Notices of Motion
Councillor Jeff Davison – Major Notices of Motion and Council Projects
In 2018, Calgarians experienced a difficult economic downturn, and many in the private sector had employed cost cutting practices related to external conferences. Calgarians rightfully expected their City Council to lead by example and continue to make efforts to cut costs within its control. I proposed limiting Council spending at external conferences, and mandating that attending Councillors share their learnings to Council in a public presentation.
In 2017, talks for a new event centre agreement between the City of Calgary and the Calgary Sport and Entertainment Corporation collapsed. I proposed a Notice of Motion that would strike a new committee to explore the feasibility of a new event centre for Calgary. Council approved this Notice of Motion, the committee undertook months of assessment, and in 2019 City Council ultimately agreed to a new event centre agreement with both the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation and the Calgary Stampede. You can learn more about the new event centre by clicking here.
Provincial law, specifically the Municipal Government Act and related regulations, establishes the property tax system, including the methods of assessment and the distribution of taxes among residential and non-residential taxpayers. Since 2015, the property values of Calgary’s downtown office towers have collapsed significantly, requiring the City of Calgary to shift the non-residential tax burden to businesses outside the core – leading to massive tax increases. I believed that this was fundamentally unfair and required a solution that was equitable to all taxpayers. Given that the Province of Alberta establishes the tax system, the goal of this Notice of Motion was to strike panel that would advocate tax reform to the Province.
This Notice of Motion directed City Administration to prepare an application for National Historic Significance for the Battalion Numbers at Signal Hill. The Battalion Numbers, comprising a series of white-painted fieldstones arranged in the formation of the numerals 113, 51, 151 and 137 (technically known as geoglyphs), were originally placed in 1915-16 by members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force as part of the training for WWI at Sarcee Camp. The construction of large scale, non-Aboriginal geoglyph formations is rare, and these landmarks are the only stone monuments of their type known to remain in Alberta.
Sarcee Camp was the second largest military training centre in Canada during WWI; training more than 45,000 personnel, the majority of whom were not career soldiers, but who volunteered for service as everyday citizens. I believe that the recognition of the Battalion Numbers as nationally significant increases awareness within Calgarians of the history of the area and provides a context for understanding the local and national contribution made during WWI, and how that impacted our local and national identity.
City Administration has various limitations to how resources can be deployed following a significant snowfall event. Prior to this Notice of Motion, policy dictated that a “snow emergency” must be declared by City Council before City Administration could access further snow-clearing funds. This could lead to gaps in snow-clearing operations, as was evident during the December 22-23, 2020 snowfall event
My Notice of Motion, drafted in partnership with the City’s Road Department, proposed to identify these gaps and formulate criteria by which City Administration could have the authority and discretion to declare these events unilaterally in the case of extreme snow events. Further, the Notice of Motion grants Administration the flexibility to respond to snow events appropriately.
To recognize severe economic pressures affecting the City’s downtown and to further spur private sector investment, I submitted a Notice of Motion asking City Council to explore the potential creation of regulatory and financial investment incentives for new high-density residential complexes, and the conversion of office space to residential.
Categories: Notices of Motion