putting almost $2 billion of capital work into the economy, building the city that we need and keeping Calgarians employed.

This budget balances that direction pretty well. One important feature of this 2018 budget is that the City of Calgary will be using $23 million of tax room to pay for the financing fees for the Green Line, making this historic project in connectivity and city building even more viable.

Another important aspect of the 2018 budget is something that City Council has heard prior to, and during the last election - safety, safety, safety. This year, the Calgary Police Service is asking for $20 million to increase their ability to serve us in this downturn in the economy, whose effects have been exacerbated by this fentanyl-driven crime wave. I'm very supportive of this ask from the Calgary Police Service and I expect Council will support that as well.

Lastly, another significant add-on in this 2018 budget is $4 million to maintain our soberingly and amazingly successful low-income bus fare project. What City Council learned is that there are many more citizens in Calgary who need the low-income bus fare program that we planned for. While this is a provincial responsibility, the City of Calgary cannot and should not deny mobility and access to the users of this program. We will be pursuing the province for them to pay their appropriate portion of this program in the very near term.  

The discussions from City Council that is emerging is very interesting and I look forward to hearing and participating in the debate that is soon to come.  We’ve had a lot of thoughtful insight, and a lot of that thoughtfulness is translating into what we're going to be doing over the next four years.

As the last budget in the 2015-2018 Action Plan, City Council is dealing with the downturn of the economy, and I will be looking towards ensuring a budget that puts the Calgarians, Calgary businesses, organizations, and institutions in a position where we are coiled and prepared to move forward into years of growth and prosperity over the next four years.

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.