Share this page Print

 Latest news detail

ID: 1

SidebarListCategory: Ward 14 contact

Title: August 2017 Newsletter

COCFeatured: False

COCShortDescription: See what is happening in the city with this August newsletter

COCDescription: Greetings! <p> Are you enjoying the summer? I hope you are! Summer is part way through, but I am sure some of the best weather is still to come.  </p> <h2>Ward 14 Communities BBQ </h2> <p> The Ward 14 Communities BBQ is about one month away. Things are starting to fall into place—although I am sure there are still many surprises in store. This year the BBQ will be on September 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of Southcentre Mall. Visit <a href="/ward14bbq">www.calgary.ca/ward14bbq</a> for more info, or <a href="/ward14connect">www.calgary.ca/ward14connect</a> for email updates. </p> <p> As for potential surprises, the list of exhibitors continues to grow along with the list of kind sponsors. To start, Spolumbo’s is the newest food sponsor. Instead of the traditional burger, you can have one of their delicious sausages on a bun. </p> <p> I also want to introduce Pacific Developments as the newest financial sponsor. They join United Communities, Mattamy Homes, No Bull Bookkeeping, Genstar, and Great News Publishing on the list at this early point. Another big thank you is also owed to Waste Connections of Canada (formerly Progressive Waste Solutions) for donating money, and for helping clean up afterwards. </p> <p> Thank you to all of them, and Southcentre Mall for the venue </p> <h2>Ward Boundary Changes </h2> <p> In case you weren’t aware, there is a municipal election coming on October 16. Because Calgary is continually evolving and changing shape, ward boundaries must constantly change shape too. 58 communities will find themselves in a new ward next Council term. It is important that you check your ward so that you know what candidates are running in your ward and where to find your designated voting station. To check your ward, visit <a href="http://www.electionscalgary.ca/">www.electionscalgary.ca</a>, or call the Elections &amp; Census Office at 403-476-4100 (Option 2). </p> <p> Unfortunately, Ward 14 will be losing three communities: Maple Ridge, Silverado, and Willow Park. I can’t overstate what a pleasure it has been to serve these communities. I spent many nights meeting the people there, and many days advocating for them at City Hall. More importantly, within them I have made many friends </p> <p> Thank you to all the residents, and volunteers of those beautiful communities for joining me in the endeavor of making them the best they can be. I look forward to doing the same with Douglasdale and McKenzie Lake as we welcome them into Ward 14.  </p> <h2>New rules for fire pits in Calgary</h2> <p> I can confidently say that building a good relationship with your neighbours is very important. Not only is it nice to have the friendly mood in the community, but it is maybe the best thing you can do to keep the area safe. </p> <p> Everyone should try their best to be a good neighbour, but there is just no way that everyone is going to agree about everything. That is why we have set some rules—that we call Community Standards Bylaws—as guidance for being a good neighbour. </p> <p> We have recently finished a review of those bylaws, and there have been some changes. Perhaps the most notable of those changes is to rules about fire pits. For example, you must now make sure your flame is extinguished by midnight on weekdays, and 1 p.m. on weekends. </p> <p> If you are interested in learning more, I suggest you visit<a href="/CSPS/Fire/Pages/Safety-tips/Safety-tips-home/Fire-pits.aspx"> calgary.ca/firepits</a>. If you have a concern or complaint about fire pits, call 311. </p> <p> I will write again for September. Until then, feel free to <a href="/citycouncil/ward-14/Pages/Contact-Ward-14.aspx">contact me </a>at any time. </p> <p> -Councillor Peter Demong</p>

COCImageVideo: Neither

COCImage: http://www.calgary.ca/citycouncil/ward-14/PublishingImages/News-articles/Newsletter-placeholder.jpg, /citycouncil/ward-14/PublishingImages/News-articles/Newsletter-placeholder.jpg

COCImageRatio: ratio-16x9

COCHyperlink: http://www.calgary.ca/citycouncil/ward-14/Pages/Latest-news-detail.aspx, /citycouncil/ward-14/Pages/Latest-news-detail.aspx

COCVideoID:

COCPublishedDate: 2017-08-01 00:00:00

COCActive: True

Tag: Newsletter

PageQueryString->ArticleID: [PageQueryString:ArticleID]

Back | August 01, 2017

Greetings!

Are you enjoying the summer? I hope you are! Summer is part way through, but I am sure some of the best weather is still to come. 

Ward 14 Communities BBQ

The Ward 14 Communities BBQ is about one month away. Things are starting to fall into place—although I am sure there are still many surprises in store. This year the BBQ will be on September 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of Southcentre Mall. Visit www.calgary.ca/ward14bbq for more info, or www.calgary.ca/ward14connect for email updates.

As for potential surprises, the list of exhibitors continues to grow along with the list of kind sponsors. To start, Spolumbo’s is the newest food sponsor. Instead of the traditional burger, you can have one of their delicious sausages on a bun.

I also want to introduce Pacific Developments as the newest financial sponsor. They join United Communities, Mattamy Homes, No Bull Bookkeeping, Genstar, and Great News Publishing on the list at this early point. Another big thank you is also owed to Waste Connections of Canada (formerly Progressive Waste Solutions) for donating money, and for helping clean up afterwards.

Thank you to all of them, and Southcentre Mall for the venue

Ward Boundary Changes

In case you weren’t aware, there is a municipal election coming on October 16. Because Calgary is continually evolving and changing shape, ward boundaries must constantly change shape too. 58 communities will find themselves in a new ward next Council term. It is important that you check your ward so that you know what candidates are running in your ward and where to find your designated voting station. To check your ward, visit www.electionscalgary.ca, or call the Elections & Census Office at 403-476-4100 (Option 2).

Unfortunately, Ward 14 will be losing three communities: Maple Ridge, Silverado, and Willow Park. I can’t overstate what a pleasure it has been to serve these communities. I spent many nights meeting the people there, and many days advocating for them at City Hall. More importantly, within them I have made many friends

Thank you to all the residents, and volunteers of those beautiful communities for joining me in the endeavor of making them the best they can be. I look forward to doing the same with Douglasdale and McKenzie Lake as we welcome them into Ward 14. 

New rules for fire pits in Calgary

I can confidently say that building a good relationship with your neighbours is very important. Not only is it nice to have the friendly mood in the community, but it is maybe the best thing you can do to keep the area safe.

Everyone should try their best to be a good neighbour, but there is just no way that everyone is going to agree about everything. That is why we have set some rules—that we call Community Standards Bylaws—as guidance for being a good neighbour.

We have recently finished a review of those bylaws, and there have been some changes. Perhaps the most notable of those changes is to rules about fire pits. For example, you must now make sure your flame is extinguished by midnight on weekdays, and 1 p.m. on weekends.

If you are interested in learning more, I suggest you visit calgary.ca/firepits. If you have a concern or complaint about fire pits, call 311.

I will write again for September. Until then, feel free to contact me at any time.

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | April 03, 2017

Hello people of Ward 14!  

Last month I did a bit of a primer for the new season. Since we are now entering the first full month of spring, I want everyone to remember a couple of seasonal tidbits that I wrote about in March.

Street sweeping, civic census, & voter registration are all online

You can still find all of the information that you need—including the latest information on when to move your vehicle—at calgary.ca/sweep. You should also have received your access code for the online civic census and voter registration by mail in March. All of these things are very important, and all of them are now available online (which saves taxpayers money).

Ward 14 Traffic Safety Meeting (another reminder from last month

Traffic Safety is constantly one of the most popular topics in Ward 14. Anyone who is concerned with traffic safety (especially those who are Star Wars fans) will be happy to hear that they can join the Calgary Police Service, and the City’s transportation department on May the 4th to discuss the topic. I will also be with you. Join us from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Mid-Sun Community Centre.

Roadway Activity Map

I really like maps. Those close to me know this very well. I like them because they teach me all sorts of new things, and because they are incredibly useful. That is why I am happy to share the newest addition to the City of Calgary’s collection of online maps: the Roadway Activity Map.

The map combines a number of data sources to provide real-time information on both planned and active road construction work projects. It includes both short term, and long term projects like construction paving, sidewalk closures, and microsurfacing, as well as special event closures like parades and festivals.

You can find the map at maps.calgary.ca/roadwayactivities, or find the entire City of Calgary Map collection by clicking ‘maps’ on calgary.ca.

Should Calgary Bid on the 2026 Winter Olympics

The topic of bidding on the 2026 Winter Olympics is going to be one that is discussed for months to come, if not years. The decision making process will begin with a thorough investigation of how the Olympic bid will impact Calgary.

There are many factors to consider in the decision to bid, and the website shouldcalgarybid.com contains lots of information. Our investigation will also include learning what Calgarians think about the bid. The website that I mentioned also contains a survey. If you want to take the survey do it soon. I am not sure how long it will be available.

April Counciltalk

This month Counciltalk will be in the main gym at the Deer Run Community Centre (2223 146 Avenue S.W.) from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (please note the later than usual start time). There are only three more opportunities (including April) to hold Counciltalk before the summer, so please make sure you get out to one. The other dates and times for Counciltalk are posted on calgary.ca/counciltalk, or you can get reminders by signing up at calgary.ca/ward14connect. Tell your friends to join too. The more, the merrier!

Thanks for reading, and don’t hesitate to contact me anytime

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | August 01, 2016

Hello Ward 14,

I hope you’re having a great summer. I know it’s easy to let the idea that summer is almost over creep in, but in reality our best weather is still ahead...

Ward 14 Communities BBQ

That is exactly why I hold my Ward 14 Communities BBQ in September. I learned my lesson after holding the very first version of the BBQ in June. It was fun, but also rainy. You can expect the likelihood of rain to be much less in late September.

The Ward 14 Communities BBQ is on September 24 to be exact. We will be in the Southcentre Mall parking lot from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and even if the weather does not cooperate you will be able to find shelter.

Given the state of our economy, I have been nothing short of amazed by the generosity of local businesses this year. So far Great News Publishing, No Bull Bookkeeping, Qualico, United Communities, Jack Carter Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC, Genstar, Southcentre Mall, Progressive Waste Solutions, Calgary Co-op, Safeway, and Southgate Chevrolet Buick GMC have all stepped up with their support. Because of their help there will be plenty of free community association memberships for attendees, and also a burger and beverage for everyone.

There will be all sorts of exhibits ranging from the interesting to the informative and everything in between. You will be able to visit everyone from your MLA, to a local scout troop, to reps from the Calgary Zoo. Every City of Calgary department that you can think of will be there for you to visit, and there will be much more.

I invite you to join me on September 24! Visit calgary.ca/ward14bbq for more information.

Stay Connected

You can visit calgary.ca/ward14 to get updates on things like Counciltalk, my BBQ, and other City related things, or you could let me do the work for you. I send email updates about those things and others, but you need to give me permission first. You can do so by filling out the online form at calgary.ca/ward14connect.

Flying your drone safely and legally

With the help of our friends at the Calgary Police Service, I would like to share with some small but helpful tidbits for staying safe and preventing crime over the next several columns. I will start with what seems like the most summer-related topic of them all—recreational drones.

I know that it may seem like an odd subject, but in the future it could be very important: even the City is investigating how drones can be used.

The Federal Government regulates the use of drones, but to launch from City property (like a park) you must get permission from the City (as with any property owner). 

Use common sense! Don’t operate your drone near large groups of people; near moving vehicles, or anywhere you could distract drivers; within restricted, or controlled airspace; or anywhere that may interfere with first responders. You may not fly your drone closer than 9 km to an airport; higher than 90 metres above the ground; or closer than 150 metres to people, animals, buildings, structures, or vehicles.

This is not an exhaustive guide for drone use, but is a window into it. Visit tc.gc.ca/safetyfirst for more information.

Thanks for reading, and please feel free to contact me anytime.

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | April 01, 2016

Hey Ward 14!

Spring is now in full swing. I will start with a quick reminder about Counciltalk and then dive in to an important spring topic.

April Counciltalk

Three great Counciltalk discussions are already done. The April Counciltalk will be held at the Sundance Resident’s Association (63 Suncrest Way S.E.) on April 23 from noon to 2 p.m. You can find a listing of Counciltalks at calgary.ca/counciltalk, and you can also sign up to get email reminders for Counciltalk and other things at calgary.ca/ward14connect.

Street Sweeping

You’re reading this in late March or early April, but I’m writing it in February. As I write, the City is way ahead of schedule for its street sweeping program because of the very warm and dry February. In fact, “pre-sweeping” started in February.

“Pre-sweeping” is what it sounds like. We pick up some of the larger debris in strategic areas to make things easier for the final sweep. It is the beginning of our annual program removing debris that has accumulated during winter on roads, major sidewalks, and boulevards. Keeping the roads clear helps everybody get around easier and safely. It is also good for the environment and our wallets. Every pebble that we pick up before the June rain doesn’t end up in our storm water system. It also saves us money on maintenance of that system.  Removing as much as possible is great, and doing it quickly is best.

So we’re trying to take advantage of the good conditions, and there are a few changes to the usual schedule that you should take note of:

1. We are aiming to complete the program by June 1 instead of June 30, and will begin on April  3 instead of April 13 (weather permitting).
2. Daytime sweeping (in residential areas) will be 7 days/week instead of 4 days/week
3. Evening sweeping (of main roads) will now be Mon-Thurs instead of Sun-Wed

If you see a temporary parking sign on your street, that means there is a parking ban in place. Crews will move vehicles to a space nearby at the City’s expense if possible, but will tow to an impound lot at the owners expense if not. In both case, the car will be ticketed. Unlike before, vehicles in sweeping areas where there is no parking ban may receive tickets, and the penalty has gone to $120 from $75.

Please help the City keep our streets, sidewalks, and parks clean of debris by obeying the posted parking restrictions. It will save the City money, and your neighbours will thank you. Parking ban signs will be posted at least 12 hours in advance, so keep an eye out. I also suggest visiting calgary.ca/sweep where you can find a real-time map showing our progress (a result of one of my innovation fund requests) and look up planned street sweeping dates by address. Check back frequently though—the weather can change plans.

If you have any questions about street sweeping or anything else feel free to contact me.

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | December 01, 2016

Hi Everyone!  

It’s the holiday season, and I hope you will have some time to spend with friends and family. Here are a few notes that will help you during December.

Snow & Ice Control

It is a good thing to mention once or twice a year... The City maintains over 16,000 lane kilometres of road excluding Deerfoot and Stoney Trail, which are the Province’s responsibility. Naturally, maintaining this amount of road requires prioritization. That is why the City endeavors to maintain all roads seven days from the end of a snowfall. You can expect a major road like Macleod Trail to be cleared within 24 hours of the last snowflake, while your own street will likely be taken care of within day 3-7. Parking bans may be called if you live on a Snow Route. They are marked by a blue sign with a white snowflake.

The City clears about half of its 800 kilometres of pathway too. How do we decide what pathway to clear? That is based on a combination of volume, steepness, and the connections that it makes. Pathways are to be cleared within 24 hours of the last snowflake.

Sidewalks are the responsibility of the property owner. They are to be cleared within 24 hours of the last snowflake.

I highly recommended downloading the City’s Roads App. It will have all the latest updates on Calgary’s roads. Calgary.ca/snow and calgary.ca/roadconditions will have that information too. You can also call 311 and ask.

Natural Gas Carbon Levy Information

The Province’s carbon tax levy is going to be a tough pill to swallow for most of us, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be prepared. Budgeting is an extremely important habit to get into, and I am very happy that Enmax is helping people do that. Along with posting general information on their blog (enmaxonforyou.ca), they have provided customers with individualized estimates of the carbon tax levy. If you haven’t already looked over your estimate and the blog, I suggest you do so. There is information there that is likely to save you money.

Reporting Street Light Outages

We have a really neat new way to report street light outages. You will be able to select street lights that are out, flickering, or burning during the day on a map to indicate that they need repair. Keep in mind that the City is not responsible for the repair of streetlights in back alleys, parks and recreation areas, or Deerfoot Trail, Stoney Trail North, or Stoney Trail South. To find the map and get more information go to calgary.ca/streetlights.

Counciltalk

Now I would like to look forward to the upcoming year, because in January my Counciltalk sessions will begin again. I won’t go into too much detail because I think many of you already know what they are about. If not, you can learn more at calgary.ca/counciltalk and sign up to receive important updates about things like Counciltalk at calgary.ca/ward14connect.

We will be starting at the Lake Bonavista Community Centre this year. You are welcome to join me in the multi-purpose room on Saturday, January 28 from noon to 2 p.m. I hope you can come

Thanks for reading. Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, and joyful New Year

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | February 23, 2015

I am very excited to see the 162 Avenue and Macleod Trail Interchange project take off this year. It is desperately needed at one of the south’s busiest intersections, and it is great to see all the hard work finally nearing something tangible.

Shovels won’t be in the ground in 2015, but the City will be deep into the planning of this major infrastructure project. There has already been one phase of engagement so far, and the second of three will take place this week. The purpose of this phase is to share decisions that have been identified, and to receive input.

Both sessions are at Bishop O’Byrne High School (333 Shawville Blvd SE). The dates and times are:

  • Thursday, February 26 from 5 - 8 pm
  • Saturday, February 28 from 10 am - 1 pm

If you would like to learn more about the project, you can visit calgary.ca/macleod162ave, and as always, you can contact me with your questions or concerns anytime.

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | February 14, 2013

It's only February, but it's still a good time to think about road paving this summer. That is because the City of Calgary's Roads, Construction Division has released its 2013 Surface Overlay Paving schedule.

Paving work generally alternates between the north and south portions of the city each year in order to keep fair distribution of funding and to maximize efficiency. In addition, extensive evaluation of pavement conditions plays a part in determining which roadways are selected for surface rehabilitation.

In Ward 14, parts of Deer Run and Parkland will be undergoing paving. Sections of Macleod Trail will also be undergoing a different kind of paving called "microsurfacing." The paving schedule shown below along with frequently asked questions will be posted on Calgary.ca before the paving program starts in June. As always, the Roads department will continue to communicate road closures through 311, Calgary.ca, and the City's social media channels.

Please note that the schedule is subject to change due to weather and emergency road work.

Ward 14 paving schedule: July - October 2013 *

Street Starting cross street Finishing cross street
146 Avenue S.E. Deer Run Boulevard S.E. Parkland Boulevard S.E.
Parkglen Crescent S.E. Parkland Boulevard S.E. Parkland Boulevard S.E.
Parkland Way S.E. Parkridge Drive S.E. Parkridge Drive S.E.
Parkridge Crescent S.E. Parkridge Drive S.E. Parkridge Drive S.E.
Parkridge Drive S.E. (east leg) Parkland Boulevard (north leg) Parkvalley Drive S.E.
Parkridge Green S.E. Parkridge Drive S.E. (east leg) Parkridge Drive S.E. (south leg)
Parkridge Road S.E. Parkridge Drive S.E. Parkridge Drive S.E.
Parkside Crescent S.E. Parkside Drive S.E. Parkside Drive S.E
Parkvalley Drive S.E. Parkland Boulevard S.E. Parkland Boulevard S.E.
Parkview Crescent S.E. (west leg) Parkview Way S.E. Parkview Way S.E.
Parkvista Crescent S.E. Parkvalley Drive S.E. Parkvalley Drive S.E.
Parkside Drive S.E. Parkland Boulevard (north leg) Parkland Boulevard (south leg)


Microsurfacing

Street Starting cross street Finishing cross street
Macleod Trail S.E. Sun Valley Boulevard S.E. 194 Avenue S.E.


* Please note: The paving season runs from June to October, exact dates of scheduled paving can be found on Calgary.ca.in spring, 2013. Paving schedules are subject to change due to weather and emergency road work.

Categories:

Back | June 25, 2015

First brought to Council: June 29, 2015

Outcome: Carried as amended



Alberta has been feeling the impact of low oil prices for almost a year now. Jobs in the private sector continue to be under the microscope. Budgets will be tight going forward, and citizens are looking for fiscal prudence from the City of Calgary.

Savings - in terms of time and tax dollars - can sometimes be found in the simplest of places: All you have to do is look. Many groups get involved when Council meets. Administration, the public, the media, and many others all have a vested interest in Council meetings. Everyone’s time is valuable. It doesn’t happen often, but a few tweaks to Council’s schedule could save everyone’s time and money.

City Council needs to dig deeper for savings, and that is why Councillor Peter Demong brought a motion suggesting changes to Council’s schedule for everyone’s benefit.

View the Notice of Motion

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | March 12, 2012

First brought to Council: March 12, 2012

Outcome: Referred to Pension Governance Committee



Many North American cities are finding themselves unprepared when it comes to funding their pension plan liabilities. The Alberta Local Authorities Pension Plan's (LAPP) unfunded liability has grown significantly in the past decade, and is now reaching about $4.6 billion. That means it is approximately 20% underfunded. Fifty other American cities are dealing with almost $600 billion in unfunded pension liabilities.

We desperately need a plan! Alderman Peter Demong brought a motion to Council. It requested that administration prepare and present a report outlining any and all of The City of Calgary's unfunded LAPP liabilities and any contingency plans that are in place.

View the Notice of Motion

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | June 25, 2012

First brought to Council: June 25, 2012

Outcome: Carried as revised



The 3-1-1 information system was developed in 2005 to be The City of Calgary's primary non-emergency phone contact for its citizens. It reinforces Transparency, Accountability and Citizen Orientation - principles that City Council and Administration have embraced. It is an invaluable tool to The City of Calgary when responding to citizens and gathering useful information. But it isn't perfect. For example:

A man called 3-1-1 about three weeks ago to report a pothole. It hasn't been fixed! So he calls 3-1-1 again and gives the operator his Service Request number. The operator tells him that his Service Request has been closed, to which he replies, "How could that be? I'm standing in the pothole right now.

This happens from time to time. The reason for this is that once 3-1-1 has directed the request to the appropriate department, it is up to the department to close the request based on the criteria they have defined for closing a request. In this case, the request was closed on the 3-1-1 call centre side of things but was still open within the Roads Department list of service calls to be attended.

The system can be streamlined and new efficiencies can be realized. 3-1-1 is too valuable a tool to go unmaintained. Alderman Peter Demong proposed a motion to Council proposing that a plan of action be developed to optimize the 3-1-1 system.

View the Notice of Motion

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | November 08, 2012

In 2010, Council created a Cut Red Tape program to reduce red tape at City Hall. The program asked Calgarians to share their experiences working with The City of Calgary and suggest ideas for how things could be improved. As Chairman of the Cut Red Tape Committee, I want to thank everyone who submitted their cut red tape ideas.

The Cut Red Tape sought input from three stakeholder groups:

  • Phase I focused on soliciting City of Calgary employees to identify red tape in their business unit and their proposed solutions to address the problems they identified.
  • Phase II asked Calgary business people to describe the #1 challenge they have faced regarding red tape when doing business with The City and provide a solution. An advisory group comprised of organizations representing the business community reviewed these ideas.
  • Phase III asked the General Public to share their red tape experiences and solutions - suggest ways to reduce non-essential procedures, forms, licenses and regulations at The City of Calgary. Over the next two months, every idea shared will be reviewed.

We've received around 600 potentially employable ideas for the Cut Red Tape program. Many have already been implemented.

I realize that this message will find you after your opportunity to participate in the Cut Red Tape program has passed, but want to assure you that your input is always welcome. It is my job to come up with ideas to make The City of Calgary run more efficiently and I am always on the lookout for suggestions from constituents. You can contact me through the feedback form​ on my website.

Your ideas are important; your suggestions are needed and appreciated! Once again, thanks to everyone who submitted their cut red tape ideas and to everyone else who has given their ideas in other ways.

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | January 06, 2015

ALDERTALK is back for the New Year! I will be hosting the year's first session of ALDERTALK this Saturday, January 17 from noon to 2 p.m. at Parkland Community Hall (505 Parkvalley Road SE). ALDERTALK is an opportunity for Ward 14 residents to visit their Councillor in an informal face-to-face setting. It's a chance to get to know one another, discuss problems, or brainstorm for the future. You can learn more about Aldertalk at calgary.ca/aldertalk.

If tomorrow doesn't work for you, ALDERTALK will be back again on February 28 at Willowridge Community Hall. I hope on you can join me on one, or both, of these occasions.

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | May 22, 2014

​On Thursday, May 15, the City of Calgary will be holding a public engagement event to view the proposed concept plan for Anderson Station Transit-Oriented Development (TOD).  This may be the last open event to view and provided input on the proposed plan before it goes to City Council for final approval.  I urge anyone with an interest to attend.

What:  Anderson Station TOD public event
When:  Thursday, May 15, 2014 - drop in anytime from 3-8 p.m.
Where: Southcentre Mall, centre court

Transit-Oriented Development involves proposed zoning changes to municipally-owned property surrounding Anderson Station, and the eventual sale of that land for development.  Anderson TOD has the potential to impact parking, population density, and traffic in the surrounding areas.

For more information, please visit the City of Calgary’s Anderson TOD website.

Categories:

Back | January 07, 2014

Aldertalk has been a great success in my first term on City Council. It seems only natural that it should continue. Aldertalk sessions are an opportunity to speak with me directly about any topic you like. I book meeting rooms in community halls across Ward 14 on an almost monthly basis, and make myself available for any questions.

The first Aldertalk sessions of the 2013-2017 Term are now scheduled. Please feel free to join me at any session. Here is what I have booked so far:

January

Date: January 18, 2014
Time: 12 pm - 2 pm
Location: Parkland Community Hall
Address: 505 Parkvalley Road SE

February

Date: February 22, 2014
Time: 12 pm - 2 pm
Location: Willow Ridge Community Hall
Address: 680 Acadia Drive SE

I hope to see you there! Keep an eye on calgary.ca/Aldertalk​ for upcoming dates.

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | May 07, 2013

In June of 2012, I brought a notice of motion​ to Council with hopes that it would shed some light on what a valuable tool the 311 information system can be. The purpose was to streamline processes and find new efficiencies in the 311 system. One of the recommendations coming out of this was a focus on "Self Serve Tools" to increase the presence of 311 service requests on the web and enable the public to track the progress and status of service requests themselves.

The new 311 mobile app is a perfect example of this. Launched on May 7, 2013, it will allow citizens the option to attach a photo, use GPS to track the location of their request, and track their services requests on their smartphone. There are currently 17 services available on the 311 Calgary Mobile app, with more becoming available later.

You can download the 311 Calgary mobile app by going to calgary.ca/mobileapps.

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | June 11, 2015

First brought to Council: June 15, 2015

Outcome: Carried



The City of Calgary’s Integrated Pest Management Plan was approved by Council in 1998. It was developed mainly in response to public concerns over the use of pesticides. It has led to a high degree of inaction on the City’s part when it comes to dandelions.

A lot has changed since 1998. The public concern over pesticides in the ‘90s has resulted in safer pest-control products, and the dry spring of 2015 has resulted in a mass of dandelions on public properties. The higher level to which private properties are held has many people seeing a double standard, not to mention the increased difficulty controlling a weed that is easily spread from public to private land.

As things change and dandelions remain a problem, it is time to take another look at how we handle dandelions. That is why Councillor Peter Demong proposed a motion asking administration to take another look at how we handle dandelions.

View the Notice of Motion

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | January 21, 2015

The Cut Red Tape program has saved at least $12.7 million.

Being part of the Cut Red Tape program is something that I am very proud of. It epitomizes the reasons I sought this office. As the program transitions to its permanent home within The City’s daily operations, I am very happy to report that the Cut Red Tape program has saved at least $12.7 million for The City and Calgarians.

The cut red tape program requested ideas from three stakeholder groups: City employees, businesses, and citizens. To date, more than 40 of those ideas have been implemented, resulting in the over $12 million savings. Here is the full list of Cut Red Tape projects​.

As Chairman of the Cut Red Tape Committee, I want to thank everyone who submitted their ideas, and remind you that your input is always welcome. I am always on the lookout for suggestions from constituents, so feel free to contact me anytime.

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | February 01, 2017

Hello Ward 14!  

Before I get into the rest of this column, I want to make a point that could save you a lot of time, trouble, and even money. We have had the first real cold weather in several years over the last few months, which justifiably led many people to leave their cars unlocked and running. Over the same few months I have heard of countless instances of theft—in cars, of cars, and in homes—as a result.

Please seriously consider whether or not it is necessary to leave your car unlocked and running. You could be attracting theft to yourself, and your community by doing so.

Counciltalk

It really feels great to be back for another year of Counciltalk. There are few things that I enjoy more than gathering around a table to discuss and debate topics that matter to people. The last meeting did not disappoint. Your opinions bring me energy, and inspire me as I go about my work at City Hall.

This month Counciltalk will be in the Chaparral Lake House located at 225 Chaparral Drive S.E. I will be there on Saturday, February 25 from noon to 2 p.m. You can visit calgary.ca/counciltalk for details of the full Counciltalk schedule, and you can sign up to receive reminders for Counciltalk and other important Ward 14 news at calgary.ca/ward14connect

Ward 14 Community Calendar

This project has been on my mind for some time now, and the stars are finally aligning to make it reality.

You can learn about them throughout the pages of this newsletter, or maybe on bulletin boards in community halls and churches all over the city. They are the small, local community events, and they have been a big part of my life for many years now.

You will now be able to see them on my website, and I will do my best to keep them up to date. Whether it be the Fun Money Casino, or the Friends of Fish Creek AGM my goal is to post it in an easy-to-use form on my website. Not only will there be information about community events, but you will find City of Calgary engagement sessions as well. You will find every Counciltalk session in the calendar, and even the Ward 14 Communities BBQ.

Go directly to the Community Calendar by visiting calgary.ca/ward14calendar, or just looking around on calgary.ca/ward14

A final note

Finally, it is the month of love, and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. While you are thinking about what to get your sweetheart, I hope we can all remember a different type of giving too. Times are tougher than they have ever been for many of our fellow Calgarians. Charities like the Calgary Food Bank are in need more than ever. Let’s not forget this as we get on with our day-to-day routines.

Feel free to contact me anytime

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | August 09, 2017

There will be a major closure of 162 Avenue and Sun Valley Blvd across Macleod Trail this weekend. It will begin following the evening rush hour at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, August 11, and re-open to traffic early in the morning of Monday, August 14 before rush hour.

It will be a short term pain for some long term gain because once the closure is finished the new interchange will be almost fully operational.

In encourage you to visit calgary.ca/macleod162ave to get full details about upcoming closure at this intersection, including this major one.

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | March 06, 2015

First brought to Council: March 9, 2015

Outcome: Carried



The price of oil is still low. In an ideal world that wouldn’t have such a negative impact on our economy, but right now it does. Jobs in the private sector continue to be under the microscope. The Federal and Provincial Governments continue to warn that budgets will be tight, and they can have a profound impact on the City of Calgary.

The will of City Council is that there will be no savings through the suspension of public art funding. Nevertheless, City Council, City Administration, the Media, and the Public are now having a serious discussion about what sacrifices can be made at City Hall while the citizens of Calgary make sacrifices of their own. The message that some of us understand the new reality is starting to get across, and it seems like a real search for savings is underway.

But the City of Calgary needs to dig deeper for savings, and that is why Councillor Peter Demong brought a motion asking Administration to do exactly that.

View the Notice of Motion

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | August 01, 2012

It's August! Soon we'll be sending the kids back to school, and I'm hoping that in the upcoming school year the Grade 6 students of Ward 14 will help me carry on what I want to become a tradition. On June 25, I presented Claire Mikuska of Willow Park School with the Ward 14 Wordsmith Award in front of Calgary City Council for her essay answering the question, "How Does Municipal Government Affect Me?" All the essays were exceptional, but Claire's stood out especially. Congratulations Claire! I can't wait to be impressed again next year.

There's another tradition that I'd like to carry on, but this time with a twist. Last summer my Community Pancake Breakfast was a big hit, even in the pouring rain. This year M&M Meat Shops will be serving up burgers and my fingers are crossed that Sept. 22 will be warm and sunny for my Ward 14 Communities BBQ. It will be in the southeast corner of the Southcentre Mall parking lot, near the CIBC, just like last year. Please come and help me raise awareness for Ward 14's Community Associations and make a donation to the Calgary Food Bank between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

You may have heard me advise you to call 3-1-1 for one reason or another. There's a reason for that. It's a great service! The 3-1-1 system receives requests from a population of over a million people and gets it right the vast majority of the time. But just because a juicy and delicious burger at my Ward 14 Communities BBQ will taste amazing, doesn't mean I won't have some condiments to add a little extra flavor. By that I mean that 3-1-1 is a great service, but it can be better. Here's an example. The names have been changed to protect the innocent (well, actually it's sort of hypothetical, but it describes my concerns about 3-1-1 very accurately). A man called 3-1-1 about 3 weeks ago to report a pothole. It hasn't been fixed! So he calls 3-1-1 again and gives the operator his Service Request number. The operator tells him that his Service Request has been closed, to which he replies "how could that be? I'm standing in the pothole right now."

I am serious! This happens from time to time. The reason is that once 3-1-1 has directed the request to the appropriate department, it is up to the department to close the request based on the criteria they have defined for closing a request. In the June 25 meeting of Calgary City Council, I proposed that a plan of action be developed to optimize and define how Service Requests are handled in the departments. My hope was that 3-1-1 will be able to work efficiently and seamlessly with all of the departments to ensure that a Service Request is closed only when the problem is resolved. The motion was carried and I am looking forward to seeing what improvements arise as a result.

