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Ward 1 - Sonya Sharp

January 2024 newsletter

Hello, Ward 1!

Happy New Year! 

As we step into 2024, I would like to re-emphasize my key priorities for Ward 1, public safety and affordability. I will continue to be your voice at council, ensuring the sensible use of every tax dollar remains the same. Your input is very important, please feel free to contact by office with any questions or feedback. 

I would also like to take a moment to remember former Councillor and Alderman Dale Hodges. He dedicated an impressive 30 years to Calgary City Council representing Ward 1 from 1983 to 2013. Join us in honouring Mr. Hodges on Saturday, January 13, 2024, at 1:00 p.m. at the Parkdale United Church. 

Warm regards, 
Sonya Sharp

Councillor Sharp donating blood as part of the Sirens for Life campaign

In January, a highlight so far has been contributing to the Sirens for Life campaign by donating blood. Did you know that one in every two Calgarians is eligible to donate? I encourage you to join me in making a difference today. Your single donation has the power to positively impact multiple lives, further solidifying Calgary's position as Canada's largest donation centre!

News from City Council


Off-site Levy

Council will consider a new off-site levy bylaw at its Public Hearing on January 16, 2024. Off-site levies are an important tool to help support City infrastructure costs in new communities. Off-site levies represent charges imposed on developers by The City, covering various services such as water and wastewater, pathways, streets, transit, and emergency response. The updated bylaw aims to ensure that The City collects enough money to cover the rising costs of these services while remaining fair for industry and future homeowners. You can register to speak at a public hearing on this item or submit your written comments at calgary.ca/publichearing.

Local Access Fee

The Local Access Fee (LAF), often called a franchise fee, is a charge imposed by The City on electricity providers for accessing municipal infrastructure, serving as an alternative to property tax. Subsequently, these providers pass on the LAF cost to ratepayers, incorporating it into their monthly power bills. The surge in Alberta's electricity prices since 2021 has been unprecedented, leading to escalating utility costs and a considerable increase in the Regulated Rate Option for Electricity. This surge has made it increasingly challenging for individuals to meet their financial needs.

Councillor Sharp knows that Calgarians are struggling with rising costs and believes it's important that The City only collects what it needs from Calgarians to deliver the services they depend on.  That means looking carefully at all of The City's revenue sources, including property taxes and the local access fee, and it's why Councillor Sharp recently voted against the Council's budget adjustments. Councillor Sharp looks forward to continuing the discussion on Local Access Fees once the province completes its review of the Regulated Rate Option early this year and will consider your feedback when this issue returns to Council.

Power lines

Community updates


Submit a nomination for the 30th Annual Calgary Awards by Jan. 31

Do you know a neighbour, colleague, community leader, local group or company that makes Calgary an incredible place to live, work and play? Then consider nominating them for a Calgary Award.

For 30 incredible years the Calgary Awards have recognized outstanding individuals and organizations whose exceptional achievements and contributions make life better for Calgarians.

Award categories include:

  • The Community Achievement Awards:
    • Grant MacEwan Lifetime Achievement
    • Calgarian of the Year (previously Citizen of the Year)
    • Arts
    • Community Advocate - Individual
    • Community Advocate – Organization
    • Commerce – under review
    • Education
    • Heritage
    • Youth
  • The Award for Accessibility
  • The Environmental Achievement Award
  • The International Achievement Award

The nomination process is easy  – follow the steps outlined at calgary.ca/calgaryawards and submit your nomination by Jan. 31. 

Property tax assessment

On January 3, property tax assessment notices were sent out. If there are any inquires or concerns regarding your property's assessed value, or if the notice has not reached you, please connect with Assessment directly at 403-268-2888 or visit calgary.ca/assessment. The City's Customer Review Period extends from now until March 13, which is also the deadline for assessment appeals.

In November, Council approved a 7.8% increase to property taxes, which Councillor Sharp did not support. In our system, Council approves the overall amount of property tax it needs to collect from all properties across the whole city, but the exact amount that each property owner pays depends on their property’s assessed value. Assessed values are determined independently from Council by the City Assessor, and they can increase or decrease based on market conditions.

For a “typical” residential property in Calgary, the 7.8% increase approved by Council is estimated to be about $16 a month more in property taxes. However, properties with an assessed value greater than the typical property see a larger increase than that amount, and those worth less than the typical property see a smaller increase.

Councillor Sharp knows that this is a trying time for Calgarians, and she will continue to work hard to reduce the financial burden on Calgarians while still supporting the most important priorities for Calgary.

