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Ward 14 Wordsmith Awards

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Ward 14 Official Website
As you may have guessed, I think that municipal government is a pretty important thing, and I think I can be fairly safe in saying that my colleagues in City Hall would agree with me on that. Every year we see numerous grade six classes from around Calgary in Council Chambers, and in the corridors of Old City Hall. They visit as an enhancement to their Social Studies curriculum, and get a little taste of what a City Council meeting is like.

Since I arrived at Old City Hall I have been intrigued by the notion that Grade Six students in Calgary are studying Municipal Government and wanted to know what they would say about it in their own words.


The Contest


In the early spring of 2013 I decided to indulge my curiosity. I invited all of the grade six students in Ward 14 to submit a one page essay on the topic of municipal government which would then be submitted to my office. An overall winner was chosen, and the Ward 14 Wordsmith Awards were born. I held the second edition during the winter and spring of 2013.


There is no shortage of prizes for the overall and individual class winners, not least of which are the zoo passes and an introduction in Council for the overall winner's entire class. Given the level of skill and knowledge displayed by the over 300 youngsters that have participated, those prizes are well deserved. Phrases like "Even though I may be 11 years old, municipal government affects me just as much as it will when I am 40 years old," and "The government does not take their jobs lightly... This is a lot of work to take on but people with a love for their City will do it," are uplifting and certainly welcomed by those of us who put our heart and souls into this City. 

The 2017 Winner!

Why should I care about Municipal Government?

by Carine Howie

What does the local government do for me?  How do they help me? Why should you and I care for the municipal government?  I notice that the things our local government does in our city help make this a good and comfortable place for people to live.  Thanks to our local government, we are all able to travel with public transit, drink clean water, feel safe and get help during hard times, and have fun in our communities.  These are a few of the important things the municipal government does for us. 

Clean water is a necessity for life. We use it in many different ways in our life, to keep ourselves clean, to drink, to clean our cars.  Water can also be wasted, by leaving the tap on while brushing your teeth, or trying to watch TV while starting the dishes (by hand).  We often forget where this water comes from and that clean water is one of the things our local government provides us with right in our own homes and businesses. They build the infrastructure like the water treatment plants and underground pipes and they employ people to operate and maintain these facilities to supply clean water to the city.  They also encourage us and help us learn how to conserve and be responsible with our water use.  Calgary would not be a liveable place without this service.
Police and fire services are essential to keeping our city safe and secure.  Sometimes, we forget what great heroes they are in our lives, and what they do, whether it’s stopping a criminal, saving lives in times of crisis like fires, floods, snow storms or even just making sure that our smoke alarms are still working. Both fire and police officers help in many different kinds of accidents.  It is really important to have these people around when it comes to peace and safety in a big city.  
Public transit is a safe and affordable way to get around the city.  Some people use it to go to work, get to school, to go visit friends, go to the mall and access other public services. It’s especially important for people like students who are too young to drive, people who can’t afford to have a vehicle, senior citizens, and people with handicap disabilities.  Next year, as I am going on to grade 7 at St Matthews, I with be taking the public transit to school every day. The buses and C-trains help the city stay connected in an accessible and environmentally responsible way.
Recreational activity is important for our social and physical health and enhances our life in fun ways.   There are many municipal facilities where you can laugh, play, chat, and exercise with friends and family.  The staff are very helpful in leading and organizing a big variety of recreational programs at places including arenas, gyms, swimming pools, parks, community, centres, libraries, and playgrounds.  These facilities are a place for people of all ages, interests, and abilities to participate in activities they enjoy, and make their life better.
The local government provides us with major services, facilities, and people to help make Calgary a more enjoyable place to live.  I notice and appreciate clean water, a protected neighborhood, a safe and affordable way to travel to school, and a place where I can meet with friends to play.  We should all care for our municipal government because we all have a part in making our city and communities a great place to live.


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.

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