With all this talk about 3-1-1, I want to make it clear that if you ever have any issue with the 3-1-1 system or anything else with regards to The City of Calgary's operation I am here to listen to your concerns. In fact, interacting with the people of Ward 14 is my favorite part of my job. So feel free to contact me anytime at 403-268-1653 or contact my office.

Goodbye for now!​

Categories: Newsletter

Back | August 01, 2014

Dear Ward 14:

I would like to formally invite each of you to join me in the Southcentre Mall parking lot on Saturday, September 13 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for the 2014 Ward 14 Communities BBQ.  The reason—as always—will be to celebrate the great work of Ward 14`s community associations.

They are the group that operates and maintains your local community hall, and skating rink.  They hold events to bring the people in your community together.  They might provide a soccer program for your kids or a social program for seniors.  They advocate for the current and future well-being of your community, and they do all this as volunteers.

With the help of the usual generous sponsors—and some new ones—you have an opportunity to get to know your community association.  You will get a free burger and a free community association membership.

You will get a chance to see some of the projects that the City is working on.  You can have a chat with some of Calgary`s finest, see some of their high-tech machines, and kick the tires of a fire engine with a fire fighter.  For the kids the Calgary Public Library and the Calgary Zoo will be showing off what they are up to.

There will be all that and more, so join me on Saturday, September 13 at 11 a.m. at Southcentre Mall for a celebration!  You can visit www.calgary.ca/ward14/events to learn more.

Did you know?  There will likely be changes to playground and school zones on September 1, 2014.

It has taken a lot of lobbying from many including myself, but on June 1 the Province finally relinquished its control of playground zone start and end times within Calgary to the Municipal Government.  The conversion of all school zones to playground zones and change of effective times to between 7:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. will be voted on by Council, and I suspect it will pass easily.  It will go a long way to ensuring the safety of students.  I will be very happy to see this go through, but make sure to take note.  It is a major change that you will need to be ready for.

Canada’s new anti-spam legislation has likely found its way into your email inbox. Much of what I send does not fall under the legislation, but some does, and I respect your privacy.  If you would like to receive email updates from me simply send an email to ward14@calgary.ca containing the words “I consent to receiving email updates from Cllr. Peter Demong, Ward 14".

Enjoy the rest of the summer, and feel free to contact me anytime.

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | July 13, 2018

Greetings Ward 14!

August is the one month of the year where Council does not meet, but I can tell you I will be keeping busy travelling all over Alberta for AUMA and Enmax board meetings. At the moment Council is grappling with more big ticket items than I can ever remember in my eight years as a Councillor. We’ve got the Olympics, arena talks, cannabis legalization, city charter stuff, the Green Line, and budgeting for the next four years on our plate, so I will gladly take a little spare time from Council meetings to prepare myself.

2019-2022 City Budget

This "big ticket item" might not get as much attention (which I am trying to change), but it is every bit as important as the others. I will be speaking about it extensively over the next few months. Until then, I urge you to familiarize yourself with calgary.ca/ourfinances, and let me know what you think.

Cannabis Update

On April 5, Council approved bylaw changes to facilitate the retail sale and consumption of cannabis. On April 24, the City of Calgary began accepting cannabis store applications. We have had to react quickly to the changes coming from Ottawa, but now we at least have a legalization date. October 17, 2018 may not be long to prepare, but at least now there is some certainty.

When I wrote about cannabis in my May column I mentioned that the City of Calgary is responsible for dealing with the land use bylaws associated with the sale of cannabis, and creating bylaws that regulate public consumption. To say that we have opted to treat cannabis similarly to the way we treat alcohol is the simplest way to describe our approach.

But the legalization process is ever evolving, and we have amended that initial bylaw to evolve with it. Namely we have considered designated consumption areas, and exemptions for festivals and events.

Designated Consumption Areas

Council approved a suggested process for identifying and allowing designated consumption areas around the city in which cannabis may be smoked, vaped or otherwise consumed in public. These areas would be exempted from the regulations in the Cannabis Consumption Bylaw, which prohibits public consumption in all forms.

The suggested process would allow for initiation and involvement from the Ward Councillor and residents of each community in which a designated cannabis consumption area might be located. Designation would occur through a Public Hearing of Council.

At this time, there are no proposed designated cannabis consumption areas, however Councillors may direct Administration to investigate potential areas in their ward. The viability of potential designated spaces would be measured through criteria which address providing suitable, defined spaces while also considering the overall well-being of communities.

Designated cannabis consumption areas would be identified through signage as well as easily recognizable infrastructure. Areas would be equipped with waste receptacles, tamper-proof ashtrays, and would be confined to a defined radius. The Chief Bylaw Enforcement Officer may temporarily suspend areas should there be safety or nuisance concerns.

Events and Festivals

Council approved an exemption from the Cannabis Consumption Bylaw for festivals and events. The exemption allows for a fully monitored cannabis consumption area that is separated from main gathering areas.

Each application will be reviewed by The City of Calgary’s Interdepartmental Events team composed of representatives from Alberta Health Services, the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission and more than 20 City business units including Recreation, Corporate Security, Police, Fire, and CEMA.The City’s Chief Bylaw Enforcement Officer would approve or reject applications based on the event’s ability to meet requirements. The Chief Bylaw Enforcement Officer may impose conditions, suspend or revoke permits.

Festival attendees will have the opportunity to consume cannabis in a viable, defined area without the concern of being ticketed.Potential impacts to youth and festival goers who wish to avoid exposure to cannabis will be reduced.

Administration will monitor the impact of the exemption for a full festival season and will report back to the Standing Policy Committee on Community & Protective Services in Q4, 2019 with results and recommended adjustments.

It is much easier to loosen regulations than it is to tighten them, and when public health is concerned I would rather err on the side of caution at first. That is the stance that I have taken, and will continue to take. You can find more detail on this topic at calgary.ca/cannabis.

New Summer Hours for Shepard Landfill Throw n’ Go

The Shepard Landfill Throw 'n' Go will accept waste from residential customers Tuesday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until October 28. The Throw 'n' Go accepts household chemicals, paint, electronics, appliances, tires, yard waste, separated construction and demolition materials (asphalt shingles, drywall, construction lumber), and garbage that is too bulky for your black cart. For more information, visit calgary.ca/landfill.

Don’t forget to visit calgary.ca/ward14newsletter for the full version of this column, and feel free to contact me any time. The best way to do so is by visiting calgary.ca/contactward14.

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | April 01, 2012

Aldertalk - a low-cost, people friendly solution which is working well

As you may know, after consultation with many of you, I decided that the annual large open houses commonly held each year were costing a great deal of your money to host, and unfortunately sometimes had as many paid City staff attending as there were constituents. Besides that, I want to be able to meet with constituents informally more than once year. So, I came up with the idea of Aldertalk once a month instead. This consists of me holding a two to three hour face-to-face with you at a local community association each month, taking your questions and concerns and getting to know more of you personally, at virtually no cost to taxpayers. I have to say I'm pretty proud of the Aldertalk idea – it's off to a great start – and I'm really enjoying them! We've had great attendance and good discussions, questions and advice for me that covers a wide variety of issues - from burned out street lights and playground signs, to potholes, parks and pathways. The next session will be held at Deer Run Community 2127 146 Avenue S.E. on Saturday, April 28. Note the change in time - from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. See you there! And thank you to all the community associations for hosting our Aldertalks.

E-Learning video's on how City Hall works now available on YouTube

The many communication tools available in the new world of social media is helping make our city more open and accessible all the time. For computer-literates who want to really get into the nuts and bolts of how development happens in our city, I am pleased to report that The City has now created and posted e-Learning videos on YouTube explaining how our Municipal Development Plan (MDP) works. You can find them and 785 other City-related videos on The City of Calgary's YouTube channel.

Given the large tax increases and city expenses Council is being faced with, Alderman Shane Keating and I brought forward a request to look at some alternative ideas and opportunities for revenue generation, specifically selling naming rights to City owned facilities such as LRT stations. (Hey, if Shibuya, Japan can sell naming rights to public toilets for big bucks!)

Administration approved the idea of looking at some of these alternative ideas, so although we don't yet have many takers, if anyone wants to see an LRT station or other City asset named after them along the lines of Epcor Centre or Pengrowth Saddledome and you have a big chequebook to help keep taxes down for everyone else, The City may be interested in speaking with you!

 

Calgary ready to party in 2012

It's the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede, recently named by CNN as the 5th best party spot in the world. Many events and displays are planned, so if you haven't been too involved with the Stampede for a while, this may be the year you want to think about booking things ahead of time. Along with that, the city is sharing the title of "Cultural Capital of Canada" this year, which comes with $1.6 million federal dollars to help sponsor exciting events and promote tourism. Beginning in April, I expect you will be hearing a lot about that as well. And that's still not all! Along with the Stampede's 100th birthday, we also have the Calgary Public Library, the Pumphouse Theatre, Calgary Recreation and Theatre Junction GRAND Calgary also celebrating their centennials as well. It's clear that 2012 is shaping up to be the great party year for Calgary and Calgarians. Yaahooo!

 

That's it for now folks. Aldertalk with you soon! In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns please call me at 403-268-1653 or contact my office.

Categories: Newsletter

Back | August 01, 2013

It's amazing how a few days can change things.

On Wednesday June 19th, 2013, people leisurely crossed the Bow River Pathway Bridge linking Ward 14 to Douglasdale through Mallard Point in Fish Creek Provincial Park. On the evening of June 20th the waters of the Bow River rose to surround the Ward 14 side of the bridge completely, leaving onlookers to take pictures from the new shoreline 50 feet away. 24 hours later, the Bow River Pathway and Mallard Point had succumbed entirely to the Bow, with the banks lapping onto the concrete where Canyon Meadows Drive meets Fish Creek Park - just metres from homes in Deer Run. Communities upstream reeled in the devastation of the worst flood in Alberta's history. Downstream, Medicine Hat braced for the same. In High River, scuba-divers searched homes for those unable to make it out in time.

As I write this, Calgary remains in a state of emergency, and my staff and I are still weeks away from returning to our offices in Old City Hall. But considering the magnitude of this disaster, we in Ward 14 must consider ourselves fortunate. Apart from damage to a few businesses, flooding of some of our beloved parks, and temporary loss of power to some areas, Ward 14 has remained relatively untouched by flooding. Whatever the damage, we will rebuild in the months to come.

During the flood, Calgarians showed a spirit that I know has existed for as long as the City itself. It is something that a few days and a flood could not change. Parkland held a fundraiser for flood relief, the Silverado Community Association organized a group of volunteers to help all within a week of the flood, and that is just what I am currently aware off. It makes me so proud. Thank you to everyone for the way you handled this disaster.

We take care of our own in Calgary, and as I've mentioned before we will help take care of our hard working community associations at my Ward 14 communities BBQ. They have been a huge help during the flood and they deserve a hand themselves. There will be FREE burgers for all, and lots to keep you occupied. You can also pick up a free community association membership while you are there. So please join me between 11am and 2pm on Saturday, September 21st, in the Southcentre Mall parking lot. We will celebrate the wonderful communities we live in.

You can always contact me at 403-268-1653, and eaward14@calgary.ca. Stay strong and safe citizens of Ward 14. You are the reason this is the best place in the world to call home.

Categories: Newsletter

Back | December 01, 2014

Happy Holidays Ward 14!

I’m excited to celebrate the great year that was 2014 with family and friends.  I’m also excited for the year that’s on its way, including my first stint as the Chair of a Council committee: the Standing Policy Committee on Utilities and Corporate Services.

Planning of the SW Ring Road, which is many years in the making, will ramp up in a big way during 2015.  While the Ring Road itself will be the Government of Alberta’s responsibility, I am always willing to discuss what impact it will have on Calgary’s communities.  The City of Calgary will be working over the coming years to make sure that the most efficient connections are made between the Ring Road and city streets, which is the real goal of Ring Road project (unless you like driving around in circles).  You’ll find more information about the project at www.transportation.alberta.ca and by searching “Ring Road” on www.calgary.ca

Another project that I am excited to see take off in 2015 is the Macleod Trail/162 Avenue Interchange. No, shovels won’t be in the ground next year, but the City will be deep into the planning of this major infrastructure project.  The interchange is sorely needed at one of the south’s busiest intersections, and will compliment the future Ring Road.  Again, please don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation with me on this topic.  I always want to hear what you think.  A more detailed description of this project can be found by searching “162 Ave Interchange” on www.calgary.ca

Did you know? The City gives away free mulch for gardening

It’s true, and you can pick it up at the East Calgary Landfill (while quantities last).  The mulch is produced by a program that recycles the Christmas trees that stand in many living rooms over the next few weeks.  You can leave the tree (un-bagged and untied) near your black cart collection spot by Friday, January 9 at 7 a.m., and the City will pick it up within three weeks.  Make sure the tree is not blocking the street, lane or sidewalk and is at least one foot (30 centimetres) away from your carts.  You can also drop the tree off at one of eight locations from December 26 to January 31, although the Shepard Landfill and the Parks Compound (10312 Sacremento Drive SW) are the best places for Ward 14.  For more information visit www.calgary.ca/waste.

By the way, after a short hiatus, Aldertalk will be back early in the New Year.  Join me on Saturday, January 17 at Parkland Community Hall (505 Parkvalley Rd SE) from noon to 2 p.m. and we will resume the discussion.  You can learn more about Aldertalk at www.calgary.ca/aldertalk.

Have a very happy holiday, an amazing New Year, drive safe, and don’t forget you can contact me anytime!

Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | April 08, 2015

Based on the amount of snow that we’ve received recently, you might not have thought much about shovelling this year.  But for people like Andrea Foster—a single older lady with a long driveway—it’s a bigger deal than you might think.

Eric Bode has taken it upon himself to clear his neighbour’s driveways and sidewalks—including Andrea’s.  In total, he shovels for four of his next-door neighbours, and the one across the street “if he can get there before he does”.  In Lake Bonavista, where the driveways and frontages are long, that is a tall order.

After asking around, Andrea finally figured who had done the good deed.  She was so appreciative she offered Eric a Tim Horton’s gift card and a Keg gift card.  Eric refused his reward.  He just likes to make someone’s day a bit easier, even with his new snow blower.

To Eric, he is, “out there anyway and why not help your neighbours,” but his kind act makes a big difference.

Eric is a Snow Angel to Andrea and others.  As the Councillor of this great Ward, I am privileged to see many selfless acts like Eric’s, but the more Snow Angels the better.  If you are able, I encourage you to help your neighbours out like Eric has.

To learn how to adopt a sidewalk, or even nominate another Snow Angel for some deserved recognition please visit www.calgary.ca/snowangels.​

Categories:

Back | September 24, 2015

A recent flyer and community newsletter article have touched on the topic of secondary suites in Parkland, and I believe that some clarification is necessary. Many who have contacted me seem to be under the impression that a blanket rezoning to allow secondary suites is being considered for Parkland. This is not the case.

In actual fact, it is a single individual that has approached the Parkland Community Association asking for support of a laneway secondary suite on their private parcel of land. The City of Calgary considers the opinion of community associations in these matters, and it is common practice for applicants to approach—or lobby, if you will—the community association before or during the submission of their application.

Very astutely, the Parkland Community Association has decided to use this opportunity to determine whether or not they will support this or future applications of the same kind. They have asked Parkland residents to voice their opinion on the topic during their September 24th board meeting. I clearly understand the importance of this meeting and will be attending along with my staff.

To date the potential applicant has only approached the community association—at least that I am aware of. The community association in turn called the meeting in question. The City has not yet received the application being discussed, and as a result I have no knowledge of it other than what the concerned residents of Parkland have told me.

I have always been on the side of preserving the type of neighbourhood that my constituents originally agreed to live in.  With that said, the purpose of our planning system is to accommodate the changing needs of this growing city, and I consider the opinions of Ward 14 residents the most important factor in my decision making. I will be paying close attention the tone of the Parkland board meeting.

Here are the meeting details:

Date: Thursday, September 24, 2015
Time:  7 p.m.
Location: Parkland Community Hall (505 Parkvalley Road SE)

As was stated in the flyer, if you cannot attend the meeting you can contact me anytime.  This has always been the case.  I will also be paying close attention to the opinions of those who contact my office.

I sincerely hope that you have found this information helpful.

-Councillor Peter Demong​​

Categories:

Back | January 01, 2012

​Happy 2012 everyone

I hope all of you enjoyed a great Christmas and holiday season! New Year's is a time for making resolutions and to get enthusiastic about a better year ahead. I am grateful to have earned your support this past year and my resolution is to continue the hard work and get even better at representing your views as we move ahead.

Speaking of beginnings, on Jan. 14 at noon, residents who would like to speak to me should come out to the Parkland Community Hall for the very first Aldertalk session. Aldertalk is an informal opportunity for anyone in Ward 14 who would like a face to face discussion with me without travelling all the way downtown. I will be hosting Aldertalk on the second or third Saturday of every month and hopefully will be rotating to each of the community halls in Ward 14 if facilities are available. The Parkland Community has graciously offered their hall for the first Aldertalk and they are located at 505 Parkvalley Road S.E. I look forward to seeing you!

I'm pleased to see people are becoming familiar with the Snow Event P1 and P2 road clearing plans! I strongly suggest that if you haven't done so by now, you might want to subscribe for e-mail alert notifications of when snow event parking restrictions are going into effect. If you are really technology savvy, you might want to download an app which will tell you on your smartphone in real time what is happening with snow plows. Also, please call 311 if you have concerns or questions because Roads will be tracking your calls to look for hotspots or pinch points. This is a work in progress so alterations may need to happen in various locations.

In other news, we have now been informed that the two surplus school sites in Ward 14 are being transferred to the Francophone School Board: Deer Ridge at Yellow Slide Park and Midnapore near Father Lacombe Centre. It will be exciting to learn from the School Board exactly what is planned for them.

Also, a big win for Ward 14 that you may have not heard about: the 22x Macleod Trail overpass construction should begin 2012-13 and be finished in 2014. Clearly, this is a big project for us. I am delighted to have been involved and to see it finally moving ahead.

Last November, Council approved the three-year budget plan, which resulted in a higher tax increase than I wanted. I voted against this budget. I campaigned as Alderman on low taxes and zero based budgeting. I am committed to that promise.

I feel very strongly that there are savings to be had and efficiencies to be found in City expenditures, and so decided NOT to support the proposed tax increases and therefore NOT support the overall budget. Sadly, I was one of only two on Council to say no.

The result of that vote translates to a residential tax increase of 6% this year, 5.6% in 2013 and 6.1% in 2014 - nearly 18% over the next three years. This is roughly $240 in total for the average household. I strongly feel that this is not acceptable, especially for seniors on fixed incomes. Also troublesome to me is it's about five times this amount for the average small business as well, since so much of The City's taxes have been transferred onto small businesses expecting them to just pass the costs along to you by raising their prices. This effectively makes all businesses tax collectors by proxy and I don't know of too many businesses who are expecting big increases in revenues over the next three years to help them pay for this.

At the end of the day, it will all come out of your pockets one way or another. It is time The City stops trying to be all things to everyone, focus on our core responsibilities and recognize world economic realities.

That's it for now. If you have any questions or concerns please call me at 403-268-1653 or contact my office.

Categories: Newsletter

Back | June 15, 2015

Planning of the 162 Avenue and Macleod Trail Interchange project continues, and I am glad to see it. The south desperately needs this interchange at one of the city’s busiest intersections. It is great to see all the hard work finally nearing something tangible.

The final round of information sessions for the 162 Avenue interchange are upcoming. The purpose of these sessions is to provide an update on the approved design for the interchange, and to provide information about timing and plans for construction.

There are also plans for a west connection at the intersection of 194 Avenue and Macleod Trail. This is a very important project, especially for the residents of Silverado. The aforementioned round of information sessions will also include information about the 194 Avenue project.

There will be two information session in this during this round. Both sessions are at Bishop O’Byrne High School (333 Shawville Blvd SE). The dates and times are:

  • Thursday, June 18 from 5 - 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 20 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

If you would like to learn more about these projects, you can visit calgary.ca/macleod162ave, and calgary.ca/macleod194ave. As always, you can contact me​ with your questions or concerns anytime.

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | April 01, 2015

Hello Ward 14!

April is a transition month here in Calgary.  Technically it is spring, but anyone who has been here for more than a year knows that it is spring in name only.  We will likely be living with snow on the ground for a little while longer, and although temperatures will gradually be climbing, there is still the definite possibility of some cold weather

I’m going to blaze the trail into spring this month regardless of the conditions outside, but first let me mention Aldertalk.  This month’s edition of Aldertalk is on April 11 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Queensland Community Hall (649 Queensland Drive SE).  If you can’t make it this month, you can find upcoming dates at www.calgary.ca/aldertalk

City landfills will be taking yard waste free of charge from residential customers again this year.  Your chance is from April 17 to May 31, but before you leave for the landfill there are a couple of things you should remember.  First, you should only bring things like leaves, branches, and plants (no sod, please).  Second, it needs to either be left loose or be in a paper yard waste bag.

It’s a great program that really helps the City cut down on waste, and this year yard waste from the September snowstorm will also be accepted.  I suggest you take advantage of it, and visit www.calgary.ca/waste.

Another sign of spring is street cleaning.  You should keep an eye out for signs on the streets in your neighbourhood starting April 13, because that is when Calgary’s Roads department begins its 2015 Spring cleanup program.

By now some Ward 14 communities have been notified of Canada Post’s intention to convert their mail service from door-to-door to community mailboxes.  While service to those who have been contacted will be converted within the year, all service across the ward, the city, and the country will be converted within the next five years.

Several have contacted my office about the changes, and rightly so.  My door is always open, so to speak, and I am always here to listen, but I want to make it clear that Canada Post is leading the engagement process with residents, not the City of Calgary.

Canada Post, under the Federal Canada Post Act, may install, erect or relocate in any public place, including a public roadway, any receptacle or device to be used for the collection, delivery or storage of mail.  However, if residents have issues with the sites selected, they should call Canada Post.

To everyone in Chaparral Valley and Walden, I hope the new bus route is working out.  I want to thank the Chaparral Community Association, and the residents of those communities for bringing this need to my attention.  Without their efforts to lobby Calgary Transit I would not have been able to have moved this forward so quickly.  It is a very big step in the development of two wonderful neighbourhoods.

I will write again for May.  Until then, take care and feel free to contact me anytime.

Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | August 08, 2016

The intersection of Macleod Trail and Shawnessy/Midlake Blvd is undergoing some major improvements. The goal is reduce congestion during the afternoon rush hour. I am happy to announce that the residents of Midnapore, Sundance, and many other southern communities will soon benefit from quicker travel times and fewer collisions.

The southbound right turn lane onto Shawnessy Blvd will get an additional right turn only lane and both right turn lanes will be controlled by a signal compared to the current yield control. An extra lane added to the south section of the off ramp will significantly reduce congestion in the left turn lanes.

This intersection used to rank in the top 20 in Calgary for collision frequency. The operational delay here was very long, and the congestion backed far into Macleod Trail. These changes are exactly what is needed to help the flow of traffic in the area. This work will be a significant improvement to the commuters of Calgary.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or wish to share your concerns.

- Councillor Peter Demong​

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | March 29, 2018

Hello Ward 14!

I have been using this new newsletter format for months now. I write a short summary of what I intended to write about in the online version. That is what you are reading now, so I can safely assume that you have got the gist.

Not only does this system allow me to go into more detail than in the print version, but it has another benefit too. To get this column in the April edition of your local newsletter I must submit it prior to March 1st. That can hamper my ability to keep things current. With a little foresight the new format can solve that problem, and I am going to apply that solution to update you on the status of secondary suites.

Update: Changes to Secondary Suite Approval Process

I wrote about this in my March column. In it I mentioned that on March 12, Council would vote on BIG changes that might come regarding the way it deals with secondary suite applications. At the time of writing it I didn't know what the outcome would be, but I do now...

Officially, Council approved amendments to the Land Use Bylaw that allows secondary suites as discretionary use within R-1, R-C1, and R-C1L land use districts. When Council spends a full day on one item, with dozens of presenters, and numerous amendments the meeting minutes can be a bit confusing, but the above change essentially passed with a 9-6 vote in favour. Mayor Nenshi, and Councillors Carra, Chahal, Colley-Urquhart, Davison, Farrell, Gondek, Keating, and Woolley voted for. Councillors Sutherland, Magliocca, Chu, Jones, Farkas, and Demong (that's me) voted against.

In planning speak that means a property owner no longer needs to go to City Council for a land use change in order to be approved for a secondary suite on their land. They can go straight to a development permit application in the affected R-1, R-C1, and R-C1L land use districts. To the rest of us it means that the decision will now lay with the City's planners who take into account the Land Use Bylaw, the Alberta Building Code, and feedback from neighbours, community associations, and other affected individuals and organizations. The development permit fee for all new secondary suite applications is being waived until June 1, 2020.

Obviously this is not the decision I was hoping for, but it is the will of Council. I have never been in favour of this type of retroactive blanket zoning. In fact, one of my first motions as a Councillor was to PROACTIVELY change land use for secondary suites in R-1 districts so people would know what they were buying.

But there were two minor wins that came out of the March 12 meeting. First, backyard suites (ones that are not in the main dwelling unit on the property) will not be approved until Council has approved standards to be brought forth by administration. Second, all suites must be entered into a registry showing that they are approved, and hopefully dissuading people from renting unapproved/unsafe suites.

It is a complicated matter, so you might want to visit calgary.ca/suitereform for a little more info. If you are still looking for more, you can always contact me.

Important engagement opportunity: One Calgary

"Calgary: A Great Place to Make a Living, a Great Place to Make a Life" Have you ever heard me say that phrase? I do occasionally. It is our vision statement at the City of Calgary, and every four years we undergo strategic planning in order to achieve that vision. The City is calling it "OneCalgary".

We are currently developing service plans and budgets for 2019 through 2022. Public transit, streets, parks, and many other things will be evaluated and prioritized. Each of The City's 62 services will have a service plan and budget that will include information on: customers, partners, value, contribution to quality of life, benchmarks, performance measures, service strategies, operating budget and capital budget programs and projects. Over the next ten months, there will be several opportunities for Calgarians to get involved including: providing feedback online in April, public submissions at Standing Policy Committees in September, and public submission during Council deliberations.

You have until April 22 to give your feedback online, and I hope you do so. All you have to do is visit calgary.ca/yourservices. It should only take five minutes or so.

Of course I would also like to form my decisions with your thoughts, so please do not hesitate to contact me with them. I will do my best to keep you updated on this whole "OneCalgary" process.

Street Sweeping Program

There are some topics that fall under the 'annual' category, and this is definitely one. The City sweeps over 16,000 lane kilometres of paved roads, and it can be made a lot easier if everyone does one simple thing: moves their cars! If you don't you can be ticketed and towed.

You will know when to move your car by the signs that will be placed on your street 12 hours before sweeping begins. You will be able to look up the schedule at calgary.ca/sweep, and also sign up to be notified by email 24 hours before your street is scheduled for cleaning.

I can't tell you many how many complaints I get about people whose street was not cleaned because of an unmoved car. Please be a good neighbour, and save yourself a whole lot of hassle by moving your car when it is time.

Counciltalk

Counciltalk just keeps rolling along, and getting better and better. We will be in Lake Bonavista (1401 Acadia Drive S.E.) on April 7 between noon and 2 p.m. I hope to see you there.

Finally, I have a new link that I hope will make it easier to remember how to contact me. It is calgary.ca/contactward14. I hope you like the new newsletter format. Feel free to contact me anytime.

- Councillor Peter Demong​

Categories: Newsletter

Back | January 01, 2013

Happy New Year Ward 14! It's going to be a great year. I can feel it!

I've committed to holding, at the very least, six Aldertalk sessions during 2013. We are going to start the year of Aldertalk sessions off at the Willow Ridge Community Hall (680 Acadia Drive SE) on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. The session will run from noon until 2 p.m. Check out my Aldertalk page to find out what it's all about.

Make being proactive about your property and/or business assessment a resolution this year. On Jan. 3, 2013 The City will mail-out your 2013 Property and Business Assessment Notices. This is not your tax bill, but it is important. Jan. 3 is also the beginning of your 60-day Customer Review Period. Please take the time during this period to review, compare, and, if necessary, inquire about your Assessment. Please take a long hard, long look at your Assessment and educate yourself on the assessment process. It is your only chance to point out errors in your 2013 Assessment.

On that note, I want to try to clarify something that has confused many Calgarians, including myself at times - why your change in property or business tax from year to year is not necessarily the same the Council approved tax rate change. There are two things that determine your tax change from one year to another: the Council approved increase in the tax rate and the difference between the change in your assessed value compared to Calgary's average change in assessed value. It basically means that if your property increased in value more than average then your tax rate will be more than the Council approved rate and vice versa. That is what The City calls revenue neutral.

I know, it's about as clear as mud. I'm brainstorming ways to make this easier to understand from the outset. You can always contact my office and we'll do our best to explain.

If you are someone who frequently commutes on Macleod Trail, I want to ask you to share your thoughts on a pilot project that began on Nov. 5, 2012. The Lake Fraser Gate Pilot Project is testing a potentially simple and inexpensive remedy to some of south Calgary's traffic congestion. Macleod Trail at Lake Fraser Gate accommodates about 4800 vehicles/hour during the morning rush hour.

Restricting these turn signals should improve the flow of traffic moving northbound along Macleod Trail during the morning rush hour substantially, with minimal impact on those travelling in other directions. So far I am hearing that there is very positive feedback, but there may be some adverse affects for some people taking specific routes and that is why it is important that The City of Calgary get feedback. I have personally had the chance to speak with many stakeholders in this process and want to thank all of them for their participation. You can give your feedback on the project by calling 3-1-1 or read the FAQs to find more info on the Lake Fraser Gate project.

If you can't join me at Aldertalk this month or just prefer to contact me another way, please feel free to phone 403-268-1653 or contact my office.

Until next time, I wish you al happy and prosperous New Year!

 

Categories: Newsletter

Back | March 28, 2013

Happy April and Happy Easter. I have a lot to say, so let's get to it!

First off, I will be holding another Aldertalk session on April 20th from 1pm to 3pm at the Deer Run Community Centre (2223 146 Avenue S.E.). Please feel free to join me there for some coffee, donuts, and a chat. You can find more information at calgary.ca/aldertalk.

City Council will be having some very special guests on the morning of April 22nd. In the second edition of my Ward 14 Wordsmith Awards, one skilled writer will win their entire grade six class a tour of City Hall, a trip to the Zoo, and have their essay read in Council by me, on television! In December, I asked grade six students to answer the question "Why should I care about Municipal Government?" Since then we have doubled the number of participating Ward 14 schools, and each will be getting a visit for from Yours Truly. It makes me very happy to see that so many Ward 14 students are taking an interest in municipal government.

While my team and I are busy reading grade six essays, the City of Calgary's Waste & Recycling Services Unit will be busy preparing to accept your yard waste at no charge. Between April 19th and June 2nd, all of the City's landfills will be accepting yard waste for free. Waste & Recycling Services will be composting the material and putting it to good use by recycling it into a useful product. Common Spring waste like leaves, branches, and plants will be accepted loose or in paper yard waste bags. For more information on the Spring Yard Waste Drop-off Program and landfills in general, you can visit calgary.ca/waste or contact 311.

Many Calgarians are budgeting and making sacrifices to get by, and that is why I am constantly pushing for taxation control at City Hall. Perhaps more than anyone, property-owning seniors are feeling the burden of taxation. I would encourage any seniors looking for tax help to determine if they are eligible for the Seniors Property Tax Deferral Program by contacting the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at 1-877-644-9992 or by visiting SeniorsPTDP.alberta.ca. The program is new for 2013 and offers eligible senior homeowners a low-interest home equity loan to defer all, or some, of their property taxes.

So look for updates on the 2013 Ward 14 Wordsmith Awards on Ward 14 and keep an eye on City Council, if only to hear the winning essay. For any other topics you might want to discuss you can email at eaward14@calgary.ca,or contact me online. I will always make time to chat.

Categories: Newsletter

Back | December 01, 2012

Snow, shopping malls, toques and toboggans are some of things that December brings. It's a happy time of year. It can be a very busy time of year, unless maybe you've been smart enough to get your shopping done early.

For me, December brings the tail end of a busy time of City business plans, budget debates, public hearings and committee meetings. By December, City Council's upcoming year is set-out. For 2013, I will be sitting on the Special Committees on Gas, Powe, & Telecommunications and Intergovernmental Affairs as well as the Foothills Inter-Municipal Committee, not to mention chairing the final phase of the Cut Red Tape Committee. I will continue to sit on the Standing Policy Committees on Community & Protective Services and on Utilities & Corporate Services (of which I have been voted Vice-Chair).

