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Public hearing on April 22, 2024. Proposed rezoning will support more housing options in all communities.

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Ward 6 - Richard Pootmans

February 2023 Newsletter


Hello Ward 6!

In this February edition of the newsletter, you will read about key dates for tax assessment, legalizing secondary suites, planning matters and much more. Is there a topic that you would like to read more about? Contact to submit your suggestions.

Tax Assessment Key Dates


Residential & Non-Residential Tax Share

One of the hardest questions for a citizen-elected Council to answer is how to generate the revenue required to provide the services necessary to ensure Calgarians’ world-leading quality of life.  After setting the tax revenue requirement needed to balance The City’s budget, Council is then asked to set the distribution of responsibility between tax classes -  in Calgary’s case, between residential and non-residential properties.

The distribution of tax share between residential and non-residential properties is a values-based decision.  There is no right or wrong decision for Council to make regarding tax share.  Tax share, as it results in changes to tax rates, may affect the behaviour of both residential and non-residential investors in making investment decisions which grow our city and effect its built form and composition over time.  There is no consensus among municipalities, or in literature, about what the appropriate tax share is, or what methodology should be used to determine the tax share.  

Council is left with a values-based decision, weighing beliefs about citizens’ preferences, attitudes towards taxation and business taxation in general, and knowledge of tax competitiveness with neighbouring jurisdictions and competing major metro areas. 

After listening to residents and the business community, I felt that retaining the status quo (with a 52-48 res/non-res split) was the appropriate option at this time. 
The business community sought to reduce their share, which is higher than in many Canadian cities.  However, residents who were facing high unemployment and inflation challenges were a more compelling case than reducing the non-resident share.  As the result of our vote, the 2023 property share will remain the same as last year.


LRT Safety

The Ward 6 office continues to hear from concerned residents voicing that they feel unsafe at our LRT stations. Calgary Transit is working closely with their partners to improve and help ensure a safe environment. A reminder to riders with immediate safety concerns – you are encouraged to report them using the following options:

  • Directly to the bus or CTrain operator, uniformed peace officer or law enforcement authorities,
  • By text to 74100. We encourage everyone to add this to their contacts in the cellphones,
  • Through the HELP buttons/phones located on CTrain stations, platforms and MAX Purple stations, or
  • By phone at 403-262-1000, option 1
  • For emergencies, always call 9-1-1


Branching Out Tree Program

Urban Forestry recognizes an immediate need to increase the tree canopy on private land within our city. We have seen significant canopy loss on private land over the past 10 years. In efforts to support this direction, this year there will be 2000 trees given away to residential homes within the City of Calgary city limits.

2023 Program Details:

  • Program registration opens on Monday, February 28 at 9:00 am for the SW quadrant.
  • Registration will be based by quadrants to help manage the increased number of applications this year. Your registration date is based on the quadrant in which your property sits. Registration for each quadrant will be open for 2 weeks.
  • Each quadrant will be allocated 500 trees.
  • Each resident will be able to register for up to 3 trees.
  • You must complete the “Right Tree, Right Location” E-Learning module at the bottom of this page to access the registration form
  • Tree allotment is based on a first-come-first-served basis. Tree inventory is often fully allocated soon after registration opens.


Free sand-salt mix for easier shoveling

A sand-salt mixture called pickle is available for individual use on sidewalks bordering private properties during the winter. Pickle helps breakdown snow and ice, making it easier for you to comply with the bylaw regulating snow and ice removal.

This is a free service but please note:

  • Supply is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and there’s no guarantee any pickle will be available when you arrive.
  • Limit your haul to one container per visit.
  • Bring your own container (under 25 kg) and shovel.

Locations in Ward 6


Winter Warm Weather Has City Crews Filling Potholes

City Crews have been taking advantage of our unusually mild winter by filling potholes. “Our crews are always working through the winter, no matter the weather,” states Chris Hewitt, Manager of Mobility Maintenance, “when the temperature warms, we can shift our focus to other duties such as filling potholes, repairing infrastructure and continuing to respond to 311 requests. We’ve had pothole crews performing repairs for several days this year thanks to these bouts of nice weather.”