Go Paperless contest

By default, property tax assessment notices are mailed to registered property owners. You can also choose to be notified by email instead. If you switch to paperless eNotices of your property assessment before March 31, you could be entered to win 1 of four Visa gift cards worth $250. More details at calgary.ca/gopaperless.

Updates on City services


Secondary Suite Amnesity Program extended until Dec. 2026

Council approved the extension of the Secondary Suites Amnesty Program. It will run until December 31, 2026. The development permit and Secondary Suite Registry fees will continue to be waived as part of this program. This allows owners to legalize their suites at reduced costs and requirements. Permit fees for building, electrical and plumbing permits still apply. Pulling the proper permits and meeting the necessary safety code requirements ensures that a secondary suite is safe for others. Going through the bylaw and code review ensures a suite meets the land use approval requirements and is safe to live in. For more information about building a secondary suite, please visit calgary.ca/suites.

Building Energy Data rebate

The City’s Building Energy Data Rebate is now open to all participants of BenchmarkYYC. Applicants can access up to $2,250 to help cover the data aggregation service fees charged by local utilities to provide monthly, aggregated, whole-building energy consumption data. This will be most useful to owners of submetered multi-tenant properties. To be eligible, you’ll need to:

  1. Make a request to ENMAX Power and ATCO Gas for your 2022 whole-building electricity and natural gas consumption information;
  2. Upload the data to your ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account and submit your data to BenchmarkYYC;
  3. Submit a Rebate Request Form and attach your receipts from the utility distribution companies.

Community Cleanup Program

Community Cleanup events allow for the community associations of Calgary to dispose of items that do not fit in their community's waste and recycling carts. The events also support community residents who do not have access to cart service. 

All Community Cleanup events occur on Saturdays and Sundays throughout Calgary. Spring season will begin on April 22/23 and go through to June 24/25. The Fall Session will start on September 2/3 and end on September 23/24. 

The application process for the participation of your community association will open on January 15th and close on February 15th, 2024. We encourage you to apply early to ensure your community's participation at calgary.ca/cleanups.

Recycling, garbage, and compost cards

Single-use items bylaw

The City's single-use items bylaw came into effect on January 16. While it doesn't outright prohibit specific materials, businesses are now required to charge a minimum fee for paper and reusable bags. Additionally, foodware accessories like straws, forks, napkins, or packaged condiments should only be provided upon request. 

This bylaw is in place because these single-use products contribute significantly to environmental pollution. Often used just once, they end up as litter in our streets, parks, and natural surroundings, posing a threat to our rivers, land, and wildlife. Furthermore, the production and disposal of these items demand substantial raw materials and energy, making their single-use impact especially concerning.

To align with the bylaw, Calgarians are encouraged to bring their own reusable bags or totes when shopping. When dining in, taking out, or ordering food online, it's recommended to request foodware accessories only as needed. These collective efforts aim to reduce waste, preserve our environment, and promote a sustainable approach to daily activities. Learn more about this change at calgary.ca/singleuse.

311 callback option

On January 4, 311 launched a callback option, which provides a caller with the choice to be called back rather than waiting on hold. The callback feature is active on the 10-digit 403.268.CITY (2489) and 311 lines between the hours of 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., seven days a week. Visit calgary.ca/311 for more details. 

Updates in brief


Experience the magic of Chinook Blast

Calgary's winter festival is back from Feb. 2-19, 2024, showcasing community, culture, and civic pride through art, music, theatre, sports, and recreation. This year's Chinook Blast will include art installations, live music, winter sports, local markets, live shows, and more. Stay tuned for updates on social media or chinookblast.ca.

Ice safety in winter

With the influx of temperatures this month, please be aware of the dangers of ice, especially those that are not a City or community-designation ice rink. To ensure safety, make sure to:

  • For outdoor skating, only skate on City of Calgary or community rinks; visit Outdoor skating rinks for locations.
  • Always keep a safe distance from riverbanks and lakeshores to avoid accidentally falling through the ice.
  • Don't walk on ice-covered bodies of water, including storm ponds. It's difficult to assess the thickness of the ice and its ability to hold a person's or animal's weight.
  • If a person or an animal fall through ice into the water, call 9-1-1. Do not attempt to rescue them yourself. Encourage the person to kick and pull themselves onto the ice and roll, rather than walk, towards the shore.

Ward 1 social media


Keep up with Councillor Sonya Sharp!

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to stay informed about Ward 1 updates, community initiatives, and Councillor Sharp’s advocacy. Be part of the conversation, share your thoughts, and connect with your local representative. Join us on social media for a closer look at the positive changes happening in Ward 1.

Follow Councillor Sonya Sharp on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn today!

Categories: General, Newsletter

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