Undoubtedly, December will bring snow - as it did in November and October. With their 2012 Snow and Ice Control Program, The City of Calgary's Road Maintenance Department has made a commitment to minimizing the impact that snow has on Calgarians during their day-to-day routines. To do so we need to occasionally share the streets with their ploughs and sanders. Whenever there is 5 cm of snow or more, The City restricts parking on busier streets to do a better and quicker job of removing it. There are a number of these streets in Ward 14. Since the absence of cars on these streets really improves the process of snow-removal, and the Calgary Parking Authority enforces these parking bans, it's a really good idea to be aware of whether or not you park on one of these streets. You can find a ton of information on the subject at calgary.ca/snow as well as an interactive map showing where the snow routes are. In addition, you can sign up to be alerted of parking bans via email, and there are even iPhone, Blackberry, and Android apps that will notify you of when snow route parking bans have been declared.

My website has also been recently upgraded. My hope is that it will contain some information that useful to you. You will be able to send me emails through my online form and, as always, you can contact me at 403-268-1653 if there is something that you would like to talk about.

As you read this it has been about 26 months - over two years - since I became Alderman of Ward 14. I've been to more Board, Committee and Council meetings than I can count. I can't call it a Christmas gift because it came a little too early. Maybe it was more like a late thanksgiving gift. The point is that I consider that responsibility a gift. About 26 months ago you gave me the incredible and humbling opportunity to serve as Alderman of Ward 14. It has been, and continues to be an honour and a pleasure. Thank you!

I wish you all a Happy Holiday and a prosperous New Year

Categories: Newsletter

Back | April 01, 2014

Welcome to spring Ward 14!

I want to start off by telling you about the upcoming Anderson Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) open house.  Residents of Willow Park, Maple Ridge, and Lake Bonavista will want to pay close attention.  The open house will be held in May 15th from 3 to 8 p.m. at Southcentre Mall’s Centre Court.  In the TOD saga that has lasted about four years, it will be one of your last opportunities to provide input.

The City will be presenting its final concept plan for municipally owned land surrounding the Anderson LRT station during the open house at Southcentre.  You can learn more at www.calgary.ca/AndersonTOD, but in general the plan will outline new land-use regulations for the City-owned land before it is eventually sold, and will include details about potential changes to LRT parking.  So if you feel this affects you, then make an effort to attend.

But if you didn’t get to this column in time, you can share your opinion on Anderson TOD—or any other municipal topic—at my next ALDERTALK session.  I will be at Deer Run Community Hall on April 26th from 12 – 2 p.m. and everyone is welcome to join.  I’m sure we will have a great discussion.  You can find the 2014 schedule for ALDERTALK at www.calgary.ca/aldertalk.

While it is now spring, we all know that the weather in this city does not necessarily agree with the calendar.  Hopefully when this column finds you at a time when doing spring yard work is a real possibility.  As the temperatures gradually get warmer the City will be rolling out an annual program to help you with your yard work.  Between April 18th and June 1st, all three City landfills will waive fees for residential loads of leaves, branches, plants and other yard and garden material (no sod or soil).  The City will compost this material, turning it into what is, in my opinion, a very useful resource.  All you need to do is make sure the materials are left loose or in a paper yard waste bag, and head to the nearest landfill.

I use this column to share information that I hope you find valuable, but above all I want you to know that my staff and I are always available to hear your questions and concerns.  You can always contact my office by phone at (403) 268-1653 or by email at eaward14@calgary.ca.

Have a warm and happy April!

Categories: Newsletter

Back | January 01, 2014

Hello all!  I hope you’ve had a great holiday season.


Ward 14 has made it very clear to me that traffic is a big concern, and this time of year can be dangerous when it comes to our streets.  With winter road conditions, limited daylight, and perhaps some people getting behind the wheel with a bit too much ‘holiday cheer’ in their system, driving safely and obeying the rules of the road are more important than ever.  Police help keep us safe, but they can’t be everywhere at once, and they are trying a new tactic that I thought I should mention.  They have created an online Traffic Service Request Form for people to report persistent traffic violations.  Since Ward 14 has made it clear to me that traffic is a big concern, I encourage you to use this tool whenever it applies.  It can be found at www.calgarypolice.ca along with many other useful tools.  “One off” violations should still go to the Police non-emergency line (403-266-1234), and of course, if you are experiencing an emergency you should call 911.

The 52 Million Dollar Question – Update

Revitalizing older communities, reducing the City’s debt, or dedicated to a Transit Capital fund; $52 million in tax room vacated by the Province has survived all of these, at long last, and will end up back in your pocket.  At least the 2014 tax room will.

In late November Councillor Keating put forward a motion to return the 2014 amount, but keep the 2015-2024 amounts to fund City’s proposed North Central & Southeast Transitways.  At every opportunity I have voted to return vacated tax room to taxpayers. Unfortunately, I am one of few on Council who have done so, and the motion passed.  Let’s hope that the Southeast Transitway goes a long way to improving transit east of the Bow River, and maybe taking some cars off of Deerfoot Trail.
 
The return of your $52 million for 2014 will come in the form of a reduction to your 2014 residential property tax bill, which brings me to my next topic.  You will soon be receiving your 2014 property and business assessment notices.  Take some time to check for its accuracy and see how it compares to other similar properties.  You have from January 3rd until March 4th to point out any discrepancies to the Assessment Department.  You can contact them at (403) 268-2888 and find more info at www.calgary.ca/assessment. ,p>Happy New Year Ward 14! Contact me anytime...

Categories: Newsletter

Back | January 01, 2015

Hello all!  I hope you’ve had a great holiday season.

Ward 14 has made it very clear to me that traffic is a big concern, and this time of year can be dangerous when it comes to our streets.  With winter road conditions, limited daylight, and perhaps some people getting behind the wheel with a bit too much ‘holiday cheer’ in their system, driving safely and obeying the rules of the road are more important than ever.  Police help keep us safe, but they can’t be everywhere at once, and they are trying a new tactic that I thought I should mention.  They have created an online Traffic Service Request Form for people to report persistent traffic violations.  Since Ward 14 has made it clear to me that traffic is a big concern, I encourage you to use this tool whenever it applies.  It can be found at www.calgarypolice.ca along with many other useful tools.  “One off” violations should still go to the Police non-emergency line (403-266-1234), and of course, if you are experiencing an emergency you should call 911.

The 52 Million Dollar Question – Update

Revitalizing older communities, reducing the City’s debt, or dedicated to a Transit Capital fund; $52 million in tax room vacated by the Province has survived all of these, at long last, and will end up back in your pocket.  At least the 2014 tax room will.

In late November Councillor Keating put forward a motion to return the 2014 amount, but keep the 2015-2024 amounts to fund City’s proposed North Central & Southeast Transitways.  At every opportunity I have voted to return vacated tax room to taxpayers. Unfortunately, I am one of few on Council who have done so, and the motion passed.  Let’s hope that the Southeast Transitway goes a long way to improving transit east of the Bow River, and maybe taking some cars off of Deerfoot Trail.

The return of your $52 million for 2014 will come in the form of a reduction to your 2014 residential property tax bill, which brings me to my next topic.  You will soon be receiving your 2014 property and business assessment notices.  Take some time to check for its accuracy and see how it compares to other similar properties.  You have from January 3rd until March 4th to point out any discrepancies to the Assessment Department.  You can contact them at (403) 268-2888 and find more info at www.calgary.ca/assessment.

Happy New Year Ward 14! Contact me anytime...

Categories: Newsletter

Back | January 01, 2017

Hello Ward 14.

I hope you had a chance to spend some quality time with friends and family over the holiday season. 2017 will bring new opportunities along with new challenges, as the future tends to do. First, though, I would like to speak about cleaning up after last year.

Christmas Tree Recycling

This is a VERY important update. Like many, City landfills have seen a significant drop in revenue because of the economic situation that we find ourselves in. Calgary’s Waste & Recycling Services has had to adapt by implementing with cost-cutting measures to bring its budget back in line.

For one thing, landfills will move to four-day per week operations (and I am happy to announce that Council has frozen the tipping fee rate for 2017). Off days will be staggered so that there is always a place to take waste. But the VERY important point is another cost-cutting measure. There will be no door-to-door Christmas tree collection this year. You will be able to drop off your tree at one of 15 designated locations between December 26 and January 31 instead. Not collecting trees door-to-door will save about $100,000.

For more information about the landfills you can visit calgary.ca/landfill, and for more information about the Christmas tree recycling you can visit calgary.ca/christmastree

Customer Review Period – 2017 Property and Business Tax Assessments

This is another important tidbit, but it isn’t much different than previous years. Only the dates have changed. On January 5, the City will mail the 2017 property and business assessment notices. What you need to do is review it—carefully. Make sure your details are accurate and the assessed value is a fair reflection of the value of your property as of July 1, 2016. If you have any questions contact Assessment at 403-268-2888 during the Customer Review Period which runs from January 5 to March 6. The Customer Review Period is your only chance to make a case that your assessment is incorrect, so don’t take it for granted. It will have a big impact on the property tax bill you get in spring.

The City has some very helpful online tools to help you decide if you think your assessment is fair. I strongly suggest checking them out. They will be at calgary.ca/assessment, but you will also need a City myID account (calgary.ca/myid). You will find all the information you need to get started with all of it in the assessment notice you receive after January 5. 

Counciltalk

As you may have read in my December column, the first Counciltalk of the year will be at the Lake Bonavista Community Centre in the multi-purpose room on Saturday, January 28 from noon to 2 p.m. I hope you can come!

If not, the rest of the schedule is now set and can be found at calgary.ca/counciltalk. You can sign up to receive important updates about things like Counciltalk at calgary.ca/ward14connect.

Let’s make this year a great one, Ward 14!

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | January 01, 2016

Hello Ward 14!  

No matter what your 2015 was like, I hope your 2016 is even better. This year a Ward 14 tradition will be getting a fresh start—or a fresh name at least.

Counciltalk

Aldertalk finally has a name that fits with the title of Councillor. I’ve had reservations about leaving the old name behind.  It fit so perfectly. But Aldertalk is a name for an Alderman, and I am a Councillor now. Counciltalk is a name for a Councillor.

I will now be using the name Counciltalk when referring to my monthly discussions, and if you have never attended one I sincerely hope that you will join on at least one occasion in 2016. In short, it is a chance to sit down with me—and your neighbours from around Ward 14—to talk about whatever municipally related topic you choose. It has become so popular that even some other Councillors are implementing their own versions of the idea.

It is very fitting that the first Counciltalk session will take place in Parkland.  It was at the Parkland Community Hall on January 14, 2012 that a group of Ward 14 residents gathered for the very first Aldertalk. Since then residents of Ward 14 have been joining me regularly to engage in meaningful dialogue.

I want people to feel like they can always communicate with me. Aldertalk has been a powerful tool in my strategy for ensuring that they can. Because of the generosity of Ward 14’s community associations it is also a low-cost tool. It is held about six months out of the year, and rotates location between communities in Ward 14. People only have to go as far as their local community hall to speak with me, but have been known to travel much further. We sit in a round-table configuration and go through each attendee individually to discuss the topic of their choice.

The 2016 Counciltalk season will begin in Parkland on January 16. It will be at the Parkland Community Hall (505 Parkvalley Road SE). The discussion will run from noon to 2.p.m., but I would love to have you there at noon so that we can get a head start on things, and so you are assured of some coffee.

For upcoming dates and details you can visit calgary.ca/ward14counciltalk, but I also send email reminders about upcoming Counciltalk sessions, among other things. You can sign up for them at calgary.ca/ward14connect.

Property Assessment Notices

Before I sign off until February let me remind you to inspect your property assessment notice carefully this year.  It will be in your mailbox shortly, if you don’t have it already.  Following the instructions on the notice and contacting the Assessment Department about errors could save you the cost of making an unnecessary appeal.

Feel free to contact me anytime.

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | January 01, 2018

Greetings! It is a new year, and if you are reading this you already know there is a new format for this column.

There is so much that I want to tell you each month, but there are also many other worthwhile things that find their way onto the pages of your local newsletter. Your local community association, and your newsletter’s editors have to make tough decisions about what to put in and what to leave out.

I usually push the boundaries of my limited space in a newsletter, so in the interest of saving space for others and making decisions easier for the editors I am going to make a change. Moving forward I will be giving you a summary of what is to come in my column, but then direct you here - to my website - where you will also find all my past columns.

You can find ALL of my newsletter columns by putting calgary.ca/ward14newsletter in the address bar of your browser, or by finding the "Ward 14 Newsletter" section under the featured topics on the Ward 14 homepage.

Here it goes:

Tax Notice Mailing and Customer Review Period

It’s that time of year again, and it is so important that you carefully review your property or business assessment. Any changes that need to be made to your 2018 assessment can only be considered if they are received during the Customer Review Period.

On Jan. 4 the City will mail over half a million property and business assessment notices. This date also marks the beginning of the 2018 Customer Review Period. Property assessments reflect the market value of property on July 1, 2017 and its physical condition on Dec. 31, 2017. The business assessments reflect the typical net annual rental value of business premises on July 1, 2017.

Please review the details of your assessment carefully. Annual market value assessments are legislated under the provincial Municipal Government Act. They provide the basis for calculating property and business tax assessments. By catching an error you could save yourself some money, and even help the Assessment department keep their data up-to-date.

You can get more information about your own assessment, and the assessment process in general at calgary.ca/assessment. If you have questions, you can contact the Assessment customer service line at 403-268-2888 weekdays from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. or 311 after business hours, just make sure to do it before March 12 because that is when the Customer Review Period ends.

Compost your real Christmas tree

The city has been composting Christmas trees for a while now, but the addition of the green bin program has obviously added a new ripple. Now there will be two ways you can compost your real Christmas tree.

The first is the same as before. There will be twelve drop-off locations throughout the City, all open between December 25 and January 31. One of the locations is in Ward 14 at Park 96 (14660 Parkland Blvd S.E.), but you might find the Deerfoot Meadows IKEA location (8000 11th St S.E.) convenient, and City landfills will take them as well.

The second, is to simply put the tree in your green bin. As with taking the tree to a drop-off location, you will obviously need to remove all lights, ornaments, tinsel, string etc. You will also need to make sure that you can close the lid on your green bin, so you will likely need to cut it into small pieces. If that doesn’t work you can follow the steps that you would for branches from your yard - tie small branches together with natural fibre string, or place them in paper yard waste bags. In both cases leave them out on collection day at least one foot from the side of your green cart.

I have given you the gist, but the details can be found at calgary.ca/christmastree. That is also where you will find the full list of drop-off locations. So check it out!

Be a Snow Angel!

In an attempt to keep the holiday spirit going into 2018, I thought I would mention this amazing program. All that it takes to be a snow angel is to help someone clear their snow. Many seniors don’t have the strength to clear their walks. Some people might be on the mend from surgery or an illness and their physical ability is limited. Sometimes it’s just nice to help a neighbour!

When you pick up your shovel to clear your walk this winter, take a few extra minutes to help a neighbour too. You’ll make it easier for everyone to travel your neighbourhood and build a sense of community at the same time. If you want to nominate your own snow angel for some well deserved kudos, or just want a little more information you should visit calgary.ca/snowangels.

That is all for this month. Thank you for following the trail to my online column. I hope you have found it worthwhile. Feel free to contact me anytime!

Happy New Year Ward 14!

- Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | July 01, 2012

Howdy! There are some things that don't change - come what may. It's July and we all know what happens in Calgary in July. This year's Calgary Stampede is extra special - it seems like we've been through it a hundred times. There have been events going on in preparation for this momentous occasion for several months now, but we all know that the real beginning of the Stampede is marked with a parade. There will be no Dukes or Duchesses involved this year, but I think that there is no better person to be the Centennial Parade Marshall than Ian Tyson. He will be joined by the leaders from the Treaty Seven Nations who will be honorary Parade Marshalls. Get downtown early on Friday, July 6 to ensure you get a good viewing spot. The parade begins at 9 a.m. I will be there waving back at you.

Four Strong Winds will be bringing a very special fireworks display to the edges of the city for us to enjoy this year, and when I say special, I mean SPECIAL. On the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of both weekends during Stampede, starting between 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. international-scale fireworks will be set off near five viewing locations around the city. You will be able to view the fireworks at Stampede Park, Elliston Park, Heritage Park, McCall Lake and Canada Olympic Park. This means that you will have a much better chance of seeing the fireworks from your home in Ward 14. The fireworks will also be synchronized to music, which you will be able to hear on the radio stations Country 105, Q107 and AM770.

There will also, I'm sure, be many wonderful Stampede-oriented events put on by Ward 14's wonderful Community Associations. Since I must write this column far in advance of when it was published, I can't give much detail about association events yet, but please check out what is going on with your local association by picking up a community newsletter, searching your local association on the internet (many have websites, Facebook pages, and twitter accounts) or by just visiting your local community hall.

I will also try my best to post every event I can on my own Facebook page. As for the numerous other "official" Stampede events that will be going on, the Calgary Stampede website has loads of information.

That brings me to the final event that I would like to mention for this month. Who says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? My Community Pancake Breakfast has made a transformation into the Ward 14 Communities BBQ. I encourage all Ward 14 residents to show their support for Ward 14's Community Associations by joining me at the southeast corner of the South Centre parking lot to eat a burger and make a donation to the food bank on. The event will be on Sept. 22 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There you have it. Until next month, I can always be contacted by phone at 403-268-1653 or contact my office.

YAHOO!

Categories: Newsletter

Back | July 01, 2014

Howdy Partners!

The Stampede is coming, and it’s time to have some patented Calgarian fun.  It’s also around this time that I announce the winner of my Ward 14 Wordsmith Award.  Every year I invite the grade six students of Ward 14 to participate in an essay contest about municipal government.  In one page they answer the question “Why should I care about municipal government?”

There was a stack to read, and the essays were impressive.  But there has to be a winner, and one young cowgirl from Chaparral came out on top.  She and her class from Saint Sebastian School (in Chaparral) joined me at City Hall on May 26, where I read her essay in front of Council (You can read it too at www.calgary.ca/ward14/events.)

Congratulations on the winning essay Ashley Barrett!

Did you know?  The combination of the northwest, northeast, and southeast sections of the Calgary Ring Road is currently providing drivers with 70 kilometres of free-flow travel.

In May there was talk from some Councillors about whether money should be spent on finishing Calgary’s Ring Road.  There was talk in Council about the financial burden that the Ring Road would put on the City to accommodate traffic in the surrounding areas.  All the talk spurred some comments to me and my office.  They came from residents worried that the Ring Road would never be finished.


The Ring Road was originally planned in the late 1970s by the Province and the City of Calgary.  Purchase of lands needed to build the Ring Road has been going on since the 1980s, and is just rubber stamps away from being possible.  The Ring Road is decades in the making, and it is not for City Councillors to decide if it will be completed.  I want to assure you that the Ring Road will be built.  It may still be years away, but the last 41 kilometres WILL be built.

Yes, there are some questions about how much money will be spent by the City on surrounding roads to compliment the Ring Road, and there are questions about where that money will come from.  Yes, there are questions about how the City will deal with cut-through traffic in surrounding communities, but none of those questions will stop the eventual construction of the Ring Road.

Last year we had a great turnout at my Ward 14 Communities BBQ.  This year the City departments will be back, and there is much more information to come.  So mark September 13 in your calendar, and check www.calgary.ca/ward14/events for more information.

Happy trails!

Categories: Newsletter

Back | December 03, 2013

Since this is the first newsletter I am able to write following October’s Election, I want to take a moment to thank you for your support. Three years ago I began learning how City Hall ticks. There is only one way that I have come up with to describe the learning process of the last three years; drinking from a fire hose. My election to City Council three years ago was an incredible honour. Three years ago you elected me on the promise of what I could do, but in October you elected me based on what I have done, and that is far more important. The first term has been amazing, but there is much more work to be done. With three years of experience under my belt, I am that much better equipped to do it. So thank you for your vote of confidence. I take my job as your representative at City Hall very seriously, and I strive to be the voice of each and every one of you.  

Making changes in City Hall takes hard work. Getting elected, learning the details, and pushing for change all come at a cost, and rarely does this kind of change come from the work of a single individual. Instead, real change usually starts at the community level. Your voice is the most powerful ammunition for change, and the work of Jillian Drysdale and Karen Lloyd is a shining example of how a few voices can become a chorus...

Every analysis that I have ever seen, including a tabulation of issues raised at my Aldertalk sessions, has shown that traffic safety is the biggest concern in Ward 14. This would likely be no surprise to Jillian Drysdale, Karen Lloyd, and the Ecole Sam Livingston School Traffic Committee whose frustration with playground zone regulations led them to contact every decision-maker they could find. The result of their lobbying was a City-wide brainstorm that brought the Minister of Transportation, the Minister of Justice, MLAs, City Councillors (including myself), School Board Trustees, AMA representatives, and traffic experts together with the citizens who wanted their attention. All sorts of safety options were discussed. In September, the small group took this effort one step further to create the Calgary School Traffic Safety Week with all sorts of initiatives aimed at getting Calgarians to take safety into their own hands.

So if you want things to change then make your voice heard (and that means contacting me too)! You can call my office at (403) 268-1653 or through the Ward 14 Contact Form.

Happy Holidays, and please obey the rules of the road. The risks of speeding far outweigh the benefits!

Categories: Newsletter

Back | November 13, 2017

Season’s greetings Ward 14! This is my first column since the election, and I have been waiting for the opportunity. That’s because I owe you some gratitude. This beautiful Ward - and its amazing people - have supported me practically all of my life. Thank you sincerely for the vote of confidence!

...but I know your trust should not be taken for granted. Those with experience know the campaign trail is only the beginning, and this Council has a heavy work load ahead.

To start we will need to agree on the City’s budget between the time that I write this, and the time that you read it. That’s less than a month.

Fentanyl is a major problem, and Calgary is no exception. We will need to equip Police to handle that situation, and we will also need to re-work many of our bylaws to fit with the legalization of marihuana. We will be on our toes to deal with the changes in governance that the Province hands us. That will mean changes to the MGA, or even a City Charter.

Will there be a new arena in Calgary? Will the City have a role in it? Will there be an Olympic bid for 2026? Or 2030? Or at all? Those questions will be answered in the next four years.

You can also add getting to know McKenzie Lake and Douglasdale in detail to my list of to-dos...

...but I look forward to it! I welcome them to Ward 14! You can always contact me on calgary.ca/ward14, by sending an email to eaward14@calgary.ca, or by calling (403) 268-1653.

Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, and joyful New Year!

- Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | July 01, 2015

Howdy Ward 14!

Every year I try to wrangle up some money for a good cause and celebration.  The cause is our hard working community associations, and the celebration is the Ward 14 Communities BBQ.  You can get a tasty burger there, and you’ll see all sorts of displays from the BBQ’s generous sponsors.  There will be a whole raft of City of Calgary information as well.

My Ward 14 Communities BBQ is on Saturday, September 26 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m in the Southcentre Mall parking lot, but if you don’t think you will remember then keep these three things in mind.  First, I will write about it in my next two newsletter columns.  Second, you can find the information on my website at www.calgary.ca/ward14bbq.  Third, I will send you updates via email if you sign up at www.calgary.ca/ward14connect.

Another season of Aldertalk is now over.  I want to sincerely thank everyone who turned up at one of the six sessions, and to all of the venues where we congregated.  Every time I hold an Aldertalk it seems there are just a few more people than the last.

Aldertalk is probably the most important tool that I have at my disposal.  The input that I receive there is invaluable.  While I can rightly claim to be the originator of the Aldertalk idea, I must admit that City administration is catching on with Citizen’s View.

Citizen’s View is an online panel that encourages citizens to participate in shaping City of Calgary programs and services.  You can participate in surveys, have access to online discussions, provide your input on a variety of topics, and receive information and updates on upcoming events and service improvements.  To sign up you just need to visit www.citizensview.ca.  I encourage you to do so.

Did you know?  The City operates and maintains over 200 storm ponds.

You should also know that they are a vital part of Calgary’s storm water system.  Storm ponds (or more specifically, wet ponds) collect water and run-off from the storm water system.  They trap things like oil, chemicals, fertilizer, pesticides, and sediments.  Besides helping to mitigate local flooding, storm ponds improve the quality of water that eventually reaches our rivers.

With all of the nasty things that they keep out of our rivers, storm ponds are not surprisingly a bad place to swim.  Storm ponds are not intended for recreational use.  Their water levels are constantly fluctuating and they can contain pollutants.  Swimming, skating, boating, fishing, and fish stocking are just some of the activities that are strictly prohibited in storm ponds.

Happy trails to you, and don’t hesitate to contact me for any reason.

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | December 01, 2015

Happy Holidays Ward 14!

Earn your wings as a Snow Angel

If there is one thing that is more in the spirit of the season than being compassionate, that one thing has to be shovelling snow. Being a snow angel for someone in your community covers both of those things.

A snow angel is someone who shovels their neighbour’s walkway without the thought of reward. At the City we do our best to take care of clearing the snow from the roads, but there is only so much that we can do. Helping a neighbour with their walkway will brighten their day, and make the pathway safe for everyone.

As you shovel your walk this winter take a few extra minutes to clear a neighbour’s too. It will make a huge difference, especially to people who have limited ability to do it themselves.

To learn more about the program or to find out about recognizing a Snow Angel, visit calgary.ca/snowangels.

Calgary Police Service’s Vulnerable Person Database

The fact that some people are not able to shovel their walkways for themselves is a fact that is often overlooked. But the fact that some people may need special attention in an emergency is something that the Calgary Police can’t afford to overlook.

The Calgary Police Service has created a database where people can register if they have a physical, mental, or medical condition that means they may require special attention in an emergency. If you are a vulnerable person or care for a vulnerable person, then I urge you to contact them with your information. Your privacy will be protected and the information you provide will only be used by the police, fire, and EMS to help you or your loved one when you are in danger. You can register by visiting www.calgarypolice.ca and searching “Vulnerable Persons”. More information can also be found by emailing vulnerablepersons@calgarypolice.ca.

Theft Prevention Tip

From the Chief, to the constables; I get to speak with many police officers in my job. You might think that when they mention crime in Calgary it is about gangs or drugs.  Those are part of it, but the real secret to fighting crime is something much less glamorous than the mob and undercover work.  The real secret is: LOCK YOUR DOORS

Whether it is a house or a car, an unlocked door is the most popular way for a burglar to get in.  So please lock your doors—and don’t keep your garage door opener in your car—because nothing would ruin the holiday season like a preventable theft.

Four-car CTrains

For all you transit-takers in Ward 14, I have a message you have been waiting for: The four-car CTrains are coming!  There are coming gradually, but they are coming.  As I write this in the cusp of October/November, there are two four-car trains running on the red line.  60 new cars will be steadily added to the system starting this year.  They will be added until we reach full four-car CTrain service, but I hope just a few four-car trains will satisfy your appetite for now.

Please feel free to contact me anytime, and visit calgary.ca/ward14connect if you wish to receive email updates from me.

Have a very happy holiday, an amazing New Year, and drive safely- Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | July 01, 2016

Howdy Ward 14! 

With all that this province has gone through in the last year or so, I hope we can all take some time this month to celebrate in a way that only this city knows how—with the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede! Let’s have a good time and show our Albertan neighbours the same.

Counciltalk

I want to extend a tip of the hat to all the patrons of Counciltalk, and especially to those who have attended since the beginning. They have seen just how much it has grown.

The next Counciltalk date will be posted on calgary.ca/counciltalk, and you can sign up for reminders at calgary.ca/ward14connect.

Ward 14 Communities BBQ

I try to gradually ramp up my marketing of the Ward 14 Communities BBQ over the summer to a climax in September. There is still a lot of preparation to be done, and RSVPs to be confirmed. So this month I will go a little more in depth, and hopefully you will tune in next month for more detail.

For those who don’t know, my BBQ is a membership drive for Ward 14 community associations. I round up money from generous sponsors to pay for the cost of the event and buy everyone who attends a membership to their community association. We raise a lot of money for the community associations and they add a lot of members, but there is also a chance to visit with and learn about the City of Calgary’s various departments and partners. There will be a free burger and beverage too.

This year the BBQ will be on September 24 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of Southcentre Mall. You are welcome to join. We will have a lot of fun.

MGA Review

The Municipal Government Act (MGA) defines everything about the City of Calgary (and every other municipality in Alberta for that matter). Without the MGA as provincial legislation the organization—that City Council manages—would not have official power to operate. In general, the MGA governs all of Alberta’s municipalities in three main areas: Assessment and Taxation, Governance, and Planning and Development. It determines how the City of Calgary pays for the services it delivers, how decisions are made, and how the city is built and grows.

The provincial government is reviewing the MGA. Any changes to the act will impact how the city operates, but they could also impact you directly and profoundly. The MGA determines how you are taxed, how you elect representatives in the City, and what you are allowed to build on your property.

I would like to hear your views on this important topic, and I would like you to arm yourself with some information about it. The website mgareview.alberta.ca is filled with useful information about the MGA, and you can contact me anytime. Finally, decisions about the MGA ultimately fall on the Provincial Government, so you local MLA should probably hear what you think about this too.

Have a great July, and a great Stampede. Happy Trails!

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | June 26, 2017

Howdy Ward 14!  

My column at this time last year was, frankly, a bit somber. The province was going through a tough time, and my message was to take the month to celebrate in a way only Calgarians know how—by Stampeding!

While there is no doubt some of our neighbours are still feeling the effects of the downturn in our economy, the view over the horizon is starting to look a little brighter. The Conference Board of Canada is predicting Calgary’s economy will grow for the first time in three years! It hopefully means new jobs, and that is another great reason to celebrate...

Take a look at calgarystampede.com. There are many new and exciting things planned for the Stampede this year.

Stampede Parade - route reversal

As I mentioned last month the Stampede parade route has been reversed this year. If you are planning to attend, you should probably plan accordingly. For more information you should visit parade.calgarystampede.com.

Counciltalk

I want to tip my hat to all the patrons of Counciltalk in this and previous years. It never ceases to amaze me how the great people of Ward 14 respond when I call on them to exercise their right to free speech. Listening to you is the most important part of my job, and I am so grateful to everyone who shows up to tell me what is important to them.

If you aren’t sure what Counciltalk is, I encourage you to visit calgary.ca/counciltalk to learn more. I will return with more Counciltalk dates as soon as possible. Visit calgary.ca/ward14connect to get email reminders of upcoming Counciltalk dates. 

Ward 14 Communities BBQ

There is still time, and lots of planning to be done before September 16, but the Ward 14 Communities BBQ—as it has for six years now—is gradually coming closer.  

For those who are unaware, the Ward 14 Communities BBQ is my membership drive for Ward 14 community associations. I round up money from generous sponsors to pay for the cost of the event and to financially support the community. We raise a lot of money and they add a lot of members. Those facts have not changed over the six years.

But there are a few new things for this year, like some great new food, and some new sponsors. To start, Spolumbo’s is the newest food sponsor. Instead of the traditional burger, you can have one of their delicious burgers on a bun.
I also want to introduce Pacific Developments as the newest financial sponsor. They join United Communities, Mattamy Homes, and Genstar on the list at this early point.

Thank you to all of them, and Southcentre for the venue!

Of course there will be all sorts of entertainment, and exhibitors to see. Stay tuned for more details to come.

As I mentioned, this year the BBQ will be on September 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of Southcentre Mall. Mark it in your calendar, because you are welcome to join. We will have a lot of fun. Visit www.calgary.ca/ward14bbq for more info.

That is all for now. Have fun stampeding, and a great July!

Happy trails to you, until we meet again!

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | July 03, 2013

Howdy (and a tip of the hat),

The next hundred years of the Stampede is soon to begin. Yahoo! I hope you get out and enjoy it, right after you read this tale of $52 million.

Your property tax bill is broken into two parts: the city's property tax, and the education tax that the city collects and remits to the province. In March 2013, the Province decided they were going to give you a break on the education portion of your property taxes. This amounts to about $52 million in total, or about $126 annually for the average residential property owner. Two years ago, Council voted to automatically take any ‘vacated' tax surplus from the Province (I voted against this).

That is how Council ended up with $52 million, and it is not "one-time money". This will become part of the base property tax that you pay every year, onto which all future increases will be compounded.

It is my job to listen to what you have to say. There are five choices for how this money could be spent, and I URGE you to contact me with your opinion, because I AM listening. The issue will be coming to Council on July 22nd.

It is also my job to cast a vote on this issue, and it is no secret that giving it back to taxpayers is my current favourite. Some have said that this option would make no difference to Calgarians because $126 dollars is such a small sum. Calling any sum of money irrelevant sets a dangerous precedent, but for now let's assume that an extra $126 in your pocket is inconsequential because that is not really the point. The point is the $126 is not extra for you; it's extra for the City! The point is that the Provincial government lowered taxes, so YOU could get the money back! If the city continued to charge 7% GST when it was lowered to 5%, I wonder how well that would have been accepted.

You can contact me anytime at 403-268-1653, or eaward14@calgary.ca, with any opinions you might have. For general City inquiries, you can now use your smartphone with the new 311 app. I'm proud to have played a part in the streamlining of 311, of which this new app is a result. See calgary.ca/ward14 for a history and details on how to get the 311 app.

Finally, don't forget to join me in the Southcentre Mall parking lot for the Ward 14 Communities BBQ on September 21st. We'll be celebrating Ward 14's Community Associations. See calgary.ca/ward14/events for details.

