Ward 1 - Sonya Sharp

November 2023 newsletter

Hi, Ward 1!

I hope you’re enjoying every bit of warmth and sunshine before the snow decides to make a return! A big thank you to those who joined our Ward 1 Open House in October to discuss the 2023-2026 Service Plans and Budget – your thoughts and concerns were heard and appreciated! As we continue to navigate these fluctuating temperatures, let's prioritize safety in our communities. Stay informed stay engaged, and if you have any questions or concerns, please reach out! Let’s make this season all about community, connection, and staying safe together!

Open House

Thank you to those who joined the Ward 1 open house! It was great connecting with my constituents again and hearing your suggestions and ideas for the 2023-2026 Service Plans and Budget and tax examinations coming to Council next week.

I will keep your thoughts and recommendations in mind during my debate and deliberations.

Remembrance Day

I was honoured to attend the Field of Crosses sunset ceremony on Youth Day, a powerful reminder of the sacrifices made for our freedom. The ceremony emphasized the importance of ongoing reflection and paying respects to the courage that echoes through the ages, shaping the vibrant communities we cherish today. Additionally, I was privileged to attend the annual Remembrance Day Service in Bowness for the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #238 ceremony. Let's carry forward the spirit of gratitude and remembrance as we honour those who have served, ensuring their legacy endures in our memory.

Warm regards,
Sonya Sharp

MP for Calgary-Rocky Ridge Pat Kelly, Councillor Sonya Sharp, and MP for Calgary-Centre Greg McLean at Remembrance Day ceremony
Left to right: MP for Calgary-Rocky Ridge Pat Kelly, Councillor Sonya Sharp, and MP for Calgary-Centre Greg McLean

News from City Council

2023-2026 Services Plans & Budgets adjustments

This month, Council will review the 2023-2026 Service Plans and Budget Adjustments, analyzing the potential impact on property taxes. Following the Ward 1 October open house, a majority of participants emphasized the importance of maintaining low taxes. As Council considers potential investments in Calgary Transit Safety initiatives and the Home is Here Housing Strategy, it is crucial to acknowledge the challenge of funding all initiatives while trying to keep taxes low. It’s imperative that the decisions reviewed during the 2023-2026 Service Plans and Budget Adjustments reflect the voices of Calgarians’. For further updates and information, please visit calgary.ca/ward1.

Residential Permit Parking Program

At this month’s Infrastructure & Planning Committee meeting, Council received an update on the upcoming introduction of fees to the residential parking permit program. Since July, Administration has been reviewing requests to remove or reduce parking restrictions in areas where they are no longer needed. Over 500 requests have been completed to date. As a result, Administration anticipates that fees will not need to be as high as originally planned to meet the cost recovery goal set by Council last year. 

Council will be reviewing Administration’s update and making a final decision on the new fee structure later this month as part of budget deliberations. Starting December 4, 2023, residents can apply for or renew permits based on building type, adhering to the Council-approved fee structure. For more information, or to request a signage review, visit calgary.ca/rpp.

Community updates

West Bow River Bridge Ring Road completion

Councillor Sharp was honoured to join Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Transportation, and Demetrios Nicolaides, MLA for Calgary-Bow last month to mark the final phase of ring road construction in Calgary. The completion of the West Bow River Bridge and opening of a new segment of Stony Trail earlier this year is a significant milestone for Ward 1 and all of Calgary. 

The provincially-led development will cut travel times for commuters and marks a pivotal moment in one of Alberta's largest public infrastructure projects. The West Calgary Ring Road project includes more than nine kilometres of new road, five kilometres of upgrades to the Trans-Canada Highway, six interchanges and 29 bridges. For more information, visit westringroad.ca.

MLA for Calgary-Bow Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Transportation Devin Dreeshen, Ward 1 Councillor Sonya Sharp, and MLA for Calgary-East Peter Singh at the Ring Road announcement.
Left to Right: MLA for Calgary-Bow Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Transportation Devin Dreeshen, Ward 1 Councillor Sonya Sharp, and MLA for Calgary-East Peter Singh at the Ring Road announcement.

Updates on City services

City Building Program

Calgary City Planning kicked off a citywide engagement on October 23, seeking input from residents as the city approaches a population growth of two million. The City Building Program aims to prepare for growth and create a thriving environment, producing three key documents: the Calgary Plan, a new Zoning Bylaw, and a Street Manual.

