A glossy brochure from the City of Calgary arrived in our mailbox recently seeking our “input” into the planning process for the West Elbow Communities Local Area Plan. The brochure is worded in a way intended to drive the result city council wants, which is densification at any cost. It doesn’t seek our input, but our acquiescence.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the list of “important topics” on the feedback form at the back of the brochure. The first topic is “expanding the types of homes in the area to better suit peoples’ changing needs.”
What biased wording. This is not our priority. What is important to us and our neighbours is strictly regulating new development to preserve the quality of life in our area and protect our property rights. We are adamantly opposed to blanket rezoning and the “build anything anywhere” policies that the city supports, all in the name of “affordability.” The expensive infills, row houses and apartments being crammed into our area now are not affordable for most young families but they do severely strain our current infrastructure and services, and detrimentally affect the rights of those who live nearby.
What is also never mentioned in any of these policy discussions is compensation for existing owners whose property values are harmed by these multi-unit developments. Buyers will not be inclined to purchase a single-family home next to row houses that shadow its neighbours, with strangers parked in front all the time.
The brochure also speaks of forming “working groups” to provide feedback on the planning process but, of course, the city will choose the members of those working groups.
The whole process is window-dressing. The city is going to impose what it wants. Unfortunately, by the time the next municipal election rolls around and we have an opportunity to replace the current mayor and other “woke” members of council, the damage will be done.
Susan Burns, Calgary
Column struck the right chord
Re: We still have lots of reasons to be thankful; Our country certainly isn’t perfect, but let’s stop to count our blessings, Opinion, Oct. 4
I’ve read Catherine Ford’s articles for years. I might’ve liked them, might’ve not. Might’ve agreed with her, might’ve not. Her recent lovely column on the coming Thanksgiving Day goes definitely to the yes group.
Well said Catherine — let’s focus on “what makes us the same, not what makes us different.”
But this is not the only reason for my letter. Catherine, I love your notation on religion and God: “God belongs in one’s heart, not laws.”
If we all only could understand that. Especially those of us who believe — and beyond all, governments of some of the nations.
Maybe this world would be simply better.
Stan Majcherkiewicz, Calgary
City missed mark on Truth and Reconciliation Day
Imagine my shock when I got to work and looked at Rose Kahn Arena on Heritage Drive on Saturday morning. Usually packed and overflowing into our parking lot at Bitter Sisters Brewing Co., I walked over to investigate. There was no sign on the door, just darkness inside. Walking back it finally hit me. Did the City of Calgary close down all recreational facilities for Truth and Reconciliation Day?
Yes, it did. Oddly enough, I left work to go watch my son’s basketball game at Seven Chiefs Sportsplex on Tsuut’ina Nation. Open for business and packed to the rafters. Perhaps they realized that closing down rec centres for families was kind of dumb that day.
It turns out the city shut down all recreational centres on Saturday. For what, you ask? Not sure, except to lose taxpayers a fortune on the busiest day of the week. Did every city worker go home and think about the terrible ways we have treated Indigenous Canadians for the past 500 years? I highly doubt it.
Could they perhaps recognize this amazing day by not automatically turning it into a paid holiday for city workers? Perhaps the city could have used this as an educational opportunity. Hand out some orange stickers, educate kids on residential schools.
By the way, Ottawa did not shut down their facilities for the day.
Tracy Johnson, Calgary
Ottawa’s net-zero grid plan all pain, no gain for Alberta
Re: Ottawa’s colonialist energy plan both offensive and illegal, David Staples, Oct. 4
Federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault’s plan to force Alberta’s electrical grid to net zero by 2035 is just another example of the radical environmental mindset that has gripped the federal Liberals. He is completely oblivious to any pain this plan would cause Albertans.
In his misbegotten belief, he thinks he is saving the planet, but the reality is Alberta’s natural gas-powered electric grid has absolutely zero effect on climate change.
All pain for no gain.
Jim Gehl, Calgary
Imperial failing on climate responsibilities
Re: Imperial, regulator knew for years about tailings seepage at mine, documents show, Oct. 3
Imperial is one of six members of the Pathways Alliance. What does it take to punt Imperial from the group?
Not a peep from Pathways as Imperial besmirches it.
Ben Macht, Calgary
No shortage of health workers in Alberta
Re: Canada loses thousands of health-care workers to U.S.; More choice, full-time work may help, Opinion, Oct. 5
The argument I often hear is that there are simply not enough qualified health-care professionals to staff a parallel private sector, and that a private system would gut the public system of workers. Then I read articles like this about professionals leaving the country to find work in their field.
I looked up the stats on how many doctors, nurses, LPNs, etc. that Alberta universities graduate each year. Doctors by the hundreds; nurses by the thousands. It seems we have more than enough qualified people to staff both a public and private system.
Dale McGonigal, Calgary