Categories: Newsletter

Back | June 01, 2012

I hope this column finds you sitting outside on a sunny June day with your choice of cold beverage in hand. I think all of us deserve some extra summer considering how hard we work during the deep freeze of winter. Calgarians have been enjoying the Stampede for 100 years now, so even if summer doesn't arrive when it should, you'll soon have an extra reason to get out and celebrate anyway. It will be an enormous milestone for a truly world class event. I urge everyone to join in this year's festivities.

Calgary is a big city now. Big cities have big celebrations and they also have lots of pavement. The effort to clean up and maintain Calgary's thousands of kilometers of streets and alleys is now well underway. With all of that work to be done, City staff must focus their efforts in critical areas. I have heard questions from many of you over the spring asking if your paved back alley will be swept. The answer is that once those critical areas are done (by July, weather permitting), City staff will get down to sweeping other areas. But, if you would like to have your paved alley swept, you must call in a request to 3-1-1. If you have an unpaved alley, the gravel lane repair page is useful. Similarly, The City will be re-painting the lines on our streets this summer. For most of Ward 14, this is scheduled to have been finished by the end of May (with the exception of Silverado, which is scheduled for August), so if you feel that there have been any major omissions, I urge you to contact 3-1-1. The same thing goes for potholes. Finally,the first of hopefully many solar powered crosswalk signals in Ward 14 is up and running at Sun Valley Boulevard and Sun Harbour Road S.E. I put forth an application to council proposing the pilot project for these solar powered lights on June 20, 2011. There are several different versions around the city and the Roads Department is looking for feedback on the project. Call 3-1-1 to provide feedback. Speaking of 3-1-1, here's a treat for anyone who loves a good bar graph.

Top 10 communities in Ward 14 by service request volume (March 2012):

  • Deer Run - 92
  • Queensland - 94
  • Walden - 96
  • Deer Ridge - 101
  • Willow Park - 169
  • Silverado - 175
  • Midnapore - 189
  • Chapparal - 231
  • Sundance - 243
  • Lake Bonavista - 284

This graph gives a breakdown of the number of service requests made to 3-1-1 in Ward 14 communities for the month of March. Out of all 14 wards for that month, Ward 14 had the third fewest number of requests with 1,868.

There are a couple of events on the horizon that I want to share. On June 25, a lucky class from Ward 14 will be introduced in a Regular Meeting of Council because of the political acumen and literary prowess of one of its students. In May, I asked Ward 14 schools to pose an essay question to their Grade 6 students. I (and my team of judges) will be choosing the best from the best of each class. The question was, "How does Municipal Government affect Me?" Stay tuned because the winner will be posted on my website.

And please consider saving some time on the morning of Sept. 22 to join me at my annual pancake breakfast. The goal of the breakfast is to increase membership registrations for Ward 14's community associations.

Aldertalk is on June 16 at the Willow Ridge Community Centre (680 Acadia Dr. S.E.) from noon to 2 p.m., so come out and have your say. Otherwise, you can always contact me at 403-268-1653 or contact my office. My team has also been working hard on a brand new Facebook fan page for me that you should take a look at (and hit the "like" button if you want to follow).

This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.​

Categories: Newsletter

Back | June 02, 2014

Summer is almost here, Ward 14!

It’s the time of year when my Aldertalk schedule winds down, and it has been a great season.  Since January, the attendance has been up.  We’ve gone from maxing out at 25, to maxing out at 40.  I want to build on that trend: in June, and beyond.

Like every year, we’ll get together for one last discussion in June, then you can all enjoy the warm weather for a few of months, and we’ll return in October.  The June session is a first for Aldertalk.  It will be at the Bonavista Downs Community Hall (1418 Lake Ontario Road SE) for the first time.  I will be there between noon and 2 p.m.—as usual—on June 21.  You can learn more at www.calgary.ca/aldertalk

People really like when I quote interesting facts at Aldertalk.  They get such a positive reaction that I’m considering creating the first mainstay in this column.  So, let’s give it a try

Did you know? Installing a water meter has saved Calgarians an average of $30/month on their utility bill.

As you might know, I'm not one for extra requirements and hassles on hard-working people.  What I do support is not paying for what you don’t need or use, and anything that reduces waste: waste of money, and waste of resources.

Getting a new water meter installed helps reduce waste.  You only pay for what you use.  It is free and quick to install.  It also eliminates the need for anyone to access your property.  You can call (403) 280-3070, or visit www.metercor.com/book-an-installation to book an appointment.

Water meters make sense.  They are a great way to conserve a precious natural resource, and with an average reduction in monthly water bills of 30%—about $30/month, $360/year, or a dollar per day—they are hard to argue against.  Ninety-seven percent of residences are already metered, and the goal set out by the City’s water meter bylaw is to have 100% metered by the end of the year.  Get one installed, if you haven’t already.

If you’re like me, then summer seems to come and go quickly.  It is almost here, and that means that the Ward 14 Communities BBQ is just around the corner.  Since you’re reading this, you probably agree that community associations are very important.  So join me on September 13 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for a free lunch, and a celebration of Ward 14’s community associations for all the great things they do.

Feel free to contact me anytime with questions, and concerns.  Until next month, I will see you at Aldertalk.

Categories: Newsletter

Back | August 01, 2015

Hi Ward 14!  

We are well into summer now, and I hope you are making the most out of it.  I find August in Calgary gives us some fine weather, but if I had to gamble on the most likely time for a warm sunny day in Calgary, it would sometime in late September.  That is one of the main reasons why my Ward 14 Communities BBQ will be on Saturday, September 26 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. this year.  As usual, it will be in the southeast corner of the Southcentre Mall parking lot.

At this point in time (I’m writing in late June) there are already a few great companies helping out with the Ward 14 Communities BBQ.  Genstar Development Company and Jack Carter Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC are donating dollars that will be used to purchase the community association memberships that you can get for free, and as always Oxford Properties will be graciously donating part of the Southcentre Mall parking lot for the day.  Calgary Co-op will be providing the buns, and as you flip through this newsletter you will find a full-page advertisement for the Ward 14 Communities BBQ.  I have Great News Publishing to thank for the design and the ad space.

As you can see, the Ward 14 Communities BBQ takes collaboration.  Many companies and individuals come together to make it happen.  The hardworking community association volunteers that the BBQ is meant to celebrate also volunteer to make it happen, so I would like to see them have a little extra help.  If you would like to volunteer for the Ward 14 Communities BBQ or think would like to help in some other way, please let me know by sending an email to ward14@calgary.ca. You can learn more about the BBQ at www.calgary.ca/ward14bbq.

Did you know that you could be on a City of Calgary Board, Commission, or Committee?

Applying to serve on one of The City’s various Boards, Commissions or Committees (BCCs) is a great idea for anyone looking for a positive way to use their expertise, and there are currently a number of BCCs recruiting for new members.  Although some member positions have specific eligibility requirements, many only require enthusiasm, interest and commitment.

If you are interested you can visit www.calgary.ca/cityclerks for further details and to access the online application form.  Applications will be accepted between August 14 and September 15, 2015.

Another simple way to get involved is to keep tabs on what the City of Calgary is doing.  I do my best to push relevant information to those who show an interest.  You can sign up for my email updates at www.calgary.ca/ward14connect, and don’t hesitate to contact me any time.

Enjoy the warm weather!

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | June 01, 2016

Happy June Ward 14 

Ward 14 Wordsmith Award

Every year I hold an essay contest for the Grade 6 students in Ward 14. Every year they write abo0ut what municipal government means to them, and every year I am blown away by the calibre of the essays.

For four years the winner of the Ward 14 Wordsmith Award, and their entire class, have joined me at a City Council meeting. I read the winning essay on TV during a Council meeting—so everyone can be just as impressed as I—and present the winner with the Ward 14 Wordsmith Award.

This year Ian Samuel Benham of Prince of Wales School became the winner of the fifth annual Ward 14 Wordsmith Award. He and Mrs. Armstrong-Shaver’s class will join me in Council on June 13 and he will receive a very special prize in addition to the traditional trophy: a signed Johnny Gaudreau jersey courtesy of the Calgary Flames!

Congratulations Ian! It is great to see young people who understand the importance of democracy. Thank you to all of the teachers who instil that importance, and to all the students who participated! I can’t wait to see what the students have in store for next year.

For those of you who would like to read Ian’s essay, you can find it at calgary.ca/ward14.

Counciltalk

I will be holding one more Counciltalk session before summer. It will be at the ATB in Walden (300-151 Walden Gate S.E.) on June 25 from noon to 2 p.m.

This has been the most popular year for Counciltalk yet, and that makes me happy. As good as it is to see young people who understand the importance of democracy it is equally as good to see adults participate in it.

Thank you to everyone who joined me at one of my Counciltalk sessions this year. Keep an eye out for the next one on calgary.ca/counciltalk.

Ward 14 Communities BBQ & Walden Community Association

I think people must be getting familiar with my community BBQ. I will speak about it in a little more detail in the coming months, but for now you should mark it in your calendars. It will be a great time.

The BBQ is on September 24, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and I will be officially welcoming Walden’s brand new community association for the first time. It will be in the same location as always: the Southcentre Mall parking lot. You can find out more about the Walden Community Association at waldenyyc.ca and more about the BBQ at calgary.ca/ward14bbq.

Deerfoot Trail Engagement

I want to briefly mention a couple of opportunities to give your input on the future of Deerfoot Trail.

You will have to keep an eye on calgary.ca/engage to get the fine details of the first opportunity, but in general it will be a chance to share your thoughts on what you want to see on Deerfoot. Watch for the Deerfoot Trail Corridor Study on the City’s website.

The second opportunity will be focused specifically on the south section of Deerfoot. I will be at the First Alliance Church (12345 40 Street S.E.) on June 23 from 7 to 9 p.m. with area MLA Richard Gotfried, other area councillors, and other stakeholders to listen to what the citizens of Calgary’s south have to say.

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to contact me any time.

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | June 03, 2013

Hello Ward 14!

The last two Aldertalks have been more than I ever hoped for. Turnouts in both April and May were sensational, and in both cases I was chatting with Ward 14 residents long past our scheduled end time. Not only is it great just to get a chance to listen to people's opinions and concerns, but to hear neighbours engage each other in debate really puts a smile on my face. Thank you to everyone who joined.

Unfortunately, the Aldertalk in May was the last one that I can commit to holding for now. June kicks off the "campaign period" for the municipal election. Until we vote in October, events like Aldertalk will have to be deferred. So, if there is something that you would like to talk to me about, or an issue that you would like to see addressed then you will just have to get in touch the old fashioned way. You can call me at 403-268-1653, or contact me online.

This year's campaign period will leave its mark on the Ward 14 communities BBQ, as well. There can be no fire department, or any other City funded exhibitors at the BBQ, but the show must go on. In the past two years we put almost $8000 in the pockets of Ward 14's Community Associations, and there is no reason to stop that trend. Instead of the normal City exhibitors I will be inviting a number of community-oriented organizations, and I have a few more ideas for entertainment as well. The BBQ will be on September 21st between 11am and 2pm outside of Southcentre Mall. Look for more details on calgary.ca/ward14. I hope to see you there.

Those of you in Chaparral and Walden are likely aware of the BFI landfill that sits just off of 194 Avenue SE. As of June 30th, this landfill will be closing its gates. Obviously this means that starting in July there will be no waste accepted there, but it will also mean an opportunity to eventually turn the landfill site into a useable community area. BFI will be working to return this area to a usable space. Until then please keep an eye out for opportunities to have your say on how the space could be used in the future.

And now a moment that I have been waiting for... I am finally able to announce the winner of the 2013 Ward 14 Wordsmith Award. For those of you who don't know, I have been inviting all the Grade 6 students of Ward 14 to participate in an essay contest on the topic of Municipal Government. This was the second edition of the contest, and just like last year, these skilled young writers have made my decision extremely difficult. The knowledge and intelligence that these youngsters displayed was truly amazing, but there can only be one winner. Congratulations to Katherine Wolfe, resident of Lake Bonavista, and student at St. Philip School in Parkland. What a wonderful essay! She and her class joined me in Council on April 22nd, where her words were rightfully on display for all of Calgary to hear.

I wish you all a warm and happy June. That's it for now.

Categories: Newsletter

Back | June 25, 2018

Howdy!

My Ward 14 Communities BBQ has been around for seven years (almost as many as the number of my columns that begin with the word "Howdy"), and I have some important news.

For those who are unfamiliar, my BBQ is about drawing attention to the hard working community associations in Ward 14. I gather as many people as I can in one place to meet with their community association reps. I also gather as much money as I can from sponsors to buy everyone a membership to their local community association. We have lots of exhibitors, including displays and information for the departments at the City of Calgary. There is also a free lunch for all those who attend!

What is the news then, you ask? Well, for the past seven years I have held the BBQ at Southcentre Mall which, due to boundary changes from the last election, is no longer a part of Ward 14. It is no longer appropriate to hold it there. I have scoured the area to find a suitable location. It must be one that is as accessible to all of the communities within the new boundaries of Ward 14 as possible, and a sufficient size to hold things like fire trucks along with thousands of people.

Unfortunately, I have had no luck, and there is just no more time to adequately prepare without a location. I regret to inform everyone that the BBQ will not be happening this year.

But that just means more time to plan for next year, and I promise that we will be back, stronger than ever, for 2019!

Have a fun Stampede week, and please feel free to contact me any time. The best way to do so is by visiting calgary.ca/contactward14​.

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | May 31, 2017

Greetings Ward 14!  

Ward 14 Community Calendar

I have always wanted a calendar for community events. Given that I attend most of those events, I can tell you that I have found use for such a calendar. So I was very happy in February when the resources were finally available to make it a reality. You will find it at calgary.ca/ward14calendar, and you will see details on community events like:

Counciltalk: If you click through the calendar to June 17, you will find the last Counciltalk session of the season. It will run from noon to 2 p.m. at Parkland Community Hall (505 Parkvalley Road S.E.). This year’s Counciltalk sessions have been more than I could have hoped for. Most turnouts have been large, and the conversation has been stimulating. I hope to see as many out to the June session as possible, because it will be the last opportunity for a while. Visit calgary.ca/counciltalk for more information. 

 
Ward 14 Communities BBQ: If you click through a little bit farther you will see my annual Ward 14 Communities BBQ. We will have a great time and raise a lot of money for Ward 14’s community associations. Look for the BBQ on Saturday, Sept. 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. specifically. We will be in the Southcentre Mall parking lot. If you want more details visit calgary.ca/ward14bbq.

Neighbour Day: It is on the same day as my last Counciltalk session—June 17—, and Neighbour Day is actually made up of many different events. I can confidently say that June 17 will be a very busy day for me, but busy in a good way. Visit calgary.ca/neighbourday for more info.

That brings me to one last point about the Ward 14 Community Calendar. On it you will find many great events, but some still slip under my radar. So if you have one that you think is worthy (i.e. has benefit for the communities of Ward 14) send an email with the details to ward14@calgary.ca.

Ward 14 Wordsmith Award

For five years the winner of my essay contest, and their entire class, have joined me at a City Council meeting. I read the winning essay on TV during a Council meeting—so everyone can be just as impressed as I—and present the winner with the Ward 14 Wordsmith Award.

This year Carine Howie, who is from Midnapore and goes to St. Teresa of Calcutta School, takes home the award: a trophy and a signed Johnny Gaudreau jersey courtesy of the Calgary Flames! Congratulations Carine! It is great to see young people who understand the importance of democracy. Thank you to all of the teachers who instil that importance, and to all the students who participated! I can’t wait to see what the students have in store for next year.

Stampede Parade - route reversal

Just one quick note before I go. If you like to attend the Stampede Parade, keep in mind this year the route has been reversed. For more information you should visit parade.calgarystampede.com.

That is all I have for June. Remember to dust off the boots and hats for July!

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | May 21, 2015

Hi Ward 14!

Events!  There are all sorts of events going on this summer. You will find a lot of them—like community cleanups and pre-stampede gatherings—in the pages of this publication, and enduring the cold winter makes these events that much more enjoyable.

I know of two events that you will not want to miss. You should mark them in your calendar as soon as you’re done reading.

The first is the Ward 14 Communities BBQ. For the past four years, Ward 14 has gathered to pay homage to the community associations that work so hard to ensure we can be proud of where we live. This year will be no different, except I hope it will be even bigger.

In my mind, the BBQ serves three purposes. The first I have already mentioned: to draw attention to the hardworking volunteers in Ward 14’s community associations. The second is as an alternative to the traditional City of Calgary open house (yes, there will be all sorts of City departments there to learn from, and to speak with). Finally, you can get a free community association membership at the BBQ, and the community association still gets paid for it!

The sponsors and I will be working hard to make sure that you are entertained, and I will make sure that you get a tasty burger for coming. The Ward 14 Communities BBQ will be on Saturday, September 26 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m in the Southcentre Mall parking lot. I hope you can join!

The next event to mark in your calendar is Aldertalk, and anyone who has ever read my column is probably well aware of what it is. If you’re not, then the best way find out is to attend with a topic that interests you, and an open mind. The final Aldertalk session of the season will take place in Walden for the first time thanks to ATB Financial. You can meet me at ATB’s Walden location (#300, 151 Walden Gate SE) from noon to 2 p.m. on June 20. If you want to receive information about either of these events, or about other ward, community, or City of Calgary issues, I am more than happy to send it. You can sign up for updates at www.calgary.ca/ward14connect.

There is one more event to mention, but it is not one that you are likely to attend (in fact, it has already passed).  It is the presentation of the Ward 14 Wordsmith Award, and it is my attempt to encourage learning in two topics that are dear to me: municipal government and the democratic process.

This year Jennifer Searl won the prize for her amazing essay about Canada’s three levels of government.  She won a tour of City Hall for her entire grade six class, she had her picture taken with the Mayor and I, and she was introduced in Council on TV.  I hope she enjoyed herself!

Congratulations to Jennifer Searl of Willow Park School!  It is great to see young people who understand the importance of democracy.  Thank you to all of the teachers who try to instil that importance, and to all the students who participated!  I can’t wait to see what the schools of Ward 14 have in store for next year.

Goodbye until July! Until then, you can learn more about all three events at www.calgary.ca/ward14/events, and please don’t ever hesitate to contact me.

Categories: Newsletter

Back | May 30, 2018

Hi Ward 14!

I think most Calgarians are itching to spend some time outside when June rolls around. Everyone is looking to have some fun.

Fun Summer Activities

I don’t usually go into much detail about recreational programs. In my printed column there is just not that much space. But online I have unlimited space, so I am going to share some fun summer activities available to you and the rest of the family. Here it goes...

Seniors Week

From June 3-9, the City of Calgary is celebrating seniors. As part of Seniors’ Week, the City of Calgary is hosting a number of free "try it" fitness classes. Opportunities include aquacize, gentle yoga, art exploration, nordic walking and tea and coffee socials. Visit calgary.ca/seniorsweek for details.

Golf

Don’t get me wrong, I have some issues with the City being involved in golfing. For now, it is a fact of life, and I don’t know many fathers who don’t enjoy golf. This Father’s Day, you can treat your Dad (and the whole family) to free golf with a round at Richmond Green and McCall par 3 on Sunday, June 17. Your regular green fee will be waived for a small cash donation made in support of the Kids on Course Junior/Family Subsidy Program for economically disadvantaged youth/families.

The City of Calgary’s Golf Event Nights also begin in June. There are Ladies, Beginner, and Family Nights (free golf for juniors on family nights.) and also free tips from a golf pro along with spot prizes and giveaways. Visit calgary.ca/golf for more info and course locations.

Canada Day Celebrations

This is a great way to spend Canada Day with your loved ones. There will be a range of free, family-friendly activities across the downtown area and Confederation Park. Check calgary.ca/canadaday for updates on performers, events and activities.

After School Programs

The City of Calgary offers many After School programs for free or at low cost. Youth are provided positive, fun and supervised after school programs in schools, recreation buildings, and community facilities across Calgary. Children and youth grades 1-12 can drop into a weekday program in their community and take part in a variety of activities from 3-6 p.m. Activities may include basketball, swimming, arts, leadership, skating, sports and much more. These programs are designed to help kids stay productive, increase their self-esteem, and teach them skills that will follow them throughout their life. Learn more at calgary.ca/afterschool.

Many other fun activities

There are many other options to take advantage of. So many that they are too numerous to go into in detail. If you have the time, visit calgary.ca/playschool for programs for preschoolers, calgary.ca/pools for what is going on in City-run pools, calgary.ca/daycamps for day camps, and calgary.ca/register for many other programs.

Ward 14 Wordsmith Award

In their studies, the grade six students of Alberta learn about government, including municipal government. I have been inviting the grade six students of Ward 14 to participate in a writing contest for seven years now. The goal is to inspire the kind of passion for democracy and public service that my colleagues at City Hall share, but may overlook as a given sometimes. What I have always said is that if I can inspire just one, then the endeavor has been worthwhile. It is great if we can teach some kids about government, and this year is a very special year for the Ward 14 Wordsmith Awards. That is because, after seven years, the inaugural class is now eligible to vote!

Congratulations Nicole Ibragimov! Nicole attends Mrs. Alaina Crone’s grade 6 class at Fish Creek Elementary School in Sundance. She won with her amazing knowledge and writing skill that stood out amongst the most participation I have had to date. She takes home the award, a trophy, a signed Johnny Gaudreau jersey courtesy of the Calgary Flames, and her entire class visited City Hall for a tour!

Thank you to all of the teachers who spent extra time to make this happen, the principals and vice-principals who supported them, and to all the students who wrote the essays. They were very impressive!

My position on Calgary’s Olympic Bid

The City of Calgary is currently grappling with the prospect of bidding for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games. City Council created the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Assessment Committee to advise itself on that topic. I was voted Vice-Chair of this committee, and am also a well-known skeptic when it comes to the Olympic bid. I want to take a moment to explain how I came to my opinion of the Olympic bid and how I intend to approach my role on the Olympic Committee.

To me this decision must be about providing a tangible benefit to Calgarians. That does not mean just warm feelings of nostalgia, or civic pride. It means measureable assets for years to come. In the beginning that is what it was about.

Over a year ago, Council - with my support - voted to spend about $3 Million for a preliminary assessment of our Olympic facilities, and (more importantly) an analysis of Calgary’s Olympic legacy/sporting infrastructure gap. When that report came back, it indicated the cost to Calgarians to upgrade our facilities would be the same with the Olympics or without. That is where my support for pursuing the Olympics ended.

Since then the process has been a series of gambles at the expense of the taxpayer. The initial $3 Million was followed by another bet of a couple million to determine what it would cost to host the Olympics. Then a few more million were put on the table for more analysis, and to find out if the Province and the Federal Government would get involved. Each ante has come with some sort of misstep that has damaged public trust.

I am very concerned with our ability to actually host the Olympics if we have such difficulty just deciding on whether or not to bid on them. We would be dealing with billions of dollars, and small mistakes could have huge financial consequences. Not to mention we would be getting in bed with an Olympic organization whose motives and track record are questionable at best. The IOC would like us to be a guinea pig for their new format. I think it is better to let some other city wager that they have changed their ways.

Whether I agree with this situation or not, the will of Council is to move forward. We now have the City of Calgary, the Province of Alberta, and the Federal Government contributing roughly $10 Million each to explore and prepare for bidding on the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The Province has stipulated that we must conduct a plebicite in order to move forward and we have a committee dedicated to advising Council on the topic.

As an Olympic dissenter, I am in a unique position and serve an important role on the Olympic Committee. I will serve you and make the best of the position I have been put in. I still feel that the Olympics are not right for Calgary, but I will do my best to approach this with neither blind faith nor total pessimism. I will keep you informed, and keep my comments clear of rhetoric.

As my employer, and the employer of everyone who works for the City of Calgary, you will be asked to vote on whether you want the Olympics or not. Quite frankly, I know you will make the right decision.

Counciltalk

This will be the first ever Counciltalk in McKenzie Lake. It will also be the last Counciltalk before we take a bit of a break for the summer. Join me at the McKenzie Lake Community Association (16198 McKenzie Lake Way SE) on Saturday, June 23. Make sure to note the late start though. We will be there from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. I hope you can take advantage of this opportunity, but it won’t be the last. Look for the next scheduled Counciltalk at calgary.ca/counciltalk.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to contact me any time. The best way to do so is by visiting calgary.ca/contactward14.

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | March 01, 2015

Hello Ward 14!  We’re nearing the end of winter, and there are already two Aldertalk sessions behind us.  If you want to talk about one (or more) municipal subjects, join me at the Mid-Sun Community Centre on March 14th, from noon to 2 p.m.  If you can’t make it in March but still want to join, then visit www.calgary.ca/aldertalk for upcoming dates.

Many interesting topics come up at Aldertalk; topics like street lights.  That topic came up at the January Aldertalk, and there are some big changes coming in the near future.  I am very happy to be moving these changes forward.

Council has approved city-wide retrofitting of street lights.  The southeast of the city is scheduled for a complete retrofit in 2016.  The street lights will be converted to take LED bulbs.  They will save money, and save the environment

Over the 2015-2018 timeframe the City will replace about 90,000 streetlights with LED fixtures, and although the estimated $32 million initial cost might seem large, the financial benefit to the City is well worth it in the long term.  LED lights use less electricity for a similar quality of lighting, and need to be replaced less often.  LED lights are directional, so they waste less light.  This results in better energy conservation, efficiency, and less light pollution in the night sky.  LED lights will reduce the City’s operating costs by $50 million over ten years—a cost recovery period of only six years.

The conversion will take place in two phases.  First, they will be installed in a handful of communities to gain insight, and will then be installed city-wide.  If you’re in the neighbourhood, why don’t you check out the future of street lighting?  You can find out where to go by searching “LED lights” on www.calgary.ca

Did you know?  There are some slight differences in blue and black cart pick up.

While you can expect the garbage man to pick up any extra waste that won’t fit in your black bin, you shouldn’t expect the same for the recyclables you put in your blue bin.  This is because the City’s Waste and Recycling department won the contract to provide the blue cart service through a bid on a contract that stipulates cart collection only.  There was no bid, or contract for black cart collection

You can always bring your extra recyclables to community recycling depots across the city, or store it to be collected later, and of course any material intended for the black cart can be left out for regular pick up.  Just make sure that the waste is in a bag that is easily lifted with one arm, and is about 1-2 feet from the cart.

I am always interested in having a conversation about whatever colour cart, or variety of topic that you wish to discuss.  Feel free to contact me anytime!  Also, don’t forget that I send email reminders for Aldertalk, and other important happenings in Ward 14, but I need your consent to send them.  You can state your consent via an email to ward14@calgary.ca.  Goodbye for now

Categories: Newsletter

Back | October 11, 2012

Sitting in a car, trying to get to or from work, brakes locked up, and going nowhere. It's a situation that most Calgarians are very familiar with, especially those living in suburban Ward 14. Having been Alderman for over two years now, it has become pretty clear that traffic congestion is a major issue for the residents of Ward 14 and it is quite refreshing when there is the potential for simple and inexpensive solutions.

The Lake Fraser Gate Pilot Project illustrates a potentially effective, yet inexpensive way to speed up the morning commute on Macleod trail. It's also a great example of some fine work done by The City of Calgary's Roads Department. The pilot project will test how modifications to traffic signals at the intersection of Lake Fraser Gate and Macleod trail will improve traffic flow along Macleod Trail. It will last for a period of approximately three months (beginning on Nov. 5, 2012).

So far, I am hearing that there is very positive feedback, but there may be adverse effects for some people taking specific routes and that is why it is important that The City of Calgary get feedback for those who are impacted. I have personally had the chance to speak with many stakeholders in this process and want to thank all of them for their participation.

You can give your feedback on the project by calling 3-1-1 and find much more info on the project by looking at the Lake Fraser Gate Pilot FAQ. Of course, you can always contact me​ should you wish to voice your opinion as well.

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | March 13, 2013

Traffic moving through Lake Fraser Gate intersection

The pilot project relating to traffic congestion along Macleod Trail at the Lake Fraser Gate intersection is now over, and we're moving along with the process.

As you know, City of Calgary traffic engineers have piloted an alternate traffic pattern over the last several months, restricting the southbound left turn at Macleod Trail onto Lake Fraser Gate S.E. and the westbound left turn lane during the morning rush hour.

 

The City has given ample opportunity to provide feedback. Since October, there's been an open house, an online chat, many conversations with me, and of course all of the feedback via 311. As resident or business in Ward 14, I hope you voiced your opinion either way.

Changes were incorporated based on concerns heard from local businesses. First, having the change in effect only during the morning rush hour period, and secondly, bumping up the restriction to end at 8:30 a.m. as opposed to 9 o'clock.

From my perspective, this has been an overwhelming success. Travel times have been improved and traffic delays have been substantially reduced during the morning rush hour. Simply put, traffic is flowing better. I've heard from some folks in my ward that as much as 15 to 20 minutes has been knocked off their commute time in the morning.

Over the course of the pilot between October 2012 and February, nearly 2,400 responses were gathered. Of those responses, 21 only were not in favour of the change.

The City's recommendation will be to implement the pilot permanently.

One of the last steps in this entire process is to put forward the recommendation to the Standing Policy Committee on Transportation and Transit on April 17, 2013. These meetings are held at Old City Hall, and are open to the public. You are welcome to attend and provide your opinion. The committee's recommendation will then go to Council.​

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | March 01, 2016

Hello Ward 14!  

The transition from winter to spring brings out one of my favorite traits in the true Calgarian. The slightest reprieve from the harsh weather spurs a wave of activity in this beautiful City. The prohibitive weather seems to inspire a real respect for the ability to take an active role. It breeds appreciation for the chance to take part and be involved.

Citizens’ View

We need to nurture and harness Calgarians’ strong desire to be involved, which is why I am so happy to see the City of Calgary catching on with initiatives like Citizens’ View

If you want to participate in shaping City of Calgary programs and services I suggest signing up at www.citizensview.ca. As a member of the Citizens’ View panel you will be updated of opportunities to provide input. You will also receive information about upcoming events and service improvements. I signed up for Citizen’s View, and have been very impressed. You should too.

Action Plan Check-in: Mid-Cycle Budget Adjustments

You may have seen a City bus at Deer Valley Shopping Centre when you were out and about during February. It is another example of how the City of Calgary is catching on with some great new initiatives. It was a perfect opportunity for Calgarians to get involved.  Are you noticing a theme

We developed the Action Plan in 2014 as the City’s business plan and budget document for 2015 through 2018. It was based on one of the most robust public engagement efforts that I have seen in my time as a Councillor. Council tweaks the plan every November, but given economic events of the last year or so there is a clear need to revisit the plan in more depth for 2017-2018

The bus visited several locations in the City during February to gather input from Calgarians on what matters most to them. The input will be used to advise adjustments to the City’s business plan and budget for 2017-2018. The chance to get involved in this is not over—although it will not be via bus.  You can visit calgary.ca/check-in for other opportunities to share your opinion through the end of April, and I am always happy to incorporate your view. You can contact me anytime, or join me at Counciltalk.

March Counciltalk

The February edition of Counciltalk was great. Thanks for coming if you were there. If not, the next is on March 19 at the Deer Park United Church (77 Deerpoint Road S.E.) from noon to 2 p.m. All the Counciltalks are listed at calgary.ca/counciltalk, and you can sign up to get reminders for all the Counciltalk dates at calgary.ca/ward14connect.

ATCO Gas Fish Creek Provincial Park System Improvements

You may have heard about safety improvements being made to ATCO Gas’ pipeline system or seen some work being done in Fish Creek Park. I won’t go into too much detail because it is best that you get your information straight from the source, but pipeline construction will continue and is scheduled to the end of June. I encourage you to visit atcopipelines.com to learn about the project in detail.

Have a great March!

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | March 03, 2014

Hello Ward 14,

We are two Aldertalks into the new Council term, and so far it has been as successful as it ever was.  In January we had the largest turnout yet, and in the smallest venue.  About 50 people attended Parkland Hall, mostly to talk about an accumulating issue (but I will get to that later).  On March 15th, I will be back at the Mid-Sun Community Centre (50 Midpark Rise S.E.) for another Aldertalk session.  You can join me between noon and 2pm to get involved in the discussion.

Virtually everyone at the January Aldertalk came to speak about the condition of city streets caused by snowfall.  The amount of snow Calgary received over the period of December 2nd to January 25th was, without a doubt, extreme.   During December, 52.4cm of snow fell.  It was an incredible amount compared with the 30 year average of 15cm.  By January 25th, almost 70cm had fallen compared to the cumulative norm of about 30cm.  The frequency of snow events, up to 74km/h winds, and freeze/thaw cycles made things worse.  All of it overwhelmed a Snow and Ice Control system that was designed to efficiently handle much less snow.

The snow clearing plan traditionally used by the City of Calgary takes 7 days.  Major roads are cleared within 24 hours of snow stopping, and access roads are cleared within 48 hours.  Once they have been addressed, crews move to school and playground zones, hills, some residential roadways, steps, walks, and bus pads.  Many residential streets are plowed on a complaint basis only, and the plan has never included snow removal, except in specific areas where there is no other option.  ‘Flat-blading’ (where snow is cleared from the middle and pushed to the side) is the standard in residential areas.