These documents will form a cohesive long-term vision and 10-year action plan based on public feedback, policies, Council priorities, Indigenous collaboration, and expert consultation. With three engagement phases over 18 months, the program will shape Calgary's future for 30 years. Residents are encouraged to participate online or at various citywide events from October 23 to December 3, contributing to the city you love and helping shape its future. For more information, visit engage.calgary.ca/citybuilding

Short-term Rental Study

The City of Calgary and the University of Calgary are in collaboration on a multi-year study of Calgary's short-term rental (STR) market through the Urban Alliance partnership. The purpose is to support regulatory reform in response to a changing market and enable Administration to align the policy and regulatory mix with Council priorities, including the availability of safe, affordable housing, downtown revitalization, social equity, land use planning, hospitality, and tourism. Council also directed Administration to report to the Executive Committee by December 2024 on the research outcomes. Public engagement is a critical component of this research. Calgarians and interested parties can share experiences and provide feedback during two phases of engagement. Phase 1 (Fall 2023) is focused on understanding public attitudes about the STR market and its various impacts, pressures, and benefits. For more information, visit engage.calgary.ca/STR.

GamePLAN: Reimagining Public Recreation

The City of Calgary is developing a long-term strategic vision for the future of public recreation in Calgary. GamePLAN intends to establish principles for decision-making to guide investments, business planning, policies, and partnerships. The City is engaging service delivery partners and the public to better understand their experiences with public recreation in Calgary. Feedback will be used to inform a vision and set of principles, as well as establish possible strategies for advancing the goals of access, inclusion, diversity and belonging through long term service planning. Starting November 13, 2023, until January 31, 2024, you can attend one of the many pop-up events around Calgary or share your thoughts through a public survey at Calgary.ca/GamePLAN.

South Shaganappi Communities Local Area Planning: Phase 2

The City of Calgary is working on a local area plan to guide the evolution of the South Shaganappi Communities over the next 30 years. The South Shaganappi Communities include Banff Trail, Montgomery, Point McKay, Parkdale, Saint Andrews Heights, University Heights, University District, Varsity, and the University of Calgary. The plan is currently in its second phase of engagement where your input is crucial. We encourage you to visit calgary.ca/Shaganappi to learn more about the project and join the conversation. 

Updates in brief

The Indigi-Messenger Newsletter

Subscribe to the Indigi-Messenger newsletter for monthly updates about the historical significance of Calgary’s communities, ongoing projects, and events celebrating Indigenous heritage! You can learn more about the important projects like the Residential School Memorial and cultural celebrations like Métis Week (Nov. 12-18). Subscribe now to stay informed, engaged, and be part of the shared journey on the ancestral lands of the Blackfoot Confederacy, Îethka Nakoda Wîcastabi First Nations, and the Tsuut’ina First Nation. Subscribe and join the conversation, at indgi-messenger.com.

Calgary Zone Healthcare Planning

Alberta Health Services is refreshing its Calgary Zone Healthcare Plan, which will guide decision-making and prioritization to provide quality, accessible and sustainable health services. The development of this plan will require a zone-wide approach, reaching into the communities served by the zone to understand their unique perspectives and priorities. We encourage you to participate in the Together4Health survey to include your input in the priorities of the Calgary Zone plan. For more information, visit albertahealthservices.ca

Winter prep

Prepare for the winter season with safety in mind. As we embrace the potential for family fun, it's crucial to be aware of the associated risks brought by changing weather conditions. 

Winter storms increase the chances of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, and overexertion-induced heart attacks. These storms, ranging from extreme cold to freezing rain and blizzards, can disrupt heat, power, and communication services for hours or days, posing higher risks for seniors, young children, and those with health vulnerabilities. 

To stay ahead of the curve, consider these winter storm preparedness tips:

  • Understand the risk and involve your kids in emergency discussions, including communication plans and evacuation procedures. 
  • Winterize your home for added protection. 
  • Stock up on supplies for potential power outages, considering individual needs and pet requirements. Remember, extra batteries for radios and flashlights.

For more information about emergency preparedness, visit calgary.ca/getready.

Categories: General, Newsletter