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COVID-19 - City of Calgary Governance Structure

We know citizens look to their government in times like these for reassurance and assistance to help them get back to their everyday lives.

On March 16, 2020 City Council endorsed the City’s COVID-19 governance structure to support four primary objectives:

  1. Be responsible partners to help “flatten the curve” and protect human safety.
  2. Support our employees.
  3. Maintain appropriate City of Calgary services to our community.
  4. Prepare for the resilience of our organization and our community.​

As part of the COVID-19 Corporate Governance Structure, five Task Forces and one corporate governance committee led by the City Manager were created. For more information on the Governance Structure and Task Forces, please see COVID-19 Corporate Governance Committee and Task Forces .

Throughout the COVID-19 response and relaunch, the COVID-19 Corporate Governance Structure served The City of Calgary by providing clear direction for the organization, facilitating quick decision-making, effective cross-corporate collaboration and communications.  Each Task Force realized significant progress in achieving their mandates in the response and relaunch timeframe.

The City of Calgary is no longer in a State of Local Emergency (SOLE) and as the situation continues to evolve, a different kind of response is required with adjustments to COVID-19 oversight and decision-making frameworks.

COVID-19 Corporate Governance Transition

As the COVID-19 risk is still prevalent, Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) will continue to monitor and be prepared to respond to local outbreaks with the right level of support and structure, including remaining coordinated with local and provincial agencies. 

Ensuring the fulfillment of the mandates of each Task Force remains the most significant driver to evolve the current COVID-19 Governance Structure. Effective July 31, The City of Calgary’s COVID-19 Governance Structure will be disbanded, and the Task Force mandates will transition to work currently being done or new work for City services. Examples include:

  • Employee Support and Service Delivery Task Force:
    • Office Facilities Reoccupation and Re-Exit Plans shifts to a cross-departmental team with support from Deputy City Manager’s Office. 
    • Service delivery and re-opening plans shift to departmental and business unit level.
  • Business Sector Support Task Force:
    • The advisory and working groups merge to become Business Sector Task Force.
    • The Business and Local Economy team continues work to align and support economic strategy and Business Advisory Committee work plans.
  • Community Services Support Task Force: 
    • Support for external agencies and partners shifts to Social Wellbeing Recovery Framework led by Calgary Neighbourhoods.
    • Coordination of internal community safety activities continues across Calgary Police Services, Transit Peace Officers and Community Standards Bylaw Officers.
  • Economic Resilience Task Force:
    • Administration will continue to evolve mandate and work as appropriate.
    • COVID-19 short-term emergency financial aid priorities shift to establishing medium and long-term resilience for The City and community, leveraging the Resilient Calgary Strategy.
    • Use diagnostic work on economic shocks and stressors to screen and evaluate approvals moving forward.

COVID-19 Corporate Governance Committee and Task Forces

The COVID-19 Corporate Governance Committee, chaired by City Manager David Duckworth, supported overarching strategic corporate decisions and provided strategic advice to the COVID-19 Task Forces to ensure The City of Calgary’s coordinated response, recovery, and resilience during and after the event.

The Committee provided recommendations and advice to the Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) and to City Council in their efforts to reduce transmission of the pandemic COVID-19 virus.

Specific responsibilities related to the COVID-19 pandemic response include:

  • To maintain an aligned, integrated and holistic organizational response;
  • To make strategic decisions on matters of organizational significance or as otherwise escalated by the COVID-19 Task Forces;
  • To provide strategic advice and guidance to the COVID-19 Task Forces; and
  • To provide advice and make recommendations to Council on matters of material significance.

Emergency Response and Event Management Task Force

Led by the Director of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency, the Emergency Response and Event Management Task Force manages the delivery of essential services and critical infrastructure, response coordination, crisis communications and situational awareness for the City of Calgary’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employee Support and Service Delivery Task Force

The Employee Support and Service Delivery (ESSD) Task Force is an internally-focused Administrative group chaired by Acting General Manager of the Deputy City Manager’s Office and Chief Resilience Officer Christine Arthurs. The ESSD Task Force provides oversight and coordination of COVID-19 related implications on work conditions for the City of Calgary’s human capital in areas such as employee health, safety and wellness and the organization’s ability to support and adapt service delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic and into recovery, rehabilitation and future resilience.

Business Sector Task Force

The Business Sector Support Task Force is chaired by The City’s Business and Local Economy Leader Sonya Sharp. This Task Force monitors, evaluates and manages the sustainability and wellness of the business community, making operational decisions and providing information to ensure the City of Calgary’s coordinated response, recovery and resilience during and after the COVID-19 event.

This Task Force works directly with the business community to identify opportunities to ensure businesses have an appropriate network and system in place to support their health, safety, and resilience.

For more information, please visit our COVID-19 Support for businesses page.

Community Support Task Force

The Community Support Task Force is chaired by Acting General Manager of Community Services Katie Black. This Task Force provides advice to the COVID-19 Corporate Governance Committee and/or CEMA with a focus on building and supporting networks and systems for all Calgarians to enhance and maintain their wellbeing, safety, and resilience. This Task Forces has a priority focus on vulnerable populations within the following areas:

  • Seniors
  • Children and youth
  • New Canadians
  • Indigenous people
  • People at risk of homelessness and those living in shelters and subsidized/affordable housing
  • Other current and emerging vulnerable/at risk populations (e.g., low to moderate income households at risk of mortgage default or eviction due to illness or job loss)

Activities and decision-making of the Community Support Task Force is focused on transitioning to alternative service delivery methods, assessing the need for new services and programs, developing and implementing supports for those in isolation, assessing funding needs and working with other orders of government on funding supports required for City and partner services, among other areas.

Economic Resilience Task Force

The Economic Resilience Task Force is chaired by Chief Financial Officer Carla Male and focuses economic relief measures to support Calgarians and local businesses during and after the COVID-19 outbreak. Task Force recommendations will target City-specific actions, as well as supportive measures for other orders of government, the local business community and the community-at-large as needed.

Priorities in working with other levels of government

The City has ongoing discussions with other orders of government, both politically and administratively, to ensure that Calgarians’ interests are represented and acted upon.

Here are the five priorities we are working on:

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Government roles and responsibilities

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