Typically, the City spends $4.7M of its $34M annual Snow and Ice Control budget during December.  During December 2013, $9.4M was spent.  Contractors were hired to deal with residential areas while city crews dealt with snow piled up on major roads.  Snow removal was enacted on some roads where there was no more room to put the accumulating snow.

Ambulances and tow-trucks getting stuck on our roads is not acceptable.  But do we budget for the norm as we have been, or for the worst case scenario?  Council has directed administration to review options for dealing with an extreme snow event.  They will investigate the level of service and costs in other cities, and additional standby resources like contractors, among other things.  Their recommendations will be presented in July.  So until then, why don’t you tell me what level of service you are willing to pay for, Ward 14?  To get in touch, you can click this contact me link

Categories: Newsletter

Back | April 04, 2018

First brought to Council: April 5, 2018

Outcome: Carried Unanimously



City Council is a democratically elected body and it should be accountable to the citizens of Calgary. It is governed by the Municipal Government Act which sets out that Council and Committee meetings are to be held in public. The only exception to this is when the topic discussed could be harmful to third party business interests, personal privacy, individual or public safety, law enforcement, or in general could be detrimental to the effective management of the corporation that the Council was elected to oversee.

It can sometimes be difficult to balance these competing interests, and there has been some criticism that Council is making the wrong decisions. It is imperative that Council err on the side of openness when weighing the public’s right to information with any possible exceptions. A well-run Council is one that is as open and transparent as possible with its decision making process. The public is entitled to that.

The City should be making decisions in full view of the public eye as much as possible. That is why Councillor Peter Demong brought a Notice of Motion asking Council to commission a review of its use of closed meetings.

View the​ Notice of Motion​​​

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | March 01, 2017

Happy March Ward 14!  

Spring is just around the corner, and I assume for most of us it is a welcome change. There is a lot going on this spring, so I am going to spend this month’s edition of my column gearing up for the new season.

Ward 14 Traffic Safety Meeting

May 4 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. is a date you should save, especially if you are interested in traffic safety. City administration, the Calgary Police Service (CPS), and I will be at the Mid-Sun Community Centre to talk with you about what we can do to improve traffic safety in Ward 14. Both City Administration and CPS will be using this to inform their decision-making, so I encourage you to come. Stay tuned for more details next month. 

Street sweeping primer

Okay, I admit this is pretty early to start talking about street sweeping. But this is Calgary, and you never know what weather you will get. In fact, last year we got a very early start on street sweeping. You can just never be too sure.

The main point I want to make is to keep an eye on the website calgary.ca/sweep over the next couple of months. That is where you will find details about the City’s spring cleaning program. If we are all aware of what is going on, and take a few easy steps to make the process go smoothly, we can save everybody a lot of time and money.

Civic census & voter registration online starting April 1

Keep an eye on your mailbox during late March. You will be receiving your access code. It will allow you to complete the census and your voter registration online. They will both be accessible online on April 1.

The data that the City receives from the census is indispensible for decision-making, and the benefits of pre-registering to vote are obvious. But there is another very good reason to fill-out your census, and register to vote online: it saves taxpayers money! I hope you give online registration a try this year. Those types of advancements really help to cut costs and streamline processes. But whether you do them online or in person, the important part is to make sure you perform these two essential civic duties

March Counciltalk

Counciltalk keeps rolling along! The discussions continue to be great. This month Counciltalk will be at the Southview United Church in Walden located at 202000 Walden Blvd S.E. I will be there on Saturday, March 18 from noon to 2 p.m. You can visit calgary.ca/counciltalk for details of the full Counciltalk schedule, and you can sign up to receive reminders for Counciltalk and other important Ward 14 news at calgary.ca/ward14connect.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to contact me anytime!

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | February 26, 2018

Hi Ward 14,

By the time March is over the seasons will have changed, and you might also say the way the City of Calgary deals with secondary suites is entering a new season.

Changes to Secondary Suite Approval Process

On December 11, 2017 - with a new Council in place - some major changes were made to the way we approve secondary suite applications in a 10-5 vote. Councillors Carra, Chahal, Colley-Urquhart, Davison, Farkas, Farrell, Gondek, Keating, Woolley, and Mayor Nenshi were in favor. Councillors Jones, Magliocca, Chu, Sutherland, and Demong were opposed.

Officially, they directed administration to include secondary suites as a discretionary use in R-1, R-C1, and R-C1L land use districts. Effectively, this will eliminate the need for secondary suite applications to be voted on by Council, leaving administration to decide their fate. Moving forward a homeowner would go straight to the development and building permit stages.

But these changes must be officially put into the City’s Land Use Bylaw, and a public hearing must be held before the decision is finalized. You may have received a letter about this in your mail. Your chance to speak is on March 12 in Council Chambers, and you have until March 5 at noon to submit written comments, whether for or against.

These are BIG changes that will impact the entire City, so I encourage you to visit calgary.ca/suitereform for more details, and all the information you need to submit your comments.

Changes in Waste & Recycling

The topic of how we deal with our waste is one of my favourites because of how inconspicuously it has such an enormous impact on our lives, and just like secondary suites there have been big changes in our Waste & Recycling Department over the last year.

Green Bins

We all have our green bins now. I have no doubt that its addition was the right thing to do for the future of this City. Not only does the program divert organics from landfills, it allows us to divert much of our sewage too (one day I will use this column to go into much more detail about that).

For many - just like me - the new green cart has been a bit of an adjustment (the site calgary.ca/whatgoeswhere is a great resource for that), and I also have no doubt that the City will have to make some adjustments to this service before all is said and done. Unfortunately, there is one adjustment - already on its way - that I must inform you about. We will have to start paying for our green bins soon.

You will start seeing the fee after April 1st. This wasn’t originally the case though. The City planned to start billing all of Calgary for this service on January 1, but the actual service was to have a staggered start based on quadrant. Green bin service was to start in the southwest in July 2017, but not start in the southeast until October. Fortunately, Councillor Keating and I were able to pass a Notice of Motion to balance this inequity. You can read about it here.

Community Recycling Depots

With blue bins having been introduced years ago, and multi-residential buildings now recycling too, there is much less use of the community recycling depots around Calgary. In fact, we are now collecting less than one quarter of what we once did at these depots. Accordingly, the City has closed nine of them.

Ward 14 remains untouched by these closures, although if you were using the Bridlewood or Douglasglen community recycling depots you will have to find a new place to go. Luckily, there are still locations at Millrise, Shawnessy, Ogden, and South Trail, or you could just use your blue bin...

You can see all the active locations at calgary.ca/recycledepot.



Landfill Hours of Operation

Obviously green and blue bins have had an impact on our daily lives, but our waste and recycling system has recently been impacted in other ways too. Alberta’s economy over the last few years has led to a noticeable decrease in tipping fees at landfills, and a corresponding decrease in their operating budget.

Landfills have been forced to make some adjustments to deal with that decrease. What you are going to notice is that the Shepard Landfill is closed to residential and commercial traffic. Because of the amenities it has, it will only be open to industrial waste. The East Calgary, and Spyhill landfills will be open for residential and commercial customers.

Some of my colleagues and I have been working behind the scenes to make this a little more manageable for those of us in the south. The Throw n’ Go facility at Shepard will be open beginning on April 1st through October when we will be revisiting the whole schedule again.

To get full details about landfill schedules visit calgary.ca/landfill.

Counciltalk

You may not like the landfill hours. You may question why we need green bins. You might be unhappy with secondary suites, and you may want to let your Councillor know how you feel about these things. That is why there is Counciltalk.

The first ever Counciltalk in Douglasdale was great. Thanks to those who showed! March’s Counciltalk is coming quick. We will be at the Southview Church in Walden (20200 Walden Blvd SE) on March 3 between noon and 2 p.m. I hope to see you there, but if not you can see the rest of the 2018 schedule at calgary.ca/counciltalk.

If you didn’t already know, you should not hesitate to contact me anytime. Have a great month!

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | November 07, 2011

First brought to Council: November 7, 2011

Outcome: Referred to Administration



The City of Calgary is a growing municipality and a continued high rate of growth is expected. The City of Calgary employs thousands of people, and as its population grows, so does the number of people it employs. More employees need more workspaces and more workspaces are something that, in near the future, may not be available in Calgary.

This is an impending problem that The City of Calgary needs to be prepared for. If we are clever and quick enough, we can solve this problem, and improve our service to the citizens at the same time.

Alderman Peter Demong and his Council colleague proposed a motion to Council directing administration to consider several innovative solutions to the problem of maximizing service delivery and workspace within The City of Calgary.

View the Notice of Motion

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | May 01, 2012

Hello again! Victoria Day is almost here and whether you are going camping or just heading to the mall, you'll likely be taking a road to get there. Every spring, The City sweeps roughly 15,000 lane kilometers of paved roads and this year the Spring Clean-up Street Sweeping program runs from April 15 to June 29. Be sure to look for the signs on your street that will inform you when you should move your vehicles and garbage/recycling bins from the roadway. Check out The City's interactive street cleaning map to find community specific dates.

Clean street or not, you should make your way down to St. Sebastian School (65 Chaparral Dr. S.E.) on May 26 from noon to 2 p.m. because Aldertalk is gaining steam! Initially designed as a low cost alternative to annual open houses, these 2-3 hour Aldertalk sessions are a chance for me to sit down and have some face-to-face time with the people of Ward 14. I have been holding the sessions at a local community association each month because we all know that once a year is not nearly enough opportunity to access your elected officials. I am very proud of this idea, so share your opinions with me at the Aldertalk in May. I see more concerned individuals coming out to give their input at each event, and would love to see that trend continue.

By now, I hope you have the impression that I value your input. To show that I am "putting my money where my mouth is," I want to mention the latest notice of motion that I brought to Council. The Province has indicated it may be open to a review of its relationship structure with Alberta's major cities. Whatever a new relationship between the Province and The City of Calgary might be, I feel it is important that The City of Calgary be prepared for such a review and that Calgarians be involved in the discussion. That is why on March 19 I brought my "Creating Change in Municipal/Provincial Relations" motion, asking council to request the Mayor's office and Administration to develop a plan for a broad public consultation that would help determine what changes Calgarians might want to see. Unfortunately, my motion was defeated by Council, but I will continue to push for your input in crucial matters such as this.

Many North American cities are finding themselves unprepared when it comes to funding their pension plan liabilities. The Alberta Local Authorities Pension Plan's (LAPP) unfunded liability has grown significantly in the past decade, and is now reaching about $4.6 billion. We desperately need to know how The City will deal with these issues going forward, which is why I brought my "Pension Plan Funding Shortfalls" notice of motion to Council on March 12. The notice asks for Administration to prepare a report regarding any unfunded LAPP liabilities and any contingency plans that are in place. The notice was referred to the Pension Governance Committee for a report back to Council no later than June 2012. I will keep you informed on how this turns out and ensure that this issue is not forgotten because when the stakes are this high, we can't afford to be caught "with our pants down."

Until next time. If you have any questions or concerns please call me at 403-268-1653 contact my office.

Categories: Newsletter

Back | March 01, 2012

Now that March is here, it's only a matter of weeks before the glorious poplar tree canopy busts into leaf throughout much of Ward 14 and other parts of the city providing untold beauty and shade. Calgary currently has around one million poplar trees as part of the urban forest of which over 10,000 are nearing the end of their lifecycle. Along with poplar tree plusses, there are some minuses that we need to contend with. Lifting sidewalks, foundations, roads and driveways; poplar fluff floating through the air and drifting like snow against walls and fences; clogged sewer lines, etc.

People have a love/hate relationship with poplars. But regardless of how you personally feel about these titanic trees - happy or saddened - many are coming to the end of their lifecycle. A poplar tree has a lifecycle of approximately 50 years. The poplars in Ward 14 were planted in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, so it's not hard to do the math.

The loss of this entire poplar canopy will create an intense void for some beautiful sections of Calgary, not to mention the devastating environmental impacts, diminished quality of life for residents and massive financial burden should the trees need to be removed and replanted all at the same time. For these reasons I brought a notice of motion to Council, which was passed on January 23, asking for a status report on the current poplar tree situation and recommendations on a poplar tree strategy for Council's consideration. I'm anxious about this report, which is to come back in May and eager to develop a move forward plan.

Another piece of business I think is important to talk about is the matter of setting Council wages. I believe we all agree that Council should not be setting their own wages. That said, previous Council got it right when they chose to have an outside Council Compensation Review Committee. What I don't think is correct is the strategy to set Council pay according to the Average Weekly Earnings for Alberta (which includes all of Alberta including the oil sands region and has resulted in a 5.3 % pay increase). I believe it should be set according to the Consumer Price Index (rate of inflation) which everyone understands and most peoples' wages are tied to. I seconded the motion to change this process, unfortunately it was defeated.

On a high note, the first monthly Aldertalk was held on January 14 at the Parkland Community Hall with dozens of people turning out, followed by the second session on February 18 at the Lake Bonavista Community. Thank you to all of the Community Associations for providing a space for residents to come out and talk to me, bringing concerns, issues and questions, not to mention terrific ideas and problem solving strategies to the table! So please come out and join the discussions.

I am totally enjoying these well attended sessions and this month Aldertalk will be held March 17 (St. Patrick's Day) at the Mid-Sun Community Association, 50 Midpark Rise S.E. If you have a few minutes and want to discuss something, stop in around noon for a coffee and hopefully we can round up a few donuts - how about green donuts!

That's it for now. If you have any questions or concerns please call me at 403-268-1653 or contact my office.


​​

Categories: Newsletter

Back | February 28, 2013

As it seemingly has since I took the role of Ward 14 Alderman, time has flown by this year. The only reason I can come up with for time having passed so rapidly, is a combination of having my schedule packed full and a passion for the work. 2013 is moving quickly, and that brings us to March...

In my travels as Alderman, I frequently find myself at Community Association Board meetings. It is important to me that the volunteers on these boards, who know their communities inside out, can turn and chat directly to me if they have any issues. This very thing happened in January. It seems that a number of people in the communities surrounding Bow Bottom Trail have been noticing a wafting sewage odour.

The waste water treatment plant is the likely culprit, but without detailed evidence the Water Services Department cannot be certain. As a Ward we all need to help in the investigation. I encourage anyone who notices the odour to contact 311 and request that someone be sent out to investigate. It is important that you be as descriptive as possible when you are speaking to the 311 staff, because as I'm sure we can all appreciate, finding the origin of an odour on a windy day can be a difficult task. Make sure that the operator records exactly when and where you smelled the odour, as well as where you think it is coming from.

Soon Calgarians will be able to send these details to 311 from their mobile phone with the 311 app. You may have seen this in the Metro newspaper in January, and as you may be aware from my 311 response to citizen service requests notice of motion, I am a huge believer in how valuable a tool the 311 system can be. The planned release date for the 311 mobile app is the end of March, so keep an eye on calgary.ca/mobileapps to get connected with 311 all the time. I am hopeful that this new app will enhance the citizens' experience in reporting city related issues as well as improve the efficiency of the city's response to requests.

February saw another great Aldertalk session. The debate was lively and our discussion ran the gamut from playground zones to property tax. The next session will be held at the Mid-Sun Community Centre (50 Midpark Rise S.E.) on March 23rd from Noon to 2 p.m. You can find a description of Aldertalk at calgary.ca/aldertalk along with a listing of upcoming Aldertalk sessions.

March 27th will be a big day in my office. Up until that day, I will be receiving a flood of essays from Grade Six students in Ward 14. Students will be submitting the essays in an effort to become the winner of the second edition of the Ward 14 Wordsmith Awards and a trip for their class to City Hall where the winner's essay will be read, by me, in front of City Council (and on TV)! This year students will be answering the question "Why should I care about Municipal Government?" It is one of my favourite projects that I have taken on as an Alderman, because it gives me the opportunity to increase awareness of two things that are very important to me - Democracy and Municipal Government.

Please don't ever hesitate to contact me if you have comments, concerns, ideas, or insights. I can be reached by email at eaward14@calgary.ca or by phone at 403-268-1653. Happy March!

 

Categories: Newsletter

Back | May 01, 2017

Hi Ward 14,  

The weather is changing, and that usually means some cleaning is in order. Whether it is around the house or in the yard, pretty much everyone does it this time of year, and so does the City of Calgary. So that is the theme for this month: Cleaning!

Cleaning up our rivers

I wish I had a better track record of reminding you about the Annual Pathway and River Cleanup. It is a great event, but this year I fear you are reading this a little too late to sign up. Spots usually fill up fast, and this year it will be on May 7. Oh well, there is still a point to be made.

The pathways and rivers in this city are a huge sense of pride for Calgarians, and I find this is especially true for the people in Ward 14. We just have some of the most beautiful places in the city, and—even if you are not at the annual cleanup—there is really no reason that you can’t pick up some litter to keep it that way. My wife and I make a point to do this every time we go for a walk. It doesn’t take long to find a bin to put it in.

If you want to find out more about the Annual Pathway and River Cleanup visit calgary.ca/pathwayandrivercleanup

Pothole repair season

As I mentioned, the City does spring cleaning too. For over a month now crews have been sweeping the streets of everything that builds up over the winter. Although protecting your windshield from cracks, and just plain making the streets look good are big reasons they do it, there is another one too. They need clean streets to fix the potholes!

If you know of any potholes, now is the perfect time to get them in the queue for repair. I suggest calling 311, or using the 311 app (which you can get by visiting calgary.ca/mobileapps.

Housekeeping: Dates to be saved

Here are some important upcoming events

Neighbour Day – It will be on June 17 this year, and it is exactly what it sounds like: an opportunity to meet your neighbours. Visit calgary.ca/neighbourday to see how the City of Calgary can help you celebrate.

Ward 14 Communities BBQ – Yes, we will be having my BBQ again this year. Mark September 16 in your calendars, and if you are a non-profit organization interested in being an exhibitor at the BBQ, please email your details to ward14@calgary.ca.

May Counciltalk - Counciltalk will be on May 27 in the main gym at the Queensland Community Centre (649 Queensland Drive S.E.) from noon to 2 p.m. Keep in mind it will be one of only two Counciltalk sessions before the summer break. I really hope I see you at one of them.

That’s all I have to say for May. Summer is just around the corner, so get out and enjoy the clean roads and rivers. As always, don’t hesitate to contact me anytime

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | May 01, 2013

Greetings Ward 14!

I'm sure we're all hoping that May will kick off the warmer months of the year. I will be heading south this month, but not to escape the cold. Chaparral is one of Ward 14's most southern communities, and that is where I will be for the May edition of Aldertalk. St. Sebastian School (65 Chaparral Drive SE) is where, and May 25th between noon and 2pm is when.

The Lake Fraser Gate Pilot project had such a tremendous impact on morning traffic in Ward 14 that it is worth mentioning again. Restricting the southbound left turn on Macleod Trail to Lake Fraser Gate during the morning rush hour has significantly improved travel times going northbound on Macleod Trail. During the pilot project, 2400 comments were gathered. All but 21 were in favour of the changes.

On April 17th, City administration will have recommended to the Standing Policy Committee on Transportation and Transit that the pilot be implemented permanently. I hope that the Committee will adopt administration's view to bring to Council, because from my observations the vast majority of Ward 14 residents are in favour of the change. Since this column is submitted before April 17th, I do not yet know what the recommendation will be, but will make sure to keep you updated on the outcome.

After months of putting Snow and Ice Control material on the roads, it is now time to clean it up. The Spring Clean-up Program is expected to pick up enough debris to cover the field at McMahon Stadium with a pile 12 feet deep (making for low scoring football games, I would imagine)! To find out when sweeping is scheduled for your community, watch for signs in your area, visit calgary.ca/sweep or contact 311. I can tell you that street sweeping in Ward 14 will go from around the week of April 29th to the week of June 10th.

On the topic of cleaning, the 2012 Annual Pathway and River Cleanup saw the collection of over 12,500 lbs of waste. This year it will take place May 5th from 10am to 1pm. The deadline to register is past, but there is no reason why one couldn't head to a pathway or riverbank and help out on May 5th, or any other day for that matter. Calgary is blessed with beautiful rivers. It is important that we all help to keep it that way.

Please feel to contact me at any time by phone at 403-268-1653, by email at eaward14@calgary.ca, or by going to the contact me section. Have a warm, happy month of May, and don't forget to give your mother a hug on the 12th. 

Categories: Newsletter

Back | May 01, 2016

Greetings Ward 14!

Normally in May we would just be starting to venture out into the outdoors after our winter hibernation, but this year it feels like we have had several months of spring already.

Spring yard waste drop-off at City Landfills

There has also already been a month for you to bring your spring yard waste to City landfills free of charge. Why mention it now? Because you still have almost another full month left. All City landfills will be accepting leaves, branches, and plants until May 29, but make sure they are in a paper yard waste bag or left loose. Free mulch is also available at all City landfills until May 29. You can find details at calgary.ca/waste.

Preventing theft in Ward 14

I recently came upon some very interesting statistics courtesy of the Calgary Police Service. They broke down Calgary’s break and enter (B & E) statistics by community. In all, Ward 14 fared well in comparison, but a couple of salient points were apparent. Almost half of residential B & Es were unforced entries, and the vast majority of garage B & Es were unforced. Can you imagine how much crime we could stop by just locking our doors

Here are some crime prevention tips from the Police:
• Do not leave garage doors open
• Keep the door to your attached garage locked
• Keep your front, rear, and patio doors locked, even when at home
• Do not leave valuables near the entrances in your home
• Do not leave your vehicles unlocked when parked outside
• Do not leave your garage door opener in your vehicle
• Close all windows and doors at night

They may seem like common sense, but sometimes that seems less common than it ought to be.
Two more key points: do not be afraid to report suspicious activity to the police, and get involved with your local community association. The police visit them regularly to share information and hear concerns. You can contact the police at (403) 266-1234 for non-emergencies, and at 911 for emergencies.

May Counciltalk

As always, thank you to everyone who turned out for my April Counciltalk meeting. I learn new things every time, and I hope others do too. There are only two more Counciltalks before the summer. We will meet on May 14 between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. at the Bonavista Downs Community Hall (1418 Lake Ontario Road S.E.). You will always be able to find details and future dates at calgary.ca/counciltalk, and I also send email reminders about upcoming Counciltalk sessions and other things. You can sign up for reminders at calgary.ca/ward14connect.

I hope you know that you can always contact me in a few different ways. For one, you can fill out the contact form at calgary.ca/ward14. You can also call or email. I do not usually include my phone number and email in the body of this column because they are shown in the header, but just in case they are: (403) 268-1653 and eaward14@calgary.ca.

Goodbye for now

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | April 30, 2018

Hello everyone!

Lois Walsh has served in different roles with the Councillors’ Office for 22 years, and she has served as my Executive Assistant since I began as Councillor. There is no doubt she has made a positive mark on Calgary and Ward 14. Thank you Lois for your service, and have a wonderful retirement!

...and welcome to her replacement Lynne Banning, who is no slouch either. Lynne will be at Counciltalk if you would like to meet her.

Counciltalk

The May Counciltalk will be held on May 5 from noon to 2 p.m. at Deer Park United Church (77 Deer Point Road S.E.) in Deer Ridge. I hope you can make it, because I believe it is a truly important exercise. If not, you can find details on the next Counciltalk at calgary.ca/counciltalk.

Transparency from City Council

One of the reasons I created Counciltalk was that I believe Council members - and their decision making process - should be available to the public. We are democratically elected, and should be accountable to the citizens of Calgary.

The Municipal Government Act (MGA) sets out the overarching rules for Council and Committee meetings, including that meetings are to be held in public. For obvious reasons - including those previously stated - holding meetings in public is a no-brainer, with a few exceptions. Those exceptions are also set out by the MGA along with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act.

There are many very good reasons to hold meetings outside of the public eye, and in many cases we are actually legally bound to do so. Examples are when the topic discussed could be harmful to third party business interests, personal privacy, or public safety. But as good as those reasons may be, we must come down on the side of opening our doors to the public as much as possible.

On April 5, I brought a motion to Council with the intent of finding ways to make sure that the use of private meetings is minimized. It was passed unanimously. We will be exploring best practices in other cities, and taking a hard look at the reasons behind why we decide to go into closed session. For more information about my notice of motion please visit calgary.ca/ward14.

Cannabis

The legalization of cannabis is a huge deal for Canadian municipalities. On April 5, Council approved bylaw changes to facilitate the retail sale and consumption of cannabis. On April 24, the City of Calgary began accepting cannabis store applications. By noon 226 applications had been received.

Frankly, we have had to react quickly to the changes coming from Ottawa. The summer 2018 deadline was very short notice, but the subject matter deserves careful thought nonetheless. The City of Calgary is responsible for dealing with the land use bylaws associated with the sale of cannabis, and creating bylaws that regulate public consumption. Simply put, we have opted to treat cannabis similarly to the way we treat alcohol.

In terms of land use, we will be controlling the distance from which a cannabis store can be from things like a hospital, an emergency shelter, schools, and other cannabis retailers. The details can be complicated. Rather than listing them, I will share this handy Cannabis Store Info Map: A picture is worth a thousand words! In terms of consumption, cannabis use will not be permitted in public spaces with a few potential exceptions.

Some might view these rules as harsh - especially in comparison to how we treat similar products, like alcohol. The fact of the matter is that you cannot consume alcohol in public either, but you can walk into a bar to have a drink. Until the Province can find a similar solution for cannabis, our hands are somewhat tied.

It is much easier to loosen regulations than it is to tighten them, and when public health is concerned I would rather err on the side of caution at first. I am certain we have not heard the last of this topic at city hall, so don’t hesitate to contact me and let me know what you think. You can find more detail on this topic at calgary.ca/cannabis.

Potholes

Calgary’s weather does a number on our streets. There is no doubt. But it finally seems that it is letting up in a way that will allow us to actually start getting out and fixing them. Last month I wrote about street sweeping. I mentioned that the city sweeps over 16,000 lane kilometres of paved roads, and our crews will also be fixing the potholes on all of them.

Because of the long winter, street sweeping is really just getting underway. Once a street is clean though, pothole repair crews won’t be far behind. Now is the perfect time to get them in the queue for repair. The way to report is by calling 311, or using the 311 app (which you can get by visiting calgary.ca/mobileapps).

As always, please feel free to contact me and my team at any time. The best way to do so is by visiting calgary.ca/contactward14.

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | May 28, 2018

The City of Calgary is currently grappling with the prospect of bidding for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games. City Council created the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Assessment Committee to advise itself on that topic. I was voted Vice-Chair of this committee, and am also a well-known skeptic when it comes to the Olympic bid. I want to take a moment to explain how I came to my opinion of the Olympic bid and how I intend to approach my role on the Olympic Committee.

To me this decision must be about providing a tangible benefit to Calgarians. That does not mean just warm feelings of nostalgia, or civic pride. It means measureable assets for years to come. In the beginning that is what it was about.



Over a year ago, Council - with my support - voted to spend about $3 Million for a preliminary assessment of our Olympic facilities, and (more importantly) an analysis of ??Calgary’s Olympic legacy/sporting infrastructure gap. When that report came back, it indicated the cost to Calgarians to upgrade our facilities would be the same with the Olympics or without. That is where my support for pursuing the Olympics ended.

Since then the process has been a series of gambles at the expense of the taxpayer. The initial $3 Million was followed by another bet of a couple million to determine what it would cost to host the Olympics. Then a few more million were put on the table for more analysis, and to find out if the Province and the Federal Government would get involved. Each ante has come with some sort of misstep that has damaged public trust.

I am very concerned with our ability to actually host the Olympics if we have such difficulty just deciding on whether or not to bid on them. We would be dealing with billions of dollars, and small mistakes could have huge financial consequences. Not to mention we would be getting in bed with an Olympic organization whose motives and track record are questionable at best. The IOC would like us to be a guinea pig for their new format. I think it is better to let some other city wager that they have changed their ways.

Whether I agree with this situation or not, the will of Council is to move forward. We now have the City of Calgary, the Province of Alberta, and the Federal Government contributing roughly $10 Million each to explore and prepare for bidding on the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The Province has stipulated that we must conduct a plebicite in order to move forward and we have a committee dedicated to advising Council on the topic.

As an Olympic dissenter, I am in a unique position and serve an important role on the Olympic Committee. I will serve you and make the best of the position I have been put in. I still feel that the Olympics are not right for Calgary, but I will do my best to approach this with neither blind faith nor total pessimism. I will keep you informed, and keep my comments clear of rhetoric.

As my employer, and the employer of everyone who works for the City of Calgary, you will be asked to vote on whether you want the Olympics or not. Quite frankly, I know you will make the right decision.​​

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | May 01, 2014

Greetings!

Let’s start with some housekeeping; it is spring after all.  The true date, time, and location of the Anderson TOD open house are May 15th, from 3 to 8 p.m., at Southcentre Mall’s Centre Court.  I am told that the content of the presentation will be more thorough than had it been presented as initially planned on April 3rd.  The submission deadlines of these newsletters made the change of date a difficult message to communicate.  I sincerely hope that you did not show up to find nothing in April.  If you did, I hope you at least got some shopping done.

There is a new way to contact 9-1-1 for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, and speech impaired.  It is called Text with 9-1-1 or T9-1-1 and it is exactly what it sounds like.  Those with a hearing or speech impairment—and only those people—will be able to communicate with 9-1-1 operators via text message.  If you are one of the 35,000 or so Calgarians who can benefit from T9-1-1, you will need to register with your service provider to access it.  It is a great improvement over the teletypewriter system that has been in use since the 1960’s.  You can learn more at www.textwith911.ca.

Beyond the T9-1-1 system, I’ve seen the Calgary Police Service working hard to engage communities.  They spread valuable messages about prevention, and here are a few online tools that I think they would want me to share:  The Hub, The Traffic Service Request Form, and the Online Crime Map. The Hub automatically delivers vital crime updates via email, phone, or text message to those who sign up.  I often suggest using the Traffic Service Request Form.  It is an online reporting tool that the Police use to identify problem areas for traffic violations.  The Online Crime Map allows people to view what kind of crime is happening in their community.  All can be found on www.calgarypolice.ca. These tools were created so that YOU can help make your community safer.  The more eyes there are on the street and voices speaking up, the better.  Just locking car, garage, and house doors is so simple, but is exactly what will coax wrongdoers to move elsewhere.  Use the tools that I mentioned and the non-emergency line 403-266-1234 because the police can only respond to what they know about.  Be proactive and stand up for your community.

The next Aldertalk is May 24th from noon to 2 p.m. at St. Sebastian School (65 Chaparral Drive SE).  Also, look for the street sweeping schedule at www.calgary.ca/sweep.


Have a great May!

Categories: Newsletter

Back | February 10, 2014

The potential redevelopment of the McCall Lake Golf Course - in particular the closure of the golf course itself - has provoked some very passionate comments from some of my golf-loving constituents.  The course will remain open for the 2014 and 2015 seasons, but its future is uncertain past that.  If you want to learn a bit more about the proposed McCall ​Lake redevelopment, and perhaps make some comments of your own, your chance is coming soon.

But first, here is a bit of background information: 

Over the next 10 years, approximately $35 million will be needed to address life-cycle requirements across the municipal golf system, of which $6.7 million is required at McCall Lake. Additionally, the northeast golf course runs an average annual deficit of between $200,000 and $250,000.

The redevelopment of the McCall Lake Golf Course is being investigated as an option to sustaining municipal golf as:

  • No further operating or capital funding will be required for this asset.
  • Potential land sales could provide the $35 million needed for life-cycle requirements at the remaining municipal golf courses over the next 10 years.

Concept Plan of the site includes the potential development of a commercial/industrial area and recreational campus.  Click here to find the latest information on the McCall Lake Golf Course.  

The City of Calgary’s Golf Course Operations unit is inviting all Calgarians to one of their up-coming McCall Lake Golf Course Open House sessions.  These information sessions will give stakeholders an opportunity to express their opinions on municipal golf sustainability and how that relates to the proposed closure and redevelopment of the McCall Lake Golf Course site. All information gathered during engagement will be provided to Council as part of the project’s Feasibility Study.

The Open House Information Sessions will be held:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 – 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Southland Leisure Centre (2000 Southland Dr. S.W.)
  • Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 – 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Genesis Centre of Community Wellness (7555 Falconridge Blvd N.E.)

Other McCall Lake engagement opportunities include:

Telephone Survey  (Feb. 17 - March 2)
The City will survey 800 randomly chosen Calgarians on their perceptions and expectations of Golf Course Operations as well as their opinions on the potential closure of the McCall Lake Golf Course for redevelopment on that site.

Online Weblink Survey (Feb. 17 - March 2)
An online survey will also be posted on Calgary.ca from February 17 to March 2 and will mirror the questions used in the telephone survey. This survey will be open to all stakeholders.

Categories:

Back | May 01, 2015

It always makes me happy to receive comments about what I write in this column: positive or negative. What I try to do is inform you of what The City is doing, and where I stand. Any feedback that I fuel is icing on the cake. It is the kind of participation that makes democracy work.

I recently received a comment that outlined an idea so good that I thought it was worth sharing. In March, I wrote about how The City does not pick up any recycling beyond what you can fit in your blue bin. In response, a reader suggested something that my neighbour and I are already doing: Sharing

There is absolutely no reason why you and your neighbours can’t share extra blue cart space. It could save trips to the community recycling depot, encourage recycling when people might otherwise just use the trash, and even foster a sense of community in your neighbourhood. It is a simple, but effective idea, and I’d like to hear more if you have them.