Citizens can find out more about reporting potholes, how potholes are prioritized and see a map of pothole progress around The City by visiting


Planning Matters

Calgary is growing in population and with that comes more development or redevelopment. Statistics Canada said the Calgary metropolitan area grew by 3.1 per cent between July 1, 2021, and July 1, 2022, the 13th-highest such rate across Canada. In 2021, the population of Calgary was 1,306,780, up 5.5 per cent from 1,239,220 in 2016. The region, which encompasses the City of Calgary as well as some bedroom communities including Airdrie, Chestermere and Cochrane, currently has an estimated population of 1,608,342, up from 1,558,588 in 2021.

Read more about Calgary’s population profile here:

Learn more about planning matters, which can now be found online at Here you'll find all the information that will go before Council, how to get involved and how to watch public hearing live.  

Here is an informative summary sheet that simplifies Development Permits, Land Use Matters and Subdivision Application processes.


Legalize your existing secondary suite before amnesty program ends

Here are five reasons why you should legalize your existing secondary suite before the amnesty program ends on Dec. 31, 2023

1. A legal suite is a safe suite

Pulling the right permits and meeting the necessary safety code requirements ensures that your property is safe for others to live in. Legalizing your secondary suite protects both the owner and renter and ensures affordable housing choices are safe for renters in Calgary.

"Safety is our top priority. The goal of the amnesty program is to ensure that any dwelling built before 2018 has the appropriate safety measures to protect tenants," says Cliff de Jong, manager of building safety at The City of Calgary. 

2.  Take advantage of meeting basic code requirements 

Owners who legalize their existing suites between now and Dec. 31, 2023, can simplify their renovation checklist by making sure their suite meets the basic safety code requirements outlined as part of the amnesty program.

Suite owners must provide all bedrooms with a window exit, interconnected smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, a protected exit route from the basement to outside, drywall barriers between suites and drywall barriers in the mechanical room to meet the safety code requirements.  

3.  Save thousands of dollars before the end 2023.

While permit fees for building, electrical and plumbing permits still apply, suite owners can take advantage of cost-savings of up to $700 for their development permit and secondary suite registration fee.

Not only will suite owners save on the development permit and registration fee, going through the bylaw and code review during the amnesty program can potentially save owners from investing in costly renovations needed to bring their existing suite into compliance with the current building code.

"In some cases, we’ve seen construction savings of up to $20,000 for owners who have legalized their suite during the amnesty program," says de Jong.

After Dec. 31, 2023, all permit fees will be reinstated for secondary suites and all existing suites will have to comply with the full requirements of the National Building Code – Alberta Edition.  This will mean costly renovations for things like a second furnace, ducting and noise mitigation for the suite. 

4. Legalizing an existing suite has never been easier than it is now.

Whether it’s moving the application process online or allowing applicants to submit suite photos instead of drawings, we’re making it easier for owners to gather and submit their requirements any time they apply.

Suite owners can familiarize themselves with the permit requirements, use the Existing Secondary Suite Permit Checklist to find out if their suite meets criteria, confirm which permits they need to apply for, apply for their permits and book inspections, all through

5.  Renters know their suite is safe

The City of Calgary’s Secondary Suites Registry is an online, searchable map that shows every legal and safe suite in Calgary.

On Dec. 6, 2022, Council unanimously approved the decision to temporarily suspend a secondary suite from the registry if it is fallen into a state of disrepair or is no longer safe to inhabit. With updated safety measures in place, the registry is a strong selling feature for landlords who want to reassure prospective tenants that their rental unit is safe and maintained.  

Tip for renters: Check before you rent. Enter the property address at ensure your prospective rental is registered.

For more information about legalizing an existing suite or developing a new secondary suite visit or contact the Planning Services Centre during regular hours

Community Events

Westgate Community Association – 4943 8th Ave SW,

  • Winterfest- February 25 at 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm​​​​​​​
    • Face painting
    • Horse & wagon rides
    • City Parks & Rec programs (do not have details)
    • Curling & skating - if the ice holds
    • Fire pits
    • Food for purchase at low cost
    • Cookies & hot chocolate
  • Community meeting- March 9 at 7:00 pm
  • Annual General Meeting- March at 7:00 pm

Ward 6 Office Contact
Email Phone

Booking Meetings

Lori Gardner, Executive Assistant


Community Concerns

Ralph Smith, Community Assistant   



Suzy Trottier, Communications & Community Liaison


Categories: Planning matters, Potholes, Secondary Suites, Tax Share, Tax key dates, Transit Safety, Tree program, sand-salt mix