Executive Summary

Executive Summary

Great Calgary 2013 is focused on finding ways to keep Calgary a globally competitive city. For the 2013 Calgary Civic Election, The Calgary Chamber has formulated eight municipal government priorities which we feel are essential in solidifying Calgary’s position globally over the next four years. The Calgary Chamber, with input from its members, believes these policy areas will ensure that Calgary remains a competitive city that is recognized internationally as a premium destination to live and work. A Great Calgary will attract and retain top-level talent to the city that will contribute to the continued prosperity of all Calgarians.

The following recommendations have been proposed for incoming City Council to consider in order to ensure both our businesses and communities continue to thrive. The Calgary Chamber believes collaboration between businesses, City Council, and all citizens will help maintain a vibrant, competitive, Great Calgary.

Keeping Business Competitive

  1. Fiscal Prudence
  2. Cutting Red Tape
  3. Property Tax Equity
  4. Paying for Utilities – Franchise Fee Reform

Keeping our Communities Competitive

  1. Growth and Development
  2. Transportation and Mobility
  3. Housing
  4. Planning Flood Resistant Communities

Fiscal Prudence

  • Limit spending increases within the range of real GDP plus inflation and population growth plus inflation. 
  • Develop a budgetary framework that identifies essential and discretionary spending areas, directly engages citizens, and increases transparency in the budget planning process to ensure Calgarians receive the best possible value-for-money. 
  • Develop stringent debt spending criteria to help ensure The City of Calgary stays under its permitted debt load and debt service thresholds. 
  • Expand the zero-base review program to all city departments and business units. 
  • Create an archive of public engagement results to increase transparency with citizens. 
  • Explore alternative financing options for municipal infrastructure, such as public private-partnerships, where appropriate.
  • Establish a regular schedule for external audits of City financials for departments and funded organizations.

Read the full Fiscal Prudence and Management section
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Cutting Red Tape

  • Implement a mandatory regulatory impact assessment process for all new bylaws, which includes collecting and utilizing public input, in order to minimize red tape and regulatory burden before new bylaws are implemented. 
  • Maximize administrative simplicity when implementing new policies and procedures.
  • Streamline the development approvals process. 
  • Expand The City’s open data policy to facilitate data access, transparency and increase public engagement.
  • Clearly communicate regulatory requirements to potential new businesses and residents. 
  • Continue engaging citizens and businesses on how to effectively expand the Cut Red Tape initiative and continue to implement new solutions.

Read the full Cutting Red Tape section
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Property Tax Equity

  • Recalculate property tax rates so that the burden is not disproportionately borne by businesses and Calgary remains a competitive place to do business. 
  • Ensure the tax shift that is revenue neutral, so that no additional taxes or costs are levied on citizens. 
  • Implement user fees, where appropriate, so that businesses are not paying for services that they do not use or benefit from. 
  • Clearly communicate tax burdens to residents and businesses and exactly where residential and nonresidential tax dollars are going.

Read the full Property Tax Equity section
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Paying for Utilities – Franchise Fee Reform

  • Set franchise fees for utilities based on cost of delivery only. 
  • Communicate clearly to the public what franchise fees are and how they are calculated in Calgary.

Read the full Paying for Utilities section
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Growth and Development

  • Continue applying Plan It Calgary’s principles to all aspects of the city’s development. 
  • Continue to collaborate with stakeholders to better apply Plan It principles.
  • Maintain a minimum three year supply of serviced land, with an optimum supply of three and half years of serviced land, using the expanded definition adopted by The City that includes emergency services and transportation access. 

Read the full Growth and Development section
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Transportation and Mobility

  •  Expand the primary transit network to better service new communities and increase transit frequency and capacity in higher traffic areas. 
  • Continue to pursue transitoriented development, where appropriate. 
  • Expand the use of high occupancy vehicle lanes, including existing bus-only lanes to accommodate other high-occupancy vehicles. 
  • Continue to increase inner city parking efficiency through floating prices based on demand and limiting high demand areas to short-stay parking. 

Read the full Transportation and Mobility section
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Housing

  • Remove zoning restrictions on secondary suites, while ensuring that:

    • Basic infrastructure and safety restrictions are met and suites do not exceed a maximum of two bedrooms.
    • Secondary suites are required to meet basic health and safety standards only.
    • Suites are limited to a rental basis only.
  • Use tools to increase the development of affordable market and non-market rental housing stock throughout the city, such as density bonusing and parking requirement relaxation.

Read the full Housing section 
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Planning Flood Resistant Communities

  • Identify best practices and proceed with flood mitigation in areas adjacent to the Bow and Elbow Rivers.
  • Create preventative measures that address the “worst possible scenario” to ensure minimal future damage.
  • Address aging infrastructure to mitigate sewage-related flooding in high rainfall events throughout Calgary.
  • Work with neighboring municipalities to identify and develop solutions that address concerns across the entire floodplain.

Read the full Planning Flood Resistant Communities section
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