In other “spring cleaning” news, you still have until May 31 to bring your yard waste to a City landfill for free. If you haven’t already, you should visit calgary.ca/waste and take advantage of the opportunity.

Calgary.ca/waste is a very useful website, especially in the spring. Right now you can find not only more information about the spring yard waste drop-off, but also where you can properly dispose of electronics and hazardous materials. You will find a link to your community association website on calgary.ca/ward14, where you can find information about community cleanups in your area, and if you are unclear where you need to be taking any of your unwanted items I suggest visiting calgary.ca/whatgoeswhere.  It contains useful tips about—you guessed it—what goes where.

Before I’m done, I need to invite you to my next Aldertalk session. It will be on May 30 in the large gym at the Lake Bonavista Community Centre from noon to 2 p.m. So meet me there, and we can discuss whatever you like. You can also learn more about Aldertalk by visiting calgary.ca/aldertalk

Thanks for reading, and please feel free to contact me anytime!

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | September 12, 2011

First brought to Council: September 12, 2011

Outcome: Referred to Intergovernmental Affairs Committee as amended



It is no secret that oil sands production is a major economic driver in Alberta. Oil sands operations bring trillions of dollars into the province and billions to the provincial government through royalties. A June 2011 independent study by the Canadian Energy Research Institute showed the Government of Alberta may see oil sands royalties increase five-fold in the next six years.

The Alberta oil sands also put tremendous growing pressures on municipalities in Alberta. Anyone who has lived in Calgary for 10 years or more can attest to the rapid growth in population and industry they have witnessed in that time. The tax-bases that municipalities have at their disposal are reactive to this growth, often causing higher than normal property tax increases and an extra burden on individual taxpayers.

Allocating even a small portion of royalties from Alberta's oil sands to Calgary and other Alberta municipalities would significantly ease the tax burden felt by their taxpaying citizens. Alderman Peter Demong brought a motion to Council proposing that Mayor and Council work toward procuring at least 10% of oil sands royalties for Alberta's municipalities.

View the Notice of Motion

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | November 01, 2012

It's November, and now I can truly confirm that my Ward 14 Communities BBQ was a huge success. Sept. 22 was a gorgeous, sunny fall day. Those of us who were on our feet, moving around, can certainly attest to how warm it was. In fact, it was the first day of fall and it was a great one to start the new season off on. Congratulations to David Woo, Walt Matthies, Nicolle Tokarek, Lenore Wilson, and Joan Corcoran who were all Ward 14 Communities prize draw winners.

By my calculation, we had almost 1500 people attend on that beautiful day. Spirited line dancers entertained us with their performance, classic car owners came for a Show & Shine, MLAs Jeff Wilson, Rick Fraser, and the Honourable Jonathan Denis came to mingle with their constituents, and there was even an appearance by the Mayor of this amazing city. There were fourteen City of Calgary business units, the Calgary Public Library, the Police on horseback, in a squad car and on motorcycles, and a HAWCS helicopter fly-by. Thank you so much to everyone who took time out of their day to attend.

All those people needed to be fed and although I've mentioned it before, those who provided and cooked the food made such a substantial sacrifice I think they deserve a second mention. M&M Meat Shops, with two locations in Ward 14 (Willow Park Village and Deer Valley Shopping Centre), provided delicious burgers and yummy peach juice for everyone in attendance. They did the bulk of the cooking and serving. COBS Bread of Willow Park Village and Calgary Co-op of Deer Valley Shopping Centre donated all the fresh buns we needed, and they were delicious too. Finally, the Safeway (located right in the Southcentre Mall complex) donated a variety of beverages for everyone to enjoy. I can't thank these local businesses enough for ensuring that we were all fed!

The point of the Ward 14 Communities BBQ was to get more people aware of and involved with their local Community Associations. Each Community Association was able to give away memberships for free on the day of the BBQ because of funds donated by generous, community-minded businesses. Southcentre Mall not only provided the location, but also funding. Canyon Creek Toyota, Jack Carter Chevrolet Cadillac and Southgate Chevrolet Buick GMC were all major sponsors of the event. I hope you were able to meet them and have a look at their fine products. Frontier Project Management, Genstar Development Company, Totem Building Supplies, Trico Homes, and United Communities also stepped up as sponsors. Ward 14's Community Associations were able to increase their membership and put we put thousands of NON-taxpayer dollars to their benevolent work because of these corporate sponsors.

Again I would like to leave off by thanking the volunteers from Ward 14 Community Associations. From the management of community facilities, to the watchful eye they keep on local development, to the sense of community they provide, Community Associations deserve our thanks.

I have used a lot of ink talking about the Ward 14 Communities BBQ over the past few months. That is because I feel very strongly about the communities that make up Ward 14, but I want you to know that if there is any other issue that you would like to speak with me about, I am always here to listen. I can be contacted by phone at 403-268-1653 or contact my office. For those social media users out there, I can also be contacted on Facebook or Twitter.

Until next time!

Categories: Newsletter

Back | November 01, 2014

Hello Ward 14,

November is a month of remembrance.  I hope you have got your poppy ready to go.

I remember the first week of September.  It was a week that brought a rare amount of snow.  The snow brought broken branches, and a big mess to clean up.  I also remember the week ending with the clouds breaking and the sun shining on the fourth edition of my Ward 14 Communities BBQ.

If you haven’t already heard, the Ward 14 Communities BBQ is a membership drive for Community Associations in Ward 14.  Local sponsors donate funds to pay for Community Association memberships that are given away for free at the event.  People get a free burger, beverage, and are entertained with music, City Department displays, and many other exhibitors.  Donations to the Calgary Food Bank are also accepted.

Without the sponsors, City departments, exhibitors, volunteers, and smiling faces who attend there would be no BBQ.  There is a newsletter column’s worth of people to thank.

Southcentre Mall—as always—provided the location and donated funds.  The Southcentre Safeway donated beverages, and Deer Valley Calgary Co-Op provided hamburger buns.  M&M Meatshops of Willow Park provided the delicious burgers and grilled them for us.

Many sponsors donated funds: Canyon Creek Toyota, Jack Carter Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC, Southgate Chevrolet Buick GMC, United Communities, and Qualico Developments all chipped in again this year.  Progressive Waste Solutions, Shaw Communications, Mattamy Homes, and ATB Financial wrote cheques for the first time to help add members to Ward 14’s Community Associations and put money in their pockets.

Line dancers, both School Board Trustees, and groups like the Primary Care Network of South Calgary, Bow Valley Ranche – Artisan Gardens, the Calgary Mountain Bike Alliance, and the Friends of Fish Creek presented the wonderful work they do.  We also had all the Ward 14 MLAs in attendance:  Jonathan Denis, Jeff Wilson, Rick Fraser, and Heather Forsyth.

The Community Associations of Ward 14 are what the BBQ is all about, and without their support there would be no point.  Last year the fledgling Silverado Community Association impressed everyone by handing out 21 more memberships than in the year prior.  This year almost $8,000’s worth of memberships were given away, and Willow Ridge added 56 members for the upcoming year.  It is so great to see these hardworking community groups growing in numbers.

No matter what their role, there are not enough words to express how grateful I am to everyone who helped make the Ward 14 Communities BBQ a big success.
You can always contact me by using the Contact Ward 14 form, and learn more about the Ward 14 Communities BBQ at www.calgary.ca/ward14/events.

So long until next month, and I hope to see you at an even bigger and better Ward 14 Communities BBQ next year.

Categories: Newsletter

Back | August 29, 2014

We are just days away from schools opening their doors to Calgary’s children for the upcoming school year.  There is no doubt that these children will liven up the city’s streets with their youthful exuberance.  This sign of the coming autumn, and the beginning of the school year, should also serve as a reminder to slow your vehicle to the posted 30 km/h in school and playground zones.

School and Playground zones are now in effect beginning at 7:30 a.m. and ending at 9 p.m.  

Playground zones will be in effect 365 days a year and school zones will be effective on school days only.  Decals have been placed on all school and playground zone signs in the city to notify drivers of the changes.

If the return of children to Calgary’s schools is not enough of an incentive to slow down to the posted 30 km/h, then consider this:  Police will begin enforcing the new playground and school zone rules on September 1, 2014.  Please be mindful of the new rules.  The rules are a positive step to improve pedestrian safety in this city, but they only work when we all obey them.

For more information please visit the School Zone and Playground Zone FAQ page.

Categories:

Back | November 01, 2013

It’s great to know that when I mention my Ward 14 Communities BBQ people understand what I’m talking about. It’s great because people are thinking about their local Community Association: the volunteers that bring them programs, events, playgrounds, and keep an eye on developments in the neighbourhood. When I say people know what I’m talking about, I mean that, as I write this in late September the 2013 Ward 14 Communities BBQ has already brought in more memberships than the last two years combined (with some numbers still yet to come in)!

For those of you who don’t know about the Ward 14 Communities BBQ, it is a membership drive for Community Associations in Ward 14. Local sponsors donate funds to pay for Community Association memberships that are given away for free at the event.  People get a free burger, beverage, and are entertained by line dancers, music, and other exhibitors. Donations to the Calgary Food Bank are also accepted.

Sponsors are what make the BBQ happen, and they deserve thanks…

Southcentre Mall has provided us with a location for the last three years, and donated funds.  The Southcentre Safeway donated beverages, and Deer Valley Calgary Coop provided hamburger buns.  M&M Meatshops of Deer Valley provided the delicious burgers and grilled them for us. BFI Canada helped us clean up afterwards.

Many sponsors donated money: Canyon Creek Toyota, Jack Carter Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC, Southgate Chevrolet Buick GMC, Trico Homes, Genstar Development, United Communities, and Qualico Developments all wrote cheques to help Ward 14 Community Associations.

Congratulations to Jeannette of Deer Run who won a foursome of golf in the BBQ raffle courtesy of Blue Devil Golf Club, and Deanah of Queensland who won a set of barbeque and shish kabob tools courtesy of Rona Midnapore.

Thank you to the line dancers, and groups like Primary Care Network of South Calgary, Bow Valley Ranche – Artisan Gardens, and the Community Garden groups who presented the wonderful work they do.  We also had the Honourable Jonathan Denis, and MLAs Jeff Wilson and Rick Fraser who stayed to meet with the people they represent. Finally, without ‘buy-in’ from the Community Associations of Ward 14, it would all be for nothing.  I have had the pleasure of seeing more and more people get involved with the fledgling Silverado Community Association over my tenure, and have seen residents of Silverado learn the value they provide.  To have them bring in 24 new memberships at my BBQ – 21 more than last year – makes all the work worthwhile.

You can always contact me at (403)268-1653 or eaward14@calgary.ca, and learn more about the Ward 14 Communities BBQ at www.calgary.ca/events.

Goodbye until next month.

Categories: Newsletter

Back | November 01, 2015

Hello Ward 14,  

I hope all the ghouls and goblins had a happy and safe Halloween, unless of course this newsletter comes out a little early.  In that case, have fun and be safe on the 31st!  Now on to the meat of the column...

Construction: Macleod Trail & 162 Avenue S Interchange

I am so happy that we are getting this project under way so soon.  Anyone in the south knows it is an absolute necessity.  I was also very pleased to see a construction plan that minimizes traffic impact, but there is no getting around the fact that there will be some growing pains.

Construction has already begun, and will likely end two years from now.  If you think this will affect you then I suggest you take note of the website www.calgary.ca/macleod162ave.  It contains information that you want.  I will also be keeping my website (www.calgary.ca/ward14) updated, and sending emails to those on my ward-wide mailing list.  If you would like to be on that list, please sign up at www.calgary.ca/ward14connect. Otherwise I can’t send them to you.

Ward 14 Communities BBQ:  Wrap-up and Some Well Deserved Thank Yous

I’ve always believed that my Ward 14 Communities BBQ would be a success, but I must admit that even I was a little surprised by the size of the turnout this year.  It was gigantic!

We gave out just short of 400 community association memberships this year.  That translates to about $10,500 worth in cheques that will go to those community associations.  We welcomed approximately 2000 visitors to the Ward 14 BBQ grounds.

Of course, there are many people to thank for this huge success.  There were so many community groups, exhibitors, volunteers, and of course the community associations themselves who helped.  I think I say this every year, but there are truly not enough words to express my gratitude.

There is another group that deserves a very special thank you.  They gave their time and opened up their wallets.  It can’t be fun to read a list in a block paragraph (like I have done in the past), so I will try bullet points and hope it works well in community newsletter format.

Thank you to the Ward 14 Communities BBQ’s generous sponsors:

  • ​ATB Financial
  • Great News Publishing
  • ​Jack Carter Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC
  • No Bull Bookkeeping​​​
  • Progressive Waste Solutions
  • Qualico
  • Safeway
  • ​South Trail Insurance
  • Southcentre Mall
  • ​United Communities
  • ​Calgary Co-op
  • ​Canyon Creek Toyota
  • Genstar
  • ​Mattamy Homes
  • ​Southgate Chevrolet Buick GMC 

Feel free to contact me anytime, and don’t forget to get yourself a poppy.   Until next month...

Categories: Newsletter

Back | October 01, 2013

Hello Ward 14,

There were two parks in our Ward that were hit hard by the infamous flood of 2013. In this edition of my newsletter column, I would like to give you a bit of an update on how they have fared and what their current state is. Sue Higgins Park (formerly Southland Park) is a favourite of dog owners from around Calgary.  The area is also frequented by cyclists enjoying our city’s beautiful riverside pathway system.  At the height of the 2013 flood, almost the entire park was under water.  When the water receded, the park was covered with large amount of debris.  There was extensive damage to fences and trees along with hazards created by sinkholes and unstable riverbanks, and part of the Bow River Pathway was completely washed away. 

Safety is still a serious concern.  If you are venturing into the park, please respect that some areas remain closed for your own safety.  City staff and contractors have been working diligently to repair the park, and quite a bit of progress has been made.  For updates and information, you can search the term “Sue Higgins Park” on www.calgary.ca, where you will also find a map indicating which areas are currently open.  While enjoying areas that are open, please be aware that tall grass, muddy sections, standing water (or more likely snow and ice) may be hiding debris.  Exercise caution even in open areas, for the safety of yourself and your pooch.

Prior to the flood, a project to improve the park had been underway.  With some minor adjustments due to flooding, the scope of the project remains the same: to enhance the park’s natural environment and provide recreational activities by addressing the interests of key park user groups.  Ironically, the nutrient-rich sediment left by the flood will be ideal for seeds in the park’s balsam poplar forest, which started germinating shortly after the flood. 

Major work on the Sue Higgins Park improvement project will be pushed back until sometime in 2014.  Unfortunately, repair of the Bow River Pathway will be a multi-year endeavour due to the massive amount of damage that was done all over the city. Our beloved Fish Creek Provincial Park was hit by the flood as well.  The east end, adjacent to the Bow River and Deer Run, was hit particularly hard.  There was significant damage done to pathways and bridges along the Bow, including the Sue Higgins Bridge near the east end of Canyon Meadows drive.  The bridge is a critical piece of infrastructure providing access to Fish Creek Provincial Park, and a considerable amount of land was lost on the east and west approaches to the bridge.  Although there is no timeline for completion, the City will be working closely with the Province to expedite the repair of the bridge.  For more information on flood damage in Fish Creek Park, you can visit www.albertaparks.ca

As always, if you have questions, comments, concerns about anything, including parks, you can contact me by phone at (403) 268-1653, or by using the Ward 14 Contact Form.

Categories: Newsletter

Back | October 01, 2012

October is upon us. Those of you who read my monthly column on a regular basis will recall mention of my Ward 14 Communities BBQ. As you read this edition, the Ward 14 Communities BBQ has also come and gone. I must submit my column weeks in advance, so I can't tell you whether or not Sept. 22 (the date of my BBQ) was a warm, sunny day because as I write this, it hasn't happened yet. What I can tell you is that I am certain the BBQ was successful in its objective - supporting and raising awareness of Ward 14 Community Associations - because of the support of some very generous sponsors.>

I want to thank those sponsors, starting with Southcentre Mall for providing us with a location and financial support. A BBQ wouldn't be much good without food, so I also want to thank those who provided nourishment. M&M Meat Shops (with locations in Deer Valley Shopping Centre and Willow Park Village) provided the burgers and cooked them up for free. Thanks to Cobs Bread (in Willow Park Village) and Calgary Co-op (in Deer Valley Shopping Centre) for providing the buns. Safeway of Southcentre Mall donated the beverages. These businesses all gave up their time and resources so that those in attendance could have a free lunch.

There were a number of businesses who helped out in other ways. Thank you to Canyon Creek Toyota, Jack Carter Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC, Genstar Development Company, Totem Building Supplies, Trico Homes, and United Communities who all chipped in to make the BBQ possible. The Trico Centre also helped out with spreading the word and some goodies to give away.

Finally, I want to extend a special thanks to the Community Associations of Ward 14, the volunteers who gave their time and all of The City of Calgary employees who represented their respective business units. Thanks to everyone who participated.

If you came to the BBQ you may have noticed a table set up there with blocks of Lego on it. It might have brought you back to your childhood, but was actually set up by The City of Calgary's Land Use Planning & Policy (LUPP) unit to educate Calgarians about a type of development called Transit Oriented Development (TOD). Those of you in Willow Park and Maple Ridge may be familiar with this concept since Anderson station was designated as a TOD priority station by Council in 2007. You may have also attended the Anderson TOD Community Workshop on June 16. If you didn't, or want to investigate further, I strongly suggest reading up on the TOD concept to get an idea of how future plans may impact the surrounding communities. I would also encourage those in the surrounding communities to attend the fall public engagement session that is scheduled for November. The exact date will be posted shortly.

If you ever have concerns about Anderson TOD or anything else that has to do with The City of Calgary, I am always here to listen. I can be contacted at 403-268-1653 or contact my office.

Have a wonderful October!

 

Categories: Newsletter

Back | November 01, 2016

Hello Ward 14,  

There is one theme to every November column: my Ward 14 Communities BBQ. It takes a lot of space to thank everyone, so I will just briefly touch on a timely topic. The website calgary.ca/snow is full of information on a subject that is self explanatory, and likely to be relevant over the next few months.

Ward 14 Communities BBQ: wrap-up and many thanks!

I want to thank everyone who attended for helping make my Ward 14 Communities BBQ a huge success this year. I estimate we had more than 2,000 people visit, and we will be giving thousands of dollars to Ward 14’s Community Associations. I hope to see you there next year if you weren’t able to attend.

Those who did attend can attest to the fact that my BBQ is beginning to become a victim of its own success. I want to apologize to anyone who made the trip, but was unable to get a burger, beverage, or free membership due to limited supply. Sponsorship funds have been hard to come by recently because of the economic conditions that we find ourselves in. That—along with the BBQ’s sudden increase in popularity—necessitated that a limit be put on the number of free memberships given away.

Of course, there are many people to thank for this huge success. There were so many community groups, exhibitors, volunteers, and of course the community associations themselves who helped. I have to say this every year: there are not enough words to describe how grateful I am.

There is one group in particular that deserves a very special thank you. They gave their time and opened up their wallets.

Thank you to the Ward 14 Communities BBQ’s generous sponsors:

• Calgary Co-op
• Canyon Creek Toyota
• Genstar
• Great News Publishing
• Jack Carter Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC
• Mattamy Homes
• No Bull Bookkeeping
• Progressive Waste Solutions
• Qualico
• Safeway
• South Trail Insurance
• Southcentre Mall
• Southgate Chevrolet Buick GMC
• United Communities

I hope to see you next fall at my 7th annual Ward 14 Communities BBQ too. You can be assured that I will be doing everything in my power to make my BBQ an even bigger and better experience for you in 2017.

I don’t know the exact date yet, but it will be posted at calgary.ca/ward14bbq when it is scheduled, and you can visit calgary.ca/ward14connect to sign up for email updates.

Feel free to contact me anytime, and don’t forget to get yourself a poppy

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | October 01, 2015

Greetings Ward 14!

 

The leaves have fallen, kids will be out for Halloween soon, and the Ward 14 Communities BBQ was a success.  It was a great time, but more on that next month. 

If you missed the BBQ this year, that’s okay.  I’ll do it again next year.  Keep in mind though that I do send out reminders about the BBQ, and you can only get those reminders if you’ve subscribed at www.calgary.ca/ward14connect.

 

Free Leaf and Pumpkin Drop-off

With the leaves on the ground and the jack-o-lanterns destined for a bin in the back alley, it is the perfect time to remind you of an ongoing program at the City of Calgary: the Leaf and Pumpkin composting program.  The program is currently underway, and until November 8 you will be able to drop off leaves and pumpkins for composting at one of 36 locations around the city for free.  In Ward 14 they will be taking leaves and pumpkins at Park 96 and at the Lake Bonavista Recreation Centre.  Please use compostable paper yard waste bags, and remember to be respectful of the drop-off areas.  The groups who have generously given up space for this program provide community services: They are not a landfill.  For more on this program—and a list of all drop-off locations—visit www.calgary.ca/leaf.

 

Apply by Oct. 9 to Volunteer on a Quasi-judicial Board

Almost a month before the leaf and pumpkin drop-off closes is another important deadline.  If you read my August newsletter column you may remember a bit about Boards, Commissions, and Committees.  The deadline to apply to be on those has come and gone, but there are three more that you can still try out for:  the Assessment Review Board; the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board; and the Licence Community Standards Appeal Board.  These Boards hear appeals and formal complaints, and they are looking for volunteers to share their expertise.  To learn more about this opportunity you can visit www.calgary.ca/tribunals.

 

Did you know?  The City of Calgary has a Property Tax Assistance Program.

I often talk about taxes in this column, but it is usually about the idea of lowering them somehow.  Eventually—when the budgeting is done, and the rates are set—there comes a time when we have to pay them.  That task is sometimes easier said than done.  The City’s Property Tax Assistance Program is available to low-income homeowners who are experiencing financial hardship, and you can learn more and apply by contacting 311 or visiting www.calgary.ca/ptap.

We encourage people to contact the City even if they aren’t sure whether they qualify for this program.  If you are not eligible for the Property Tax Assistance Program, you may be able access other community resources, and once you meet the income eligibility for the Property Tax Assistance Program you are automatically approved for the other services, like recreation programs and transit passes. Learn more about those at www.calgary.ca/fairentry.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and don’t ever hesitate to contact me with questions or concerns.

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | September 28, 2016

Greetings Ward 14! 

Thank you to those who attended my Ward 14 Communities BBQ! It was a great time! Don’t worry if you couldn’t make it. There will be another chance next year—although it will look slightly different because of the upcoming election. I will speak more about that next month.

I do want to remind you that I send email notifications about events like my BBQ, Counciltalk, and other important information relating to municipal government. To receive them you must sign up at calgary.ca/ward14connect. I encourage you to do so.

Free Leaf and Pumpkin Drop-off

We are undeniably in autumn now, and the remains of summer are likely lying on your lawn waiting to be raked and bagged. My October column is the perfect opportunity to remind you of a great program we have at the City: the Leaf and Pumpkin Composting Program. It is currently underway, and runs until November 6. Bring your bagged leaves and pumpkins to one of our 35 drop-off locations around the city. By composting this material it stays out of the landfill, reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions and helps turn the leaves and pumpkins into useful compost. We recommend using paper yard waste bags as they can be composted with the rest of the material. No sod or rocks please.

For a full list of Leaf & Pumpkin drop-off locations, please visit calgary.ca/leaf.

Check your smoke detectors

Now I want to make what you might call a public service announcement. Did you know that your smoke detector needs to be replaced every ten years? You should be replacing its batteries every year at least, and checking that it works every month.

October 9th to 15th is Fire Prevention Week. It may be the perfect opportunity to learn what you can do to protect your home and your family. There is a lot of great information about that and more at calgary.ca/fire.

Being prepared for snow

We didn’t get much snow last winter, but if I have learned anything from this spring and summer, it is probably best to be prepared for anything. That is why I’m getting an early start on my usual snow clearing reminder this year.

Not much has changed. The City still aims to have all roads in drivable shape within seven days. Crews work on a priority basis. If necessary, the snow on your street will be packed down, and ruts will be removed anywhere between three and seven days after the end of the snowfall.

There are many ways to stay informed during a snowfall event. You can follow @yyctransport on twitter, download the City of Calgary Roads App, or visit calgary.ca/roadconditions for current road conditions and progress. There is much more information about snow and ice control on calgary.ca/snow too.

One last thing: please pay attention to snow parking bans, and any other signage. Doing so will help everything get done as quickly and painlessly as possible.

That’s it for October! Have a great month, and remember you can contact me anytime.

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | October 01, 2014

Hi Ward 14,  

Thank you to all the sponsors, exhibitors, and volunteers who joined me at the Ward 14 Communities BBQ!  For now I will say that it was a great day, and go in to more detail next month.

Sunmills Drive SE has undergone some changes.  Traffic Calming measures have been added along Sunmills—a street that not only serves large volumes of vehicles, but is important to pedestrians and cyclists too.

The changes have been successful in slowing speeders on this residential street, but it will take some time to adjust before we see their full impact on traffic safety.  Since bike lanes are a part of the traffic calming project, here are some rules and guidelines that apply to cycling and bike lanes.

Cyclists should remember:

  • Cyclists under the age of 14 are allowed to ride bikes on the sidewalk or on the roadway.
  • Cyclists over the age of 14 are NOT permitted to ride on the sidewalk.
  • Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles when travelling on roadways.  Distracted driving legislation applies to cyclists.
  • Cyclists must obey all traffic signs and signals and must use hand signals to indicate an intention to turn.
  • Cyclists should ride in the same direction of traffic as motorists (unless otherwise indicated).
  • Cyclists are required to have a bell and a red reflector for the rear. For night riding, a front headlight as well as a rear red tail is also required.
  • Ear buds are not a good idea when cycling or walking around in traffic.

Motorists should remember:

  • Marked bike lanes are restricted to bicycle use only. You will need to cross a bike lane to make a right turn at an intersection, driveway or to access a parking lane.
  • Do not drive or park in a bike lane, never use a bike lane to pass another vehicle.
    Check for cyclists before you open your car door.
  • When pulling away from the curb or leaving your driveway, check and yield to cyclists who may be in the bike lane.
  • Cyclists may need to exit the bike lane to avoid debris or to prepare for a turn.
  • For more information, visit www.calgary.ca/roads.

Before I sign off for this month, here are two annual items of note.  First, you will be able to bring your leaf and pumpkin waste to one of 36 drop-off locations for composting.  The locations will be open until November 9, and you can find them at www.calgary.ca/waste. Second, the Assessment Review Board, Subdivision and Development Appeal Board and Licence and Community Standards Appeal Board are looking for volunteers to share their expertise.  If you are interested, please visit www.calgary.ca/cityclerks.

Enjoy October and don`t forget, you can always call or email me.

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | February 18, 2015

First brought to Council: February 23, 2015

Outcome: Carried



The price of oil is low. The Government of Canada and the Province of Alberta are making plans for decreased revenue from the all important oil industry. The Oil Industry, and the many industries that it supports, are cutting costs - including many jobs - in Calgary and all over Alberta.

Calgary’s Public Art Policy requires that one per cent of the first $50 million and 0.5 per cent of the portion over $50 million will be allocated to public art, up to a maximum of $4 million per project for eligible capital projects. It is luxury that is nice to have when times are good, but not something most people are likely to want to spend money on when they have just been laid-off. The City of Calgary and City Council need to show the citizens of this city that we are not living in a bubble, and that we understand the economic reality of what is happening around us.

Calgary City Council needs to show that it is willing to forgo luxuries when Calgarians are forced to do the very same thing. Councillor Peter Demong brought a motion asking that Council do just that: forgo spending on public art while times are tough.

View the Notice of Motion

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | November 13, 2017

Greetings Ward 14!

Ward 14 Communities BBQ

Thank you to everyone who attended! It is so great to see people rallying around their community association.

Of course the sponsors deserve a huge thank you too. It could not have happened without Spolumbos, Genstar, United Communities, ATCO, Mattamy Homes, Southgate Chevrolet Buick GMC, Canyon Creek Toyota, Jack Carter Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC, Waste Connections of Canada, Pacific Developments, Southcentre Mall, Safeway, Spruce Meadows, South Trail Insurance, No Bull Bookkeeping, Westcreek Developments, and Great News Publishing. Thank you to all of them!

Green Cart, Leaf & Pumpkin Program, and Fall Yard Waste Drop-Off

As of October 2 all of Ward 14 will be receiving green cart service. This is a whole new way of doing things, and that means we should go over the details of a couple long-standing and related programs.

The Leaf & Pumpkin Composting Program is being discontinued. It had a great 20 year run and I want to thank Calgarians for supporting it, but the green bin has made it unnecessary. Please remember not to bring your yard waste to a former community depot site this year!

If you don’t want to wait for the City to pick up your green cart there will be a Fall Yard Waste program from September 29 to October 29. You will be able to take your yard waste - not food waste or sod - to any City landfill, free of charge, during that time. Landfill hours and locations can be found at calgary.ca/yardwaste.

Thanks for reading!

- Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | February 19, 2016

First brought to Council: February 22, 2016

Outcome: Carried



The City of Calgary regulates the number of liquor stores that can operate in a given area because of the impact that their proliferation can have on a neighbourhood. It does so through the City’s Land Use Bylaw. Two liquor stores are not allowed to be within 300 metres of one another.

But because of the way that the Land Use Bylaw works there is a flaw that most business owners will understand well. Once a retail space has liquor store as an allowable use, the space will continue to allow for that use even after the liquor store has vacated. This means that a liquor store cannot move to a larger or newer space within 300 metres of their old location even if there are no other liquor stores within the 300 metre distance.

Councillor Peter Demong brought a Notice of Motion to Council asking administration to find a solution to this glitch in the City of Calgary’s Land Use Bylaw.

View the Notice of Motion

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | May 25, 2018

First brought to Council: May 28, 2018

Outcome: Carried Unanimously



Provincial legislation can sometimes remain without revision for decades. Times change, and occasionally the need for an update becomes apparent. Community expectations, and industry practices are much different than they were years ago.

Municipalities all across Alberta are clamoring for the changes required to meet these evolving demands. But the Provincial Police Act regulates all Police activity, and only the Provincial Government can change that legislation. They recently updated the Municipal Government Act, and the time for the similar modernization of the Police Act is now.

As Vice President of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, Councillor Demong has taken on the task of solving this problem. With several of his fellow Council members, he is putting forward a Notice of Motion asking the City of Calgary to add its voice to the growing chorus of municipalities asking for change to the Provincial Police Act.

View the Notice of Motion​​​

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | October 01, 2018

Greetings Ward 14!

When you are searching for a way to begin one of these columns you usually look for something emblematic of the month you are writing about. You search for something universal. You look for something everyone can relate too.

The leaf is as good an emblem as any for the month of October. Every Calgarian can relate to the leaves changing colour, jumping in a pile of them as a kid, or raking up a pile as an adult. Leaves are going to take on a completely new significance for all Canadians in October of 2018 though, and I am not talking about the ones from a maple tree.

Cannabis - A significant milestone

The date is finally here. We have reached a significant milestone. Buying and smoking cannabis for recreation will be legal in Canada on October 17.

I have always been of the mind that we need to approach this as cautiously as possible, even though we have been forced to react very quickly to direction coming from Ottawa. My view is that it is much easier to loosen regulations than it is to tighten them. No matter how you feel about cannabis, there is no denying it is a matter of public health, and in those matters I would rather err on the side of caution at first.

The City of Calgary has two main responsibilities when it comes to cannabis: creating land use bylaws associated with the sale of cannabis, and creating bylaws that regulate public consumption within Calgary. We have done a lot to prepare for October 17. First, we have been reviewing all the applications for cannabis stores. Some succeeded, some failed, and some are being appealed. If you are interested, here is a handy Cannabis Store Info Map to show you where they all are. Second, we updated our bylaws to allow for designated consumption areas, although you’re not likely to see any soon. Third, we updated our bylaws to allow consumption areas at events and festivals. Each event will be reviewed thoroughly, and we will review the whole program at the end of next festival season.

Although we have reached this milestone, this saga is not over. You can expect to see more changes coming from the Province, and Federal Government. Consumption lounges, and edible cannabis will likely be among them. So I will take a break on this topic for now, but do not be surprised if you find it in this column again.

A quick note on the City’s budget

In November, we will approve the City’s financial plan - and consequently its priorities - for the next four years. I want to take a moment to remind everyone to visit calgary.ca/yourservices, calgary.ca/ourfinances, and contact me if you have any questions or thoughts to share.

Feel free to contact me any time. The best way to do so is by visiting calgary.ca/contactward14.

-Councillor Peter Demong​

Categories: Newsletter

Back | April 11, 2011

First brought to Council: April 11, 2011

Outcome: Carried as amended



It's important that there be safe, low-cost housing in Calgary. Safe, low-cost housing can be a part of the solution to homelessness in our city. Secondary suites have the potential to be a part of that solution, but have been a divisive issue on Council.

Traditionally, when people have purchased houses, they have done so under the impression that there will not be a secondary rental suite next door. They have done so with the hope that there will not be cars permanently parked in front of their houses. Introducing these impositions on homeowners after they've purchased their home seems unfair and is something that we want to avoid.

By including secondary suites as part of the permitted uses in communities that are yet to be developed, we can ensure there is additional safe, low-cost housing available for their inclusion. By doing this we can also ensure that potential home-buyers are aware that they may have a secondary suite next door before they decide to buy in the neighborhood. We can offer the transparency expected by current and future home buyers in Calgary.

Alderman Peter Demong proposed this solution to Council by notice of motion.

View the Notice of Motion

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | March 02, 2015

I am very excited to announce that, starting on March 9, peak hour transit service will be available to Chaparral Valley and Walden for the first time. Route 444 will connect the communities of Chaparral, Chaparral Valley, Walden, and Somerset to shopping, schools, recreation centres, and the CTrain.

I want to thank the Chaparral Community Association, and the residents of Chaparral Valley and Walden for bringing this need to my attention. Without their efforts to lobby Calgary Transit I would not have been able to have moved this forward so quickly. It is a very big step in the development of two wonderful neighbourhoods.

 

Route details

The route will have approximately 15 stops. It will serve the Somerset - Bridlewood CTrain Station, the Shawnessy Towne Shopping Centre, the YMCA, and Bishop O’Byrne High School. It will operate Monday to Friday every 20 minutes during peak periods from 5:20 a.m. to 8:57 a.m. and 2:40 p.m. to 6:57 p.m.

Moving forward

Route 444 will evolve over time just like the communities it serves. Calgary Transit will monitor the performance of the route on an ongoing basis.



To provide feedback you can phone (403) 262-1000 to reach a Calgary Transit customer service representative or share your thoughts about the route by completing a survey at www.calgarytransit.com/survey. You will also be able to find more information about the route on the Calgary Transit website.

I encourage you to provide your feedback to Calgary Transit so that we can make this the best route possible for everyone, and don’t forget that you can contact me​ at the Ward 14 office anytime. Happy commuting Ward 14!​

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | November 07, 2011

First brought to Council: November 7, 2011

Outcome: Carried as amended



It seems like just about everyone has got one. Wireless devices like smart phones, laptops and hand held tablets are the way of the future and they need cell phone towers to operate. Cell phone towers have been popping up all over Calgary as wireless technology has advanced and there are likely to be more on the way.

Cell phone towers meet the criteria of being a business in Calgary. They generate revenues and use real property within city limits. It seems reasonable that The City of Calgary would at the very least consider licensing cell phone towers in the same way that they require licenses for Calgary's businesses.

Alderman Peter Demong brought a motion to Council asking that City administration be instructed to investigate the potential for licensing cell towers.

View the Notice of Motion

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | September 13, 2013

First brought to Council: September 9, 2013

Outcome: Referred to Administration



The cost of just about everything is constantly rising. For those without an income, like most seniors, this can be an especially serious problem. In Calgary, the market increase for the cost of an annual seniors transit pass was $35 to $95 over the past two years, and City administration is already looking at the possibility of raising the cost to $150 during 2014. What's more, many seniors do not use transit enough to justify the cost of an annual pass.

The concept of a single senior fare pass is not new. Many cities in Canada already offer similar passes, and in Calgary there is already a youth/student fare pass available. A number of major cities have combined their youth and senior passes into one single youth/senior pass.

It would relatively easy to adapt Calgary Transit's youth/senior pass to include seniors. This option would be much more affordable for seniors who don't use transit on a frequent basis. Alderman Peter Demong brought a motion to Council that asked administration to harmonise the existing youth/student single fare transit pass with a new single fare senior pass.

View the Notice of Motion

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | September 01, 2014

Hello Ward 14,  

Repetition can be a powerful memorization tool, so let me apologize in advance for repeating some topics from last month—they warrant memorization

Ward 14 Communities BBQ

My Ward 14 Communities BBQ is on Saturday, September 13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Southcentre Mall parking lot (south side, near Sears).  Why?  There are two big reasons: to support the community associations that volunteer their time to make Ward 14 better, and to showcase some of the most interesting things that the City and its partners are doing

On this occasion—and only this occasion—you will get a community association membership for free.  You’ll get a free burger, and there will also be great door prizes and giveaways for anyone who attends

The Calgary Zoo will be there for the kids.  The kids at heart will enjoy the vehicles the police bring with them, and get to “kick the tires” of a fire engine.  You might even find a doctor through the South Calgary Primary Care Network.

So join me on Saturday, September 13, and don’t forget to bring something for the Calgary Food Bank!  You can find more information at www.calgary.ca/ward14/events

Did you know?  A pedestrian’s chance of surviving a collision increases from 20% to 90% when vehicle speed is reduced from 50 km/h to 30 km/h.

These statistics can vary depending on where and when you are measuring, but the point is the same: Slower is safer.  This not only applies when it comes to damage caused by collision, but to the prevention of collisions as well.  The time lost by slowing from 50 km/h to 30 km/h over a 100 m distance is just under 5 seconds

The City and Province have changed the effective times of playground and school zones in this city.  As of the beginning of this month, the new rules are being enforced.  Both playground and school zones now begin at 7:30 a.m. and end at 9 p.m.  Playground zones are enforced year round, and school zones only on school days.  Some school zones may also be transitioned to playground zones in the coming years, based on need.

This is a great step toward increased safety on Calgary’s residential streets, and based on my dialogue with you over the past four years, traffic safety is a very high priority for the people of Ward 14

If you have questions about the BBQ or concerns about anything else, please feel free to contact me.  If you would like to receive occasional email updates from me, please fill out the Contact Ward 14 form

See you at the BBQ

-Councillor Peter Demong​

Categories: Newsletter

Back | September 01, 2015

Hi Ward 14!

You are invited to my Ward 14 Communities BBQ on September 26!

This year I’ve taken a slightly different approach to my Ward 14 Communities BBQ.  I think it will turn out to be quite interesting.  When one thinks of the City of Calgary they generally think of a few distinct areas.  Transit, parks, licenses, and bylaws all come to mind.  All of those staples of municipal service will be there.  The Calgary Police Service will bring some surprises; maybe their dogs, mountain bikes, and a squad car or two.  You might just meet Calgary’s Fire Chief, and if we’re lucky a fire truck might be free for a visit too.

This year, however, you will also see some displays that are equally as important but not as frequently associated with the City of Calgary.  Our human resources department—responsible for thousands of employees—will be there to speak about working at the City, and the Calgary Emergency Management Agency will be there to show you what they do, and what you need in case of a disaster.  My personal favourite:  For the first time this year, you will be able to step into one of the simulators that Calgary’s Fleet Services uses to train their equipment operators.

Other organizations like the Primary Care Network of South Calgary and the Friends of Fish Creek will also be there.  The Trico Centre for Family Wellness will be represented (and will bring some swim passes as a door prize).  The local scout group may also drop by.

Of course all of those displays will be accompanied by a free burger and a free community association membership for anyone who attends.  Thanks are in order for the generous contributions of:  Genstar Development Company, Southgate Chevrolet Buick GMC, Canyon Creek Toyota, Oxford Properties, Jack Carter Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC, United Communities, Mattamy Homes, ATB Financial, Qualico, Calgary Co-op, Safeway, No Bull Bookkeeping, and Great News Publishing.

If you want to see all the things I’ve mentioned above please join me on Saturday, September 26 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Southcentre Mall parking lot.  I will be sending a reminder to those on my email distribution list, but if you haven’t signed up you won’t get it.  You can sign up to get emails at www.calgary.ca/ward14connect, and learn more about the BBQ at www.calgary.ca/ward14bbq.

I hope to see you there, and don’t forget to bring a donation for the Calgary Food Bank.

- Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | September 01, 2016

Hi Ward 14! I hope you had a great summer!

Ward 14 Communities BBQ

You are invited to my Ward 14 Communities BBQ. I hope to see you there.

The BBQ is on Saturday, September 24 in the Southcentre Mall Parking lot. It will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. but you might want to get there during the first couple of hours in case supplies dwindle. I encourage you to visit calgary.ca/ward14bbq.

As I write this some of the fine details of what you will see at the BBQ are still yet to be determined. Fear not! I can assure you that you will not be disappointed!

Here is a description of how your trip to my Ward 14 Communities BBQ might go.

The first thing you might do is pick up your free community association membership. One of the main purposes of my BBQ is to raise money for the community associations of Ward 14. This is a win/win situation. The community association gets a new member, you get a free membership, and hopefully people learn more about what their community association does. Your community association will have their own table at the BBQ. Find them, say hello, and pick up your free membership.

Of course giving away memberships does not raise any money for the community associations. That is where the sponsors of the BBQ come in. Mattamy Homes, Great News Publishing, No Bull Bookkeeping, Qualico, United Communities, Jack Carter Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC, Genstar, Southcentre Mall, Progressive Waste Solutions, Calgary Co-op, Safeway, and Southgate Chevrolet Buick GMC are the ones who are supporting Calgary communities by buying you a free membership.

When you’re picking up your membership you will likely notice all sorts of exhibitors. The other main purpose of the BBQ is to give you an opportunity to visit with representatives from the City of Calgary’s various departments, its partners, and other community groups. We have had everything from horses to helicopters at the BBQ in the past. While those things can’t be planned in advance, I can promise that you will see something relevant to you. Apart from every customer facing department in the City of Calgary organization, there will also be representation from local scout groups, local MLAs, local school board trustees, and other community organizations like the Trico Centre, the South Calgary Primary Care Network, and the Friends of Fish Creek.

Finally, it wouldn’t be much of a BBQ without food so you will want to get in line for a free burger and beverage at some point. You will pass the Ward 14 booth along the way where you can get some free swag and enter the prize draw.

Don’t hesitate to approach me at the BBQ. I will be running around and making announcements, but always have time to chat.

Macleod Trail & 162 Avenue Interchange Update

Free-flow traffic on Macleod Trail is coming soon. The next major phase of detour for construction of the interchange—which includes free-flow traffic on Macleod Trail—is set to begin at the end of September. I do not have details on the exact date, but you will soon be able to find them at calgary.ca/macleod162ave.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me about the interchange, or anything else

See you at the BBQ

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | September 01, 2012

Hello again and happy autumn to all!

September brings about an event I have been talking about for several months now. Community Associations are very dear to my heart. Among other things, they provide a sense of community for many people, support programs and activities that increase quality of life, and are intimately involved in how each community is developed. Ward 14 has 10 of them that vary from well established to just starting out. I want to invite all of the residents of Ward 14 to come out to the southeast corner of the Southcentre Mall on Sept. 22 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The purpose is to join me in celebrating the incredible volunteer work done by Ward 14's community associations. (And if you're early enough, you might even be able to get a free membership.) We will have burgers, line dancing, opportunities to learn more about City services, and most importantly, a chance to get to know your hard working community association board members.

Although we're heading into a new season, I would like to revisit the topic that I ended with in August. The topic is 3-1-1. For those of you who didn't get a chance to read last month's column, Council passed a motion I brought forward. I am very hopeful this motion will increase the efficiency with which 3-1-1 works with the other City departments.

In keeping with the ideal of increasing efficiency, transparency, and accountability, I made an application to The City of Calgary Council Innovation Fund and succeeded in passing it through Council in July. The idea was to take advantage of a previous plan to launch a 3-1-1 iPhone app that will go public this month. The app allows Calgarians to take pictures from their phone and it automatically geo tags the photo with coordinates. Along with the right tools in the hands of the Roads department, I think this app can vastly improve the efficiency of fulfilling road repair requests. The goal of my application was to put the right tools into the hands of Roads department's foremen. It requested funds to test the use of iPads by 100 of Roads' employees so that they could directly connect to 3-1-1.

Currently, Roads receives over 80,000 service requests through 3-1-1 annually to respond to citizen calls for things like fixing potholes and downed stop signs. Roads prints the requests, then distributes them to field staff who complete the physical work. The field staff then hand the printed paper back to an administrative resource who records the details of the request. My guess (and I think it is a solid one) is these tools will reduce a lot of re-work in the system and improve the process for Roads staff. Due to the current manual system, service requests are closed in the 3-1-1 system as soon as they are received by the Roads department, which explains my hypothetical 3-1-1 caller from last month's column who is told his request is closed while he is standing in the unfixed pothole. By connecting the Roads foreman directly with the 3-1-1 system so that requests are closed when the work is actually done, I am hopeful that this new set of tools will also improve the citizen's experience. There may be some tweaking over time, but I am certain this is a step in the right direction in terms of increasing efficiency at City Hall and improving how The City of Calgary deals with its citizen's concerns.

If you have any questions about my barbeque, 3-1-1 or anything else, I can always be contacted by phone at 403-268-1653 or contact my office. You could even try writing a comment on my Facebook timeline. I will get back to you.

Have a wonderful month, and I hope to see you on Sept. 22!

Categories: Newsletter

Back | September 03, 2013

Residents of Ward 14,

Please join me on September 21st for the 3rd annual Ward 14 communities BBQ!

Date: September 21st, 2013
Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Southcentre Mall parking lot (on the South side near Sears)

Promoting the benefits of Community Associations has become a passion of mine. They are an important part of the framework that makes up Calgary. They are a rallying point for neighbours who wish to achieve common goals, and they build strong, loyal relationships. They embody everything good that the word community conjures up.

Help me show support for these organizations by attending the Ward 14 communities BBQ.

The Ward 14 Communities BBQ is an initiative that I am very proud to call my own. In the two years that it has been held, we have raised almost $8,000 for the 10 Community Associations in Ward 14 (not a dime of which came from tax revenue) and added almost 100 new members to their ranks.

Thanks to donations from several generous, community-minded sponsors, you will be able to get a free burger, and a free membership to you local community association. The leftover funds will be divided into 10 equal cheques, made out to Ward 14's Community Associations. There will be music, entertainment, and lots of fun...

So join me at Southcentre Mall on September 21st!

The 52 million dollar question - An update

I am sure most of you are now familiar with the issue of how to allocate the $52 Million. On July 28, 2013 the issue came to a head when Council made its decision. There had originally been five options to choose from, but the 2013 Flood added another - to spend the $52 million to rebuild and improve flood-damaged City infrastructure.

First, Council voted on whether or not to give the money back. I have advocated for giving the money back since day 1, and am the only alderman in the last three years that has voted consistently to not take this tax room. I voted to give the money back, but the majority of Council did not.

The Mayor then asked Council to decide whether or not to use $104 Million dollars of vacated tax (52 from 2013, and 52 from 2014) to go to flood mitigation. I seconded an amendment to his proposal to exclude the 2014 amount, leaving the option to 'give it back' alive for next year. I voted to keep that option alive. The proposal with the amendment was passed.

This chapter of the vacated provincial education tax is over, but there will be another. Stay tuned...

Categories: Newsletter

Back | February 21, 2013

A request under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act was made recently to have all of the Aldermen's Ward expenses revealed. In 2010, I ran on the notion of bringing accountability, cost control, and transparency to City Hall, and that is what I intend to do. I have no issue sharing my expenses with the world.

Here is the FOIP request for Ward 14 expenses that I submitted in January and the Office of the Alderman has posted very general quarterly Ward expense reports for some time now.

But the public should not need to make a FOIP request to see where elected officials are spending taxpayer's money, and this new website has made it much easier for me to share my expenses on a more frequent basis. Over the next few months, my office will be working with the City's Finance Department on developing a permanent place on this site that will house monthly Ward 14 expense reports.

Please keep an eye out for my monthly reports in the near future...​

Categories:

Back | January 09, 2014

The City is assessing every residential roadway in Calgary for our current residential snow and ice control program.  At this time, crews are taking action in communities across all quadrants of Calgary, focusing at this time on communities that have been deemed the highest priority, please use the Snow and Ice Control Update webpage will provide information regarding snow clearing in your area.

Categories:

Back | November 13, 2017

Hello Ward 14!

It has been a hot summer so far! I hope everyone has had their share of dips in the pool, and ice cream cones. There are still many warm days ahead, but the signs of autumn are on their way.

Ward 14 Communities BBQ

My BBQ is a sure sign that September is here (or maybe it is the other way around). Join me on September 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of Southcentre Mall. You can visit calgary.ca/ward14bbq for more info, or calgary.ca/ward14connect for email updates.

There will be many interesting exhibitors, all of Ward 14’s community associations, MLAs, MPs, and a delicious Spolumbo’s sausage on a bun for attendees. Of course, none of those things would be there without amazing sponsors. Thank you to Genstar, United Communities, ATCO, Mattamy Homes, Southgate Chevrolet Buick GMC, Canyon Creek Toyota, Jack Carter Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC, Waste Connections of Canada, Pacific Developments, Southcentre Mall, Spolumbo’s, Safeway, Spruce Meadows, South Trail Insurance, No Bull Bookkeeping, and Great News Publishing.

I will see you there!

2017 Municipal Election

Another autumn tradition! Calgarians will vote for their Mayor, Councillors, and School Board Trustees in the 2017 Municipal Election. You can choose to cast your ballot during the Advance Vote from October 4 - 11, excluding October 9 (Thanksgiving) or on Election Day, October 16. There are many ways to vote, so be sure to check the website www.electionscalgary.ca for a complete list of voting options. Voting station locations will be available online after September 19, 2017, or you can watch the mail for your official Election Guide.

Green Cart Program Rollout

I want to briefly remind everyone that the majority of Ward 14 will be receiving green carts starting August 28 with collection starting on October 2. If you are away during this time, you will still get your bin. I encourage you to ask your neighbours to bring the cart on to your property. Look for all necessary instructions inside the bin when you receive it, and visit calgary.ca/greencart for more info.

Macleod Trail and 162 Avenue Interchange

One sure sign of autumn is the end of construction season, but the end of this bit of construction has been coming for more than just a season. Those of us who drive the road every day have dealt with it for many months, and those who have dealt with it behind the scenes - like me - are coming to the end of a process that lasted many years. I am very proud to have worked on this project. I know it will benefit Calgarians for decades to come.

As I write this we are preparing to open the new interchange to vehicles. As you read it, the interchange will be nearing completion. If you are looking for the latest information about the progress of construction or just details about the project, I recommend visiting calgary.ca/macleod162ave.

Of course you can always contact me if you would like to speak with me about the interchange, or anything else. Enjoy the wonderful weather while it lasts!

Sincerely,

- Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | September 08, 2013

I would like to invite you all to join me on September 21st in an effort to raise awareness and funds for Ward 14's hardworking community associations.

Get a free burger, a free membership to your local Community Association, and bring a non-perishable food item donation for the Calgary food bank!

There will be some music, some expert line-dancing, some fun and games, and a bunch of other prizes and free stuff, so get there early!

Date: Saturday, September 21st, 2013
Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: South side of the Southcentre Mall parking lot (near Sears)

If you are wondering whether or not you are eligible for a free community association membership then check out the Ward 14 communities page. It will shed some light on what community you live in and whether or not your community is in Ward 14.

I hope to see you there!​

Categories:

Back | May 01, 2013

Those of you who frequent the community of Sundance may have noticed the new pedestrian crosswalk at Sun Valley Blvd and Sun Harbour Road S.E. What you may not know is that these crosswalks are solar powered, have LED lights, and are actually being tested by the City as a part of a pilot project that includes seven locations in Calgary. The pilot will last up to 18 months so that each different kind of Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon (RRFB) will be evaluated in all types of weather conditions.

I have become very familiar with this project. In June of 2011, I put forward an application to get funding for this project through the Council Innovation fund as part of an ongoing effort to improve safety on Sun Valley Blvd.

In addition the technical study that is being conducted, the City is asking for feedback from residents regarding the RRFBs in their community. From April 29 to - May 6, residents can contact 311​ to share their opinion regarding this type of pedestrian traffic signal. I strongly urge the residents who have been impacted by the new crosswalk to do so.

You can find more information on the RRFB Pilot Project by going to calgary.ca/RRFB.

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | January 25, 2018

Hello Ward 14!

February is the month where I really find the rhythm of the new year. Schedules have been jumbled, there are new faces around the table, and then the chaos of the holidays. It is good to have things settling down and feeling normal again.

Counciltalk is back for another term!

Sometimes City Hall can be crazy, so getting back in the Counciltalk routine is something I am happy to do. Counciltalk keeps me grounded. It keeps me accountable. It keeps me in touch with the people in Ward 14, and I sincerely hope it shows that I AM listening.

For those of you in Douglasdale, McKenzie Lake, or who are just not familiar, Counciltalk began on January 14, 2012 at the Parkland Community Hall. I was just over a year into my first term on Council, and I was testing this new way to engage with my ward. We sat around a table where people told me their concerns. We had a thoughtful discussion about the future of Calgary.

Since then I have made a few minor tweaks, but the concept has remained the same. Residents of Ward 14 have been joining me regularly to engage in meaningful dialogue. The location rotates from month-to-month, but remains close to home for those who wish to attend. It has even been imitated by other Councillors!

Stay Connected with email updates!

Please join me on Saturday, February 3 for what will be the first Counciltalk of 2018, AND the first Counciltalk in Douglasdale. We will be meeting at the Eaglequest Golf Course (7 Douglas Woods Drive S.E.). You can drop in at any time between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. It should be easy to find, just go in the main doors, and straight to the end of the hall. There will be coffee and donuts for you.

You can find all the details about Counciltalk at calgary.ca/counciltalk.

Useful Mobile Apps

I am the first to admit that I am not computer, tablet, or even smartphone savvy, but I do know just how useful they can be. The City has developed many time saving mobile apps, and I am certain there are more in store. But I want to focus on a few that have really improved the level of service we are able to provide the people of Calgary.

The first is one that was brought to my attention by my beautiful wife. It is the "Calgary Garbage Day" app, and it features your garbage, recycling, and compost collection schedules automatically retrieved for you. All you need to do is type in your address. You can set a reminder through the app, you can get a calendar, or even set up text message and email reminders by typing in your address at calgary.ca/collection.

The second is a favorite of one of my staff - one who uses transit more than I do. It is the "Calgary Transit" app, and it is a must for transit users. The days of calling the stop number on your local stop sign to find the pre-set schedule for your bus are now over. When you open the app it will automatically show you nearby buses and train stations, along with their next three departure times. You can set favorite routes, plan and compare trip routes, and view where your bus is. Most importantly though, all of this is now in REAL-TIME, so you can accurately schedule your day. It makes me very happy to see that we have made this simple step to enhance the massive investment we make in transit!

The third is one of my favourite projects. That is partly because it stems from my 311 Notice of Motion. It is the "Calgary 311" app, and those familiar with 311 should not be surprised by what it is - a tool to submit 311 requests. What it adds is location tagging that helps the City find the problem, uploaded photos that help diagnose the problem, and a list of recent submissions that helps users see if the problem has already been dealt with.

Not only do these apps help users, they have all had the benefit of making things work more efficiently at the City. You can find them, and a few others, at calgary.ca/mobileapps. I highly recommend you take a look.

Have Your Say About Parks and Pathways

The rules that govern parks and pathways in Calgary have not been updated for nearly 15 years. The Parks and Pathway Bylaw was last reviewed in 2003. With things like segways, and drones becoming popular, it is time to review those rules.

We want to understand your vision for parks in Calgary and capture all the opportunities and issues that affect park users. This input will help determine how the Parks Bylaw should change to make park experiences better for everyone. Is there anything you want to change in our parks? Do you have any ideas on how we can reduce user conflicts in parks?

From February 1st through 28th we will be collecting feedback from Calgarians. To share your thoughts please visit www.engage.calgary.ca/parksbylaw or call 311.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me about these, or any other City-related topics. Until next month.

- Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | February 01, 2015

Hi Ward 14!  February is a difficult month to write for.  Things change quickly in the months leading up to February.  The City’s budget is decided in November, Christmas is in December, and of course the New Year follows.  Throw a ‘curve ball’ into that mix, and it can be quite a busy time of year at City Hall.  But what makes a February column truly tough to write is the fact that it must be written between Christmas and January 1st.  It’s a time of year that has a very specific mindset.

I am currently preparing to thoroughly examine my 2015 property and business assessment details.  When you read this, you will have had yours for about a month.  Property and business assessments are more of a January topic.  They are mailed in January, and that is when the 60 day “Customer Review Period” begins.  The Customer Review Period is your opportunity to ensure that your property or business assessment is accurate.

I mentioned the Customer Review Period in detail last month, but it deserves this reminder.  I devote so much of my time to scrutinizing the big ticket items that affect how much we all pay in taxes.  It would be foolish for me to neglect the simplest thing that I can do; reviewing my assessment details.  It would be foolish for you too.  You have until March 6, and can find more information at www.calgary.ca/assessment.

Drop-in sessions for the planned Macleod Trail and 162 Ave Interchange—another topic deserving of a reminder—will be taking place in February.  There will be two held at Bishop O'Byrne High School: one on February 18 between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., and another on February 20 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.  You can find the details at www.calgary.ca/macleod162ave.

Some may remember giving feedback on preliminary plans for the interchange in October.  The sessions in February will be a progress report, and another opportunity for you to provide input on what will be a major improvement for travel in south Calgary, and a critical piece of infrastructure for Calgary’s transportation network overall.  The planning study is expected to be complete this summer, and shovels are expected to be in the ground this year.  The goal is to open to traffic in late 2017.

Round two of Aldertalk for 2015 is coming up soon.  The first was at the Parkland community centre last month, and thank you to all those engaged citizens who shared their thoughts.  The upcoming Aldertalk session will be at the Willowridge Community Centre (680 Acadia Drive SE) between noon and 2 p.m.  Everyone is invited to join in the discussion, and I think you will find—like I always do—that it is quite interesting.

Until next month you can view the upcoming Aldertalk schedule at www.calgary.ca/aldertalk, and don’t hesitate to contact me if there is something you want to discuss.

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | August 30, 2018

Hi Ward 14!

Budget time is coming. For a City Councillor this is the most important time of their four-year term in office. It is game time, and we need to have our game faces on. Especially with unprecedentedly large issues like the Green Line, the Olympics, and the possibility of a new event centre casting their shadows.

2019-2022 City Budget

In November, we will approve the City’s financial plan - and consequently its priorities - for the next four years. But I have been preparing for this for many months now, and things will start to ramp up even more until our actual budget deliberations.

During September we will be hearing high-level previews of the 2019-2022 service plans and discuss our strategy for the next four years. It isn’t unlike what we did four years ago, and to a lesser degre?e every year when we review our budgets and strategies. In November we will vote on the finalized budget.

There is one thing that won’t be the same though. Our budget and plans have always been based on the organizational structure of the City of Calgary: by department and by business unit. Frankly, that way of thinking has probably been setting us off on the wrong foot from the very beginning. It focuses on the process, and not the goal.

Starting this year, we will be doing things differently. We are moving to a service-based approach. That means that we will be looking at our plans and budgets based on their associated service, and I am hopeful that this will turn our focus more toward what is truly important - the services we are actually here to provide. It will certainly allow me to better scrutinize the results of the money that the taxpayers are putting in.

But the point of me writing about our upcoming budget talks is not just to talk about what we have done. It is also about allowing you to have your say.

The first way I would suggest to get yourself involved is to visit calgary.ca/yourservices. There you will be able to read more about this topic. While you are there you might also want to sign up to receive email updates.

At calgary.ca/yourservices you will also see information on how to give feedback. In September, Council will meet several times for the sole purpose of having a strategic discussion about the City’s proposed service plans and budgets. If you are interested in participating to provide strategic input on these focus areas, you can attend one of these meetings and present your feedback to Council in person.

The schedule is:

  • 4 - A Well Run City (Priorities & Finance)
  • 5 - A Prosperous City (Community & Protective Services)
  • 6 - A City that Moves (Transportation & Transit)
  • 12 - A Healthy and Green City (Utilities & Corporate Services)
  • 13 - A City of Safe and Inspiring Neighbourhoods (Planning & Urban Development)
  • 17 - Civic Partners (Priorities & Finance)

Of course another good way is to contact me through my office. I always want to hear what the people of Ward 14 are thinking, and I have also been working hard behind the scenes to make it easier for Calgarians involved. A few months ago, my proposal to improve our communication of budgets was approved. The improvements are ongoing, but you can visit calgary.ca/ourfinances to see what has been done so far to make it easier to understand how your money is spent, and use the imporved online tax calculator.

Ways to participate in the City’s decision making process

Citizens’ View - The City’s Online Research Panel

Each year, The City conducts research and engagement to get a better understanding of citizen’s preferences, needs and satisfaction levels with our programs and services.

The City has an online research panel called Citizens’ View. Citizens’ View is an online space where you can share your thoughts about life in Calgary by participating in surveys on topics that matter to you.

The online panel makes information sharing more transparent, accessible and interactive for Calgarians. The panel is a timely and cost-effective tool that makes it easier for you to share your opinions and understand how your input is used.

I encourage everyone to take part in this, and I keep a close eye on the questions they are asking too. So please give it a try, and let me know what you think about the questions they are asking. You can join at citizensviewcalgary.ca.

Business Perspectives - The City’s Online Business Research Panel

This is very similar to the online research panel, but it relates to - you guessed it - businesses. Throughout the year, the City conducts ongoing research with businesses and business leaders to gain a better understanding of the outlook and attitude of the business community.

The City has an online research panel called Business Perspectives where business leaders have an opportunity to share their points of view with City Administration and Council. The online panel is a timely and cost-effective tool that makes it easier for businesses to communicate their opinions and understand how their input is used.

There are currently just under 1,000 businesses on this panel. They have a goal of reaching double that by halfway through 2019. Let’s help them get there! If you think you have something to offer the online research panel, please contact research@calgary.ca to learn more and join.

Boards, Commissions, and Committees

Council is seeking volunteers to fill positions on various Boards, Commissions and Committees. They provide us with perspective and recommendations on important civic issues. If you think this might be something for you, you can apply all the way up until September 14. Click here to learn more and apply.

Don’t forget to visit calgary.ca/ward14newsletter for the full version of this column, and feel free to contact me any time. The best way to do so is by visiting calgary.ca/contactward14.

-Councillor Peter Demong​

Categories: Newsletter

Back | January 31, 2013

After the frantic months of December and January, February might seem bland. But this couldn't be further from the truth. You might sit down with some friends to watch the Super Bowl, or sit down to a Valentine's Day dinner with your sweetheart, or spend a long weekend with your family, and hopefully you will see a groundhog emerge from his den on a cloudy day.

Hopefully you will also take some time to join me in some meaningful dialogue at Aldertalk this February. We are getting good crowds out, as usual, and January was no exception. The next edition of Aldertalk will be held at the Lake Bonavista Recreation Centre (1401 Acadia Drive SE) from noon to 2pm on February 16th, 2013. You can always visit calgary.ca/aldertalk to get a description of the event, and to view the schedule of upcoming Aldertalk sessions.

While you are checking out the Aldertalk page of my new website, have a look around at the other pages too. This upgraded version of the Ward 14 Aldermanic site is much more comprehensive than its predecessor, and I still have a few tricks up my sleeve for the future. Along with a ton of information on Aldertalk, Ward 14 communities, and yours truly, there will be constantly updated posts consisting of everything from these monthly newsletter columns, to notices of motion, to urgent news. The official address is calgary.ca/ward14, but the City of Calgary website always makes it easy to find things using the search tool. I hope you find the content of this new website useful.

I've mentioned the Lake Fraser Gate Pilot Project in the past. It was a trial run of some restrictions on left turn signals at the intersection of MacLeod Trail and Lake Fraser Gate S.E. There are about 4800 vehicles/hour that pass this intersection during the morning rush hour, and the project was an attempt to alleviate some of this congestion.

By the time you read this, your opportunity to give feedback on this pilot project via the 3-1-1 call centre will likely be over, but I encourage you to contact me if you have any other feedback to share. So far, the comments have been mostly positive with regards to the changes made at the intersection, but it is of critical importance that we have all the information possible in the decision making process, because ideas such as these have the potential to very inexpensively alleviate traffic woes all around Calgary.

The Lake Fraser Gate Pilot Project illustrates the most cost effective option to reducing commute times that the City has in its arsenal. The turn lane restrictions cost roughly $30,000, in comparison to the roughly $30 million cost of an interchange. It's a promising solution at 1% of the cost of an interchange with much less construction headache. Obviously, I would love to take the idea and roll with it, but as I mentioned before - the more feedback the better. Thank you to everyone who has already given their input, and special thanks to the businesses of Lake Fraser Drive for their patience and understanding.

I can always be contacted at 403-268-1653, by email at eaward14@calgary.ca, and through the online contact form.

That's it for February. Look for another edition in March.

Categories: Newsletter

Back | September 11, 2017

First brought to Council: September 11, 2017

Outcome: Carried



By now most Calgarians have received their green carts. People in the southwest have been using them for months. Those of us in the southeast - like everyone in Ward 14 - will have their green carts within one month. For many the new green cart will be a bit of an adjustment.

Unfortunately, paying for our green carts is one of those adjustments. The City planned to start billing all of Calgary for this service on January 1, 2018, but - as you are aware - the actual service was to have a staggered start based on quadrant. Those receiving the service starting in July would be billed starting at the same time as those whose service started in October.

The City should not be charging for services that are not rendered. That is why Councillor Peter Demong brought a Notice of Motion asking Council to stagger billing for the green cart program to match the staggered service delivery.

View the Notice of Motion

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | February 22, 2013

First brought to Council: February 11, 2013

Outcome: Carried Unanimously



Traffic circles or "roundabouts" have been a tried and true method used around the globe for years when directing a steady traffic flow in major cities, but their implementation and use in The City of Calgary is a relatively new concept. A few roundabouts have been strategically located in Calgary's inner core; however, the majority are being constructed as components of newly developed communities. Gradually Calgary's drivers are encountering more of these devices in their travels around the City. Ward 14 specifically boasts roundabouts in Silverado, Walden and soon in Legacy.

Although The City's Transportation Department has developed a Policy and a set of Guidelines for actual construction of roundabouts, there is currently no defined direction to address the issues currently arising regarding the inner portion of these traffic circles. Questions regarding landscaping, maintenance, constructions/enhancements, cost management and eventual redevelopment/removal are being decided on a case by case basis through an Optional Amenity Agreement between, communities, resident associations, the City of Calgary Parks Department and or other invested parties.

Recognizing that the current system has components that can actually discourage the creation of areas that would complement the communities surrounding them, Alderman Peter Demong brought a Notice of Motion to Council which was supported unanimously requesting and engagement process with citizens and industry and the City to design a roundabout enhancement program.

View the Notice of Motion

Categories: Motions and Initiatives

Back | February 01, 2016

Greetings Ward 14!  

Great news! You have an extra day in February! I’ll be making sure that the City is using that extra day—and the other 365—wisely, and I want to mention a couple of ways we’ll be doing. Let’s leap right in to it.

LED Streetlights in Ward 14

The lights we use to brighten our streets at night have a huge impact on this city, and not just in terms of better visibility. They require us to produce energy, they can cause light pollution, and they often need to be replaced. I am happy to say that in 2015 we began retrofitting streetlights for new light emitting diode (LED) bulbs, and will continue into 2018 until the retrofitting of 80,000 streetlights is complete. They will be replacing the high pressure sodium lights that the City has been using for some time now.

The financial benefits of the project are clear. With all the lights installed we expect to save $1 million annually on maintenance costs, and $5 million in annual electricity costs. But there are also some benefits that are not as easily represented in a financial statement. They will reduce energy consumption by up to 50%—the equivalent of powering 2,820 homes per year—and will drastically reduce light pollution. I think you’ll find you’ll be able to see better too.

The LED streetlights are coming to Ward 14 very soon. Silverado is scheduled for retrofitting during the first quarter of 2016, and the rest of Ward 14 will be done during the third and fourth quarters. Let me know what you think of them!

Interactive Parks and Roads Map

As I write this just a little before Christmas, the Roads department, Parks department, and I are hoping for some snow to test a project that we have been working on. We had an exceptional amount of snow during the winter of 2013/2014, and we learned many things from the experience. Based on people’s comments to my office, the lack of communication between the City’s crews and its headquarters became very apparent. A highlighted map was literally the only way for us to know what had been cleared and what had not.

The result of our work will be real-time information not only on what roads and pathways have been cleared of snow, but eventually what parks have been mowed as well. It will be available to the public in an online map made possible with GPS outfitted equipment. It is a significant step forward in the level of service that we provide citizens. All we need are two significant snowfalls to test the system out. Hopefully we will have had them by the time you read this.

February Counciltalk

Thank you to everyone who attend Counciltalk in January.  If you didn’t get a chance, or would like another opportunity, the next one will be on February 27 at the Chaparral Resident’s Association Lakehouse (225 Chaparral Drive SE) from noon to 2 p.m.  If you can’t make that one there are other opportunities listed at calgary.ca/counciltalk, or you could sign up to get reminders of all the Counciltalk dates at calgary.ca/ward14connect.

Have a wonderful February, and don’t forget that you can always contact me

-Councillor Peter Demong

Categories: Newsletter

Back | February 03, 2014

Hello newsletter readers!  My Aldertalk sessions have been such a success and an enjoyable experience that it seems only natural that they would continue.  In fact, the first Aldertalk of the new term took place last month at Parkland Community Hall.  Due to some delays in scheduling it did not make my January column, but thank you to all who showed.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, my Aldertalk sessions are an opportunity to speak with me directly about any topic you like.  I book rooms in community halls across the Ward on an almost monthly basis, and make myself available for any questions.  All are invited.

For those of you who ARE familiar – yes – I am aware of the incompatibility of the term Aldertalk with my new title of Councillor.  I have struggled to come up with a term as catchy as Aldertalk.  So if you think you have a catchy new name that fits nicely on a sign, please share.  You can bring it with your other queries to Willow Ridge Community Hall (680 Acadia Drive SE) on February 22nd between Noon and 2pm for the second Aldertalk of my second term.

I’m asked Waste and Recycling questions often, even at Aldertalk.  Maybe you have a burnt out CFL light bulb, an old car battery, or even a used Christmas tree.  It must be disposed of properly, and might even be recyclable, but where do you take it?  With the City’s new online ‘What Goes Where’ tool you can now search for a specific item, pick from a list of popular items, or search alphabetically to find the answer to that question.  You can find the tool at www.calgary.ca/whatgoeswhere, and if you’re not the ‘online’ type, you can find answers by calling 311.

Through a Notice of Motion and my participation in the 311 Guiding Coalition, I have been working to improve 311 for several years now. I am proud to say that my efforts have helped to speed up the launch of the 311 mobile app, and are contributing to its continual improvement.  Part of my June 2012 Notice of Motion mandated that 311 remain citizen focused.  As a result, there have been 16 new service request types added to the mobile over the past few months.  We will continue to add service requests based on citizen feedback, and improve 311’s responsiveness to citizens.  You can download the app at www.calgary.ca/mobileapps

That’s pretty much it for now.  For those of you following Anderson Transit-Oriented Development, there will be an open house in the next few months.  I will update you as soon as I have details, and feel free to contact me at any time.

Categories: Newsletter

Back | February 01, 2012

​Aldertalk got off to a good start in January and I am planning to make this a once per month event going forward. The idea is to provide an opportunity for those of you who might like to meet with me face to face, to have a chat on a scheduled basis. The meetings are informal with no agenda or any big speeches - just a chance for you and a few other folks in the district to come and tell me what is on your mind when it comes to City Hall. I am holding these events in place of the large, expensive and poorly attended events that The City used to organize in past, so that you can help provide me with some feedback on how I am doing on your behalf.

The next Aldertalk meeting is scheduled for noon, Feb. 18 at Lake Bonavista Community Association, MPR room. The address is 1401 Acadia Drive S.E. For more information, call my office at 403-268-1627

I expect maybe a dozen people at the most over the hour, so this is a good opportunity for you and I to meet personally. I look forward to seeing you there!

February often brings more cold weather and snow. Judging from the calls into my office, the new snow clearing routes have generally been well accepted by most people, with fewer problems than we anticipated. Congratulations to all who have had to deal with this issue. It seems everyone is doing a good job of coping with winter so far. On this note, let me encourage those of you who have snow blowers (or strong backs), to consider becoming a Snow Angel. The Snow Angel campaign encourages Calgarians to be good neighbours by helping older adults and others in need to keep their sidewalks clear. All you have to do is just go help shovel your neighbor out after a blizzard - nothing more complicated than that!

I thought that this month might be an interesting one to take a look at some 2011 statistics from our office. Last year, City Hall received a total of 534,397 phone calls (SR - service requests) from residents. Of that 26,366 were from Ward 14 residents. The community in Ward 14 with the most number of SRs was Lake Bonavista with 3,998, then comes Chaparral with 3,054; Willow Park 2,776; Sundance 2,662; Midnapore 2,536; Silverado 2,513; Deer Run 1,543; Parkland 1,491; Queensland 1,490; Deer Ridge 1,462; Walden 1,092; Maple ridge 789; Bonavista Downs 464; Diamond Cove 182 calls and the rest totaling about 300 calls beyond that.

The calls range across many different subjects, but TIPP application requests, property and tax inquiries, animal licensing, development, building approval inspections, residential waste inquiries, sewage, plumbing and water queries take up about half of all calls. The balance is everything from volunteer fingerprinting with the Calgary Police service (8%) to opinions on business units (7.4%) to bus route scheduling (1.3%), recreational event bookings, and Enmax enquiries (0.9%) and so on.

If each call takes an hour or so to deal with - finding resolutions, following up back and forth - just answering all these calls properly city-wide could be a full time job for about 350 people. The City of Calgary is getting to be quite a large city, isn't it?

February is tax time and I imagine many of you are thinking about how little money you seem to have left at the end of the day after taxes - at least if you are like me! It may interest you to know that only about 8% of all the taxes you pay to government actually go to The City of Calgary. The other 92% goes almost equally to the province and to the federal government. Given the services The City of Calgary provides with our 8% of your money vs. the other two orders of government with their 92%, some days it doesn't seem The City of Calgary is such a bad deal overall. I will always advocate for lower taxes and for more efficient spending of any of your money, however I do think that The City of City should have a more equitable split of what you do pay overall.

Have a great February everyone!

Categories: Newsletter

Back | November 24, 2014

The results of the City’s 2014 Citizen Satisfaction Survey have been out for about a week now, but did you know that the City has just released Ward-specific results, as well?

Did you know that, in general, the people in Ward 14 are:

  • More proud of their neighbourhood than the average Calgarian
  • More adamant about the importance of recreation facilities than the average Calgarian
  • More satisfied with the City’s parks and open spaces than the average Calgarian
  • Feel safer in their neighbourhood than the average Calgarian.
  • Do you agree? Disagree?  Contact me to let me know your thoughts on the survey results.  I’d love to hear them.

    You can see the full 2014 Citizen Satisfaction Survey on calgary.ca.

    Categories:

    Back | December 05, 2012

    Many of the residents of Willow Park and Maple Ridge will have noticed a large number of distinctly white moths in the last month or so. These are called Satin Moths and due to a combination of environmental factors this season, their population has expanded and become more noticeable.

    When feeding, the caterpillar of these moths can completely defoliate large mature trees of their leaves and can do this twice during the summer months. Because the caterpillar feed primarily on the poplar species of trees that are so prevalent in Willow Park and Maple Ridge, and repeated, severe defoliation over several seasons can lead to these trees dying, I have encouraged the Parks department to ramp up their current efforts to curb the increase in Satin Moth population. The Willow Ridge Community Association has also played a vital role in communicating this issue to me.

    Information straight from The City's Parks department

    The mature Satin Moth caterpillars grow to be 3.5 to 4.5 cm long, and are pale to medium grey-brown, with a darker head and back. Their backs are black with a central row of white or light yellow markings. They can be confused with the tent caterpillar which has a white strip down its back bordered by two blue lines. The adult moths have pure white wings with a satin-like lustre. They have a wingspan ranging from 3.5 to 5.0 cm and can be distinguished from other local white species by narrow alternating black and white bands on their legs.

    The City's plan

    Parks has been monitoring and tracking where large populations of the Satin Moth have appeared this year. The communities of Willow Park and Maple Ridge have specifically experienced larger insect populations. Over the next week, a non toxic sticky band will be applied to the base of poplar trees to trap newly hatched caterpillars as they make their way up the trunk of the trees into the canopy to feed. After assessment, Parks will start pressure spraying specific poplar trees with water in locations where the caterpillars are hatching and are present in large numbers. This will knock the egg masses and caterpillars out of the trees, preventing them from feeding on the tree's leaves.

    Parks has consulted with The City of Edmonton on their experience with managing Satin Moth. A small parasitic wasp (Cotesia melanoscela) has established in Edmonton and for the most part now suppresses Satin Moth populations. This is typical in the natural environment where a pest will establish and the regulating predator is a few seasons behind. Once the predator is established it will keep the pest population in check. Parks is currently in the process of partnering with The City of Edmonton to collect the native parasitic wasp that attaches itself to the Satin Moth larva and kills it. These insects shall be released into locations with high populations of Satin Moth in an effort to "kick start" and establish a natural predator population.

    Parks is also investigating other treatment options that would help to manage this pest. Application programs will be ready for early spring 2013 if high Satin Moth populations are present.

    What can residents do for their trees?

    Residents can help manage Satin Moth on their trees on their property. The greenish egg masses concentrated on the lower tree trunk can be scraped off with a dull blade and destroyed before they hatch. These eggs masses appear around mid-July. Also, a sticky band can be applied to the tree trunk during leaf out in May and again in July to catch overwintering and newly hatched caterpillars as they disperse into the canopy of the tree. These bands should be reapplied once they are saturated with the caterpillars and can be found at local garden centers. Also, residents can contact local landscape and tree care companies that provide Integrated Pest Management (IPM) services.

    For more information, visit the Parks website. Should you have any comments or concerns, I can always be reached by phone at 403-268-1653 or contact my office​.

    Categories: Motions and Initiatives

    Back | April 18, 2017

    Traffic Safety is constantly one of the most popular topics in Ward 14. Anyone who is concerned with traffic safety (especially those who are Star Wars fans) will be happy to hear that they can join the Calgary Police Service, and the City’s transportation department on May the 4th to discuss the topic. I will also be with you.

    There will be a presentation, plus time to ask questions and share your opinions on traffic safety in your area. I welcome you to join us.

    Ward 14 Traffic Safety Meeting

    Date: May 4, 2017
    Time: 5:30 to 8 p.m.
    Location: Mid-Sun Community Hall (50 Midpark Rise S.E.)

    Categories: Motions and Initiatives

    Back | May 21, 2013

    The City of Calgary needs to decide what to do with $52 million dollars due to the Provincial Government's choice to reduce education tax for 2013. City Council wants your opinion on five options. Let Council know what YOU think!

    • Give it back - Lowering the taxes that homeowners pay
    • Let the buses roll - Creating a new dedicated capital fund for Calgary Transit
    • Give business a break - Reducing the tax rate for businesses
    • Revitalize our communities - Investing in maintenance and renewal of older neighbourhoods
    • Drop the debt - Reducing the City's debt and our annual interest payments

    I have always advocated for giving this money back to taxpayers, but am very interested to hear what Ward 14 residents think. Visit calgary.ca/52million to have your say.

    Update

    Thank you to the thousands of Calgarians who submitted their feedback on the five options for what to do with the $52 million.

    All your feedback will now be collated verbatim and shared with the rest of Council and I. The feedback will also be posted on the calgary.ca/52million website the second week of July.​​

    Categories:

    Back | September 08, 2013

    Since the first gathering in January of 2012, the popularity of Aldertalk has exploded. Not only is it great just to get a chance to listen to people's opinions and concerns, but to hear neighbours engage each other in debate really puts a smile on my face. Thank you so much to everyone who particpated.

    As well as being an open forum for people to communicate with their Aldermen, Aldertalk provides some invaluable insight to draw upon when deciding how to best represent Ward 14 in City Council. From garbage removal to green fees, Aldertalk is a great way to find out what makes Calgarians want to speak out.

    For those interested in what we talked about over the last two years, here is a chart showing the top 5 most frequent topics (with a 3-way tie for third) to come up in discussion.

    Top 5 Aldertalk topics (% of total)

  • 6% - Green bins
  • 6% - Community appearance / infrastructure / safety
  • 6% - Recreation concerns
  • 7% - Traffic infrastructure / volume
  • 9% - Taxes / fees / Council budgeting
  • 12% - Development / City planning
  • 13% - Traffic speeding / calming
  • 41% - Other
  • Categories:

    Back | June 29, 2013

    Due to the emergency situation both in Calgary and in Southern Alberta the BFI Canada landfill in Southeast Calgary will be allowed to postpone its closure from the orginal date of June 30, 2013 The landfill will remain open from July 1 until September 1 of 2013. This does not mean business as usual.

    The landfill has been allowed to remain open in order to keep available flood related landfill capacity for the region. Regular business traffic for the landfill will continue to be transferred to an alternate location. Only flood related materials will have access to the site during this 2 month period. BFI Canada is required to continue all existing conditions for the mitigation of potential nuisances to the surrounding communities, including traffic, odour, dust, shortening of work hours when possible, and maintaining all bird mitigation efforts.

    While I realize that this is a burden to residents of the area, I am hoping that we can tolerate this limited extension in order to assist our fellow Albertans, and in some cases our friends and relatives, in their time of need. If you have any questions, concerns, or just want to discuss the situation, you can contact me by clicking here or use the following contact points:

    BFI Canada
    Phone: 1-888-306-0386
     

    Chaparral Community Association
    Email: clc@chaparralcommunity.com

    Categories:

    Back | July 04, 2018

    Over the summer months, the number of break and enters in Calgary increases by 20 percent. More than 44 percent of break and enters are preventable by simply locking a door, shutting a window or removing a garage door opener from a vehicle parked outside.

    In response to these alarming numbers, the Calgary Police Service (CPS) is reminding citizens to ensure that their vehicles, garages and homes are always secured, especially before going to bed. The 9 p.m. Routine serves as reminder for Calgarians to do just that.

    Every night at 9 p.m., you are encouraged to:

    • Remove all valuables from vehicles, including garage door openers.
    • Ensure that vehicles are locked, windows are closed and if possible, parked in a garage.
    • Close all garage doors and windows.
    • Lock any person-doors in the garage, especially those leading into a house.
    • Check that all house doors - front, back, side and garage - are locked.
    • Make sure that all windows are shut, even if it’s hot.
    • Turn on an exterior light so that neighbours and passerbys can see if someone suspicious is on your property.
    • In Calgary, 50 percent of all break ins happen between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., which is extremely concerning as many citizens are home sleeping with their families during that time.

    By creating a routine before going to bed you can help protect your house and your family. To make sure that you never forget to lock up, get all family members involved in the 9 p.m., including your little ones. It’s also easier to remember to complete the 9 p.m. Routine by combining the task with another nightly routine, such as brushing your teeth.

    Follow the Calgary Police Service on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for reminders to complete the 9 p.m. Routine and for more crime prevention tips.

    Categories:

    Back | August 13, 2014

    Your opportunity to submit official comments on proposed land use amendment LOC2014-0051 begins at 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 14, 2014 and ends at 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 28, 2014.

    You must email your comments to the City Clerks Office at cityclerk@calgary.ca during this time period.  Doing so will ensure that your comments are made available to all Council members and the general public prior to the item’s public hearing on September 8, 2014.  All comments submitted to the City Clerks Office will be made publically available in accordance with the Alberta Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

    For more information please visit the Walden rezoning webpage.

    I have heard and read many comments from my constituents about this proposed land use amendment.  If you feel that you have an interest in this proposed amendment, I encourage you to submit comments to the City Clerks Office so that the rest of Council can hear your opinion as well.​

    Categories:

    Back | July 07, 2013

    The Aldermanic Offices have been temporarily relocated to the Municipal Complex while City staff work diligently to restore power and function to Historic City Hall which was significantly impacted by the recent flood event in Calgary. It is estimated that we will be working from our temporary office space from now until mid to late August. Thank you for your patience and understanding over the last couple of weeks while we got settled. You can now contact the Ward 14 office in the following ways:

    Categories:

    Back | March 31, 2014

    First brought to Council: February 23, 2015

    Outcome: Carried



    Traffic safety is one of the biggest issues that the City of Calgary faces. When a seven year old boy is struck while exiting a school bus, it becomes even more clear how important safe driving is, and even more apparent that it needs to be a top priority of City Council. Ward 14 has mostly residential streets where children and parents cross to get to playgrounds and schools. Protecting pedestrians on these streets is one of the most important things that City Council can do.

    Currently, City of Calgary Bylaw 26M96 only requires school buses to use flashing lights on a few specific streets when picking up or dropping off school children. When a school bus flashes its lights cars going both directions must stop and wait for children to cross. The reason for the sporadic implementation of the flashing lights is unclear, and does not seem to be rooted in common sense. The City’s new-found authority to adjust playground zone times presents a logical opening to review where flashing lights can be used, and the opportunity to ensure they are used more frequently.

    Recognizing the opportunity to make Calgary’s streets significantly safer, Councillor Peter Demong and Councillor Joe Magliocca brought a motion to Council. The motion asked administration to explore amending Bylaw 26M96 to permit the use of flashing school bus lights throughout Calgary.

    View the Notice of Motion

    Categories: Motions and Initiatives

    Back | January 28, 2014

    In 2013, Calgary City Council passed two new policies aimed at mandating increased transparency from Council Members; the Ethical Conduct Policy for Members of Council, and the Gifts and Benefits Policy for Members of Council.

    The former established ethical conduct standards for Council members in interactions with the public, all City employees, contractors, council staff and all Members of Council. As part of this policy, Members of Council are expected to disclose a quarterly list of external visitors to The City (excluding Media), with whom they or their assistants have met in their offices. The policy includes all meetings at City Hall other than those with City staff. The Ethical Conduct Policy also mandates that Councillor’s disclose expenses paid out of their ward budgets. It came into effect on July 1st of 2013.

    The latter provides Council Members with a clear process to report gifts and benefits that it is common for them to receive in acting out their duties of office. For the sake of accountability and transparency, it is important to show that no individual or organization influence, or perceive to influence, Council activities in exchange for gifts and benefits.

    In 2010, I ran on the notion of bringing accountability, cost control, and transparency to City Hall, and that is what I intend to do. These policies are a huge step in the right direction, and I have no issue sharing my activities as a Councillor with the world.

    As of today, you will be able to find a link to the list all of my public disclosures on the transparency page​ of this website.

    Categories: Motions and Initiatives

    Back | April 11, 2011

    First brought to Council: April 11, 2011

    Outcome: Carried as amended



    A wholly-owned subsidiary is a company whose common stock is 100% owned by another company, called the parent company. Enmax, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, Attainable Homes Calgary and the Calgary Parking Authority are just some of the wholly-owned subsidiaries of which The City of Calgary is the parent company.

    Recently, questions have been raised regarding the oversight of The City's wholly-owned subsidiaries. This has given rise to concerns about Council's role and responsibilities with these companies and its ability to be fully effective in that regard. Members of Council are appointed to the Directing Boards of these Wholly-Owned Subsidiaries, but according to Canadian Corporate Law and Governance rules, there is a conflict of interest whenever a Member of Council holds such a position.

    There may be a need for the policies and decisions of wholly-owned subsidiaries to be better communicated to Council and a need to ensure that there is a good flow of information both ways. Alderman Peter Demong brought forward a Motion to Council proposing an investigation into these needs and possibly the resulting need to create a position whose duties would include facilitating this transparency and information-flow.

    View the Notice of Motion

    Categories: Motions and Initiatives

    Back | September 06, 2014

    You are invited to join me on September 13 in an effort to raise awareness—and funds—for Ward 14’s hardworking Community Associations.

    Get a FREE BURGER and a FREE MEMBERSHIP to your local Community Association provided by generous and community-minded sponsors. Don’t forget a non-perishable food item donation for the Calgary FOOD BANK!

    Let your friends know about the Ward 14 Communities BBQ Facebook Page!

    There will be music, PRIZES, free stuff, and exhibits provided by everyone from Calgary Transit to the Calgary Zoo!

    Date: Saturday, September 13, 2014
    Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    Location: South side of the Southcentre Mall parking lot (near Sears)

    Visit calgary.ca/ward14/events for more on the history and purpose of the Ward 14 Communities BBQ.

    I hope to see you there

    Wondering if you are eligible for a FREE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP?  Check out the Ward 14 Communities page

    Categories:

    Back | February 08, 2018

    If you have not already visited calgary.ca/ourfinances - in particular a section called "Where do my taxes go?" - I urge you to do so.

    I have been pushing for something like this since I was elected. It is a huge step forward for the City of Calgary in terms of transparency, and accountability to its citizens. All you have to do is click "Read more", input your 2017 property tax amount, click calculate, and watch the magic! I hope you get a chance to see it.

    This tool is relatively new, and a work in progress, so please let me know what you think about it! As always, feel free to contact me with those, or any other municipal concerns.

    Categories: Motions and Initiatives

    Back | September 16, 2013

    Earlier this year Council approved a new 'Members of Council and Election Campaigns' policy. The intent of the policy was to set out ethical guidelines for Councillors during times of campaigning. In practice, the policy limits the ability for Members of Council to use City resources as an advantage over other candidates.

    This website is an example of a City resource, and the 'Members of Council and Election Campaigns' policy states that it cannot be updated past nomination day. So between September 23rd, 2013 and October 28th, 2013 this website will remain unchanged. Thank you for reading, and for taking an interest in what is happening in Ward 14!

    View the Members of Council and Elections Campaign policy.​

    Categories:

    Back | March 19, 2012

    First brought to Council: March 19, 2012

    Outcome: Defeated



    Calgary's rapid and exponential growth has transformed the city over the years. The same is happening in Edmonton. Calgary's influence and needs are changing.

    The Province of Alberta realizes this and recent political discussion has revealed that the Province may be open to a new and different relationship structure with Alberta's major cities. New tools, authorities and innovations in financing for funding and managing our cities could be on the table in the foreseeable future.

    But little formal discussion and high-level research has been done on this topic. It is vital that citizens, taxpayer groups and other stakeholders be thoroughly consulted in preparation for potential change. Accountability, fairness, and equity will surely be items of interest for potential change in the structure of municipal government. Public consultation would be invaluable.

    Alderman Peter Demong brought a motion to Council proposing this kind of public consultation.

    View the Notice of Motion

    Categories: Motions and Initiatives

    Back | January 23, 2012

    First brought to Council: January 23, 2012

    Outcome: Carried unanimously



    More than 20 communities in Calgary have an aging monoculture of poplar trees on their streets and in their parks. Many Ward 14 residents would confirm this. Poplar trees have a life span of approximately 50 years, a time frame which many of these Calgary communities have surpassed. This means there are an estimated 10,000 poplar trees that are at or nearing the end of their lifecycle. It could have a devastating impact on the environment and on quality of life in these communities and in Calgary as a whole.

    The City of Calgary Parks Department originally managed this dilemma with a proactive approach, replacing single aging poplar trees with two new trees of assorted varieties. By 2009 the program had evolved to the point where trees were replaced solely on individual risk assessment. The number of poplar trees being replaced had dropped dramatically. The program needed to be re-evaluated.

    Alderman Peter Demong brought a motion to Council, asking City administration to report on the current poplar tree situation in Calgary and prepare recommendations on The City's strategy going forward.

    View the Notice of Motion

    Categories: Motions and Initiatives

    Back | July 25, 2012

    First brought to Council: July 25, 2011

    Outcome: Carried as amended



    Canadian soldiers served in Afghanistan for almost ten years and some have even stayed on to help train and mentor the Afghan National Army. Many sacrifices have been made, including lives lost protecting rights and freedoms, and assisting the Afghanistan rebuild. These soldiers defend Canada's national interests abroad and secure a place for Canada's leadership in world affairs.

    Canada's soldiers clearly deserve a public display of support and gratitude for their sacrifices. Alderman Demong along with some of his Council colleagues proposed a well-earned public display of appreciation for Canada's serving soldiers.

    View the Notice of Motion

    Categories: Motions and Initiatives

    Back | May 17, 2016

    ​During 2016 and 2017 the City of Calgary will be doing some water system maintenance in the communities of Willow Park and Maple Ridge. You may already be aware of this because of an information session that was held on the topic at the Willow Ridge Community Hall about two weeks ago.

    If you weren’t able to attend—or would just like to take another look—I have provided thepertinent documents from the information session below.

  • Willow Park Water System Maintenance - Presentation.pdf
  • Willow Park Water System Maintenance - Handout.pdf

  • If these do not answer any questions you might have, please feel free to contact me.

    -Councillor Peter Demong​​​

    Categories:

    Back | November 01, 2018

    On November 13, you will be asked to vote on whether or not you want the City of Calgary to pursue a bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic games.

    You can find details about the plebiscite at calgary.ca/vote2018. Here are the basics:

    • Advance voting: November 6 & 7 - from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
    • Voting day: November 13 - polls open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

    I urge you to vote in the plebiscite, and to do everything you can to inform yourself. I promise you I will be taking note of the results. Here are some resources:

    • calgary.ca/calgary2026​
      • This is a good place to start if you are looking for more information. It is where the City of Calgary shares details of the bid and how it came to be.
    • yescalgary2026.ca
      • This is where you will find arguments from those in favour of an Olympic bid for 2026
    • nocalgaryolympics.org
      • This is where you will find arguments from those against an Olympic bid for 2026

    You can also, of course, always contact me at calgary.ca/contactward14 if you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts with me.

    - Councillor Peter Demong

    Categories: Newsletter

    Back | November 05, 2018

    As time goes on, as I speak to the people of Ward 14, the business owners of Calgary, the customers of the City of Calgary, the taxpayers of this city, I am hearing one thing more and more: Efficient City of Calgary operations are hindered by a growing state of “policy paralysis”. No matter what service a citizen of this city requires, it is touched by numerous, often outdated administrative policies and procedures. Clearly the situation is becoming a problem for the lives and prosperity of our citizens, not to mention the competitive advantage of our businesses. Something needs to be done.

    I have been working hard behind the scenes to develop a proposal that will address this problem. On Tuesday, I will be applying to use existing funds to pilot a type of policy review that has yet been seen within the walls of City Hall. It will endeavor to improve, streamline, and edit policies from the perspective of the City’s customer, rather than its bureaucracy. The goal is to eventually shape all City policies to have customer experience at the core of their focus.

    -Councillor Peter Demong​

    Categories: Motions and Initiatives

    Back | November 01, 2018

    Hello Ward 14 column readers!

    I hope you got lots of candy for Halloween. The leaves are almost gone, and here are some recurring topics that I want to touch on this month.

    Residential speed limits

    A few years ago, I played a part in implementing a pilot project for what we now call Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFBs). The idea was to find the highest functioning crosswalk signals for the lowest cost, so they could be installed in more places around the city. The pilot lasted three years, and—based on solid evidence that they are a wise investment—RRFBs are now installed on a regular basis.

    None of us want to see someone hit by a car, but I cannot support changing the base speed limit for the entire city based on no data at all. That is exactly what Council was asked to do on September 10. In fact, for the money required to change speed limit signs, we could install hundreds of RRFBs that have been proven to make streets safer for pedestrians.

    Although I voted against this, it was passed by Council. The speed limits will remain the same at least until late next year, when we will be presented with a report on how the changes will be implemented. Hopefully there will be some actual data to look at by then, so that we can make the wisest investment possible, and change course if necessary.

    Setting the City’s budget

    I have been mentioning this for several months, but it will finally be coming to a conclusion in the last week of November. During that week Council will debate the City’s financial plan - and consequently its priorities - for the next four years. But my colleagues and I have been preparing for this for many months now.

    Having some experience on Council now, I have seen a budget or two. There is one thing that won’t be the same though. Our budget and plans have always been based on the organizational structure of the City of Calgary: by department and by business unit. Frankly, that way of thinking has probably been setting us off on the wrong foot from the very beginning. It focuses on the process, and not the goal.

    Starting this year, we will be doing things differently. We are moving to a service-based approach. That means we will be looking at our plans and budgets based on their associated service, and I am hopeful that this will turn our focus more toward what is truly important - the services we are actually here to provide. It will certainly allow me to better scrutinize the results of the money that the taxpayers are putting in.

    The public is invited to attend and provide input to Council. Budget deliberations will begin at 9:30 a.m. and public presentations will likely begin shortly thereafter. You will find the agenda at calgary.ca/council, and I also suggest taking a look at calgary.ca/ourfinances, and calgary.ca/yourservices for some background information.

    Mark your calendars! - Olympic Plebiscite

    On November 13, you will be asked to vote on whether or not you want the City of Calgary to pursue a bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic games. It is no secret that I have not been in favour of this pursuit. To me this decision must be about providing a tangible benefit to Calgarians. That does not mean just warm feelings of nostalgia, or civic pride. It means measureable assets for years to come, and that benefit must be better than all the other options associated with not bidding.

    I have voted based on that philosophy, but the results of the vote on November 13 are every bit as important to me. I urge you to vote in the plebiscite, and to do everything you can to inform yourself. I promise you I will be taking note of the results.

    You can find details about the plebiscite at calgary.ca/vote2018. Here are the basics:

    • Advance voting: November 6 & 7 – from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
    • Voting day: November 13 – polls open from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

    If you are looking to learn more, here are some resources:

    • calgary.ca/calgary2026
      • This is a good place to start if you are looking for more information. It is where the City of Calgary shares details of the bid and how it came to be.
    • yescalgary2026.ca
      • This is where you will find arguments from those in favour of an Olympic bid for 2026
    • nocalgaryolympics.org
      • This is where you will find arguments from those against an Olympic bid for 2026

    You can also, of course, always contact me at calgary.ca/contactward14 if you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts with me.

    Green Bin – Seasonal Changes

    Everyone should now be accustomed to their green bins. Based on experiences so far, it definitely makes sense to go to a seasonal approach. Starting the week of November 6th, your green cart will be collected once every other week. There will be no changes to blue or black cart collection, and the associated reduction in fees will be reflected on bills starting in January.

    Weekly green cart collection will resume in April. Visit calgary.ca/collection to find your new green cart schedule.

    --

    Feel free to contact me any time. The best way to do so is by visiting calgary.ca/contactward14.

    -Councillor Peter Demong


    Categories: Newsletter